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-   -   Connecting 3/16" poly beer line to 1/4" ball-lock disconnect? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f35/connecting-3-16-poly-beer-line-1-4-ball-lock-disconnect-45763/)

kal 11-23-2007 08:25 PM

Connecting 3/16" poly beer line to 1/4" ball-lock disconnect?
Maybe I'm fussier than others or my beer drinking style is different, but I've tried 3-4 different beer lines so far and every vinyl line I've tried 'taints' my beer with a plastic taste if I leave it overnight. I did some tests with different tube types left overnight (not connected to anything) with water in them:

Rating system:

0/10 = zero taint (good)
10/10 = Lots'o'taint (bad)

Arrowhose.com type 14 "General Purpose" vinyl hose (3/16" ID): 4/10
Arrowhose.com type 58 Arrow-flo "barrier" poly tubing (1/4" ID): 2/10
Kuritek.com Accuflex Bev-Seal Ultra Series 235 poly "barrier" tubing (1/4" ID): 0/10

Even the Arrowhose.com type 14 general purpose vinyl stuff that one of our city's draft system installers uses (in over 700 installations) I find leave a bad taste in the beer if left in the line overnight.

So I've moved on to what the pro's and soda companies use inside their trunk lines: Polyethylene barrier-type tubing


Poly tubing is that harder plastic stuff so it has very little give. So I can't jam a 3/16" poly line on the 1/4" barbed posts on my keg quick disconnects like I can with 3/16" vinyl beer line. And there's no such thing as ball-lock/pepsi quick disconnects with 3/16" barb!

What's the best way to attach the two?


Baldy_Beer_Brewery 11-23-2007 10:05 PM

Would warming the end of the line give you enough flexibilty to push it onto the barb?

kal 11-24-2007 06:47 PM

Interesting idea.... I tried using a heat gun and was able to heat up the 3/16" poly hose enough to get it onto a 1/4" barb! You have to be very careful however as you need to heat it up quite a bit and it gets pretty soft.

I'm worried however that it's hurt the poly such that it might break/crack in the future...


Baldy_Beer_Brewery 11-24-2007 07:04 PM

Sorry... I was thinking hot water. That seems like it would have been kinder and less stressful to the tubing than direct heat.

I doubt though anything will let go on you unless you see a definite change in properties such as discoloration or hardness.

kal 11-25-2007 12:55 PM

Hot water definitely won't heat it up enough. That works well for vinyl but poly's just so much harder.... boiling water may work. That would actually be a better idea than a heat gun as you're less likely to create hot spots or warp the poly.


kal 11-29-2007 02:08 AM

For reference sake, I tried boiling water: Stick the 3/16" poly line into a kettle for 30 seconds or so and you shouldn't have any problems getting it onto a 1/4" barb. Nice tight fit too.


lagavulin 08-28-2011 02:25 AM

I tried to connect my 3/16 barrier tubing to 3/16 tail pieces today. I attempted this using the boiling water technique and I couldn't get the bugger on. I'm looking at my 1/4 ball lock nipples and can't imagine how I'm going to get the tubing around them.

Any tips/tricks?


Golddiggie 08-28-2011 02:28 AM

The before mentioned boiling hot water soak should do the trick... I use a socket wrench to hold the nut against the barb (from the inside of the nut) so that I have something to press against when putting the tubing on. Works really well.

Heat the water either in a nuke chamber, or a tea kettle... You want BOILING hot water for this, not just hot tap water (won't be hot enough)...

certaut 08-28-2011 02:40 AM

+1 on boiling water.
I fill a half pint mason jar about 1 inch of the top, nuke for 2.5 min take out caution real hot
only dip the hose but not more then the length of the barb and stuff it on

lagavulin 08-28-2011 04:31 AM

Thanks guys. I'll give it another shot.

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