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To MFL or not to MFL, that is the question

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by PortLargo, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. PortLargo

    PortLargo Advocate (550) Florida Oct 19, 2012 Verified

    I am getting close to ordering hardware for my keezer build and am stuck on parts availability. There is lots of feedback on the virtues of having beer lines coupled to MFL fittings for ease of connection. The MFL is the route I want to go. But I am building a coffin-tower and would like a 90 degree elbow tail-piece. All elbows I find have barb endings. But isn't ending a beer line to a barb that is permanently attached to the shank defeat the whole purpose? The elbow would make for a less bulky tower which is preferred.

    Is there such a thing as an elbow tail-piece that ends with a MFL fitting?

    Regulators: I see most CO2 regulators with barb endings for gas lines. Is it worth the extra expense to have MFL endings (and barb swivel nuts) for gas lines? I expect gas lines are moved rarely, does anyone put MFL connections on their regulators/secondary? Is it worth the extra expense and potential source of leaking?

    My original goal was to minimize the cost of the keezer build, but that idea has quietly passed.
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poobah (1,030) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't have a tower, so I can't speak to the elbows. In my keezer, I use swivel nut flared connections everywhere except the bank of primary regulators, because my best primary regulator (the one in my serving keezer) happens to have barbs. But beer-out-disconnects to beer lines and beer lines to tailpieces are all MFL. It makes changing kegs or line extremely easy. If you go this route, don't forget to get some flared nylon washers for any connection that is metal to metal (like beer line to tailpiece).
  3. barls

    barls Aficionado (185) Australia Nov 15, 2006

    john guest fittings on mfl in mine, easier to change lines or the way its hooked up.
  4. mborden

    mborden Savant (440) New York Jan 28, 2009

    Well, the MFL fittings help to disassemble things for cleaning, and if you need to swap out different kegs with other QDs (i.e. pin lock for ball lock or sanke, etc.). I have straight shanks with a barbed tailpiece and having the beer nut makes it convenient enough to take off for cleaning. Plus, even though you might change out kegs it's not like you're going to change out your taps. So it's not as inconvenient as you might think. It's really the keg end that makes the flexibility nice.

    Yeah, you'll have that :D
  5. DNuggs

    DNuggs Savant (290) Massachusetts Apr 13, 2006 Beer Trader

    I vote for MFL's on all of the beer lines, especially if you want to run different lengths of line for different pressures depending on beer-style. Makes switching lines a breeze.
  6. PortLargo

    PortLargo Advocate (550) Florida Oct 19, 2012 Verified

    Is this the connector you are using? If these are really leak proof they seem better than attaching tubing to a barb swivel nut.

    I have found this in size 1/4 x 7/16. If I understand this correctly the female portion attaches to the threaded MFL fitting (1/4") on the ball-lock disconnect and the 7/16 is the OD of 3/16" beer line.

    If I'm off base here I would appreciate any enlightenment.

    Are you using these for gas also? I have been unable to find a 1/4 female connector that accepts 9/16 OD gas lines.
  7. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poobah (1,030) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    I don't know much about the connector in the picture you posted, but I have many beer lines and CO2 lines with barbed swivel nuts and have never had any liquid or gas leaks at the barb to tubing connection. The first time you push a 1/4" barb into 3/16" ID tubing, you'll know why.
  8. barls

    barls Aficionado (185) Australia Nov 15, 2006

    yeah thats the ones i use.
    i got sick of taking skin off my hands trying to get the bloody hose on the barbs.
    i use the same size beer line for my gas lines.
    makes it easy.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poobah (1,030) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    Not so much for you (since you're already outfitted), but for others, here's the trick to putting beer/CO2 hose on barbed Swivel Nut MFL connectors.

    1) Screw connector onto a spare quick disconnect. Now you have something to hold onto.
    2) Heat up a mug of water in the microwave, on 'beverage' setting
    3) Dip end of hose in the hot water for 20 seconds
    4) Push softened hose onto barb. It will be easy.
    5) Let cool. The hose to barb connection is now permanent.
  10. barls

    barls Aficionado (185) Australia Nov 15, 2006

    now compare with the john guest fittings.
    push hose in till it wont go in any more.
    lightly pull back on hose to lock in place or use the collet tool to get an even better fit.


    to remove push on the collet while pulling on the hose