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I can't seem to find a local supplier that stocks a racking cane or siphon in my area so I'd like to have a go at making my own. I could find an online supplier but most US stores won't ship to AU & I want to use it in a few days.

I know I can just siphon with tubing but I'd like to use a cane with that rubber nozzle that reduces the muck that comes up.

Can I make my own racking cane? What's involved?

2 Answers 2

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To best mimic the function of a racking-cane tip, I would crimp or plug the bottom of the tube and punch two opposing holes about 1/2 inch up the side of it so the liquid being siphoned it is above the trub. Then attach something rigid (like a strait section of plastic coat hanger) to the tube to stiffen it (after sanitizing well of course). This way you would have a rigid tube that pulls in wort above the trub.

DIY Racking Cane

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  • That is an awesome idea.
    – baka
    May 2, 2011 at 18:59
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    I better idea would be to just do this with a piece of copper pipe. You'll never get the zip ties sanitized... too much surface area and crevices. Just cap the bottom of a copper pipe, then drill a couple holes 2 inches up from the base.
    – brewchez
    May 3, 2011 at 1:21
  • I agree, using copper or stainless pipe/tubing would be the best option.
    – Room3
    May 3, 2011 at 14:46
  • Great solution, thanks! I think I'll use some solid PVC tubing for the cane & flexible tubing for the siphon. May 4, 2011 at 4:52
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I would suggest that you siphon with "just tubing" as you suggest. You can reduce the uptake of trub by adding a filter to the end of your tube. Muslin bags and panty hose both work great. Just be sure to sanitize them by soaking. You can also reduce uptake by simply keeping the end of your siphon above the trub for the majority of the racking time. If you do decide to add a filter, know that it will reduce the rate of flow considerably.

Still, I would consider ordering an auto-siphon online for future use.

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  • From practical experience, I think the muslin bag idea would just clog up to fast. And its too hard to sanitize for a racking set up.
    – brewchez
    May 2, 2011 at 19:10
  • How do you siphon with just tubing? Don't you need to get the siphon started by pumping it first?
    – Jerry C.
    May 2, 2011 at 21:31
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    @Jerry - You start the siphon by filling the tubing with water or sanitizer, then put one end in your beer and let the water/sanitizer out into a sink/waste pail, then let your beer into whatever you want. If you feel like living on the edge, you can rinse your mouth with vodka or mouthwash, then suck beer through the tube until siphoning begins. I've never used a pump.
    – Room3
    May 3, 2011 at 14:49

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