Flotit

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Brooothru

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Messages
3,377
Reaction score
4,298
Location
Either in the brewery or on the road
So a week or two ago I was wasting some time and money (a common theme for me) scouring the inter webs for more 'useful stuff' that I've never had but surely do need. I'd read about Flotit on this forum and other sites, so when I happened upon it, I pulled the trigger, along with some other random product I hadn't intended to buy but which was guaranteed to change my life. Fast forward to today.

I unboxed the device and gave it a cursory once-over look. I've used floating dip tubes for a couple of years, both prefabricated as well as DIY. They seem to work "O.K.", and are probably are worth the added hassle of installation and more thorough sanitation. But is the Flotit with filters the game changing improvement over the other floating diptubes that the maker claims? Let me state from the outset that I'm a fanboy of clear beer. Sparkling lagers and clear ales are my jam, plain and simple. In the Time-Before-Floating-Diptubes I would relegate my brews to extended cold crashing and accept the half-dozen or so dumped pints of sacrifice to the Gods of Clarity. Later I decided that life's too short and beer's too precious to waste, so I started using floating diptubes.

TL,DR; The question is: "Is the Flotit a quantum improvement over 1st Gen 'floaters'? Are there any insider tips about routine usage and cleaning? Is the filtration effective and useful in fresh batches, or is it a marginal gimmick? Am I just overthinking this whole thing, and should just use it? Asking for a friend.
 
I can't tell any difference between Flotits and my other floaters. I worked on the old ones to make them function at their best, though. Had to add heavy stainless nuts to keep the intakes low. I had to fix it so they were stuck on the little metal bits on the ends of the tubes and could not slide back up the plastic and weight them in the wrong places. I did not want the intake points at the very top of the beer, where gas might get in. Whether this was a realistic concern, I can't say.

I like the long intake pipes on Flotits, but you can always cut down an old-fashioned pipe.
 
Last edited:
I can't tell any difference between Flotits and my other floaters. I worked on the old ones to make them function at their best, though. Had to add heavy stainless nuts to keep the intakes low. I had to fix it so they were stuck on the little metal bits on the ends of the tubes and could not slide back up the plastic and weight them in the wrong places. I did not want the intake points at the very top of the beer, where gas might get in. Whether this was a realistic concern, I can't day.

I like the long intake pipes on Flotits, but you can always cut down an old-fashioned pipe.
I had the same experience with keeping them submerged below the surface. I got some 5/32" bolts which fit nicely over 4mm draw lines. It really sucked when I realized they were zinc coated instead of solid stainless steel. The coating didn't hold up to the pH of the beer, and as soon as it hit bare metal the iron started to appear and the beer took on a distinct metallic taste. That ended badly with a few dumpers going down the drain.
 
IIRC, it's the Flotit 2.0 that's claimed to be a bit of a "breakthrough."
It was featured in HomebrewFinds.
1706810437938.jpeg


I guess I lucked out then. What is the supposed "breakthrough"?
 
I read the Homebrewfinds thing. Talk about suspicious.

How can this guy not know the stainless nut trick? He says:

With the ball float, occasionally the dangling pickup tube can get itself wedged such that it sits at the top level of the beer and sucks in mostly CO2.

He doesn't mention the well-known solution.

He also says the Flotit's screens cause problems with dry-hopped beer. They fill up when you transfer beer into an empty keg. I never thought of that.

I don't see the point of the screens. If my beer has a little junk in it, I would rather just have it come out in the first couple of pours, drink it, and not worry about it.
 
But if the Homebrewfinds guy is right, that is only true if you dry hop AFTER kegging, because pumping hop crud OUT of a Flotit is hard.
 
But if the Homebrewfinds guy is right, that is only true if you dry hop AFTER kegging, because pumping hop crud OUT of a Flotit is hard.
Or use one of those lids with an extra post, so you can fill through a regular dip tube and serve through the FLOTit.

This is getting complicated.
 
I have 2 of these. They do work.
I did the cut off dip tube fix but still had crud in the glass. The original float with the "golf" ball works OK. I added the SS washer or nut to keep the pickup tube in the beer. Had issues with a mix of gas and beer. Had to jiggle the keg a bit to reset the pickup. I also bought the Flotit filter to attach the the ball float. Will try that in the next batch. I use the small plastic filter that attaches to the ball float,it worked OK.

What I did not like is the very large ClearBeer filter. Just too large,it got hung up at times and pulled beer and gas off the top. Just to much for me. Clear Beer Draught System.
I prefer the Flotit or the old round ball with a filter. I have not had any issue with clogged filters due to dry hoping
 
Hi. I'm the infamous, suspicious HomeBrewFinds review author. I did try hanging different things on the float to keep the end down. I couldn't find the right combination. It was either too heavy or too light. And as I was looking for different things to hang on it, it just became this jumbled thing floating in my keg. The offset hole float (FLOTit 2.0) worked perfectly without me having to bedazzle the floating pickup tube.

When I did the review ~3 years ago, the Kegland screen cage + floating sphere solution wasn't on the market yet. These work just as good as the FLOTit 2.0 and I use both of them in my process.

For me, I'm not after clear beer, so that's not why I like the screens and/or the floating pickup tube. I like them because they keep the crud out of the ball lock posts on my kegs when transferring. I use them in my fermentors, and dry hop in my fermentors. So when I go to transfer to a keg, the combination of float & screen keep me from clogging the keg's post with hop debris. I had issues with this before, and used an external Bouncer filter in my transfer line, but that wasn't ideal and would get clogged up typically during transfer and I'd have to disassemble (and introduce oxygen in the process).

1706987082299.png
 
I read the Homebrewfinds thing. Talk about suspicious.

How can this guy not know the stainless nut trick? He says:



He doesn't mention the well-known solution.

He also says the Flotit's screens cause problems with dry-hopped beer. They fill up when you transfer beer into an empty keg. I never thought of that.

I don't see the point of the screens. If my beer has a little junk in it, I would rather just have it come out in the first couple of pours, drink it, and not worry about it.


If I'm reading your post correctly, The screens are useless on a receiving keg of a transfer, if you have dry-hopped loose in the fermenter and it lacks some sort of filtering. I have the Flotit on my big corny keg and (though only have 4 batches on it), never had any clogging issues when transferring to my 5 gallon ball locks.



I have the Torpedo Buoys on some of my 5 gallon kegs. Two have the filter (shown in the above reply), two don't. The ones with the filters are in my "unitank" kegs for pressure fermentations. The other two without, I use as just dedicated serving kegs when transferring from the big corny or Fermzilla All Rounder. The All Rounder, obviously, has a Fermzilla floating dip tube on it.

All three versions of floating dip tubes perform the same for me. The Flotit is the most expensive, but I do like the double filtering on it. I think you get what you pay for imo plus the guy who sells them is very easy to work with. He gave me a longer hose at no added cost for my big corny. The Fermzilla floating dip tube seems to be the cheapest of the three. One could use it to save money if they want to replace a bunch of their kegs' dip tubes at once. The only negative, I've noticed with mine after a few batches the silicone tubing has a stink to it. It doesn't seem to effect the beer or anything, but I can't seem to wash it out. I'll eventually just replace the tubing.
 
I had a conventional floater (snipped and properly weighted) decide to become a permanent sinker a couple of years ago--the ball filled with beer. Makes me shudder to think of how many batches had a ball partially filled with a mix of beer from prior batches.

Anyway, I gave the Flotit 2.0 a shot. Trimmed it to fit the keg and it works nicely and doesn't throw the occasional tantrum the way that the ball floaters are apt to do (especially around the bottom of the keg). Granted, those tantrums are seldom frequent, but my keg with the Flotit has yet to cause any drama. An annoyingly great feature about the Flotit is that it gives you zero warning when a keg is about to blow. It just blows. There's no burst of yeast followed by clear beer followed by a "false blow," then giving the keg a shake, waiting a few days and getting an extra couple of pints. It blows without warning and the keg is dead.

Is it worth the extra ten bucks? Well, I installed it and it hasn't given me any grief since. When the tubing ruptured on one of my newer ball floaters (a Beer, Beer and More Beer Torpedo floater), I purchased another one on sale last year (it wasn't much more expensive than replacing the tubing on the old floater) and it's the same deal. It works reliably.

So, yeah, I suppose it's worth it based on the "buy once, cry once" principle. Or put differently, at this point we all know how to trim and weight our ball floaters, so the Flotit isn't exactly a game changer. Nevertheless, it's nice to not have to monkey around with your floater. It transparently does its job and the supplied tubing hasn't split or cracked and it seems resistant to discoloration--sins common to the cheaper ball floaters. As an official Cheap SOB, I don't begrudge the extra dollars I've spent on the Flotits. They're a solid product.

One aspect of the Flotit that I haven't screwed up the courage to try is keg dry hopping with .5-1.0oz of pellets. As a brewer that spends a lot of time brewing UK-style ales, this would be tangibly useful and it would be an actual game changer. On the other hand, how hard is it to rig an infusion ball?

The Flotit 2.0 isn't remarkable. I would very happily live in a world devoid of Flotit 2.0s. But that's not the point. The Flotit is a bit more expensive, waaaaay over-engineered, and stupidly reliable. The extra ten bucks (or whatever it is now) ensures that it's one less thing that you have to worry about.

I think about it like an early 80's Mercedes 300D: not the least bit sexy, devoid of joy, but stolidly reliable and reassuringly built like a brick outhouse. That's a good resume for a floating dip tube.
 
One aspect of the Flotit that I haven't screwed up the courage to try is keg dry hopping with .5-1.0oz of pellets. As a brewer that spends a lot of time brewing UK-style ales, this would be tangibly useful and it would be an actual game changer. On the other hand, how hard is it to rig an infusion ball?
Like you, I have a combination of the torpedo ball floats and flotit 2.0. I use the flotit kegs when I want to keg hop a bitter or an American IPA, and it works great. I routinely do 2oz loose and I've done up to 8oz with no problems.
 
One other advantage about the Flotit that I forgot to mention is the dip tube. The dip tube has a smaller diameter at the tip of it allowing you to attach the (smaller ID) silicon hosing and then installing the whole thing through the liquid post hole. This makes cleaning a lot easier if you prefer to break everything down (or replace your tubing) when cleaning. The others you have to install the dip tube, and then articulate your hands and blindly attach the tubing to the dip tube within the keg. Can be a pita sometimes.
 
I have 2 of these. They do work.
I did the cut off dip tube fix but still had crud in the glass. The original float with the "golf" ball works OK. I added the SS washer or nut to keep the pickup tube in the beer. Had issues with a mix of gas and beer. Had to jiggle the keg a bit to reset the pickup. I also bought the Flotit filter to attach the the ball float. Will try that in the next batch. I use the small plastic filter that attaches to the ball float,it worked OK.

What I did not like is the very large ClearBeer filter. Just too large,it got hung up at times and pulled beer and gas off the top. Just to much for me. Clear Beer Draught System.
I prefer the Flotit or the old round ball with a filter. I have not had any issue with clogged filters due to dry hoping

I much preferred the ClearBeer to the cheaper bare floating balls. I have never had issues with it getting hung up. Did you follow the installation instructions about which way the tubing should hang and how to attach to the float?

Anyway it seems like this Floatit functions better than the floating balls, and is still quite a bit less expensive than the clear beer. If I end up needing another I'll try one out.
 
I think the Flotit is too over engineered, with parts not easily replaced and total cost too expensive for a floating dip tube. I started out using the CaskWidge floats, which I still prefer. The simple ball floats work fine too, but I think I have one or two that misbehave sometimes.
 
I ferment more or less exclusively in kegs now and always use a floating dip tube to transfer beer out. The CBDS usually works but I have had two or three clogs, where I have to open up the fermenter and let air in and I am sad. The FlotIt 2.0 has never caused a problem, and is smaller and cheaper than the CBDS. Hopping rates up to 1 oz./gallon, no problem.

For IPAs and the occasional English ale, I then transfer into a second keg filled with my dry hop charge (and then purged), and also with a FlotIt 2.0. Again, rates of ~1 oz./gallon. Never an issue.
 
I much preferred the ClearBeer to the cheaper bare floating balls. I have never had issues with it getting hung up. Did you follow the installation instructions about which way the tubing should hang and how to attach to the float?

Anyway it seems like this Floatit functions better than the floating balls, and is still quite a bit less expensive than the clear beer. If I end up needing another I'll try one out.
Well I think I installed it correctly. I will re-read the instructions and try it again. Might be the tube length, I use 2 to 3 gal small kegs. I might have cut the tube too short. Will check on the next empty keg to check how it sits. Then fill with water to to check for correct float orientation
 
I'm not knocking the product. I ordered a couple yesterday.

The UNI tube, however, seems to serve no purpose.

I just chatted with Trong, the owner of HBL and creator of the FLOTit. He agreed, and stopped making the UNI tube. I just received a FLOTit 2.0 and it came with a super-short, normal steel gas post with an o-ring. He said it's just a better solution. It's 1/2" long.

The guy is having fun in retirement making cool gadgets for homebrewers from home with his wife that, by all accounts and reviews, work very well. I like to support people like that.
 
Yeast got stuck to one of my Flotits, so I took it apart yesterday and looked it over. I had never done that before.

I no longer think this is a fantastic invention. It works, but so does a ball float with a nut for weight.

The long stainless liquid tube doesn't seem any better than the 4" tubes some ball floats and kegs come with. You cut a bevel in the end of your tube to make the silicone tube slide onto it more easily, and you have a setup which is pretty easy to deal with.

The literature says all connections are made outside the keg. Am I missing something? When the pipe and the float are connected, there is no way to run them through the liquid post. You have to put your hand inside the keg to attach the pipe to the flexible tube, or you have to grab the lower end of the tube and attach it to the float.

You can get a wire tool to pull the tube out to connect the float, but you're still going into the keg, and you can make a tool out of a coat hanger in 30 seconds. And why would you want to reach into your beer with ANYTHING if it isn't necessary? Help me out.

Personally, I connect my floats, install my liquid pipes, and attach my flexible tubing to the pipes. Then I sanitize everything before filling the keg. Is this wrong somehow? It's what I do for any type of float.

The filters don't do much for me. I never draw beer full of particles. The junk goes to the bottom. Doesn't it do that for everyone? And a floating tube is supposed to draw from the top, where beer is clearest, anyway. Seems to me the filter's big plus is that it weights the end of the pickup, which a nut can do.

I guess there must be something I am failing to notice.
 
Another issue which has bothered me: if I'm fermenting in a keg, and I'm filling it with hot wort before chilling, then I have to be concerned about the plastic tubing softening and slipping off the stainless pipe. This seems a lot more likely with a Flotit pipe that has a skinny end. Every time I take the keg out of the pool, I wonder if the tubing is connected.
 
The filters don't do much for me. I never draw beer full of particles. The junk goes to the bottom. Doesn't it do that for everyone?

Personally I plan on using mine in a fermentation keg with big dry-hop charges, so I assume the filters will be crucial for me.

Also, the tubing is silicone. It shouldn't soften with heat.
 
I just chatted with Trong, the owner of HBL and creator of the FLOTit. He agreed, and stopped making the UNI tube. I just received a FLOTit 2.0 and it came with a super-short, normal steel gas post with an o-ring. He said it's just a better solution. It's 1/2" long.

The guy is having fun in retirement making cool gadgets for homebrewers from home with his wife that, by all accounts and reviews, work very well. I like to support people like that.
I'm not sure exactly what it is that you're describing ("stopped making the UNI tube"). Is that the keg post insert piece where the keg diptube goes? If so, the FLOtit 2.0 I just got has about a 2.5"~3" diptube replacement attached to the clear liquid tubing. It seems extremely long when compared to the shortened (0.25"~0.5") diptubes I've cut down on most of my kegs. Unclear what the purpose of such a long connector to the beverage tubing is. Got pics?
 
That is interesting. I hope it's correct. I'm Googling, and I see some sites saying you can soften silicone with heat. I also see sites saying silicone gets harder with heat.

I use bags for dry-hopping.

I guess I can heat some tubing and see what happens.
 
I'm not sure exactly what it is that you're describing ("stopped making the UNI tube"). Is that the keg post insert piece where the keg diptube goes? If so, the FLOtit 2.0 I just got has about a 2.5"~3" diptube replacement attached to the clear liquid tubing. It seems extremely long when compared to the shortened (0.25"~0.5") diptubes I've cut down on most of my kegs. Unclear what the purpose of such a long connector to the beverage tubing is. Got pics?
Yeah, for sure. He used to ship the FLOTit with an all-in-one gas dip tube / o-ring. It looked like this. Mine came with the alternate updated 1/2" metal dip-tube (it was an option on Amazon. With or without.). The main use is for a touch more headspace when keg fermenting.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 1.05.08 PM.png
    Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 1.05.08 PM.png
    867.1 KB · Views: 0

Latest posts

Back
Top