How to Use a Racking Cane


A racking cane, also called a racking tube, is a rigid device that is approximately 1 to 2 feet long with an "L"-shaped bend at one end. It can be made of plastic, glass or even stainless steel. The racking cane is used during the siphoning-off process when you are brewing beer. The process of placing the beer or wine into bottles is called racking, which is where the racking cane gets its name.

Things You'll Need

  • Sanitizing solutions
  • Water
  • Bowls
  • Sink
  • Siphon tube
  • Main fermenting bucket
  • Empty bottling bucket
  • Fill a bowl with a mixture of water and sanitizing solution in the amounts specified on the sanitizer packaging. Brewing sanitizing solution is available anywhere that sells beer- or wine-making supplies.

  • Push the end of the siphon tube over the end of the racking cane that has the "L"-shaped bend in it. Push the tube onto the cane until it is approximately 1 to 2 inches onto the tube.

  • Dip the other end of the racking cane, which has the black cap, into the remaining sanitizing solution.

  • Turn on a water faucet and hold the free end of the siphon tube under the running water until it fills up and water flows out of the black cap and into the bowl of sanitizing solution.

  • Turn off the faucet and lower the free end of the siphon tube into the sink, so the water from the bowl is sucked up into the siphon and starts to flow out into the sink. This sanitizes the siphon tube. Place your finger over the free end to keep the water inside the tube.

  • Wash the outside of the tube and racking cane by dipping your hand into the bowl of sanitizing solution and rubbing it over the exterior of them.

  • Keep your finger on the free end of the siphon tube and remove the racking cane from the sanitizing solution. Place the black cap end half way into your main fermenting container.

  • Place the free end of the siphon tube over an empty bucket and release your finger, so the sanitizing solution flows out of the tube. When you see beer or wine start to flow out of the siphon tube, place your finger back over the tube end to stop the flow.

  • Move the end of the siphon tube into your empty bottling bucket and dispense the beer or wine as desired.

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  • Photo Credit beer in beer-mug image by Witold Krasowski from
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