How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:08 am

I have a Fermentech Auto Siphon 1/2" racking cane that I use to transfer fermented beer from the carboy to keg. The problem is that I usally end up sucking yeast/trub off the bottom during the transfer if not uber-careful.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/auto-siphon-1-2.html

The racking cane does have a small foot to keep it off the absolute bottom but an inch of sediment, it is ineffective. Are there any DIY mods for this thing?

What do you do or use to keep from sucking up some of the sediment?
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ultravista
 
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:55 am

The plastic carboy I use has a hump dead center that's 1.5-2 inches higher than the bottom, which allows the siphon to stay above the trub. I use the same auto siphon in the link. I also use hop sacks and Irish moss to keep the wort as clean as possible from sediment.

One thing you could easily make is a brace to keep it up higher so it's hands free. Take some PVC pipe and drill a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the siphon, then cut this in half lengthwise. Put the halves around the siphon and keep lowering it until it gets down as far as possible without picking up sediment. Then secure both ends of the PVC pipe with something like hose clamps. This will grip onto the siphon and hold it at the proper height to siphon clean beer without picking up sediment. Doing this means you just drop the siphon down until this PVC clamp stops it, start your siphon and go on with life.

Would work easier on carboys than buckets, as the length of PVC would have to be maybe 3-4 inches long for a carboy versus a foot or so for the buckets.
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Adam
 
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:05 am

I have a snap on clamp that holds the autosiphon at the level above the trub that I picked up when I got the autosiphon from my LHBS. It snaps onto the tube to let me position the tube at the level of clear beer.

Hope this helps,
Alan
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 9:31 am

I also use a clamp on the auto siphon. Also if you have the end right at the trub and yeast cake, the siphon will start with sediment but should clear up within a second or two, if the racking cane is held in place.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/1-2- ... clamp.html
Northern Brewer sells the 1/2" and 3/8".
jimmiec
 
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:05 am

I use the same siphon and have come up with a pretty reliable technique. I've always covered the carboy opening with foil and wrapped it around the auto siphon, just because I'm a type-a kind of guy.

What I've found is that if I wrap a twist tie around the foil and the siphon it will hold the auto siphon in place. Thus, I start the transfer with the auto-siphon half way from the bottom of the carboy to ensure I get a clean start, put a wedge under the carboy to angle the beer to one side (this allows me to maximize my retrieval of beer, and then lower the auto siphon to about an inch above the trub. As the beer level gets close to the bottom of the carboy, I will adjust the autosiphon to ensure I get as much liquid as possible and leave the trub behind. I'm at the point where I leave about a 1/4 cup of beer behind. By using the twist tie, I can easily adjust the auto siphon to the exact position I need.

I just pulled a crystal clear German Pilsner and didn't even have to throw the first pint away from the keg, not a bit of trub was transferred.

G'luck!

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Buttwidget
 
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:41 pm

I set my pot up on something high. Under one side I put a nice thick book.
While the wort finishes cooling the trub slides downhill.
By the time I'm ready to rack and pitch I have a fairly good spot on the high side to settle my racking siphon
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 6:17 pm

As someone above said you may get a little sediment in the first few seconds but it clears up pretty quick. I take the RDWHAHB approach on this one. If a little sediment ends up in the keg I blow it out in the first pint or two and it's good to go after that.
Tygo
 
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Re: How Do You Rack to Avoid Sediment?

Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:14 pm

Basically, start your siphon mid way down, not on the bottom, and control how close it gets to the trub layer, whether you want to hold it or use some sort of device or technique. Another thing that helps is using cold crashing and/or gelatin finings, as it will tend do give you a tighter set to your junk and it's less likely to slip down the bottom when you tilt the carboy to get that last little bit.
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