Transfer Beer From A Carboy Using CO2
In this post, I will describe how to easily transfer beer from a carboy using carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of a siphon. I’ve never been a fan of using siphons or auto-siphons when trying to transfer beer from glass carboys. It could just be me, but it’s always a hassle and seems like there is a lot of opportunity for oxygen being introduced into your beer during the transfer. After doing some searching on Google, I came across a few posts where people described gadgets they had made allowing them to transfer from a carboy using CO2. I then scrounged together the items I needed to create my own version. It’s an easy DIY project and works extremely well.
- 1 Stainless Steel Racking Cane
- 1 Rubber Carboy Blow Off Hood
- 1 ‘Gas In’ Dip Tube for a Cornelius Keg
- 2 Small Worm Clamps
- Optional – 1 Sanitary Filter for the CO2 Gas Line
- Optional – 1 Racking Cane Filter
Steps to Assemble the CO2 Transfer Device:
- Insert the gas in dip tube into the outer hole in the rubber carboy cap (from the inside of the cap). The black gasket which came on the dip tube should be tight against the inside of the rubber carboy cap.
- Attach your CO2 tubing to the dip tube and secure it with a small worm clamp (in the photo below I have also already slid the racking cane through the center hole of the carboy cap).
- Remove the red cap from the end of the stainless steel racking cane and then slide the racking cane through the center hole of the rubber carboy cap. TIP: It is easier to slide the racking cane through the hole in the cap if it is wet with sanitizer solution.
- Place the red racking cane tip back on the end of the racking cane. If you purchased a stainless steel racking cane filter, you can use that in place of the red racking cane cap. The filter will help keep hops, fruit, oak chips, etc. from being transferred through the racking cane.
- Attach a piece of tubing which will be used to transfer the beer to your keg/secondary fermenter to the curved end of the racking cane. Secure the tubing with a worm clamp.
- The device is now ready to be used (after being sanitized).
Tips for Transferring Beer Using CO2
- After assembling the device, run sanitizer through the tubing and the racking cane. Both the inside and the outside of the tubing, racking cane, rubber carboy cap and the red racking cane tip (or stainless steel racking cane filter) should be sanitized prior to transferring beer.
- Set the PSI to around 2 PSI on your regulator. You do not want to use too much pressure and risk breaking the carboy. You may have to adjust the pressure up or down based on your setup.
- Hold the rubber carboy cap in place with one hand while you have the CO2 turned on. Otherwise, the cap may just blow off of the carboy neck once the pressure starts to build up.
- Lift the edge of the rubber carboy cap away from the neck of the carboy to release pressure several times during the transfer. This is to prevent too much pressure from building up in the carboy.
- Safety first! Consider wearing safety glasses while transferring beer using CO2 just in case the carboy would happen to break. Do not risk getting glass in your eyes just for a beer!
- When most of the beer has been transferred out of the carboy, you can tip the carboy to get the remaining beer to one side and keep the tip of the racking cane in the remaining liquid.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Cheers!