Author Topic: PBW question  (Read 1172 times)

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
PBW question
« on: December 13, 2014, 08:11:07 PM »
I added some PBW to my Speidel yesterday and covered it up with a piece of aluminum foil (shook up the water to mix in the PBW).

This afternoon I pulled off the foil and it was pitch black where the mixture contacted the foil and it smelled funky.

Why did this happen? Will this cause any toxic nasties to be in my fermenter?

S. cerevisiae

  • Guest
Re: PBW question
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2014, 08:22:36 PM »
Alkaline cleaning products dissolve aluminum.   That's why one does not clean aluminum equipment with sodium hydroxide.

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2014, 08:38:42 PM »
Hmmm, can I still use the plastic fermenter safely?

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 4503
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: PBW question
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2014, 09:27:53 PM »
Thoroughly clean it (without the foil) and it should be fine.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
Refractometer Calculator | Batch Sparging Calculator | Two Mile Brewing Co.

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8981
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2014, 11:05:42 PM »
Aluminum will also not stand up to acidic conditions. That is why one does not cook tomatoes in an aluminum pot. I had a piece of aluminum foil fall off the shelf into some open Star San and it spent a few days in there, the Star San was gray, the foil looked liked grandma's doilies.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2014, 11:21:44 PM »

Aluminum will also not stand up to acidic conditions. That is why one does not cook tomatoes in an aluminum pot. I had a piece of aluminum foil fall off the shelf into some open Star San and it spent a few days in there, the Star San was gray, the foil looked liked grandma's doilies.
I lost a bit of foil under the foam for a day or two as well. Decided to dump it and make a fresh batch.

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2014, 12:42:11 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8981
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2014, 01:18:14 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

Aluminum does not take high or low pH. Take it from there.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2014, 01:40:53 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

Aluminum does not take high or low pH. Take it from there.

Huh? Wha? Sorry, not following...

Offline hopfenundmalz

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8981
  • Milford, MI
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2014, 01:52:28 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

Aluminum does not take high or low pH. Take it from there.

Huh? Wha? Sorry, not following...

PBW will attack the surface layer on Aluminum due to higher pH. Star San has a pH lower than 3 and will attack the surface layer on Aluminum.

Production breweries use aggressive caustics that have a pH higher than PBW, and the acids that are used in breweries are more aggressive than Star San. You might discern why there are not too many Aluminum parts in a commercial brewery.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1412
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: PBW question
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2014, 01:20:29 PM »

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2014, 01:38:27 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

DO NOT WORRY that the dissolved aluminum will impregnate the inside walls of your spiedel fermenter.  As previously stated, clean and rinse well your Spiedel, avoid aluminum foil + PBW in the future, and all is well for future ferments.  That's a tough thing to deal with any OCD-based inclinations; don't give into that in this case as it would be over-reacting -- the spiedel is perfectly fine!  :> 
« Last Edit: December 18, 2014, 01:40:28 AM by brewsumore »

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2936
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2014, 03:53:54 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

DO NOT WORRY that the dissolved aluminum will impregnate the inside walls of your spiedel fermenter.  As previously stated, clean and rinse well your Spiedel, avoid aluminum foil + PBW in the future, and all is well for future ferments.  That's a tough thing to deal with any OCD-based inclinations; don't give into that in this case as it would be over-reacting -- the spiedel is perfectly fine!  :> 

Now just wait a minute...are you saying that the Speidels should not be cleaned with PBW?  I have not heard that before.  A quick (not overnight) PBW soak is fine as far as I have heard....
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 623
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2014, 04:14:17 AM »
Well we've got some folks talking about Star San, I'm talking about PWB....same issue with the aluminum?

Also, anymore input on whether or not this is a problem using this fermenter going forward? My OCD is telling me that there is some type of dissolved aluminum that is now stuck on my plastic fermenter.   :o

DO NOT WORRY that the dissolved aluminum will impregnate the inside walls of your spiedel fermenter.  As previously stated, clean and rinse well your Spiedel, avoid aluminum foil + PBW in the future, and all is well for future ferments.  That's a tough thing to deal with any OCD-based inclinations; don't give into that in this case as it would be over-reacting -- the spiedel is perfectly fine!  :> 

Now just wait a minute...are you saying that the Speidels should not be cleaned with PBW?  I have not heard that before.  A quick (not overnight) PBW soak is fine as far as I have heard....

Sorry if I was unclear.  That's not at all what I'm saying.  I would definitely continue to use PBW to clean Spiedels - just not at the same time with aluminum.  Just reiterating the following:

Alkaline cleaning products dissolve aluminum.   That's why one does not clean aluminum equipment with sodium hydroxide.

Offline ynotbrusum

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2936
    • View Profile
Re: PBW question
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 04:16:27 AM »
Gotcha - cool with me.
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"