Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > PBW: What Concentration do YOU use?
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
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Default PBW: What Concentration do YOU use?

I have just started using PBW for my cleaning needs. Listening to Brew Strong the other day (the cleaning episode) it was mentioned that 1oz by weight of PBW powder ~= 1fl oz of PBW powder.

Using that as a baseline, 1fl oz = 2 tbsp. Therefore, minimum concentration based on the PBW jar instructions is 2tbsp/gal, up to 4tbsp/gal.

That seems like a LOT to me. I have also read commentary of people using 1oz/5gal of PBW with success. This is a lot less. Is this a valid statement?

I don't have a scale, so I have no choice but to go the measure-by-tbsp route. What concentrations do you use, and are my calculations correct?

Please, please, please: Stay on topic. We don't need another PBW vs. OxiClean thread. Thanks!


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Old 04-28-2009, 01:01 PM   #2
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My understanding....

1oz/gallon will give quick cleaning action, this would be the concentration if you were cleaning by pumping through equipment or something. But, depending on you degree of "dirty" this might be overkill. Using hot water will enhance the cleaning ability (around 140F).

1oz/5 gallon will give good cleaning but will require an extended soak. Since soaking is how most people clean, this is the concentration I use and would recommend. This does not have to be hot to clean well and the solution can be reused quite a few times before discarding.


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Old 04-28-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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Wow, thanks for that wonderful explanation.

Me? I just eyeball it...
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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Yep, I use 2 tbsp. per 5 gallons soaked for a couple hours in hot water for fermenters and other random stuff, and 2 tbsp. per 1 gallon for cleaning my equipment on brew day.

I can't wait to be done with my tub of oxiclean. PBW does a way better job IMO and cleans much faster with less foam and much less residue to rinse off.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:30 PM   #5
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I bought a 50 pound pail of PBW because, I too, saw a significant difference in how well it cleanes compared to O2-clean. Of course, my water is liquefied rock sooooo.

I actually do weigh out my cleaner. 1 Oz per Gallon.
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:11 PM   #6
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Wow, 50 lbs! I thought I was buying a lot @ 4 lbs. But imo the stuff is the bomb so I prob should have got more. I love brewing but not the cleaning and PBW makes cleaning fairly easy so it's totally worth it to me.

FWIW, I usually use 1 Tbs. per gallon...heated when possible. But that's often for soaking so I'll have to try cutting that back and see if it still works well.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #7
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I recently made the switch to PBW. I follow the instructions when it comes to the concentration level. 1oz (2Tbsp) per gallon for 5 gallons is about 1/2 cup (it actually comes out to .625 cups). I let it soak in hot water for at least 30mins, agitating every once in a while.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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For brewhouse CIP, I use 3 ounces (by weight - measured on my hop scale) for 5 gallons of water. I use water just under 120*F, avoid heating after mixing. I do a quick run through my HLT pump and plumbing since it is used for recirc and sparge. Since the sparge water is so hot and always moving, I don't see that cleaning to be so crucial.

Then I send it to the kettle for cleaning kettle, kettle pump, and heat exchanger. (Rinse HLT system with cold water). While that is still hot, I put a lid on the kettle and trap in the steam. Let it runn for at least an hour and then an overnight soak. Light wiping with a white scrubbie pad and a thorough cold rinse, both directions for the heat exchanger.
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Old 09-26-2012, 04:37 PM   #9
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I use 2 tbsp for 5-6 gallons of water with an overnight soak. Once in a while I have to repeat the soak.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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1oz per gallon of water is the norm with PBW. More depending on what is being cleaned. I measure it on my cheap,$20 walmart digital scale. If you don't have one,get one. They come in handy for hops,cleaners,grains,etc.
I use 3-4 TBSP when soaking my FV's overnight. They both have spigots,so I place my homer cheapo bucket under it,open the spigot (FV is on my fermenter stand above it),& let it run out to clean the spigot out as well. Dito with rinse water,as this stuff def needs to be rinsed off.
When soaking bottles,I use 2 or three TBSP in about 4G of water in my homer cheapo bucket. Soak'em overnight,then proceed as normal.
I love this stuff,as it does a great job of cleaning lots of stuff,even my SS BK,hoses,auto siphon,etc.


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