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Old 10-31-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
leaf
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Default Caustics

I was wondering if potassium or sodium hydroxide has any applications in cleaning of homebrew equipment. I am aware it can etch glass and melt plastic, but even in weaker solutions it still possesses an ability to break down organic material. (at least from my previous experiences in lab)
I've never used it but isn't pbw essentially a weak form of caustic? Seems to me it would be more economical just to buy food grade potassium hydroxide instead.


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Old 10-31-2012, 03:07 AM   #2
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You could but it is still dangerous at low concentrations - http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/s...ad.php?t=27559
It is good for CIP but not worth the risk IMO when you don't really need CIP.


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Old 11-01-2012, 02:07 AM   #3
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The big boys use a 5% solution to clean the brewery, but as matt says, it's incredibly dangerous to us organics.
The pics in the link matt posted are horrifying. No way in hell I'd try it at home.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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I use Sodium Hydroxide at 3% w/v (113 grams in 1 gallon) and 180F for heat exchanger, keg and fermenter cleaning. A good cold water rinse and then a rinse in saniclean are needed to neutralize it. You need to use good safety practices and procedures with potentially dangerous chemicals. At the same concentrations that Five Star recommends for their PBW, it costs about the same as the concentration I use but doesn't have the same cleaning power.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the good info and advice everyone! I am usually very safe around chemicals but I know accidents happen and well.. from matt's post they are not the tingly fun kinds.

Dstar- are you saying NaOH doesnt have the same cleaner power as pbw? A little more digging suggests Tsp+oxcylean to be the recipe if I were looking to make a pbw clone.
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Old 11-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leaf View Post
Dstar- are you saying NaOH doesnt have the same cleaner power as pbw? A little more digging suggests Tsp+oxcylean to be the recipe if I were looking to make a pbw clone.
What I tried to say is that NaOH is more effective than PBW.


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