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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Silicone or thermoplastic tubing? Preferences?
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Silicone or thermoplastic tubing? Preferences?

I'm thinking about replacing all of my tubing with either silicone or thermoplastic tubing. My reasoning is primarily sanitation. I replace my vinyl tubing every so often because I don't trust it, even after sanitizing with StarSan. I've just heard to many stories about people getting infections from old tubing. I figure if I get silicone or thermoplastic, I can boil it to sanitize, thus eliminating the need to worry about the chance of an infection coming from the tubing. In the long run, this should be cheaper since I won't have to replace any more tubing.

On the hot side, it must be better to have tubing that is actually rated for higher temperatures.

Anyway, does anyone use one type or the other? Any pereferences? Reasons for those preferences?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 10-17-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
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I was wondering this too. I ordered thermoplastic but the silicone is clear, whereas thermo is opaque...

I'm not sure why infection would be an issue unless you're talking about the tubing off the boil kettle into the carboy. Everything else is pre-boil. You just want to make sure it doesn't fill up with crap.

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Old 10-17-2010, 07:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jonalexdeval View Post
I was wondering this too. I ordered thermoplastic but the silicone is clear, whereas thermo is opaque...

I'm not sure why infection would be an issue unless you're talking about the tubing off the boil kettle into the carboy. Everything else is pre-boil. You just want to make sure it doesn't fill up with crap.
Yea, the opacity of the thermoplastic is a slight turn-off.

Regarding infection, I've never had one and don't want one. The post-boil stuff that I use for siphoning is what I want to make sure is sanitized well. It always looks clean and has yet to fail me, probably because I'm pretty anal about cleaning and sanitizing...and I replace the tubing every now and again. But, since I can't get a rag inside of the tubing to wipe it down, I always wonder if there's crap in there that I can't see, like mold spores or something. Tossing some high temp stuff into boiling water for a minute or two would eliminate this concern and I could hang onto the tubing forever.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonalexdeval View Post
I was wondering this too. I ordered thermoplastic but the silicone is clear, whereas thermo is opaque...
I use Silicone tubing and it is slightly opaque...not clear. I've been using it for about a year now for everything from the boil kettle through a peristaltic pump into the chiller. Hot wort gets circulated through it for 15 min to sterilize. Haven't noticed any negative effects yet from heat. Definitely a softer material than thermoplastic. Under high suction it will collapse. Next time I need to replace it I will definitely try the thermoplastic.
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Old 10-17-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
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I have used both and I like the Silicone tubing better.
I use a Brutus 10 stand with 3 pumps, I can see where the liquid is in the lines, so I can help the prime along.
I also like the fact that its more flexible than the thermoplastic.
Another reason as previously mentioned is the higher temperature rating on the silicone,
and lastly, the silicone tubing lasts longer than vinyl or thermoplastic.

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Old 10-17-2010, 11:12 PM   #6
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Definitely a softer material than thermoplastic. Under high suction it will collapse. Next time I need to replace it I will definitely try the thermoplastic.
How soft is the silicone compared to the regular vinyl tubing? Also, what kind of high suction has caused it to collapse? Thanks for your input!
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Old 10-18-2010, 08:30 PM   #7
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I am looking at Norprene hot food & beverage tubing A-60-F for my new Brutus 10. It's good from -60 to 275 and can be steamed cleaned. Check it out at www.usplastic.com

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