So. My first two batches of an IPA and a Brown Ale ended up with a Malt Vinegar taste and smell. I know there can be many factors and many types of reasons for it. I want to get my sanitizing 110% though. I want to put boiling water in my mini auto siphon. It's plastic. Will that destroy it? Will it withstand a dose of boiling water. Thanks!

  • 1
    What has your siphon been used for previously? For me, always cleaning it before and after use by pumping PBW through it, then sanitizing by pumping Star San, has always worked perfectly, never any visible infection.
    – Nemis L.
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 14:08
  • It was new. I think it may have been caused by aeration to the wort and that it took me a long time to cool initially. Just bottled my third batch last night and it seems like it'll be okay. Commented Nov 28, 2014 at 2:59

4 Answers 4


Do not do this! Speaking from experience. I accidentally put my auto siphon into a bucket that was full of near boiling water. I turned away for just a minute and the plastic had softened enough that I now own a "J" shaped autosiphon. Needless to say I can't use it anymore.

If you want to boil sanitize equipment like this you can get a stainless racking cane and boil the snot out of it if you like. But then you won't have the convenience of the autosiphon.


I strongly doubt it will stand up to boiling water. Also boiling water isn't a guaranteed way to sanitize equipment - bacteria can still remain in hard to reach places.

You should instead get hold of a sanitizer specifically developed for brewing: Iodophor, Star San are the two most popular.

  • 1
    +1 for Star San, it's a no-rinse that is based on using food-grade phosphoric acid... So it doesn't even affect the taste of your beer. That + wire brush = easy cleaning.
    – Haney
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 19:43
  • 5
    Totes. But be careful with a wire brush on plastic causing scratches. For cleaning plastic try PBW from FiveStar - removes almost any soilage without scrubbing.
    – mdma
    Commented Nov 26, 2014 at 21:30

Star-San is the best answer --


DO NOT use it after, ie: so as to clean and store for later use. Star-San is acidic and prolonged/sustained contact will make your plastic brittle and break (I have broken a siphon tube like this after only a few months of doing this afterbrew sanitizing). Use Star-San ONLY just before use for anything plastic/vinyl (glass is not an issue). Same goes for those excellent PET Plastic Carboys.

Once sanitized properly with Star-San, the best siphoning system is actually to use those orange carboy caps, the ones with the two openings. Use one opening for the siphon tubing and the other with a CO2 injector, by poking a hole in the white nipple cap to allow the CO2 needle to penetrate. Once you inject the CO2, your wort will start flowing through the siphon tubing like magic. Nothing beats this system, since it prevents air from touching the wort during the process.


I wouldn't. I've warped an Auto-siphon that way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.