⇒ 'PBW cleaner' (and why you should use it)

PBW for cleaning homebrew equipment
PBW cleans beer equipment very well

PBW stands for Powdered Brewery Wash


PBW cleaning product by Five Star is widely used in commercial breweries but countless homebrewers across the country have cottoned on to how they can use it for cleaning their own brewing equipment.

It was originally used by the Coors brewery!

PBW is a trusted brand among most North American homebrewing communities.

If you are looking for some guidance on how to clean your brewing equipment, they will probably recommend you use this powdered wash.

It really is an amazing cleaner for beer brewing equipment.


Don't believe me and you think I'll say anything to make a sale?

Go to any beer brewing forum and you will find season beer makers raving about this product. Go on, Google it now and you'll quickly find we are not exaggerating about how good this cleaning product is.


The benefits of using PBW are many:

  • If you've ever used a 5 gallon stainless steel boil pot after homebrewing sessions you'll know how crusty the remnants on the bottom of the pot can be. A quick round with PBW will sort them out easily. All you have to do when cleaning with hot water, add just a little bit of PBW, mix it up, and let it sit in the pot. All of that burned-on garbage comes right off. Ideally, a good burner will not cause this problem!
  • Stainless steel never looked so clean after an overnight soak!
  • PBW is environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and will not harm septic systems
  • You can also clean your dishwasher with it! In fact, you can clean any stainless steel utensils and equipment with it - that's why it's so versatile as a cleaner for home brewers
  • If you need to remove an odour that is coming from some organic substance PBW will remove the substance and the accompanying odour. So it's great for cleaning up old brewing equipment that might need a bit of love before it's used again
  • Doesn't burn skin as other chemical agents can (like say Sodium Hydroxide) or create a strong pungent smell like other heavy duty cleaners
  • It's pretty handy to remove labels from beer bottles after a good soak.

But wait, that's not all!

PBW has plenty of uses that might not seem so obvious for home brewing


Say you've been a little bit lazy and you haven't cleaned your beer bottles and the sediment has dried out at the bottom of the bottle.

Have you ever tried getting that crap out?

It's a real bitch to do, trust me. 

Why waste time with a bottle brush that just can't reach everywhere when you can soak all your bottles in Powdered Brewery Wash.

It's also handy for removing pesky labels from beer bottles that you want to use for homebrew. Give them a good soak and those labels will come off in no time. 

You can also clean your carboy or fermentor too! And we all know how easy is to think, heck, I've bottled my beer, I'll clean the fermenter next weekend...

That weekend becomes a month and suddenly all the brewing scum is as impenetrable as Fort Knox.

A soak with PBW will sort that for you.

Odds are, if you let that fermenter soak overnight in the solution, you won't need to do any scrubbing, simply rinse it off with the hose and you'll be sweet. 

It's really easy to use PBW! 


The cleaner instructions are simple. It's just three easy steps:
  1. It's best used to soak your brewing gear overnight to easily remove stubborn, caked on organic deposits without scrubbing.
  2. Use 1 - 2 ounces per gallon for cleaning boil kettles, or an ounce per gallon for fermenters, kegs, carboys and other brewing equipment. 
  3. A quick rinse in the morning and you are ready to get brewing again!

So what do other users say about this cleaning agent?


The average review for PBW by Amazon reviewers is 5 out of 5. That's 100 percent of reviewers believing this cleaning agent does the business, and that's what you want. You don't want to muck around, you just want clean and sanitized beer equipment!

Powdered Brewery Wash is not a sanitizer!


Let's get this super clear.

PBW is for washing and cleaning your brewing equipment.

It will not necessarily kill the bugs that might linger, for which you need a good santizer.

Before brewing, and after ensuring you have clean gear, you must sterilize the fermenter and any gear you are using including any spoons, funnels or other utensils. 

Many home brewers often use Star San. Like PBW, Star San is highly rated in the home brewing beer community as a sanitization agent. A great thing about is that it is a no rinse agent. You spray or briefly soak your gear with it and you are good to go. Star San is very well priced on Amazon.

What are the active ingredients found in PBW?


The main ingredient is about 30% Sodium Metasilicate. Its chemical formula is Na2SiO3 and it's what kicks grease and beer smegma to the curb. If you want to be brave and buy the main ingredient in bulk, there's plenty of value on offer on Amazon.

Another key component is sodium percarbonate. Don't get confused with sodium bicarbonate which is used for things like baking and cleaning! The percarbonate is a really excellent cleaner of beer gear, and we use it often. 

Want to know a secret about percarbonate?

It's laundry soaker.

That's right, the powder you use to get your whites whiter and brights brighter is sodium percarbonate!

So if you want a cheaper substitute for PBW, you could use the second active ingredient in it and simply go into your laundry and grab the soak.

Napisan, Oxiclean and many of those common and generic household brands have percarbonate in them.

To be fair though, the percarbonate is probably best for sanitizing whereas the metasilicate is the stronger cleaner.

Combining them meanings you get the effect of PBW - so if you are looking to make a DIY PBW substitute cleaner then use this combo of TSP/90 (AKA Red Devil) and Oxyclean in a ratio of 30% TSP/90 and 70% Oxiclean.

PBW is great for soaking kettles and pots

Did you forget to clean out the trub from your brewing kettle?

Maybe you got a bit carried away on the sampling of your wares... if the trub is now rock hard and caked on, a bit of PBW in water will work magic on the kettle.

Let it have a good soak, and you should then be able to remove the gunk very easily. A hose can work wonders here.

If you've been a bit negligent with your kettle cleaning duty, PBW will deal with any beerstone that's occurring inside the drum. If you don't know what beerstone is, it's the build-up of calcium oxalate and water salt.

This build-up can affect the performance of your kettle over time, so if it's any every so often soak with PBW, you'll be maintaining your kettle.

A note on beerstone, other acid based products arguably can do a better job.

Other uses for Five Star PBW


You can use it to clean your dishwasher or washing machine. Give it a round with nothing in it and a hot wash. You'll clear out the grime and get rid of some funky smells.

Given it cuts through grease extremely well, you can use a solution on a rag to clean all the surfaces in your kitchen > stove tops, fridges etc.

Barkeeper's Friend is probably better placed as a cleaner though. 

So, I'm convinced, where can I buy this wonder cleaner?


It's very reasonably priced on Amazon!

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.

Tags

absorption caps abv acetaldehyde acid adjuncts advice about beer brewing aeration aeration kit aging air lock alcohol ale ale beer kits alkaline alkaline brewery wash all grain american apera apples attenuation autolysis automatic temperature compensation bacteria baker's yeast baking yeast ball lock ball valve bar keepers friend barley batch prime beer brewing beer capper beer dispenser beer filtration kit system beer gushers beer kit beer kit review beer kits beer lines beer salt beer taps beerstone best brewing equipment biotin bittering BKF black rock bleach blichmann blow off tubing bluelab bohemian pilsner boil in a bag boil over boneface bottle cap bottle caps bottle conditioning bottling bottling beer bottling spigot bourbon brettanomyces brew and review brew day brewing beer guide brewing salts brewing spoon brewing sugar brewing thermostat british thermal unit brix brix scale BTU bud light buffer buffer solution burton snatch buyer's guide calcium chloride calcium sulphate calibration calibration probe calibration solution campden tablets capping carbon dioxide carbonation carbonation drops carboy cascade caustic soda chinook chlorine christmas chronicle cider clarity cleaning your equipment clear beer clone recipe cloudy beer cold crashing coldbreak conditioning tablets conductivity conical fermenter contamination coopers copper tun corn sugar cornelius corny keg craft beer creamy beer crown cryo hops cubes danstar nottingham death from above demijohn dextrose distilation DIY DME dry hopping edelmetall brü burner ekuanot electrode enhancer enzyme equipment ester ethanol experiments in beer making faucet fermcap-s fermentables fermentation fermentation system fermenter fermentis fermentor final gravity finings five star floccing foam inhibitor french fresh wort pack fridge fruit fusel alchohol garage project gas burners gelatin gift and present ideas gin ginger beer golden ale golden syrup goldings grain grain mill green bullet grist guinness gypsum hach hacks hallertauer heat pad home brew honey hop schedule hops hops spider how not to brew beer how to brew that first beer how to brew with a beer kit how to grow hops how to make a hop tea how to wash yeast hydrated layer hydrogen sulfide hydrometer IBU ideas idophor infection inkbird instruments isoamyl acetate jelly beans jockey box john palmer jos ruffell juniper keezer keg cooler keg regulators kegco kegerator kegging kegs kettle kombucha krausen lactic acid lager lagering lauter litmus lupulin lupulin powder lupuLN2 making beer malic acid malt malt mill maltodextrin mangrove jack's maple syrup mash mash paddle mash tun mead methanol micro brewing milling milwaukee MW102 mistakes mixing instructions moa mouth feel muntons must nano brewing New Zealand Brewer's Series no rinse nut brown ale oak oak wood chips off flavors original gravity oxygen pacific gem pale ale panhead PBW pear pectine pectolase pete gillespie ph levels ph meter ph pen pH strips ph tester pico brewing pilsner pitching yeast plastic drum poppet valve pot powdered brewing wash precipitated chalk pressure relief valve priming probe problem solving propane and propane accessories pump system purity law re-using yeast recipe record keeping reddit refractometer reinheitsgebot removing beer labels from bottles review rice hulls riwaka rotten eggs saaz saccharomyces cerevisiae sanitization secondary regulator sediment session beer silicon simple tricks for brewing siphon site glass skunked beer small batch brewing soda ash sodium carbonate sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate sodium hydroxide sodium metasilicate sodium percarbonate sour beer sparge spigot spirals spirits spoon spraymalt star san STC-1000 steinlager stella artois steralisation sterilisation sterilization sterliization storage solution stout sucrose sugar supercharger tannins temperature temperature controller thermometer tips for beginners tri-sodium phopsphate tricks and tips trub tubing tui turkey vorlauf water water testing wet cardboard taste wet hopping whirlfloc tablets williamswarn wine winter brewing wood wort wort chiller yeast yeast energizer yeast nutrient yeast starter
Back to Top