Pictured: Four way CO2 Manifold via William’s Brewing
I think that the general consensus among homebrewers and home kegerator builders is that… MFL/Flare/Swivel connections are superior to barbed connections. That’s just my read on the situation, no scientific basis for that statement. After all, MFL swivel thingies look cool, they’re easy to attach and you can take tubing on and off easily and. The total solution, including swivels also generally costs more… more expensive = more better… right?
My take on the matter…
For gas lines: Personally, I prefer barb fittings on CO2 lines as they don’t loosen over time. Use a quality clamp and you have a solid connection that should not loosen or leak over time. Moving kegs and lines around could conceivably loosen MFL connections and a CO2 leak is invisible. Even a small, slow leak could equal an emptied CO2 tank.
For liquid lines: A liquid leak is a lot more obvious. A little dripping from a liquid MFL line would tell you that the line has loosened. I generally use flare swivels on liquid lines. I do still use barbs on tail pieces because that’s kind of a tight spot on my kegerator that makes it difficult to turn a wrench.
Of course you can use whatever you want. If you use MFL, I suggest periodically tightening swivels to make sure you always have a good, solid connection.
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