Auto Syphon woes

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by Brewdoug, Jun 26, 2016.

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  1. Jun 26, 2016 #1

    Brewdoug

    Brewdoug

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    I initially thought my Auto Syphon was a nifty bit of kit for starting off the syphon flow.
    However, recently I had thought it was getting a little temperamental and Friday night when I did a double bottling session, my main 2 brews for the summer, was a complete disaster. The Syphon kept spluttering when it should have been in full flow, drawing in lots of air between the 2 tubes until it would get so bad that the flow stopped altogether. This meant that I had to keep restarting the Syphon and as I got further down the fermentation bucket the pumping action to get it restarted caused lots of disturbance in the sediment at the bottom and I was transferring lots of the sediment.
    I got through the first brew like this but it got so bad on the second brew that I just had to stop. Fortunately I remembered I still had my old glass racking cane and a length of unused tube so I dug this out and hopefully sanitised it well enough and managed to use this to finish off. It was the early hours of the morning by now so I wasn't prepared to mess about further and resorted to sucking the end of the tube to get it started.
    So the result is I've now got over 60 bottles of very cloudy beer, which hopefully will clear given time, the risk of oxidation from the oxygen introduced and the risk of infection to the second brew because I sucked on the tube.

    Has anybody else had this problem with auto syphons? Mine's going in the bin and I'm reverting to the straightforward racking cane. I've looked up on YouTube the correct method of starting a syphon by filling the tubing first with water and/or sanitising fluid and will use this method in future.
     
  2. Jun 26, 2016 #2

    dad_of_jon

    dad_of_jon

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    not yet thankfully.

    possibly some wear in the seal or stickyness in the disk in the bottom or even the seal between the auto siphon and the piping.

    i've had the siphon for around 18 months and around 20 brews.
     
  3. Jun 26, 2016 #3

    Brewdoug

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    Yes it has to be down to the seal between the 2 parts of the auto Syphon. I don't know if something has come loose or maybe its down to wear and tear?
    I've googled the issue and a few people on American forums have posted with similar problems.
    I'll probably have a play around with it using plain water, but I really don't want to risk it again on a precious brew. To be honest, the method I've seen on YouTube to start a standard Syphon looks quite straightforward and I'm happier to give that a go for a while.
     
  4. Jun 26, 2016 #4

    Fore

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    The only time something like that happened to me was when I used a syphon sock provided with a kit, to block the dry hops. It restricted flow to such an extent that it just wouldn't syphon. Other than that, it's worked fine, I don't even use the cup at the bottom, I just judge it by sight. Flow restriction could occur for a number of reasons, a stuck one way valve, kinked tube, etc. It's not a complicated piece of equipment, so other than possible flow restriction, the only other thing I can think of is poor seal of the main sealing ring.

    In respect to the one way valve, sometimes if you knock the auto-syphon it can pop out, or sometimes just partly dislodge and jam. This would also disrupt the syphon. Mine has popped out 3 times already but it's quite easy to put it back in place using some double sided sticky tape and the end of the syphon tube.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2016 #5

    nicowk

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    Something similar happened to me at the weekend. Admittedly I bought an auto siphon designed for smalled tubs, but ive used it several times now with no issue at all.

    I was just moving beer from the fermenter to another for batch priming, and for no reason at all the liquid just wouldn't start moving when I pumped, I tried over and over slightly different angles and it just wouldn't go.

    I panicked and just used it as a suck siphon and put my bacteria ridden mouth on the end to suck it through. Just have to wait now to find out if it's ruined.
     
  6. Oct 7, 2019 #6

    kelper

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    My auto-siphon was cheap and looks it. I will renew it as soon as it starts to fail. But it's so good when I transfer from FV to PB.
     
  7. Oct 8, 2019 #7

    Graz

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    I use one of these and suck the end of it ashock1 So simple there is nothing to go wrong. My beers are fine, don't even gargle with StarSan beforehand :laugh8:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Oct 8, 2019 #8

    MmmBeer

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    I use the same syphon tube as Graz, except I cut a 6" piece off the end and re-attached using the little tap thingy. When syphoning I suck on the cut off piece until the beer fills most of the main tubing, then close the tap, pull of the cut off piece and stick the tap into a little bottler and go - no contamination issues.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2019 #9

    davidfromUS

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    What does the auto siphon look like that some are finding temperamental? Is it the same as the one in this photo?[​IMG]
    Thia is the common one available in the US. Mine has lasted five years and still is going strong but I keep a new one available just in case.
    After taking care to sanitize everything, siphoning by mouth is a roll of the dice.
    Edit: Not sure if the photo will show up but it's the two-piece where the plastic "straw" fits into the tube. I would just replace it because it should work and work consistently. In other words, don't start using odd solutions.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2019 #10

    foxy

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    That's what I have and never had a problem.
     
    davidfromUS likes this.
  11. Oct 8, 2019 #11

    Chippy_Tea

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    I use the same method.
    I also extended the hard plastic tube with half the length again of another one held together with a short piece of flexible syphon tube, a bucket clip keeps everything in place on the FV or DJ. :thumba:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Oct 8, 2019 #12

    samale

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    That's the one I was going to buy. Really cheap if I order from China. Over double the price if I order from a UK seller
     
  13. Oct 8, 2019 #13

    samale

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    What size did you go for
     
  14. Oct 8, 2019 #14

    davidfromUS

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    Even double, they're not that expensive, right? It's been so long I checked: $11 which would be less in pounds. The item doesn't inspire confidence as far as being visibly durable but, like I said, mine has lasted.
     
  15. Oct 9, 2019 #15

    Horners

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    My experience very similar to the OP. Bottling day or kegging ended up a nightmare. Now only use FVs with a bottom tap.
     
  16. Oct 9, 2019 #16

    Cheshire Cat

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    I replaced the hard plastic tube with copper and bent it. That means it doesn't float and I also use the red clip.
     
  17. Oct 9, 2019 #17

    davidfromUS

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    Nice idea^^^
     
  18. Oct 9, 2019 #18

    parpot

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    I had the same problems last month and managed to buy the pump tube seal, the seal t the bottom of the inner tube, no problems since.
     
  19. Oct 9, 2019 #19

    Chippy_Tea

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    What diameter is the tube?
     
  20. Oct 12, 2019 at 11:16 PM #20

    dv12

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    I have found a calpol syringe tube fits in the syphon tube. I put that in the end and suck on that. Once the beer is flowing, just pull out the syringe bit. This way my mouth never is in contact with the syphon tube. Not sure it makes any real difference, but i've done it that way.
     

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