From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <soper@maxzilla.encore.com>
Subject: Foaming during bottling
Date: 1989-10-26 14:39:28 GMT

(oops - sorry about that rude truncated message. Here is
the whole thing)

Long ago I used to bottle using a siphon. What a pain in the
ass. I've used gravity (i.e. a plastic "bottling bucket" with
a drum tap) for the past year or so and will never consider
siphons for this again.
Here is the problem: Siphons operate with partial vacuums.
Beer with lots of dissolved C02, especially at warm temperatures
where it can just barely hold that C02, HATES VACUUMS. The
reduced pressure in the siphon hose causes the C02 to literally
boil out, leading to all the hassles that Dave Sheehy
(dbs@hprnd.hp.com) described in HBD #287.
If you cannot avoid the use of a siphon, cool the beer prior to
bottling. This will allow more of the C02 to stay in solution.
(Actually, cooling the beer has a lot of other really nice effects
as Rob Gardner pointed out around a year ago but that's another
subject). Also, I've found that the slightest leak in the connection
between the siphon hose and racking tube (if you use one) can cause
fractional tons of *air* to get into the siphon. A hose clamp
can fix this.
What I use these days is just a straight rigid plastic tube stuck
on a drum tap spigot (with a very short length of vinyl tubing). I
put the rigid tube in the bottom of the bottle, turn the tap and
then move the bottle down as it fills, closing the tap when it
is at just the right level.

--Pete Soper

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