I'm going to try the plastic disconnects and see what they do. Thanks for the info.
I personally prefer the duotight plastic
to the stainless steel
ones. We still sell a lot of stainless steel ones and we are happy to make more margin in the stainless product for those customers who want to spend more but I personally I think the plastic work better for a few reasons:
1. The plastic ones are easier to take apart without the need for tools. So if you get hops blocked in the poppet you can take them apart quickly.
2. The plastic ones have an overmolded poppet where we Santoprene rubber is overmoulded onto the poppet meaning it cant come off even under high pressures which are an issue with the conventional stainless poppets. This is also the reason why the plastic disconnects can handle higher pressures.
3. We use wedge seal in the cap so when you to take the disconnects apart for cleaning the o-rings do not fall out and get lost as no o-rings are used in the design.
4. They are more compact.
5. They are substantially cheaper.
6. The beer line pushes directly into the ball lock disconnect and you have the option of 1/4" OD, 5/16" OD or 3/8" OD lines so irrespective of which way you go you have less fittings to worry about.
I know a lot of customers automatically think "Stainless = Best" but it's not the case with disconnects in my opinion.
mentioned he uses the buna-N o-rings on the posts. I have to say that this is my least favorite compound. Buta-N o-rings perish relatively easily especially if they are exposed to the sun. They have very poor "spring" properties meaning when the o-rings squashes flat it takes a long time to return to the original shape. Specifically for post o-rings I perfer the EPDM compound or alternatively Silicone. Silicone has the best "spring" properties but it does have worse oxygen transmission rate so in some instances where oxygen transmission is an issue I would not use Silicone. In my opinion I think good spring properties are important to make a reliable seal on the post o-ring in particular.
With respect to Flow Control Ball lock disconnects these are really handy. I personally just use the non-flow control model most of the time and then use the smaller 4mm ID beer line which I think works the best. With that said I do have one of my beer lines setup with FC ball lock disconnect because I sometimes put on a keg that has higher carbonation level. I also have a Jockey Box where the FC ball lock disconnects are essencial!
Stainless VS Plastic FC Ball Lock Disconnects
Some time ago we used to make stainless steel FC disconnects
but now we only manufacture the plastic flow controll ball lock disconnect
. The two designs were quite different internally. The stainless model relied entirely on two nested cone pieces like most ball lock disconnects. As the two male and female cone pieces come together the the flow path is restricted and thus you get a somewhat linear relationship between the flow control setting and the flow speed of the liquid. The plastic one on the other hand relies partly on this same method but also has the additional mechanism that the liquid is forced to change 180 degree direction in the ball lock disconnect twice. This is an important fact as change in direction causes the liquid to drop in flow speed substantially and this effect is non-linear. So as the flow speed is higher the reduction in flow speed is higher and this gives you even better flow control performance especially when you have higher pressures. This design was only possible because we have more design freedom with injection molded plastics and it was not possible to easily make this design in stainless steel. So once again when it comes to the flow control ball lock disconnects I also prefer the plastic ones.
Also the plastic FC ball lock disconnects have been designed with a "Tang" at the top of the push in fitting. So this makes for a great option if you want to dispense beer directly from the keg post. The tang prevents the tap from spinning around. See image below. This new Nukatap mini works great in combination with the FC disconnect too. I hope we can get these new mini taps out to you something this year in America.