skip to content rich footer

StevenClark.com.au

subscibe to the StevenClark.com.au rss feed

The Jiggler Siphon from Kegland.com.au (Product Review)

I’ve been around the block enough to have known better about the promises of the Jiggler Siphon from Kegland.com.au. And I’m sure in the lizard brain at the back of my head there was a screaming question about the design. That being said, 20+ litres of perfectly good Dusseldorf Altbier had to be poured onto the garden as a direct result of the Jiggler Siphon. Not a good result for a homebrewer’s $50 purchase. In short, I’d suggest it’s not fit for the purposes advertised on their website. Don’t buy it.

The Jiggler Siphon in a Nutshell

The Jiggler Siphon is an extremely high quality 304 stainless steel tube used for racking booze from a fermenter into a bottling bucket or keg. It’s BPA free, robust and, stated on their web page, sold for the purpose of “siphoning out of a carboy, demijohn or bucket or FermZilla.”

The business end of the racking siphon is an efficient mechanism that can be broken into five small parts for easy cleaning – two pieces of tubular casing, an o-ring, a spring and a small glass marble. The idea is that putting the cane together with this assembly allows you to shake the wand a few times to start the siphon. The action of the marble against the spring begins the pumping action.

The advertisement also promises this will last for a lifetime. Well, that’s if you don’t lose, break or wear out that o-ring, the spring or the marble, I guess.

The Bottling Day where the Jiggler Ruined my Altbier

The Dussuldorf Altbier spent two-to-three weeks fermenting and another four weeks at 1-2 Celcius in the lagering fridge. It was a well made beer by any standard.

Having never used the Jiggler Siphon it hadn’t occurred to me how strong this flow through the base of the siphon wand would become. So, at first, I was pleasantly astonished at the flow rate of super clean lagered beer filling into the bottling bucket. Although it was difficult keeping the heavy tool confidently still in the beer. This, in itself, proved to be a critical distraction.

Then, at around the 15 litre mark and a good six inches above the trub, suddenly a huge rush of trub spewed into the bottling bucket. The beer was done. You might as well have thrown a handful of flour into the bucket at that point. I’ve been racking mead, cider, wine and beer for a decade. Nothing has been so rubbish at racking the bottom quarter of a fermenter as the Jiggler Siphon.

The Design Issues that need to be Addressed

The Jiggler Siphon is a good idea. The mechanism has been around for some time when it comes to siphoning petrol. However, Kegland.com.au should understand enough about racking canes to be aware of the inherent flaws in this one. So I won’t bag on about it except to suggest:

  1. Direct suction in the downward direction of the yeast is catastrophic – at force, it is inevitable that the beer will be contaminated by trub. Racking siphons usually have a cap that redirects flow to be from the upward direction. A good cane can be sat almost directly on the trub and still maintain reasonable clarity of the siphoned liquid;
  2. The Jiggler Siphon is hand held – obviously, other canes exist that clip to the side of a fermenter or carboy for stability and control… this product needs such a clip; and
  3. The Kegland.com.au team need to use it on their own beer to ensure it is fit for purpose before selling it to the public. Simple.

Note: the one major unfixable flaw of this design is the jiggler action: the ball vibrates constantly at a high velocity during the siphoning process. Usually, a racking siphon, once activated, is a gravity fed system with no mechanical ambient internal activity. That alone is enough to say it would not be a great choice for siphoning beer because it increases oxidation more than other siphons.

Customer Response from Kegland.com.au was Unsatisfactory

In contrast to another supplier that I regularly use… Kegland.com.au basically told me that I shouldn’t be racking beer into a bucket. I won’t go into the rest of their kegging advice, but I had the feeling I was being dismissed and upsold while being told my design criticisms would be looked into.

Their website advertisement for this product states:

Forget about fermenter taps and use a siphon. Threaded fermenter taps are hard to clean and sanitise so having a fermenter without a tap is often the best choice, and to get the beverage out of the fermenter without a tap this siphon is the natural choice.Kegland.com.au

What the Jiggler Siphon is not Suitable to Achieve

So, the question becomes whether or not the Jiggler Siphon in the current form is fit for the purposes advertised on that page? The answer is clearly no. If you stick that siphon into a carboy and shake as described you will either leave 1/4 of the beer unsiphoned OR get huge amounts of trub contamination. I would not consider leaving 5 litres of beer out of 20 litres on top of the trub to be a satisfactory outcome.

Yes, I use a 30 litre plastic fermenter… a common home brewer’s piece of kit. Racking from a Fermzilla or similar fermenter with a dome base might be another story. I don’t have one, so good luck if it works for you in that environment.

The Jiggler Siphon cost me $50 delivered, about $50 of beer resources to produce the altbier, and my brew day to bottling day effort. As I said, 20+ litres of beer went to the garden. Ruined. And, yes, I should have known better.

What it would be good for is siphoning from the kettle to the fermenter on brew day. But that’s a much smaller market. I won’t buy any products from Kegland.com.au into the future because they sold me crap and acted like it was a flippant complaint. No, the product is NOT fit for purpose, end of story. Don’t buy one if you’re tempted by that video. Note that it’s a video of them siphoning clean water, not an entire batch of beer off a yeast cake. Buyer beware on this one… they won’t want to know you if you have a complaint.

Comments are closed.

Social Networking

Keep an eye out for me on Twitter

About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

skip to top of page