PBW Question

According to the instructions, you need to use 1oz per gallon of water. If I do the math correctly, that would mean that I would get about 3 cleanings per pound of PBW. I have used B-Brite in the past for cleaning which is much less expensive. Just curious on what your thoughts are. Also, I assume that this is a one time usage and not something that you can re-use like Star-San.

PBW is still effective when used at a reduced rate. You can also cut cost by purchasing the generic Oxyclean.

Oxyclean is great for more than just brewing too. I find myself using it for more and more things

For a carboy I’ll use a couple tbsp.

I’ve used 1-2 tbsp per carboy and gotten great results. May have to use the brush on some of the more gunky areas but it seems to loosen up most everything.

+1 to 1-2 tablespoons per fermenter or keg - at this strength, an overnight soak cuts through thick, dried krausen.

I started making my own PBW sub. Use some stuff called TSP/90, that can be bought at Ace Hardware or other hardware stores I’m sure. I mix it with oxiclean at a 70/30 ratio. So 2.1lbs of oxiclean mixed with .9lbs of TSP/90. Read it on Homebrew Talk, it’s supposedly the closest you can get to a PBW sub. Works pretty well, I must say, and it’s quite a bit cheaper.

Full-on TSP works, too, when your hardware store doesn’t carry the imitation TSP/90 (which is really sodium metasillicate).

Sweet! Thanks for all the great feedback. These days you have to be creative and pinch every penny you have left after all the dollars thats taken out. Not to get political or anything…I only speak the truth… :cheers:

I prefer PBW. It is surely not too expensive and can be reused.

I prefer PBW. It is surely not too expensive and can be reused.[/quote]
I certainly wouldn’t reuse the stuff I use to soak my carboys.

[quote=“Beersk”][quote=“jamesclarke160”]I prefer PBW. It is surely not too expensive and can be reused.[/quote]I certainly wouldn’t reuse the stuff I use to soak my carboys.[/quote]“Can” and “should” are too entirely different options! I will often run PBW from a keg-soaking through my kettle and pump just to feel the little thrill of saving some money but I wouldn’t do it with really gunked up PBW.

I know homebrewers have a rep for cost savings but honestly at about 40-50 cents per ounce (done quickly in my head) to clean a carboy or keg, I’m not griping. I think someone figured out starsan is about 25 cents per ounce if you buy the big container. Seems worth that to keep your equipment clean and sanitized and produce good beer. I do keep star san around for a couple weeks but beyond that I just make up a new batch.

Full-on TSP works, too, when your hardware store doesn’t carry the imitation TSP/90 (which is really sodium metasillicate).[/quote]

I didn’t think “full on” TSP was available any longer, what with the ban on Phosphates, ( the “P” in TSP), which use to be the main ingredient in most fertilizers and laundry detergents!

I just bought some Red Devil TSP at Home Depot a few months ago, so it’s still available in some places. I also add it to OxyClean to get PBW performance for a lot of cleaning jobs around the house.

Hell of a lot cheaper than PBW doing it that way.

I’m pretty sure I read that PBW isn’t suppose to be reused. I feel like it had something to do with oxygen… Or that it can only do the job once and then its resources are used up.

I mix up a 5 gal batch and will use it to clean multiple kegs (I wait until I have 3-4 dirty kegs), perfectly fine reusing it. I think it’s wasteful to mix up a 5 gal for every kg or carboy when it works perfectly fine going from one to the next. Check out the brewing networks podcast with 5 star.

Just to understand, when you guys say you use a couple of tbsps for a carboy, is that for 5 gallons?

I recently bought PBW but haven’t used it yet. The mix ratio does seem to be high.

The mix ratio may seem high as they specify it for immediate cleaning results. As a number of folks have said, a more dilute mix works well for longer soaking of kegs and carboys. If you are doing jobs that require faster action, use it stronger like when using automatic cleaning devices and quick soaks for hoses and parts that need to be used soon.

I’ll generally toss it after each use, but to me that may be a few hours worth of brewery work, or it may be that I soak a keg/carboy for a day and then transfer to the next one day after day for a week. The cleaning power is there for a long time and I typically rinse away most of the visible gunk and/or krausen before using the PBW. Once clean the vessels get a rinse before sanitizer anyway, so as long as the solution still has the power to clean it can be quite dirty and still be usable :slight_smile: