So I have been thinking about wants and needs lately. There are lots of toys I want in the homebrewing world. Then there are equipment pieces I need. So that raises the question, do I need new tubing to replace my old ones?
Let’s look at my current situation:
I have been homebrewing for about 6 years. I am still using the same buckets that I got in the beginning. I am on my third bottling cane. The tubing is still the same. The bucket has some nice stains on it from dark stouts brewed across the years, mostly at the krausen line. The tubing is slightly yellowed/browned. Sanitation wise, I clean and sanitize my equipment when I start and when I finish. I let everything air dry. Usually I use a no rinse sanitizer, so no issues there. The tubing on the end has gotten a bit stretched out. The big tube no longer is a snug fit on my bucket siphon.
Do I NEED to change my tubing? No. It works. I have not had any contamination from my tubing. If I had contamination in there, or mold growing, or holes, it would become a need. Do I want to? Yes. This year, I will be replacing all my tubes with shiney new ones. Is it an expensive endeavor? Not really. Tubing is pretty cheap. You can get it online, at HD or at your local brew shop. Some things to think about though. Be sure to get the right size! I would measure both the length and the diameter of your current tubes! There would be nothing worse than having a tube that is too short or you can’t get it around your siphon.
Here are my recommendations for tubes and replacement stuff. These are recommendations, please measure your current ones TWICE and cut once!
Siphon tubing: Should be about $1.00 or less per foot unless you have a BIG siphon. Generally a ½ inch or inch (not usual) depending on your siphon. I would recommend 8 feet or so. This way if you have a fermenter on the counter, and a carboy on the floor, this gives leeway for moving the siphon and getting the tubing to the bottom of the carboy to minimize splashing.
Bottling tubing: Usually ⅜ or ½ inch diameter tubing. Should be about $0.50 or less per foot. would recommend around 4 feet or more in length. Think about it, you want some clearance and do you put your bucket on the counter? How tall is your counter?
Blowoff tubing: Generally about 1 inch in diameter. Should be about $1.50 or less per foot. I would recommend a 5 foot plus piece.
Bottling Wand replacement: Although there isn’t much technology here, I HIGHLY recommend getting a spring loaded one over the basic springless gravity fill wand. If you choose to not use the spring, most springs are removable and you can used the wand as a gravity filler. This is also a better version for opening it up and cleaning the inside parts. Spend the extra buck….you will save that much AT LEAST in saved non-dripped beer.