Ask Mr. Wizard

Silicone hosing lifespan

TroubleShooting

Brendan Benson • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania asks,
Q

How many times can you reasonably use flexible silicone hose, the kind most homebrewers use for siphoning? I tend to start with a new hose, use it to rack cooled wort or green beer five to ten times, then convert the hose to fermentation blow-off tubes. After one use as a blow-off tube, the sucker is pretty well stained and I throw it away. Am I overusing my hoses? If not, how can I squeeze more use from them? Would high temperatures (from hot wort) running through the hose impart any off-flavors? Also, what effects does alcohol have on stainless steel? I always wipe down my equipment before and after I brew to ensure sterility. I was wondering if this practice is potentially harmful to my equipment. Thanks for the help.

 

A
The hoses used in homebrewing are similar to the hoses used in beverage and food-processing plants, except the industrial-grade hoses are reinforced to increase their pressure rating and usually covered by a
Response by Ashton Lewis.