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Old 08-08-2011, 05:33 AM   #1
Radix
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Default Idea for CO2 Distributor/Manifold on the cheap

Hello All,

First post so go easy on me. It seems like taking one of these 4 way air manifolds (they sell other sizes) and combining it with 6 of these 1/2 ball valve to 1/4 barb adapters (why not use all valves they are cheap) would yield a $33.21 distributor which is about $25 less then what most places seem to want. Of course this setup would lack check valves but it seems like a reasonable trade off. Just an FYI takes about 2 weeks to get parts from this seller.

Of course if you truly want to be cheap you could just buy a lot of stainless steel 1/4 barbed tees and get a similar end result for $6.

What are your thoughts? What are people using for lower cost CO2 distributors?

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Old 08-08-2011, 06:39 PM   #2
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I built a very similar setup to what you have. I found some swagelok fitting, 1/8" stainless pipe, 1/4 turn valves and ran a single line from my bottle in to a 4 way manifold. It works great. Only drawback is that I only have one regulator hooked up to i, so I can only have one pressure. I have a separate bottle and regulator setup for force carbing.

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Old 08-08-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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I think I spent ~$30 on my 5 line manifold complete with shut-offs and check valves. The blue $2 manifolds that I used from harbor freight are getting harder to find though. I use these $2 inline check valves which are a cheap alternative to the ball valves with an integrated check valve.

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Old 08-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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Check valves are important. I had my main CO2 line pop off. Everything was frosted over. If it weren't for the check valves, my beer would have gotten flat and possibly exposed to some nasties...

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Old 08-09-2011, 04:19 AM   #5
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$30 is a nice deal, I cant find a $2 manifold on the Harbor Freight website, so i assume they dont have them anymore. What did you use for your valves? Did you go plastic for the valves also?

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Old 08-09-2011, 05:14 AM   #6
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Harbor freight no longer shows a lot of the smaller/cheaper items on the website. Some of the stores still carry the $2 blue manifolds and some don't. AFAIK all stores still carry the 4 way manifold with type M QD's, but it doesn't show on the website anymore either. I used 1/4" brass ball valves.

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Old 08-10-2011, 03:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
Harbor freight no longer shows a lot of the smaller/cheaper items on the website. Some of the stores still carry the $2 blue manifolds and some don't. AFAIK all stores still carry the 4 way manifold with type M QD's, but it doesn't show on the website anymore either. I used 1/4" brass ball valves.
I went to Harbor Freight and they said they just redid the air fittings section and no longer stock the blue manifolds or any usable manifold for this purpose. The only manifold they have is this style for about $9. This seems to be the end of a practical DIY manifold since the parts for a manifold are now at best $33 without check check valves and by the time you add the check valves you suggested that brings the price to around $46 (with S/H) which is only around $9 less then the commercial options. I guess if your looking for a less expensive solution your better off just sticking a bunch of barbed T or star connectors together for $5-10 and skip the valves otherwise go all the way and buy a commercial unit.

PS I did do the the thing I always end up doing at Harbor Freight, buying something I dont need. I got this 2 HP, 14" Heavy Duty Cut-Off Saw for $59 to build my brew stand.
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Old 08-10-2011, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radix View Post
IPS I did do the the thing I always to at Harbor Freight and end up buying something I dont need. I got this 2 HP, 14" Heavy Duty Cut-Off Saw for $59 to build my brew stand.
That would have saved me about an hour of time trimming off an inch from my 3 x 4 angle. had to trim 12 pieces. I considered running over to see what they had but it would have taken longer to go pick one up then it did to use my grinder. That's a pretty good price.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:25 AM   #9
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I figured I would throw out one last call for ideas on a cheap CO2 distribution solution before I just suck it up and buy something prefabricated

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:29 AM   #10
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Northern tool has a similar in-line manifold (did anyway...) I haven't been there recently.

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