The auto-siphon is a replacement for a standard racking cane. Unlike the racking cane, it helps you get a siphon started when you transfer your beer or wort from one vessel to another. At a first glance, it’s the same long stiff tube shape, just a lot wider.
Before the auto-siphon, you had two ways to start the siphoning mechanism. You could pre-fill it with water, close off the end of the hose, then release the water. You could also suck on the end of the hose to get it started.
Starting a siphon using the auto-siphon is much easier than those original two options. It has an inner racking cane and an outer tube. The inner racking cane has a gasket on the end that allows it to slide along the outer tube. You always want to wet the this tip first… never insert it dry.
As you push the inner racking cane down, it builds up pressure in the outer tube and forces the liquid up through the cane. All it takes is a couple of quick, hard pumps to get the liquid flowing.
That’s pretty much it, once the siphon is started, just rack your beer or wort as you would normally. You also don’t want to siphon up any of the trub from the bottom of the fermenter, so be sure and pull it out just before you’re finished.