BASIC INFO FOR ALL BLQD Types:
Note: we call these BLQD which means Ball Lock Quick Disconnect but be careful. These are NOT compatible with soda kegs which also use the ball lock terminology. We know it's confusing but there's no reasonable way to call these something else as they literally lock together with ball bearings. We've begun to just call them BLQD Quick Disconnects.
In a nutshell, all of our BLQDs share the following features:
- 304 Stainless Steel construction with high temperature silicone seals.
- The male part of the QD set has a full 1/2" ID. The only areas of restriction are on the back side of the fitting such as on the 1/2" hose barb.
- Unlike camlocks, we cannot guarantee cross vendor compatibility on these. These are being distributed by quite a few retailers but as you would expect, the manufacturer is not ethically willing to divulge the full list.
- Note that NONE of these QDs have valved shut offs when disconnected. While such a feature does have its benefits, they have no place in high flow plumbing as they provide significant restriction and turbulence.
We offer a large selection of standard and custom high flow barbed versions. The "quick disconnect" or business portion of the BLQD system consists of male and female parts. The male side is a cylinder with an external concave recess around the circumference and a front tapered sealing face. Once inserted into the mated female coupling, a set of three ball bearings apply pressure to the male's recess which locks the parts together and holds the male's sealing face tight to the captured gasket. The set is disconnected by retracting the knurled sleeve on the female QD side which releases the pressure on the ball bearings. The one benefit to this style of disconnect is that the disconnect operation can be performed with only one hand. With enough practice you may also be able to connect them again one handed as well.
Ultimate application is up to the user, but it is most common to use the male part on fixed brewery components while the female coupling end is typically installed on the more mobile parts like hose sets. Why? The male end's sealing surface can be more easily damaged if attached to hose ends.
Since we are primarily a "CAMLOCK SHOP", AKA camlock fanboys, we've gone and applied typical camlock letter designations to these fittings to help our staff and customers easily see the correlation between the two systems. For example, a CAMA is similar to a BLQD_A. Hey, it's better than the long descriptions.
Male QD Side fittings (compatible with ALL female QD fittings):
BLQD A - Male QD/ Female 1/2" NPT. The most common use for this part is attaching to the wort in/out ports on a plate chiller. It can also be used for recirculation ports, the in/out of a HERMS coil. etc.
BLQD F - Male QD / Male 1/2" NPT. Usually used on the output of brewing vessels, threaded into the ball valve. Used in place of traditional hose barbs.
BLQD E - Male QD / HOSE BARB. (no picture) The type E is simlar to the A and F but instead of threads, it has a 1/2" hose barb on the back end. The barb is rather restrictive, however, if you're using smaller tubing, the E is just fine.
Female QD Side Fittings (compatible with all of the above):
BLQD B - Female QD Coupling to Male 1/2" NPT.
BLQD C (reduced barb)- Female QD coupling to 1/2" OD HOSE BARB. This is the version everyone else stocks. The interior of the barb is about 3/8" and is a little restrictive when used with 1/2" ID tubing. Note that you CAN get 3/8" ID silicone and regular rigid 1/2" ID thermoplastic tubing over this barb. Will will soon be stocking this fitting with an oversized 5/8" OD hose barb.
BLQD D - Female QD Coupling to Female 1/2" NPT. These are just like the Type B, only they have female NPT thread.
********** Last we'll go over the options for some custom modified solutions that are not part of the standard offerings that everyone stocks. You may see other vendors eventually selling these, but it all started here.
BLQD C+ Female QD coupling to 5/8" OD hose barb. This one has an oversized hose barb on the back measuring just over 1/2" ID and 5/8" OD. Our silicone tubing stretches over this barb perfectly for a firm fit and high flow.
BLQD Kit BL - This is a BLQD B and a High Flow Elbow Barb. You still have to thread them together yourself but it can be added to the cart with one click and you'll save a buck too. This is perfect for the hose ends that connect to your vessel bulkheads. When the three or four feet of silicone gets filled with liquid, it would tend to pull down and kink the tubing if you used a horizontal barb.
BLQD E+ Male Cam x 5/8" Hose Barb. This one has the same oversized hose barb on the back measuring just over 1/2" ID and 5/8" OD. Our silicone tubing stretches over this barb perfectly for a firm fit and high flow.If you are shopping for these fittings to outfit a pump to a brewery, keep in mind that we have several "connection kits" available that bundle the appropriate fittings and tubing together without having to spend all that time adding to the cart. We also offer termination services to pre-cut and crimp-clamp the tubing on.