Saturday, March 25, 2023
HomeHomebrewKeg O-Ring Supplies Choice! – EPDM, Silicone and Buna-N?

Keg O-Ring Supplies Choice! – EPDM, Silicone and Buna-N?

See Extra About O-Rings in our Keg Rebuild Put up – Soar To: Changing O-Rings

Deciding on the Proper Materials for Keg O-Rings

I might enterprise a guess that Silicone and Buna-N are the 2 mostly used compounds for keg o-rings. EPDM, which has been the selection of execs for a very long time, might be a distant third, however approaching sturdy since they’ve turn into extra accessible to homebrewers.

This publish goes to try all three, with the purpose of serving to your select the appropriate materials on your utility.

Restricted Time Deal:

EPDM for Homebrewers!

Valuebrew has introduced the provision of bulk EPDM o-rings for homebrewers.  EPDM is a favourite of many professional brewers for sure functions. Till now, these haven’t been accessible to homebrewers, or not less than simply accessible. EPDM has some actual benefits over silicone. One of many huge ones is a a lot decrease permeability. Meaning they seal higher and since they’re much less porous they’re extra proof against absorbing off-smells and off-flavors.

They’re FDA Rated for meals use and NSF61 licensed. As of this posting, publish, dip tube, lid and inside QD choices can be found in 10, 25 and 50 rely choices. Valuebrew has struggled mightily with availability they usually’ve already made some indications of potential points with new EPDM choices. Particularly, the lid o-ring description says they acquired a small cargo.

  • Valuebrew has struggled with availability on a few of their choices.  This has been notably true of their keg lid o-rings.
  • As of this publish, these are in inventory.
  • For a restricted time coupon code epdm20 takes 20% off EPDM lid o-rings and add-ons. That is the most important % off low cost I can recall Valuebrew providing.

EPDM Keg Lid O-Rings – bear in mind promo code epdm20

However first issues first, let’s discuss meals protected supplies…

Meals Protected Supplies for Keg O-Rings?

A lot of the o-rings which are marketed to homebrewers don’t declare to be meals protected.

In my expertise, it’s extraordinarily tough to seek out choices that declare to be protected for meals contact.  Possibly a few of the o-rings which are accessible are meals protected, however only a few are literally labeled as such.

However why?  One potential cause… they aren’t meals protected.  Past that, one business insider I spoke with stated suppliers have a possible downside with success.  Since many choices and supplies can be found, It’s tough for some distributors or sellers to ensure you’re getting a meals protected possibility.

  • Simply because an o-ring is marketed to be used in a keg doesn’t mechanically imply that the supplies and manufacturing processes used are meals protected.
  •  If you concentrate on it from a random provider or producer’s perspective… they don’t know what you’re placing in your keg, possibly it’s not even meals.  The issue that we, as homebrewers, have is is… beer is meals and meant for human consumption.
  • You can’t say all o-rings produced from [fill in material here] are meals protected.  Sure high quality requirements and processes are required.

One notable provider options all meals protected o-ring choices.

Typically talking, meals protected o-rings could price a bit of extra, however, we’re, typically, solely speaking just a few cents per o-ring.  It’s price it.

For those who’re utilizing your keg for something meals associated (beer=meals)… My suggestion is to buy o-rings made out of fabric protected for meals contact.

Compound Choice – Evaluating EPDM, Silicone and Buna-N


  • Compression Set Resistance – A measurement of the flexibility of a substance to return to it’s authentic thickness after long run compression.
  • Compressibility – How effectively can a cloth compress to make a high quality seal? That is associated to hardness, however virtually it’s not precisely the identical factor. Most keg o-rings are the identical hardness, 70A, but we see Silicone sealing higher than Buna-N.
  • Permeability – How effectively can effectively can air or oxygen transverse a compound. That is measured in numerous methods, I’m going to generalize labeling supplies wonderful or good.
  • Typical Durometer – A measurement of the hardness of a cloth


  • Compound: Nitrile-butadiene
  • Working Temperature: -30 F / 250 F
  • Typical Durometer: 70A
  • Compressibility: Truthful
  • Compression Set Resistance: Good
  • Low permeability: Glorious

Buna-N/Nitrile is usually the most affordable materials accessible for keg o-rings. It has low permeability, which means much less uptake of off smells and flavors. Virtually talking Buna-N generally has an off scent that brewers don’t like. It’s additionally not practically pretty much as good at returning to kind as silicone. That may result in flat spots and poor sealing.

Advisable For: Keg lid o-rings if funds is a driving issue. Particularly for beers that you just plan to age. Buna-N has decrease oxygen permeability in comparison with silicone. For those who can’t afford EPDM for that utility, Buna-N is an efficient. For those who’re going to attempt to economize by utilizing Buna-N, I recommend often and completely checking for leaks and proactively changing o-rings. See beneath for a straightforward to recollect schedule. I might chorus from utilizing Buna-N on fuel posts. It is a laborious spot to examine for leaks and you can not see leaking CO2.


  • Compound: Silicone
  • Working Temperature: -58 F / 450 F
  • Typical Durometer: 70A
  • Compression Set Resistance: Glorious
  • Low permeability: Good

Silicone is usually extra compressible than Buna-N.  Silicone additionally stays softer at cool temperatures.  Due to this, silicone typically gives one of the best seal of the three compounds listed right here.

Advisable For:

  • Posts and Dip Tubes – Silicone affords one of the best seal and that’s crucial in relation to fuel posts. These are low cost on a per o-ring foundation so you possibly can change often to fight absorbed off smells and odors, which silicone has extra of a bent to select up. These spots even have a small floor space so oxygen ingress just isn’t a significant difficulty.
  • Keg Lid –
    • Particularly if tour keg lid or opening is dinged up or misshapen. Silicone will provide you with one of the best likelihood of getting an excellent seal in lower than excellent situations.
    • For those who’re ageing beers for a very long time, think about EPDM

Customized Shade Silicone O-rings at Valuebrew – accessible in two colours schemes, pictured grey & black (matches QD colours) and blue & inexperienced (blue for beer, inexperienced for fuel)

Examine: William’s Brewing has some alternate colour choices. Nonetheless these are a lot costlier on a per o-ring foundation and, not less than as of this posting, product descriptions give no indication in any respect what these are produced from.

A Word on Gasoline O-rings I’m fast to interchange fuel o-rings.  A leak on the publish is especially tough to check for.  I’ve misplaced a number of tanks of CO2 earlier than studying this lesson.  In bulk, these are low cost, change them liberally. See my part on keg o-ring life beneath, however my suggestion is to vary these liberally.


  • Compound: Ethylene Propylene
  • Working Temperature: -65 F / 300 F
  • Typical Durometer: 70A
  • Compression Set Resistance: Good
  • Low permeability: Glorious

EPDM is a favourite of many professional brewers for sure functions. It has some actual benefits over silicone. One of many huge ones is a a lot decrease permeability. Meaning they’re much less porous and extra proof against absorbing off-smells and off-flavors.

Till just lately, these haven’t been accessible to homebrewers, or not less than simply accessible. Valuebrew now affords these in bulk portions at an affordable value, albeit costlier than silicone and Buna-N.

Advisable For:

  • Keg Lids – particularly when your beers will likely be aged in keg.
  • Dip Tubes and Posts. IF you’re keg is in wonderful situation…

I’m going to cite Valuebrew’s materials choice steerage from their EPDM dip tube providing, as a result of it’s effectively acknowledged.

EPDM’s advantage of decrease permeability and fewer uptake of off smells and flavors equates to much less compressibility.

So, EPDM has some nice advantages, however the commerce off is that it could not seal in addition to silicone. in case your keg is in wonderful situation and also you’re keen to spend a bit of more cash, EPDM is a superb possibility. If it’s dinged up, I’d go along with silicone.

BEWARE Of: Dip Tube O-Ring Purposes

Typically talking keg o-rings are normal sizes. There are some uncommon outliers on the market, dip tube o-rings appear to be the most probably to be non-standard. In my view, finest observe is to hold on to your originals so you possibly can examine with replacements. Within the occasion that your keg has non-standard dip tube o-rings, it’s best to contact the producer for replacements. Happily this can be a uncommon difficulty, normal sizes match the overwhelming majority of kegs.

If you wish to attempt EPDM in your dip tubes, it’s best to examine for leaks. In case your keg varies from normal even barely you could get a leak with substitute EPDM o-rings. Valuebrew suggests shopping for each in case you’re going to attempt EPDM on the dip tube location.

Challenge: Oxygen Pickup from the Lid O-Ring

The next is from Kee Doery through a dialog we had concerning o-ring materials choice. Kee is likely one of the individuals behind Kegland. Kegland is making some wonderful issues for homebrewers! Take a look at our giant library of Kegland opinions.

For the time being nearly all of keg manufactures together with ourselves have been utilizing silicone o-rings for the lid o-rings. Silicone has good “spring” properties and bounces again rather well. It’s additionally smooth so it seals effectively when the lid just isn’t on straight. With that stated one main difficulty is that silicone has very excessive oxygen transmission charge. As an example because the lid o-ring is so giant it has lots of floor space and thus has a considerable affect on oxygen transmission.

Commercially we might think about 100ppb oxygen within the beer to be the restrict of oxygen to get into the beer earlier than we think about mild colored beers to be oxidised. With a silicone o-ring this 100ppb oxygen restrict will likely be reached about 1-4 months of being saved. (at colder temperatures the transmission charge is much less which is one other good cause to retailer the kegs chilly). If we use different rubbers we will prolong the life considerably. The second hand previous cornelius kegs used nitrile rubber which was greater than 20 instances higher than silicone with respect to oxygen transmission however has the principle difficulty that when beneath stress for a while would get flat spots on the o-ring and never spring again effectively.

So…. oxygen ingress from a keg lid can have a unfavorable affect on the beer as shortly as 1 to 4 months. This results in my suggestion above to make use of EPDM for keg lids.

Sourcing O-Rings

How Typically Ought to You Substitute Keg O-Rings?

As acknowledged beforehand, I believe it’s best to change all keg o-rings whenever you refurbish or get hold of a used keg.

What about after that? After all, you may simply hold utilizing them till they break, they scent or look horrible or… till you lose a tank of CO2 attributable to an o-ring associated leak. On the opposite finish of the spectrum some individuals change o-rings each time they keg.

Relying on materials, keg o-rings have a shelf life.  In some unspecified time in the future, supplies could turn into brittle. Past shelf life, o-rings put on out from use – compression and abrasion. The opposite potential difficulty is supplies compatibility. Do your o-rings break down from the chemical compounds you topic them to?

Keg producer AEB says to interchange o-rings yearly. AEB produces a few of the finest kegs in the marketplace and I agree with the one yr normally. Due to their very low price, I recommend altering excessive contact, excessive danger leak o-rings extra usually.

Excessive Danger:

  • Put up o-rings: Particularly fuel. Leaks originating from fuel publish very tough to detect.
  • Gasoline dip tube o-rings: Leaks listed below are simpler to detect, however I additionally classify these as excessive danger. A leak at both the fuel publish or fuel dip tube is invisible and has irritating penalties… heading to your CO2 supply to swap or fill a tank.  Higher protected than sorry.

Excessive Contact: Inner QD and Common Poppet O-Rings. These contact each ounce of beer that’s poured.

I recommend utilizing Daylight Financial savings dates as a reminder.  One thing like this…

Most of those o-rings are pennies every when purchased in affordable bulk portions. Often changing, prices little or no and helps stave off undesirable off flavors, leaks and misplaced CO2. This schedule ought to hold your kegs working nice from a gasket perspective.

The one gaskets which are a bit of costlier are lid o-rings. For those who wished to get a bit of extra life out of these, you may change lid o-rings in odd years when Daylight Financial savings Time Ends (Fall). This could make them two years previous once they’re changed.

Why change o-rings even when they’re holding stress?

In my view, you’re going to need to change all of the o-rings in your keg.  Typically talking they will be worn out and even when they aren’t they’ll scent of soda pre-mix.  Past that, who is aware of what they’re produced from.  Begin with a clear slate.  As you noticed earlier, the o-rings on this keg have been a grubby mismatch of soda drenched o-rings

Sanitizing O-Rings in Star San?

Keg o-ring supplies – Silicone, EPDM and Buna-N – are typically suitable with Star San. Nonetheless that doesn’t imply which you can soak these in Star San endlessly.

Star Stan might finally injury o-ring (and many different issues) given extreme publicity. Contact time for Star San is 5 minutes. That’s about how lengthy it’s best to go away a component sitting in Star San.

See: Star San Ideas & Tips

Star San Ideas & Tips

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Word: Acknowledged materials specs are common, precise specs will differ from provider to provider.

Be certain that the parts you employ are suitable and rated on your supposed utility.  Contact producer with questions on suitability or a particular utility.  All the time learn and comply with producer instructions. toppost:oringmaterials tag:tpr



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