Quick disconnect fittings are great to have on all your hoses. Barbed fittings suck; they aren’t intended to be frequently disconnected and reattached and your vinyl tubing gets chewed up after a while.
Northern Brewer and MoreBeer both sell “food grade” polysulfone disconnects but they’re very expensive; at ~$24 pair it would cost a hell of a lot to outfit your brewery.
McMaster-Carr carries a wide variety of quick disconnects and conveniently enough the cheapest ones they carry work well for brewing! Look for “Brass Coolant Hose Couplings” on page 277. They carry two sizes of sockets, 1/4″ and 3/8″; I’m using the 3/8″ variety for better flow.
I put the sockets on all my hoses and plugs on any objects like vessels or my pump. This is a good setup for two reasons: A) having the sleeve lock on the hose you’re gripping lets you operate it with one hand, and B) because I have fewer hoses than “objects” it means I’m buying fewer of the more expensive sockets.
In the above photo I’m using the following parts:
- Pump: 6739K59 – plug with 1/2″ pipe threads
- Kettle: 6739K57 – plug with 3/8″ pipe threads
- Hoses: 6739K64 – socket with 1/2″ barbed fitting
Thus far I haven’t had any problems with the sockets getting dirty inside. Perhaps if you let them sit overnight with wort drying inside you’d have issues.