Due to the risk of contamination and oxygenation, siphoning is one of the most delicate moments of homebrewing. What are your favorite techniques and accessories for doing it?
Good question. Due to ease of use, I like to use an auto siphon, although there is a small drawback. When the sediment blocking tip gets blocked by trub or hop debris, the inner valve starts sucking air in.
However, I find it so comfortable to work with, that I haven't used another type of siphon in five years time.
...due to the risk of contamination and oxidation...
Don't let these spectres haunt you. Don't splash. Make sure the outgoing end of your siphon is at the bottom of the racking vessel and let it cover as fast as possible in the liquid. Keep your siphon properly in the source vessel.
I don't have many possibilities, I have to rack my beer from my fermentation vessel into my bottling bucket, and that means it is wide open. I haven't had any oxidised or contaminated beer in 50 brews. And my beers keep for over a year.
My personal attitude toward siphoning is that it is a completely unnecessary pain in the back. I ferment in buckets fitted with a tap. Siphoning carries a much higher risk of introducing contamination and oxidation.
I have never seen the need for fermenting in carboys. They are expensive, difficult to clean, relatively difficult to handle when full, and require siphoning. Food grade plastic buckets have none of these drawbacks. I agree that glass is a much better oxygen barrier than PP or HDPE, but over the course of a normal fermentation this hardly has any effect at all.