Can I Skimp on My Brewing Hoses?

  • John Zabkowicz
  • March 11, 2021

You live, breathe and dream beer. You’ve been an enthusiast of the brewing process since you can remember. The best times of your life have included a handcrafted, small-batch beer in your hand.

Pouring a beer

And, you’ve been pretty successful with your brewing operations so far — managing quite a variety of styles and flavors.

Hoppy, seasonal, bitter IPA? Check.

Refreshing, cool witbier? Check.

Winter, spicy, nutty holiday stout? Double-check.

The care and attention required to coax specific flavors from simple ingredients like water, yeast, hops, and barley are unparalleled. 

You’re picky about getting water from the best source. You take painstaking efforts to choose specific hops that combine to create divine complexity.

That’s the fun part. 

The interesting part. Learning and manipulating specific pieces of the brewing puzzle to entice the delicious beverage we call beer from your mind. 

But what about your set-up?

You start small and find a starter home-brewing kit. This sets you up with basic equipment, like a 3-piece airlock, a glass container for your fermentation, and even instructions on how to brew successfully from your first attempt.

Then you upgrade. Aiming to branch out into different styles, flavors, and techniques, you slowly start replacing your store-bought kit with professional-grade materials. Adding in larger fermentation containers. Getting fancy with hop backs, decoction pots and automated brewing systems.

And then there are the brewery hoses.

They’re more than simply a transfer hose for getting your beer from point A to point B. But how do you know which one is for you? Which are worth the investment?

What Are the Important Features for My Brewery Hose?

Generally speaking, a hose looks like a hose. But when we’re talking about brewing, there are a few things you want to look out for:

  • FDA and 3-A Compliant — meaning they meet food-grade sanitary standards
  • Heat resistant to brewing temperatures
  • Flexible enough for use in your unique brewing set-up
  • Easy to clean or Clean In Place (CIP)

If your brewery hose checks all of these boxes, it should be sufficient to get you started. They’ll be sanitary to use, transfer your liquids, and create delicious beer.

However, other features are vital to brewing at scale:

  • Long service life
  • Neutral lining 
  • Standard clamp fittings with tri-clamp connections

From the first homebrewing adventure you embark on to creating a professional grade set-up, brewery hoses are an oft-underlooked variable, but quite essential to your operation. 

After all, you take the time to fully consider all of the other components in the brewing process — why not the transfer hose?

Here Are the Popular Options for Home Brewing Hoses

Since you’re looking to get out of the store-bought, pre-made home brewing kit, we’ll dive deeper into the types of hoses on the market.

Start With a Clear PVC Transfer Hose

This is usually the first option most homebrewers start with, because: 

  • It’s a cheap solution,
  • The hoses are food-grade at room temperature,
  • And they’ll transfer the liquids in your brewing process from bucket A to bucket B. 

They get the job done, and are preferred by novice brewers since they are usually included in starter brewing kits. Some people also like to see through their transfer hose, so transparency is a pro here.

These aren’t the brewery hoses that more experienced and professional brewers use. Because they’re only food-safe at lower temperatures, things can go awry during the brewing process.

When transferring the hot wort into your fermentation container, it will be above the food safe temperature of these clear plastic hoses. This can potentially cause the plastic to leach into your beer — not exactly the flavor you’re aiming for.

The heat can also damage the integrity of the hose by exceeding its pressure tolerance.

Depending on your set-up, plastic hosing can be challenging to use. If you’re transferring hot liquid and your set-up has lots of twists, the tubing can soften, causing a collapse under the weight, developing kinks in the line, and slowing down or stopping the flow.

If your brewery hose is only transferring cold liquid, these can be a great option, especially when you’re getting started on a budget. As soon as you’re moving hot liquids — it’s time to explore other hose options.

Upgrade to Silicone Brewery Hoses

Silicone hoses are a clear upgrade from plastic vinyl — the logical next step when upgrading your brewing setup. 

These brewery hoses are resistant to much higher temperatures than PVC. 

Transferring wort to your fermentation container at 172℉ (78℃)? No problem! Silicone can withstand those higher brewing temperatures with ease. 

Flexible enough to bend a few inches, but rigid enough not to kink under the weight of your liquid, silicone brewing hoses work well in most brewing situations. 

If you’re attaching these brewery hoses to a water supply, double-check the water pressure. The silicon transfer hose can generally only take a maximum of 30 psi. 

Silicone is also very susceptible to tearing or splitting if exposed to any sharp objects — including the tri-clamp fittings you need to connect to your containers! This can lead to problems if your fittings and barbs aren’t carefully connected to your hoses.

While silicone is more robust than a PVC brewery hose as it can withstand higher temperatures — there are a few drawbacks preventing silicone from being the best brewery hose option.

The most robust type of hoses in the brewery, beverage, and bottling industries are made of rubber. 

Are Rubber Hoses Better?

When you’re ready to go pro — or at least semi-pro — with your brewing system, rubber hoses are the best option out there. 

Rubber transfer hoses are:

  • Food-safe
  • Sanitary
  • Resistant to the high temperatures used in brewing 
  • Resistant to cleaning chemicals 
  • Flexible enough to fit into any setup

Take, for example, the gold standard of rubber hoses in the food and beverage industry: the Purple Snake® Brewery Hose

Purple Snake Tri-Clamp Brew Hose

It is internationally recommended as the number one brewing hose. Made to FDA, 3-A, and USDA standards — you won’t need to worry about the sanitary rating of these hoses. 

Resistant to any chemical cleaning products, the Purple Snake Brewing Hose is also made to Clean In Place (CIP) standards. However you choose to clean this brewery hose, it can withstand the heat.

The food-compliant inner lining is absolutely neutral to taste and odor, homogeneous, and smooth.

Your beer will taste exactly as you imagine it, with no weird flavors courtesy of your brewery hose.

You can also rest easy about connecting your brewing hose to your brewery equipment. Our Purple Snake Brewing Hose has 316L tri-clamp connections on both ends, as well as hose bumpers to ensure the durability and longevity of your investment.

This brewery hose meets all definitions of the best option for your brewing operation. When you want to create an efficient, durable, and scalable system, rubber brewery hoses are the most effective choice.

Make Sure to Get Your Brewing Hose S.T.A.M.P.E.D.

When selecting the best hose for your brewery (whether home or professional), the experts over at Beverage Master recommended using the acronym S.T.A.M.P.E.D to ensure you invest in the right hose for your operation. In short, it stands for: 

S: Size. Make sure you know the inner diameter, outer diameter, and length of your ideal hose setup.

T: Temperature. As discussed above, the high temperatures throughout the brewing process can affect the usability of your brewery hose. Make sure you know how hot the liquid will be during transfer.

A: Application. Knowing exactly how the hose will be used allows you to choose the safest and most effective option.

M: Media. Think about the type of product being transferred by the hoses.

P: Pressure. Understanding the pressure at which you’ll be pumping your liquid through the hoses ensures you’ll get the safest option to avoid any potential complications.

E: Ends. Make sure the clamp fittings you choose for your brewery hoses match the equipment they’ll be attached to.

D: Delivery. Consider how quickly will you need the hoses, and make sure the vendor can deliver. 

Using this method ensures your brewing hose is the best option for your customized system. 

It’ll arrive when you need it, and it won’t impact the flavor of your handcrafted, thoughtfully, and artfully made beer.

Table of Beers

What Are You Waiting For?

Maintaining the integrity of your beer: its flavors, textures, aromas… this is fundamentally what drives you to choose the best option every time. You curate your hops, carefully choose your yeast, and find the purest water source.

Don’t waste all that care and hard work by skimping where it counts. The interesting thing about brewing is that there are so many parts in the process contributing to the final product. 

Seemingly insignificant pieces, like the brewing hoses and fittings you use, can truly affect the quality and taste of your final product. 

With a plastic hose, you may have leaching plastic. 

Choose silicone and you can easily lose your investment with a quick knick by something sharp — even your standard tri-clamp fittings.

The best choice for professional brewers and home brewers looking to take their set-up to the next level is a rubber brewery hose. Food safe, easy to clean, resistant to extremely high temperatures, and durable — they’re easily worth the price.

Brewery Transfer Hose

When you’re ready to upgrade your system, check out our selection of customizable hoses today.