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I like to use the right tool for the job, in this case, PBW which stands for Powdered Brewery Wash. Being made for the job of cleaning everything in the brewery it qualifies as the right tool for the job and it is designed to clean everything, depending on the amount used per gallon of water. Here's a pic of the 1 lb jar for starters;
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These are the instructions on the side of the jar. I use it at room temp for any plastics!
For cleaning various things, the amounts per gallon are;
To clean Brew Kettles & Lauter tuns- 1-2 oz. per gallon of water for single brew cleaning. For multiple brew cleaning use 1.5 oz. per gallon of water. Run solution for 25-35 minutes at temps between 100F & 160F. Rinse with potable water at same temp as wash.
To clean fermenters, Conditioning, Aging, Kegs & other Food Processing vessels- Use 3/4 oz. per gallon of water for 25-35 minutes at temps between 100F & 160F. (Again, room temp for any plastics) Rinse with potable water at same temp as wash.
Kitchen cleaning of Carbonized, Protein, or greasy baked on soils on Fryers, Grills, Filters, Baking Pans, Cookie Sheets, Plates & Silverware- Soak at room temp overnight using 2-4 oz. per gallon of water, then rinse. Excellent in dishwashers to remove stubborn stains from plates, plastic & glass.
This last one is handy for cleaning those cooked on malt burns from the BK. Using a Dobie brand scrubber (seen in my Starsan article), I can keep my SS BK shining like new. It's the same one I started with a few years ago. In this example, I'll be going through the motions of cleaning my Cooper's Micro Brew FV after racking out my saison. Here, I'm rinsing out the yeast to dump in the head;
hbt-pbw-2-903.jpg

That's the 5 gallon orange Home Depot bucket in the pics. Another thing that's cheap & handy in the brewery. In this pic, you can also see the ring around the collar left by the receding krausen. Pour a couple gallons of water in the FV & swirl it around to loosen the yeast & trub from the bottom of the fermenter. Discard or use a measured amount of sanitized water to wash the trub from the yeast. Then repeat with a good rinse and discard the rinse water.
Having the FV back on the fermenter stand in the man cave, I pour 3 TBSP of PBW into the FV (Dollar Store measuring spoons).
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Then fill with room temp water to just above the crud ring.
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I then stir it well to completely dissolve the PBW into the water. It takes a bit of stirring to dissolve the stubborn stuff.
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I then screw the lid back on loosely to keep the critters, etc., out of it while it soaks for a day or two, depending on room temp. At this point, I also add my emptied & rinsed nylon grain bag to the solution in the FV. Using warm (but NEVER hot!) water speeds up the process a little. When cleaning bucket style FV's, I just set the lid on top loosely. When I see that the crud ring has soaked loose & fallen to the bottom, I remove the lid and pull the now clean grain bag from the FV.
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Nice & clean! I then use an aquarium lift tube brush (the large one in the bag of 3) to lightly scrub the area where the crud ring was
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And inside the thread area as well as any other sections inside the FV I didn't scrub yet, again, lightly.
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I then place the Home Depot bucket on the floor beneath the spigot with the nylon grain bag in it to drain the solution out through the spigot. I feel this helps clean out the moving parts of the spigot as well. Although I do soak the spigots & parts in a small container of PBW solution & scrub with the aquarium brushes later. Then rinse & soak in Starsan. Re-assemble them to the FV wet with the sanitizer.
hbt-pbw-10-911.jpg

I repeat these steps till the FV is nearly empty. As I empty the solution into the Home Depot bucket, I then pour it into the bottling bucket on that broken chair to run the cleaner through the bottling buckets spigot to clean it as well.
hbt-pbw-11-912.jpg

I place the drained grain bag in one of those 5 quart ice cream pails with enough clean water to cover it. I let it soak the cleaner out while I swirl the remaining crud/solution out of the bottom of the FV. Then the FV & lid need to be rinsed to flush the remaining PBW solution out of it. Rinse the bottling bucket out as well. I then have two jobs done in the time it takes to do one.
This stuff will easily soak the crud loose in your FV's making less work for you and allowing the cleaner to do all the work. Cleaning my SS BK is just as easy. I keep a jug of 1.5oz per gallon of water handy for any small cleaning chores. I get 1 lb jars of PBW from Midwest supplies for $9.99. You may find it cheaper elsewhere. But it's well worth it to me, as it cleans anything. Even the wife loves it. She just cleaned our lawn chairs with it in no time today. It also doesn't leave any scale or films when used in soft, average tap water.
Try it & see for yourself!
hbt-pbw-11-912.jpg
 

Hopper5000

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You can use sodium percarbonate which is cheaper and essentially the same thing, also you can use 1/2oz of that stuff and PBW (I have used both) per gal and it still does the job just fine. Saves some money too.
 

blizz81

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I've been recirculating PBW + water through my RIMS for cleanup at about 120*F. Wondering now if that is safe for the pump internals as well as silicone tubing? (I know the temp itself is obviously safe for the tubing, but there seems to be concerns about reaction with heat on plastics here)
 

Kiknjville

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I use 70% Oxy Clean and 30% TSP. 1 oz per gallon. Works just as well in my opinion and it's a lot cheaper. A good soak overnight and the ring on my carboy is gone.
 

unionrdr

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TSP is something they used to put in laundry soap. I wonder how toxic it is? I'll use PBW, thank you. I know that's safe.
 

Minbari

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@unionrdr
its not toxic at all. it was also used in dish washing detergent.
 

unionrdr

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I got to wondering about it, since they stopped using it in detergent. Bad for the ground water,etc. I used to clean the stains off the driveway with it. Since PBW is made for brewery cleaning, I feel better spending the money on it instead. Better safe than sorry. The city checks what gets dumped in the sewers, etc around here. I had to explain that the yeast, Starsan & PBW I was dumping in the head were all food safe.
 

humblehops500

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In the past, I and many homebrewers I know have used TSP to clean crud off stuff, labels off bottles, etc. It rinses clean but as mentioned, is very high in phosphates. I will be switching to PBW in the future to help do my part environmentally.
 

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Tmac84

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The leftover yeast and chrub from homebrew should not be put down drain. It is not good for your septic. I always try to throw the bulk of it out in the compost and clean with a the pink powder then sanitize with starsan !🍺🍺
 

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