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Old 03-30-2011, 01:53 PM   #1
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Default Quick-connect vs barbed fittings - a functionality question

I have a quick question for the peoples, so thanks in advance for your help and opinions. Please keep in mind that I have yet to use this system so I know next to nothing.

I'm finishing up my single tier system and plan to be making my 1st 10 gallon batch in a week or so. I went with cam-lock quick-connect fittings from bargainfittings.com. I accidentally ordered a few barbed fittings with my ball valves but had originally planned to have the female quick-connects on both ends of the silicon tubing and the male quick-connects on the keg fittings.

Well, I didn't order enough of either but I wanted to get things as close to ready as I could so that I could run some cleaner through the system. So, i ended up using the barb fittings that I had to make everything work. My question is weather I am ok keeping and using the barb fittings or is there a functional reason why I should order the few final parts and have the quick-connects for ALL of my silicon tubing ends? I don't care if I have to buy them - its not a cost issue. The question is about function. Why use quick-connect fittings over barbed fittings.

You can see the barb fitting falling off of the bottom of this pic


The only barb fittings that I have are on the ball valves for the HLT and MLT. The rest are quick-connects.

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Old 03-30-2011, 03:38 PM   #2
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I don't know if the flow rate is going to be much (if any) different from the barb fittings to the quick connects. I get the same amount of resistance when I push the hose onto both. I have not measured it but it looks fairly close.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:46 PM   #3
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I recently finished my new keg-based brewery and used Cam-lock fittings throughout. I bought the hose barb female fittings for my hoses, before the debate about flow rates through them surfaced.

In my mind, the answer to your question is: it depends. It depends on how often you will remove the hoses from the barbed fittings. If you will leave the hoses connected to the kettles then why bother with QDs on them? If you plan to remove the hoses after each brew session, or you change the hoses around during the brew session, then go with QDs.

I do both: move them around during a brew session, and store them after brewing so QDs make sense for me.

As a side note, I have not found the lesser flow through the barbed QDs to be an issue, for either 5 or 10 gallon brew sessions. There has been no time when the flow rate was a limiting factor to my brew operations, so I will not be bothering to modify them for higher flow.

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Old 03-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #4
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I think a lot of people blame issues on flow rate and barbed fittings that are actually having plumbing or pump issues.

Unless you go to extraordinary lengths you are going to have some "restricted" flow just by virtue of connecting the hoses up to the fittings. Most of the time when I am brewing my flow rate is restricted much more by me throttling at the valve than anything else. There are only a couple of times in a given brew day where I throw the valve wide open.

So in my mind at least it's really a non-issue that people make a bigger deal about than they should, at least on the typical homebrew scale.

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Old 03-30-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
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Cool, thanks guys, I really appreciate it. I think I'll just keep what I have and go from there. I suppose they will go on and off of the barb fittings to clean out the system and to let them dry. It won't bother me to put them on and take them off once per session and these silicon tubes look quite resilient.
Again, thanks!

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Old 03-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #6
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Silicone rubber is very resilient, and likes to hold onto whatever it is touching, so wrestling hoses on and off will give you a good upper body workout. As an afterthought, the only reason I can think of to avoid the small ID 1/2" Cam lock hose barbs is that it may be easier to trap air bubbles in them and make pump priming an issue. I am still learning how to prime efficiently my March pump coming out of the mash tun and going to the brew kettle on the same level, and wondering if this is a cause.

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