From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: RE: Siphoning
Date: 1989-06-27 15:05:28 GMT

"When siphoning my brews, I've gotten the flow started by sucking on
"the end of the hoze (after rinsing my mouth with whiskey). I've
"never had a problem with contamination. However, I often wonder if
"there isn't a better way to do this. I have tried filling the hoze
"with water first, but this seems like a silly thing to do: expose
"the brew to fresh water. I don't think bleach solution is the
"solution either.

This is always coming up. It *may* be the weakest link in homebrewing;
on the other hand, I would hazard a guess that most people start a
siphon with less preparation than you and seem to come up with good
beer anyway. Here are some ideas:

* Your idea about filling the hose with water is a good one. You have
to sterilize it and rinse it, right? On the last rinse, keep it full
and let the first run go down the drain until you have beer coming
out the end.

* I keep a bleach-solution soaked paper towel handy and wipe the end of
the hose with it after I get the line filled with beer. The paper
towel has been squeezed dry, so it is the contact with the hose that
is sanitizing, not any solution that remains on the hose.

* You can fabricate or buy one of several types of siphon starters. One
I've read about in a back zymurgy is a T fitting; you run water from
a hose through the cross of the T and connect the vertical part to your
siphon hose. When the beer begins to flow, you pinch off the hose and
move it to your receiving container. (I think, this is from memory,
not experience.)

--Darryl Richman

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