# How much PBW do you use to soak a 5 gallon Carboy?

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#### Patirck

##### Well-Known Member
The instructions I found indicate 1 tablespoon per gallon - so 5 tablespoons for a carboy. That seems like a lot to me. Does everyone use this amount? Is it just me? That seems like this is a lot of product to clean a glass carboy? I ask because other than seeming like a lot - it is also very hard to rinse effectively and seems to leave a film on the glass.

I always just eye ball what is probably around 1 table spoon and soack for a few hours. Works great. I have always considered the recommended amount way overboard but that's just me.

I use 2 heaping tablespoons if it was a primary, less if it was just a secondary.

I don't soak anything in a 5 gallon quantity. I mix up a little PBW (maybe 1/2 gallon or so) or oxiclean, and then swirl it around to clean everything. Then I dump it out and rinse it.

I keep a 5-gallon bucket of solution on hand; 3.75 oz (weight) PBW per 5 gallons. I soak my carboys half to 3/4 full and swish it around every now and again.

I've measured this out to be 7 tsp (teaspoon) = 1 oz. or 2.33333 tbsp (tablespoon) = 1 oz.

For fermenters and kegs PBW says .75 oz per gallon of water.

Using teaspoons; it would take 3.75 oz. for 5 gallons. I did some math and that would come out to 26.25 tsp. or 8.75 tbsp. Might as well make it 9 tbsp per 5 gallons.

That's getting a bit crazy, i know...but according to this.. I've been using about 1/4 the amount that it calls for per gallon.

Honestly. I've been using 5-6 tsp per 5 gallons and it works fine if you let it soak.

I agree with the lower amount. Hot water and time soaking will allow it to work really well and makes it simple to rinse well.

I have always used a tbsp per five gallons in hot water. Let soak for 30 minutes and then usually just needed a light brushing with the carboy brush to clean any really stuck on fermentation debris. Maybe the higher concentration will clean with no brushing.

I rinse my carboys immediately after emptying them and then fill them with water and 1 tablespoon of PBW. I then let it soak. Sometimes it's a few days before I get back to it. Rinse it out and it's usually clean. Sometimes there is a bit of persistent crud still clung to the side that comes right off by swishing a dish rag around inside. I don't use brushes because most of my fermenters are plastic but I wouldn't hesitate taking a brush to a glass carboy. Back on topic....1 tablespoon for me and that seems like plenty.

Refer to instructions on back of PBW can.

I usually use a tsp per gallon. Seems to work fine. Once in a while I have to do a second soak.

I've always used 1 tsp per gallon as well and it has always worked great.

I keep a 5-gallon bucket of solution on hand; 3.75 oz (weight) PBW per 5 gallons. I soak my carboys half to 3/4 full and swish it around every now and again.

Keeping solution around for more than a few hours at most isn't a good idea. PBW is comprised of sodium metasilicate and sodium percarbonate (oxiclean). Metasilicate will etch glass, but retains its cleaning power for a long time in solution (so it'll be fine in a plastic bucket). The percarbonate is another matter; once dissolved in water it will generate hydrogen peroxide, which will continue to decompose. The cleaning performance will be dramatically reduced after a few hours, as the peroxides help to oxidize and break up organic residue.

As for the concentration to use, the directions say 1 to 2 fluid ounces per gallon; 2 tablespoons (tbsp, not tsp) make 1 ounce -- so it calls for 2-4 tablespoons per gallon.

As for the concentration to use, the directions say 1 to 2 fluid ounces per gallon; 2 tablespoons (tbsp, not tsp) make 1 ounce -- so it calls for 2-4 tablespoons per gallon.

Actually the directions are 1 ounce by weight, not 1 fluid ounce.

I found this e-mail response from Five Star on another forum.

"You are correct! All our powders have recommendations by weight, whereas our liquids are by volume. We find that one gently rounded teaspoon of PBW is about 1 oz by weight. If you have a small postal scale in your home office, as many do, you can verify a convenient measuring device in your home. There are 3 US Teaspoons per 1 US Tablespoon. Thus, about one-third of a tablespoon is about one ounce.

Also keep in mind that in our Five Star Homebrewer Cleaning and Sanitizing kits we pack about 2.25 oz per packet and instruct that to be added to 5 gallons of warm water. That is as low a concentration as 0.4 oz per gallon and is quite effective. In other words, for the home brewer, a little less is better than a little more to control your costs with PBW while still getting 'er done.

Cheers!

Jim Jennings
Five Star Chemicals
Commerce City, CO"

i usually rinse out my plastic carboy then fill it with hot water and PBW. About 1 tbsp per 5 gallons. let it soak over night and then rinse it out. do the same for kegs. works very well this way.

Actually the directions are 1 ounce by weight, not 1 fluid ounce.

I found this e-mail response from Five Star on another forum.

"You are correct! All our powders have recommendations by weight, whereas our liquids are by volume. We find that one gently rounded teaspoon of PBW is about 1 oz by weight. If you have a small postal scale in your home office, as many do, you can verify a convenient measuring device in your home. There are 3 US Teaspoons per 1 US Tablespoon. Thus, about one-third of a tablespoon is about one ounce.

Also keep in mind that in our Five Star Homebrewer Cleaning and Sanitizing kits we pack about 2.25 oz per packet and instruct that to be added to 5 gallons of warm water. That is as low a concentration as 0.4 oz per gallon and is quite effective. In other words, for the home brewer, a little less is better than a little more to control your costs with PBW while still getting 'er done.

Cheers!

Jim Jennings
Five Star Chemicals
Commerce City, CO"
Thank you for posting this. Very helpful!

I gotta ask - why carboys?

Seems like buckets are much easier to deal with

Old thread but good info straight from the company!

Old thread but good info straight from the company!
Regarding the weight per tsp of PBW, the quote from the company (Post #14 above from 2014) is misleading. This post agrees a lot more closely to what I just got for the weight of PBW powder purchased this month. Two level Tablespoons of PBW weighs about 1.1 ounce.

How much PBW to use seems variable, and may in turn depend on variables, like the water temperature, how long you can or are able to soak, scrub, and no doubt more. I'm new to the stuff.

I need to measure the scoop I have been using as it has been a litter here, a little there for a long time.

I gotta ask - why carboys?

Seems like buckets are much easier to deal with
I've used carboys for every batch I've ever brewed except for one , my reasoning is ...
Glass doesn't scratch and harbor bacteria
The shape of the carboy reduces headspace
It's easier to get a good seal
I hook up a blowoff tube for the high krausen stage and it will naturally remove excess fusels and bitter resins
I can harvest yeast from blown off krausen
I can watch the yeast work and judge when fermentation is complete with out a hydrometer
I could probably come up with more ... this is just top of my head
Oh and there quiet ... the one batch I did in the bucket sounded like a marching band ... could hear it all over the house ... Bloop ,bloop ,,bloop
Reasons against would be weight and possibility of breakage ... neither bother me ... I can lift heavy things.

I've used carboys for every batch I've ever brewed except for one , my reasoning is ...
Glass doesn't scratch and harbor bacteria
The shape of the carboy reduces headspace
It's easier to get a good seal
I hook up a blowoff tube for the high krausen stage and it will naturally remove excess fusels and bitter resins
I can harvest yeast from blown off krausen
I can watch the yeast work and judge when fermentation is complete with out a hydrometer
I could probably come up with more ... this is just top of my head
Oh and there quiet ... the one batch I did in the bucket sounded like a marching band ... could hear it all over the house ... Bloop ,bloop ,,bloop
Reasons against would be weight and possibility of breakage ... neither bother me ... I can lift heavy things.
Thanks for the insight!

The buckets being scratchable made me get a SS conical. It costs about the same as 2-3 glass carboys in Europe.

The only thing I find they're missing is some sort of window but that'd be totally impractical. Plus I don't have to worry about light. There's always the Tilt if needs be but I just assume I'm good after 2-3 weeks, depending on my schedule.

I'm curious as to how a carboy is quieter, less headspace?

I can't hear the bubbles in the airlock from more than a few feet away in the glass carboy ... the bucket I could hear throughout the house .

None…with the same active ingredient Oxi Clean “Free” does the job just as well for a fraction of the costs. Both are primarily “Percarbonate” cleaners…the Oxi Free has no fragrances etc that the laundry version has.

To me, it's all about looking closely after cleaning. If what you are using gets it clean, it's ok. Not the same with sanitizers - there could be microbes that you can't see. So I use Star San as per the instructions - or even a little stronger. (Charlie Talley said in a podcast that it is fine to mix it a little stronger than what the instructions call for.)

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