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I'm looking to get some 1/2" NPT & barbed quick-disconnect fittings for my little brewery, making it easier to break down and clean, as well as give me some flexibility in what I'm sending where.

I was expecting to find the fittings in brass for under $5 in a bunch of places... I see garden hose quick disconnect fittings for that all over the place, but I was surprised and frustrated to find the cheapest ones for like $12 once I went away from the garden hoses. Granted, there's a smaller market, but that's a pretty big difference in price for what is ultimately the same thing.

I have approximately 12 points I'd like to put in quick-disconnects. I don't want to spend $200+.

Has anyone found alternatives to this, or perhaps some place where I can get these parts cheap?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Check out Brewer's Hardware or Bargin Fitting's selection of quick connects.

They've got stainless camlocks for about $6 each, which seem to be very popular among home brewers:

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Bargian Fittings also has chrome plated brass quick connects for $8 and $5:

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Actually, if you don't mind aluminum, these camlocks are less than $3 each.

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Hmmm... still considerably more expensive than the garden hose brass disconnects, but also a manageable expense. I'd seen the camlock ones advertized, but I'd assumed they would be much more expensive. – Jeremy Holovacs Jan 25 '12 at 19:30
@JeremyHolovacs I just edited my answer with another link for you - a friend uses these aluminum camlocks, and they're dirt cheap. – JoeFish Jan 25 '12 at 19:40
Your link does not seem to go where I would expect it to. – Jeremy Holovacs Jan 25 '12 at 20:22
@JeremyHolovacs Whoooooops! I was showing someone else my home bar and pasted the wrong link :) That'll teach me to be lazy and not click my links before posting. It has been fixed. – JoeFish Jan 25 '12 at 21:11
+1 camlocks are great – mdma Jan 25 '12 at 23:50

For cheap disconnects, go with cam locks. Tri-clamp is easier to clean, but a bit more expensive. Garden hose disconnects are generally too low in quality to consider.

I only know about garden hose disconnect issues because, well, I water a garden daily. If I can't keep my garden hose from leaking, I wouldn't want to recommend them for beer.

Hopefully cam locks are within your budget. If not, I'd actually consider leaning more towards hose clamps than garden hose disconnects.

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