Hot side tubing alternatives to silicone.

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Unicorn_Platypus

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I wonder how much Oxygen actually permeates through the tubing. Hard data would be nice.

Thanks for the info.

I have been dabbling in some of the LODO techniques on the Hot Side and have to say my Lagers have gone to a new level - now if that is LODO or just getting better at brewing I do not know. Right now my brewing space is small and does not lend itself to hard piping very well - I have to move things like the chiller, hop rocket, pumps around. I could probably do it but I thought if there was a silicone alternative that had some of the properties (high temperature and flexibility) that would be easiest.

I use silicon tubing for whirlpools of 15 min at 165 degrees, my DO Meter still reads < 1ppm before pitching and oxygenation

I do treat all of my mash and sparge watter with 20mm sulfites though.

I also don't recirculate my mash and do a single infusion for 60 min

I'd recommend first getting a DO meter to test your process and see if there is even an issue that's worth remedying. Good chance your current process with the silicon tubing is OK! I know the DO meter is a little pricey at $230, but its really the only way to truly know if your hot side process it working.

I use this one and take readings at mash in, pre-boil (after lauter), and post boil. I always have hit < 1ppm.

DO meter


I also use 1000 20mm prolyprolene balls as a mash cap and lauter/boil cap.

 

sibelman

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Re the tin foil hat remark: I'm skeptical too, but I'm not ready to dismiss hot side oxygen as a potentially valid concern. However, even after all these years and improvements, I feel my bigger challenges and opportunities for improvement still lie elsewhere.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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Re the tin foil hat remark: I'm skeptical too, but I'm not ready to dismiss hot side oxygen as a potentially valid concern. However, even after all these years and improvements, I feel my bigger challenges and opportunities for improvement still lie elsewhere.
I've personally noticed a significant improvement in shelf life. My hoppy beers especially last for many months at a time. The malt character is also more prominent since I switched to low oxygen hot side processes.

The extra effort is a bit of a PITA and does get in the way of RDWHAHB. My efficiency has also taken a huge hit with no sparge brewing. If you are consuming your beer quickly it might not have a huge impact. It also won't have as dramatic an effect on all styles.

There's pros ans cons to everything. Cold side process is much more important than hotside process and you can still certainly make great beers without great attention to hotside process. It has more of an impact on certain styles than others. Some styles like a belgian quad or barleywine which benefit from minor oxidation might nor be worth the extra effort. However, HSA is certainly not a myth. There is science and literature to back it up.

Many naysayers reference the brulosophy experiment on the matter. That experiment used way too much SMB. It also didn't hit the numbers of < 1ppm throughout the entire process. Therefore it's a relatively void experiment IMO. I get absolutely no sulfur character in my finished beers with 20ppm SMB dosage vs. 100ppm in the brulosophy experiment. I'm also usually way under 1ppm throughout the hot side. My reading are typically between .7ppm and .8 ppm of DO

Without a DO meter you really are flying blind. If you are serious about making a switch get one.

I don't think you need to worry about silicon tubing as it is possible to hit these numbers in my experience even with silicon. I only use it for xfers and a 15 minute hopstand and a 20 minute chill to pitching. Can't speak for a RIMS system or HERMS with constant recirculation though.
 
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Red over White

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Sierra Nevada is well respected by the industry and consumers alike and they operate low oxygen brewhouses, there might be something to it. On their scale costs have to be justified and they aren't using it as a marketing strategy.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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Sierra Nevada is well respected by the industry and consumers alike and they operate low oxygen brewhouses, there might be something to it. On their scale costs have to be justified and they aren't using it as a marketing strategy.
The 2008 Bigfoot I opened recently that still has hop aroma confirms this
 

DavidWood2115

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The three best options are Tygon, Santoprene or the PTFE stuff at MoreBeer.

Tygon is the best but very expensive.

Santoprene is very good but the walls are thin, which makes it less expensive. It will kink if the turn radius is too small.

PTFE has good O2 specs but it is rather rigid compared to silicone. It is best used with 5/8" barbs as it will not make a good seal over 1/2" barbs due to the rigidity. A poor seal lets more O2 in than any style of tubing.

I use Santoprene as I could not pay north of $5 per foot for Tygon. $1.70 from McMaster Carr is more like it. The tubing is very nice but it is a little thinner than I expected.
Tygon is only rated for a max temperature of 165F. Perhaps high enough for most mashes, but not for whirlpooling.
 

tracer bullet

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Tygon is only rated for a max temperature of 165F. Perhaps high enough for most mashes, but not for whirlpooling.

Like any plastic there are variations, so it could be true some are and some are not rated for higher temps. And thus if nothing else a very good reminder to check.

I do see an Amazon result showing 165F, even an option at McMaster as well at 160F. But many others calling out 275F or 200C. Interesting, did not expect to see -that- much range.
 
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Bad Bubba

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Ahh but I believe for LODO, covering the surface of the mash is a thing, and there's no spraying at all either.

(Someone else would have to confirm).

Silicone for the most of us = sure, who cares, given everything else. For more LODO oriented methods it's a thing because those other bits are already addressed.
Well put. I have been somewhat skeptical of some of the LODO HSA stuff. But as a process engineer I have always been interested in process improvements. I have implemented some of the LODO techniques and have noticed an improvement in my Lagers, so I just want to implement a few more things to eliminate oxygen ingress. Replacing hose would be simple and I made myself a budget of $200 and I probably need about 30 feet of hose - so ~$6 per foot. Now will it really make a difference - I do not know and that is why it would be nice to have hard data.
Tygon is only rated for a max temperature of 165F. Perhaps high enough for most mashes, but not for whirlpooling.
Tygon is a Brand name with many products under that brand. Tygon has several formulations that are rated for temperatures that are much higher. Tygon A-60-F is a food grade material rated up to 275F which is suitable for homebrewing.
 

tracer bullet

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But as a process engineer I have always been interested in process improvements.

Same and same. Funny that after doing it 40 hours a week I get home and instead of being ready for a break, I keep at it, just with brewing.

I'm guessing your garage is 5-S'd as well. A place for everything and everything in its place.
 

Red over White

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When the cold side work is tight, the hot side improvements really pay off. I only have 500 gallons brewed low oxygen, but after the first 10 batches it has become simple and doesn't slow down my brew day at all. I have even been able to do decoctions solely in my mashtun, low oxygen. It has taught me a lot and it definitely made an improvement in the glass for my ales and lagers.
 

Dland

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I bet someone has actually done the testing and proved HSA via recirculation through permeable hoses is a thing. Whether it rises to the level of action is in the hands of the beholder.

In any case I was going to suggest braided Tygon...

Cheers!
How much? , friendly beer bet, I bet it is more likely that someone may have said they tested it.. if yes, the test parameters must be revealed.

I'm not taking an anti LODO opinion here. Just opining that any O2 ingression though the tubing is going to be an immeasurable fraction of contributors to hot side oxygenation in any normal home brew conditions, even LODO brewers w mash caps and the like.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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How much? , friendly beer bet, I bet it is more likely that someone may have said they tested it.. if yes, the test parameters must be revealed.

I'm not taking an anti LODO opinion here. Just opining that any O2 ingression though the tubing is going to be an immeasurable fraction of contributors to hot side oxygenation in any normal home brew conditions, even LODO brewers w mash caps and the like.
I agree its probably immaterial if you are using a mash cap and sulfites

Bust out a DO meter its the only way to know
 

Red over White

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Time, recirculation and length of tube would impact the need for low permeable tubing. A 2+ hour recirculating step mash with 20 feet of tubing will eat into the SMB used in the mash to stave of oxygen. A simple 45 min infusion mash only stirred once until drained into the kettle obviously would not require low permeable tubing. For some systems it's easy to justify, for others not so much.
 

Unicorn_Platypus

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Time, recirculation and length of tube would impact the need for low permeable tubing. A 2+ hour recirculating step mash with 20 feet of tubing will eat into the SMB used in the mash to stave of oxygen. A simple 45 min infusion mash only stirred once until drained into the kettle obviously would not require low permeable tubing. For some systems it's easy to justify, for others not so much.
Totally possible, that's why I just do a single infusion in an insulated Ssbrewtech mash tun

I've been perfectly OK with 30 minute hopstands and silicon tubing though. Always DO less than 1ppm

My mash and boil cap is hardcore though with floating polypropylene balls that cover virtually the entire surface
 

Bassman2003

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Yes, Low O2 tubing is down on the impact list for sure. Especially if the tubing is for short time cycles. But, If one is looking for tubing, The Santoprene tubing costs less than LHBS silicone if it can work for your system. So it makes sense to check it out.

I also agree that cold side should be shored up before tackling a lot of hot side. I have moved to fermenter purging the serving keg then pressure transferring and the results are very positive. Minimal O2 uptake for transfers, along with natural CO2 for the carbonation is about the best a homebrewer can do imho.
 

TLaffey

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So my question is what are others using for tubing to prevent oxidation. Any recommendations and where to source.
I've been using Santoprene for several years on my RIMS system, but it seems to be hard to find. My last purchase in Feb '22 was from Santopseal, which seems to have it available (Santopseal). My last order was for 5/8" ID X 13/16" OD X 3/32". Yes, it's kinda stiff.
 

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I've been using Santoprene for several years on my RIMS system, but it seems to be hard to find. My last purchase in Feb '22 was from Santopseal, which seems to have it available (Santopseal). My last order was for 5/8" ID X 13/16" OD X 3/32". Yes, it's kinda stiff.
for sure. hard to get a hold of in anything less than a 50' roll for decent pricing. a few places online that will sell you by the foot, but once they add their shipping and handling its typically well above what seems reasonable

i believe the mcmaster/carr and grainger type places are the same- bulk rolls only. unfortunately. makes buying 3 or 4 foot sections impractical.
 

day_trippr

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You should check McMaster-Carr again. I see 1/2" ID Santoprene tubing available in a number of lengths much less than a roll (5, 10, 25, 50 foot lengths).
Also, if they provide a per-foot price, don't be afraid to actually order that way. I've bought various random lengths of things like silicone profile gaskets by the foot from M-C....

Cheers!
 

SanPancho

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You should check McMaster-Carr again. I see 1/2" ID Santoprene tubing available in a number of lengths much less than a roll (5, 10, 25, 50 foot lengths).
Also, if they provide a per-foot price, don't be afraid to actually order that way. I've bought various random lengths of things like silicone profile gaskets by the foot from M-C....

Cheers!
no kidding? huh. i have a grainer down the road a ways so to be honest i dont even bother to look at mcmaster anymore since it'll always get expensive due to shipping. i guess if i didnt have to buy 50ft at a time i might be able to justify it.

either that or just wait until we head down to SoCal to visit my folks as they're a few stops down the freeway from mcmaster.
 

Bassman2003

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I just purchased from McMaster and the price for the 15mm Santoprene was $1.70 per foot. I purchased 2 x 10 foot sections and they had a 25 foot length. Maybe a 5 too. Shipping was very expensive, stupid expensive but the other option was buying 50 ft. from US Plastics (with their shipping which is unknown to me but probably high) or shorter sections of the expensive Tygon. I needed other items from McMaster so Santoprene won. The O2 specs are the same for either - magnitudes better than silicone.
 
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I want to thank everyone who participated in this. I contacted most of the manufacturers of the different tubings. I heard back from Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics who makes the Tygon tubing and other plastics brands. While they did not give me exact permeability data they said that both Tygon E-65-F and A-60-F would be at least a 10-fold improvement compared to silicone for oxygen permeability.

Santoprene seems to get some love but I obtained no data. Ditto for the EJ Beverage product.

So far this has turned out to be more of a rabbit hole than I expected. If I find out more concrete data I will let you know.

I will probably purchase one of the Tygon products mentioned above (food grade and good to 275F) and not worry anymore.
 
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Bad Bubba

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I just purchased from McMaster and the price for the 15mm Santoprene was $1.70 per foot. I purchased 2 x 10 foot sections and they had a 25 foot length. Maybe a 5 too. Shipping was very expensive, stupid expensive but the other option was buying 50 ft. from US Plastics (with their shipping which is unknown to me but probably high) or shorter sections of the expensive Tygon. I needed other items from McMaster so Santoprene won. The O2 specs are the same for either - magnitudes better than silicone.
In your video on your 4 batches on LODO brewing, was that Santoprene that was hooked up to your Anvil Foundry.
 

Bassman2003

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Hello, no that is good old silicone in the video. I spoke with a rep at US Plastics and he said Santoprene and A60-F have identical properties. So you can see Santoprene and Tygon A60-F as being interchangeable.
 
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Bad Bubba

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Hello, no that is good old silicone in the video. I spoke with a rep at US Plastics and he said Santoprene and A60-F have identical properties. So you can see Santoprene and Tygon A60-F as being interchangeable.
Following up on this, how do you find the Santoprene to work with as far as flexibility and tightening around barbs? What wall thickness did you get?
 

Bassman2003

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The Santoprene is kind of kinky. It will work around bends but the radius before it kinks is larger than silicone. But that is probably due to the wall thickness. I ordered from McMaster Carr and got the 12mm ID and 15mm OD tubing which is a little smaller than 1/2". This actually makes the grip over 1/2" barbs to be a great fit. The walls are pretty thin for this tubing compared to thick silicone. Maybe some heat loss but I am not sure. Seems fine though. That is why the price is lower ($1.70 per foot). I am pleased with the tubing.
 
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The Santoprene is kind of kinky. It will work around bends but the radius before it kinks is larger than silicone. But that is probably due to the wall thickness. I ordered from McMaster Carr and got the 12mm ID and 15mm OD tubing which is a little smaller than 1/2". This actually makes the grip over 1/2" barbs to be a great fit. The walls are pretty thin for this tubing compared to thick silicone. Maybe some heat loss but I am not sure. Seems fine though. That is why the price is lower ($1.70 per foot). I am pleased with the tubing.
Have you done any DO measurements with the Santoprene?
 

Bassman2003

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No, I do not have a DO meter. Santoprene is a world better than silicone when it comes to O2 penetration. If it makes a difference in the end product is up for debate. If you do a constant recirc during the mash then I think it is a good choice. If it is used for one off transfers then I do not think it matters.
 
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