When you buy that first home brewing kit, you get just about everything you need, from the brewing equipment to the bottle capper.
And if you are like most of the guys who give homebrewing a try, you also get the brewing bug.
The brewing bug leads to certain side effects, like wanting to expand your homebrewing setup from one gallon to five. And from five to “whoa, mama, watch me brew!” with a system that gradually overtakes an entire corner of your shed.
Those repeated expansions, say from extract brewing to all-grain, mean you’re probably not buying all your brewing equipment at one time.
A bit of tubing here, a tee connection there, a mash tun on this order, a heating element on the next, and on it goes, which leaves you with the issue of how to incorporate all those bits and pieces into one custom, cohesive, efficient homebrewing system.
And that is where the three types of tri-clamp reducers can come to your rescue.
Today, we’re going to give you the rundown on just how the three types of tri-clamp reducers can best serve you in your homebrewing adventures. Here’s what we’ll cover:
Let’s get going, so you can get to brewing.
Tri-Clamp Fittings for Beginners
Tri-clamp fittings are the most popular type of fittings we sell, and for a good reason. They are the most popular type of fitting among the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical producing crowds. Homebrewers are no exception to this, either.
A tri-clamp fitting is made of sanitary stainless steel, either 304 or 316L grade. The ability to become and remain sanitary through the brewing process is one reason for their popularity.
Another reason is their simplicity. Each tri-clamp fitting consists of four simple parts:
- The two 304 or 316L stainless steel flanged fittings to be connected
- A gasket that forms a safe, secure, sanitary seal
- A 304 or 316L stainless steel clamp that you hand tighten into place to seal the gasket between the two sanitary fittings
Here’s a schematic diagram showing a tri-clamp fitting, minus the clamp:
Lastly, tri-clamp fittings are popular because they come in a wide variety of styles, with various uses. You could, with the addition of flexible hoses, build just about your entire custom homebrewing system using nothing but tri-clamp style fittings.
For all the lowdowns on tri-clamp fittings and how they work, check out our Ultimate Guide.
What Is a Tri-Clamp Reducer?
In brewing production lines, from the vast, building-sized lines of commercial breweries to your very own little corner-of-the-shed setup, you often have to go from one size of tubing or connection to another size.
The piece of brewing hardware that makes the connection of those two differently-sized portions of the production line possible is called, you guessed it, a reducer.
And as a piece of tri-clamp hardware, it connects those two portions using a tri-clamp fitting and seal as we discussed above.
There are three types of tri-clamp reducers that we’re going to discuss in detail: the concentric reducer, the eccentric reducer, and the tee connector reducer.
Tri-Clamp Concentric Reducers
As you can see, the tri-clamp concentric reducer is conical in shape.
All of our tri-clamp concentric reducer fittings are made from either 3A rated 304 or 316L food grade stainless steel, for that sanitary fitting reassurance.
How to Best Use a Tri-Clamp Concentric Reducer
Due to their cone shape, tri-clamp concentric reducers aren’t suited for all your production line reduction needs.
Tri-clamp concentric reducers are best used in the following positions in your homebrew system:
- Vertical flow applications for those multi-tiered setups
- Horizontally as an increaser, going from smaller to larger equipment, as pooling may result if concentric reducers are used to actually reduce in a horizontal position
Tri-Clamp Eccentric Reducers
Don’t let the name fool you. The eccentric reducer has nothing in common with that slightly off-center old aunt you only see at major holidays and family gatherings.
Eccentric reducers are made flat on one side of the tube and angled to reduce the other. This shape distinguishes them from concentric reducers and allows them to be used in those horizontal situations that are not ideal for concentric reducers.
The same size range is available in all our tri-clamp eccentric reducers, and again they are made from either 3A rated 304 or 316L sanitary grade stainless steel, depending on their size.
Most beginner homebrewers find the eccentric reducer to be their most useful, as their setups are typically built all on one level, and it’s the horizontally-placed tubing and fittings of different sizes they need to connect.
Tri-Clamp Reducing Tees
Of all the sanitary tri-clamp reducers used in the homebrewing process, the reducing tee is perhaps the most money and time-saving of the bunch.
Tri-clamp reducing tees consist of a simple manifold with a single port. The main flow line is the larger size, while the port is the smaller size. They save the user two clamp and gasket connections where an inline reducer would normally be situated.
This small convenience saves time and money in the long run.
Ours are made of 304 and 316L grade sanitary stainless steel. They range in size from 1inch X 1.5inches, all the way up to 6inch X 8inch.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, many guys use them on their CO2 lines, to allow one cylinder to carbonate more than one keg of beer. It’s a small custom job that seems to produce great results.
How We Can Meet Your Tri-Clamp Reducer Needs
Here at Sanitary Fittings, we have all the tri-clamp reducers any homebrew enthusiast could possibly ever need. As we’ve discussed, we carry a full line of sizes, and all of them in sanitary, 3A rated 304 or 316L stainless steel.
So whether it’s a tricky CO2 line, or those “on-sale” hoses you bought at two different times from two different suppliers, we can get your homebrew operation all connected quickly and easily.
Order your tri-clamp reducers for your homebrew system today and cure all your connection issues. We can’t cure your brew bug, but then again, why would we want to?