Homebrew Tip: Quick Disconnects
It seems as my homebrewing hobby grows, there are more hoses connecting my equipment. When I first started brewing I had one pot. Now my system has become much more complex.
I have hoses connecting to my mash tun. I have hoses connecting my brew bot to my march pump, which has hoses connecting to my wort chiller which seems to have hoses spreading out everywhere. Connecting all these hoses used to be a pain-in-the you-know-what.
Then I discovered quick disconnects. These devices allow quick coupling between your different homebrew equipment. There are two types of quick disconnects, normal disconnects and food grade disconnects.
I use the normal disconnects to connect my water hoses for the wort chiller. These are pretty cheap. You can find them in the home and garden section of your favorite home supplies store. I found mine at Home Depot for about $4 for a pair of connects.
The food grade disconnects are more expensive. I use these only in places which touch my wort. This is at the wort half of the wort chiller, my pump, and my brew pot. You could buy the food grade disonnects for everywhere in your brew system, but the normal plastic disconnects from Home Depot work just as well. You can’t use the normal ones for sections which touch your hot wort, because they are not food grade (safe to use on food without leeching stuff) and they are not designed to withstand the high temperatures.
You have choices between metal and polysulfone (plastic) for these disconnects. The polysulfone disconnects I use are about $15 for the female connector and $7 for each male connector. I’ve heard there are cheaper brass disconnects, but usually the brass disconnects are around the same price as the polysulfone disconnects. Since you’re using the disconnects only for transferring the wort, the limited contact will not affect your beer flavor.
There are stainless steel disconnects, however these can be very expensive. The stainless steel disconnects are very durable and you can pass them on to your grandkids. They last forever! I’m saving up for the stainless steel disconnects. They run about $25-$35 each.
The disconnects make hooking up your equipment a snap. You just press them together like Legos. The seals on my disconnects are also better than when I connected the garden hoses directly to the wort chiller. Until I got the quick disconnects for my garden hose, my wort chiller always sprayed water everywhere (even with new rubber washers in place). The disonnects worked so well, I installed them on all my garden hoses.
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I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!