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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Tubing Question
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
smyrnaquince
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Default Tubing Question

I need some 1/2" ID tubing to drain from a fermenter to a bottling bucket. I happen to have some clear vinyl tubing of the right size and length that I bought some years ago from Home Depot or a hardware store, but never used. The paper tag on the roll says:

Use for:
- Low pressure
- Food/Water Uses
- Do not use with icemakers

Can I use this tubing? Is the standard tubing from the LHBS plastic instead of vinyl? The reason I ask is that there is a bit of a vinyl smell to the tubing and I don't want to have a vinyl taste in my beer.

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Old 05-23-2011, 03:14 PM   #2
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I used vinyl tubing for a few years. I had the same concern about the vinyl smell/taste so I boiled it for a few mins in water, and didn't have vinyl taste in my beer. I believe that the tubing carried by local homebrew shops typically is vinyl, and a lot of brewers use vinyl.

That said, I would recommend purchasing food-grade silicone tubing (from, e.g. McMaster-Carr). It's more flexible and in my opinion is easier to work with, in general. One additional benefit for me is that it made my siphoning much easier because it created a better seal at the neck of my racking cane. I'll prob never go back to vinyl tubing.

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Old 05-23-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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The reason I use vinyl tubing for cold transfers is due to how cheap it is. I use it maybe 5 times and throw it away.

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Old 05-23-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
The reason I use vinyl tubing for cold transfers is due to how cheap it is. I use it maybe 5 times and throw it away.
I purchased .5" ID from Mcmaster-Carr for 1.82 per foot. I reuse my tubing and have no plans to dispose of it unless it breaks, so I'm comfortable with the $10-$15 investment if it saves me the hassle of vinyl.

To answer the OP's question about if that vinyl is the kind to use, I would say that it is, because it's food safe.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyrnaquince View Post
I need some 1/2" ID tubing to drain from a fermenter to a bottling bucket. I happen to have some clear vinyl tubing of the right size and length that I bought some years ago from Home Depot or a hardware store, but never used. The paper tag on the roll says:

Use for:
- Low pressure
- Food/Water Uses
- Do not use with icemakers

Can I use this tubing? Is the standard tubing from the LHBS plastic instead of vinyl? The reason I ask is that there is a bit of a vinyl smell to the tubing and I don't want to have a vinyl taste in my beer.
The 1/2" vinyl tubing will work just fine. I've been using similar tubing for a very long time without any problems at all. The caution against using it for ice makers is that it will not withstand water line pressure which are typically 60-70 psi IIRC. You would want to use the semi-rigid 1/4" OD poly tubing for that application as it can withstand the high pressure.
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