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Justin
11-16-2006, 12:57 PM
Hello everyone, I recently decided to attempt making mead after doing a bit of online research. I've read everything from the start to finish and have run into my first problem. I attempted my first racking several minutes ago and didn't anticipate siphoning a carbonated liquid. I would get the flow going and as the tube filled with gas from the liquid the flow would come to a stop. After restarting about 5 times I looked online and the only solution I found to this was to bring the suction end of the tube as low as posible. I removed the racking cane (which sticks up over a foot out of the top of my 1 gallon jug) and stuck it down as low as possible without exposing it to the lees. With the highest point of the tube now bending down directly over the top of the jug the flow went much better. I'm afraid of what I might have done to this batch, how much was exposed to air, how much lees was stirred up in the process etc. I have several other batches going and dont want to have this problem on my next racking so is there a way to get rid of the carbonation without stiring up the lees or another solution? This is a one gallon batch taken from a recipe by Mike Murray.
2 1/2 lbs. honey
3 tsp. malic and 1 1/2 tsp. tartic acid (Used 3 tsp acid blend)
1/4 tsp. wine tannin
1 tsp yeast energizer
1 packet montrachet yeast
Starting gravity 1.072 now at 1.024
pitched yeast on Nov. 3 and racked today Nov. 16

A couple of other questions, I lost a bit of liquid during the siphon, is it safe to pour some bottled water directly in to top it off? Fermentation is considerably slower than my other batches, should I add some yeast nutrient to get it going again?

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Justin

WRATHWILDE
11-16-2006, 02:58 PM
Welcome to the Forums Justin!

-link- This product is excellent for 5 gallon carboys (http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=18872)

To modify it for 1 gallon jugs you'll need a two hole stopper that fits a gallon jug. St. Pats carries a 1 to -2.5 gallon kit for the Enolmatic filling machine. Expensive at $35 but you could take the sanitation piece off the 5 gallon part above, attach it to the Stopper for the Enomatic kit and have yourself a sanitary racking solution for 1 gallon jugs.

-link- See Kit for 5-10 liter bottles (http://www.stpats.com/FillingMachines.htm)

Personally, I so hated racking and bottling that I bought an Enolmatic Bottle Filler and I use it for racking too.

Wrathwilde

kace069
11-16-2006, 03:03 PM
Try pushing the hose on farther on the racking cane. Some of my worn hoses don't seal well enough and I have to push it on so it gets a tighter fit to keep the siphon going.

Dan McFeeley
11-16-2006, 03:32 PM
A way to avoid problems with racking because of bubbling CO2 gas interupting the flow is to wait until the mead is still. Did you take a gravity reading before the racking? It's usually best to wait until the yeasties are done.

Hope this is helpful! Give us more details if this isn't clarifying enough.

Justin
11-16-2006, 04:16 PM
Welcome to the Forums Justin!

-link- This product is excellent for 5 gallon carboys (http://morebeer.com/product.html?product_id=18872)

To modify it for 1 gallon jugs you'll need a two hole stopper that fits a gallon jug. St. Pats carries a 1 to -2.5 gallon kit for the Enolmatic filling machine. Expensive at $35 but you could take the sanitation piece off the 5 gallon part above, attach it to the Stopper for the Enomatic kit and have yourself a sanitary racking solution for 1 gallon jugs.

That siphon starter looks like it would be perfect for my 5 gallon carboy (what I'll be racking next) and I think they sell those at the only local brew store in town. They are pretty limited on their supplies and only carry LD carlson chemicals so I will have to do some online shopping for chemicals such as DAP and Fermaid K which Ive seen so highly recommended here.



Try pushing the hose on farther on the racking cane. Some of my worn hoses don't seal well enough and I have to push it on so it gets a tighter fit to keep the siphon going.


As far as I could tell the connection was just fine and the flow would go great for a few seconds until the flowing carbonated liquid would fill the tube with CO2 instead of mead.



A way to avoid problems with racking because of bubbling CO2 gas interupting the flow is to wait until the mead is still. Did you take a gravity reading before the racking? It's usually best to wait until the yeasties are done.

Hope this is helpful! Give us more details if this isn't clarifying enough.


The exact time to rack into the secondary is something I still see conflicting reports on. From what I gathered it's generally about 2 weeks but maybe I'm wrong. The fermenation had slowed on that batch more than any of the other 3 which are only several days behind that one. Maybe a blip every 15 seconds with the S type airlock. I read you don't want it to sit on the lee's for too long after activity has died down. The particular instructions from the manual I got that recipe from were very vague -

"Once the mead has begun to clear and thrown a lot of sediment, rack the mead into a new container, being careful to leave behind the sediment. Top up the mead with purified or distilled water and put the fermentation lock back on. Rack the mead a second time when there is a gem like clarity to it or after it has thrown a lot of sediment."

I added a 1/4 tsp of yeast energizer afterwards (not sure if thats a good or bad idea) to pick the fermentation back up. I didn't take the gravity reading until after the racking but am not sure what that will tell me other than the sugar content and alchohol content. Should I have waited longer to rack? If you wait long enough will the CO2 work itself out? Can you wait too long to rack and damage the quality of your mead?

I hope you can all be patient with a newbie through my learning experience and I appreciate all your help.

Rhianni
11-16-2006, 05:39 PM
I havent had experience in syphoning carbonated liquids. I've always waited until the activity is down to a near stop then transfer. Perhaps there is still activity with the yeast going on?