The sample port on the Zymatic and later on the ZSeries were very useful for a couple of reasons. Different people in the community found different utility out of these, but most found them useful for one or more of the following reasons:
- extract sanitized samples for measurements (pH, OG, etc)
- extract tasting samples at different stages (bitterness)
- visibility to the progress of the brew (SRM)
- visibility to rate of flow during brew
- visible indicator to the cleanliness of the internals
#1 and #2 are really the same underlying reason, a place to take a small sanitized sample during an active brew session. This way you don't need to get a wine thief, remove the keg seal, or temporarily disconnect a quick disconnect and attach a keg wand (pausing and resuming the brew). Everything is accessible via the needleness injection site of the sample port (known as a Luerlock - medical term for the needleless injection site and often used in IVs). This was the main reason from Picobrew that this was added so that you can take samples for various reasons.
#3, #4 and #5 have proved to be other valuable ways that people in the Picobrewing community have gotten value out of these clear plastic ports. All these reasons are related in the fact that they rely on the ability to see the flow of wort/liquid through this component to verify something that otherwise would be only visible from within the receiving vessel (brew keg which is closed with the optional keg seal) or the step filter which is discolored by the presence of the saturated grain bed (and not providing visibility during boil).
Until recently this component build in the entirety has been hard to come by:
- manufacturers / resellers routinely require a clean certificate
- Picobrew's own auction didn't have any of these as spares
- beholderbrewingclub (ebay seller and ex-Picobrew Support Staffer) hasn't been able to get a hold of any either
For a limited time and for a limited amount I have gotten an agreement from one such reseller to offer these up for resale to the community. I can't promise how long this will last, so if you see this as a part that will eventually fail (crack, leak, etc) and want to get a replacement available I'm offering them at cost to me.
Replacement Luerlock Sample Port ($6/ea)
Luerlock compatible sample port for direct replacement of factory provided Zymatic/ZSeries and for modifying your Pico C/S/Pro model(s) to include this sample port.
I have a limited set for an initial fulfillment run, but have a standing agreement to be able fulfill one or two more bulk orders this year as needed to supply the community with replacements. This component comes in 2 parts and both over time have shown to wear down differently. I will be making each individual component as well as the entire assembly available to order.
The Straight Connector, Female Luer Lock Port (clear plastic tee-connector) is relatively fragile and any strong abrasive cleaners or heavy pressure should be avoided at all costs (DO NOT USE PBW to clean your Picobrew appliances)... Most of these that I know that have broken were due to incorrect exposure to Line Cleaner or PBW / Powder Brewery Wash.
The swabbable, needleless injection site male luerlock is screwed onto the sample port side of the tee-connector. This allows a "needleless" (self closing) value to hold back hot wort until you attach a needless female luerlock needle for use in pulling small sized samples. Overtime after much exposed use to the luerlock needless injection site opening and closing again you may start experiencing a slow drip/leak from this location. I haven't been able to identify a commonality in use or in duration to signal how or when this will start to fail, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have at least 1 on hand for when that eventually happens to you.
Syringe, Male Luer Lock 3ml ($0.75 /ea)
Size: 3ml Materials: Polypropylene, Polyisoprene Rubber
Though the Syringe isn't super hard to come by, finding a source for a super cheap replacement has been difficult for some. So here I've offering with an order of any other of the above replacement items the option to also include a compatible small scale Syringe (3ml).
All the above mentioned benefits are not possible with a Stainless Steel straight barbed hose connector (seen below) that many have swapped this sample port out for. Yes, this is a great modification, but with a utility loss if performed. However, that said, going with a stainless sell straight barbed hose connector is very likely to never need replacing and if it does they are available in a plenty of places (including a local home brew or hardware supply store).
TAISHER 2PCS 304 Stainless Steel Hose Barb Fittings 3/8 Inch to 3/8 Inch Barb Hose, Hose Barb Reducer Splicer Mender Union Air Water Fuel with 10PCS Hose Clamp
Size: 3/8" Barb x 3/8" Barb