Siphoning is probably my least favorite part about the brewing process. It’s something that is taking me a long time to perfect. I do a lot of reading and watching of videos on the topic and people make it look so simple. Well aren’t they talented!
From everything I’ve seen there are several ways to siphon (if you exclude anything using CO2) your brew and limit its exposure to oxygen.
The first is the old suck and pray method. Where you quite literally suck the beer out to get it going. Obviously the risk here is contaminating your beer with any germs in your mouth.
Next is filing up the tubing beforehand with some sanitized solution or water and then get the process going in a container not intended for your final fermentation and quickly stop it when the beer reaches the end of the tube. The risk here is having cat like speed and reflexes in time to not loose any of the beer with the sanitized solution.
Next up is purchasing an auto syphon which allows you to easily start it on your own no need to pre-fill with water or sucking. Downside here is more complex equipment that can break and needs to be sanitized.
If you have your business in a carboy there is also a sterile syphon starter attachment for those which allows you to blow into the cap to push the golden juice out of the tube. Main downside I see here is being too drunk to properly blow hard enough…
That’s about all I’ve seen and learned and still to this day I suck at all of them (except the last because I’m determined to perfect one of the others before I invest in another piece of equipment.)
Sterile Carboy Syphon
Photo: Matthew Frederickson