Alternative to PBW for cleaning SS fermenters

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MoreBeerDude

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Curious about temperature. Especially with these DIY products. Sure I get it that higher temps make it work better / faster. However will they work equally well at room temp for longer times? Like overnight soaks?
For me, given my setup, being able to do this at room temp and with longer soaks would be sooo much easier. Thoughts?
 

lawngnomehitman

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Usually the 3 levers are temp, time, and mechanical action. Cooler for longer is the same as hotter for shorter, etc. I don't know if all of these 'retain their formula' over time, or of they oxidize into something else, but generally speaking, "probably ok to do it overnight at a lower temp"
 

Brewdog80

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White magic eraser. Zero reason fill fermenter with 7 gallons of hot water unless you are just lazy. It still takes some scrubbing even with a sponge. Make up a gallon and use some elbow grease.
 

RufusBrewer

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I know people that sing the praised of Craft Meister Alkaline Brewery Wash.They claim it is superior to PBW. One of it's advantage s it works with cold water.

I will let you decide if the product is over priced or not.
 

lawngnomehitman

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Zero reason fill fermenter with 7 gallons of hot water unless you are just lazy

You might not be able to reach all of the fermenter to clean - that's at least 1 reason. Another is that it increases the contact time and temperature.
 

DuncB

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I can't see the point of filling the whole fermenter. If you don't have a brewery pump buy a 1500l ( minimum ) per hour pond pump and a cip spray ball and set that up with a gallon of warm pbw and let her go. You still have to give a good rinse of the trub etc prior to this and any dried krausen it's worth a quick rub with a cloth, magic eraser, sponge or silicone scrubber. It's pretty quick and economical.
 

lawngnomehitman

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You must not have arms like tree trunks. I cannot get my short, fat, and stubby appendages into the fermenter enough to touch half of the durn thing, so yea, fire away with the CIP ball and high temp hot chemicals, but you can't necessarily touch all of the inside of it. Some people aren't at that point yet, not lazy, just a method that they're at - I didn't have a unitank when I started either.
 

DuncB

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@lawngnomehitman
No very skinny arm that can just get thru the opening of the fermentasaurus, sometimes a bit tricky at the funnybone part of elbow getting my arm out.
I did buy this at a shop selling japanese or chinese stuff ( bits of kitchen ware all kinds of things place) it works really well soft but effective and can reach all but inside the butterfly valve.
But can I find it to upload a picture searched high and low. Sorry.
 

augiedoggy

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The pain is the filling the fermenters with 7 gallons of hot water, mixing in the PBW, finding somewhere to sit for 30 minutes, then draining and rinsing with hot water. It either ends up sitting in the kitchen sink or if doing a couple fermenters, find somewhere else to rest, or lug 5 gallon buckets of hot water to the fermenters outside. Again, would rather scrub and be done in a few minutes, rather than a 45 minute process that I have to come back to.
You do not need to use that much pbw mix... You can use even a half a gallon and manually scrub with that. I typically clean 100+gallon tanks and kettles with 10 gallons of pbw mix and a sprayball and 3/4hp sanitary pump at the brewpub.

keep in mind many dont know what they are missing as they havent seen a sprayball running with the correct size pump, but for a sprayball to work effectively they need a more powerful pump than typically owned by homebrewers. They make the mini homebrewer sprayballs but they tend to plug up very easily and even they are not very effective unless used with at least a 17gpm pump. Most homebrewer sprayball setups are more akin to gently spraying/rinsing than actual spray with force as intended. just to try is out I tried running the smallest sprayball I had off a riptide pump and it barely had enough power to effectively spin the ball let alone clean well.

on the flipside I had our transfer pump fail and had to use one of those cheap little 2gpm tan food grade pumps to pump 95 gallons of beer from a conical to the brite (through a bottom port in the brite no less and it handled it like a champ) I was amazed it could handle the head pressure.
When pumping beer, a pump that can be slowed down to not whip the ber up with shear force is beneficial to the beer.
 
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