Author Topic: PBW Alternative?  (Read 6392 times)

Offline BrodyR

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PBW Alternative?
« on: September 22, 2015, 11:59:50 PM »
I've been pretty happy with using PBW except for the cost. I've heard oxyclean mentioned before as a cheap, effective alternative but never used it - any thoughts?

Offline Stevie

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2015, 12:14:08 AM »
I have been using oxiclean exclusively for 10 years. I have bought the fragrance free type in the past, but these days I opt for the 14lb box at Costco and just rinse a bit better.  I use a full scoop in 4-5 gallons for cleaning and a half scoop for soaking fermenters. One scoop is about 4 scoops of PBW.

PBW is nice, just very expensive.

Offline blatz

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2015, 01:49:13 AM »
I don't know why but PBW just seems to work a leeettlle better than oxyclean.

Denny has been using those tabs but I can't remember the name and he seems to like them.  I'll give them a whirl but I buy PBW in the big tubs and have a lot of inventory.
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Offline Stevie

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PBW Alternative?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2015, 01:56:21 AM »
This is the company that Denny uses. They have powder and tabs. www.craftmeister.com

Offline narvin

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2015, 02:17:21 AM »
I just buy pbw in the big tubs but the conventional wisdom is that oxyclean + tsp substitute is pretty close.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/11/super-charge-your-oxiclean.html
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Offline blatz

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2015, 02:53:20 AM »
I just buy pbw in the big tubs but the conventional wisdom is that oxyclean + tsp substitute is pretty close.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/11/super-charge-your-oxiclean.html

Used that for years.  Occasionally would have a scaling problem on long soaks, which was taken care of by a strong star San soak afterward, but it was annoying
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Offline Stevie

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2015, 04:35:08 AM »
I find the trick to avoiding the scaling is to use hot or hotter water when rinsing. Star San does the trick as well.

Offline theDarkSide

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2015, 12:25:47 PM »
I just buy pbw in the big tubs but the conventional wisdom is that oxyclean + tsp substitute is pretty close.

http://www.bertusbrewery.com/2012/11/super-charge-your-oxiclean.html

Used that for years.  Occasionally would have a scaling problem on long soaks, which was taken care of by a strong star San soak afterward, but it was annoying
The Five Star guys have been in the Brewing Network in the past and said the difference between PBW and Oxiclean is that PBW has a chelating agent which prevents scaling. 

That said, I've been using Oxiclean for years and never had any issues with getting stuff clean.  Sometimes a better bottle needs a little bit of a soak.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2015, 12:46:55 PM »
A chelating agent is only necessary if you are using hard water to create your solution. If you use softened water or RO water, the benefit of the chelating agent is moot.  Maybe this is why some Oxiclean users report no problems.
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Offline blatz

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2015, 01:30:06 PM »
didn't mean to start a sidebar conversation here, but the only times i've had scaling issues with the oxy/tsp mix is for excessive soaking (i.e. when I soak a keg, but don't get to rinse it for several days).  i never have this same issue with PBW on long soaks.

I use my tap water for cleaners - its soft.
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Offline tesgüino

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 01:35:40 PM »
I have bought the fragrance free type in the past, but these days I opt for the 14lb box at Costco and just rinse a bit better.
My theory is that it's like propane gas. The fragrance is good. You know you've done a thorough rinse when the odor is gone.

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2015, 01:55:26 PM »
For the amount we use as homebrewers, the additional cost is moot to use the proper product.  Why reinvent the wheel?
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Offline tappr

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 02:03:26 PM »
I use Walmart's Sun Clean.  I don't know if it is a match for Oxiclean, but it sure seems to work just fine on everything and cheaper than Oxiclean.  I'm using hot softened water.

Offline Stevie

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 02:41:38 PM »

For the amount we use as homebrewers, the additional cost is moot to use the proper product.  Why reinvent the wheel?
The savings is greater than any loss in efficacy IMO. I buy oxyclean at less than $1/lb. PBW is barely less than $3/lb if buying buy the 50lb bucket and closer to $8/lb in the smaller amounts.

Offline denny

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Re: PBW Alternative?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2015, 04:16:52 PM »
This is the company that Denny uses. They have powder and tabs. www.craftmeister.com

Yep.  Better than Oxi or PBW.  Drew did a test.....http://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/drew/craftmeister-cleaners-picturing-carboy-test

One thing we found is that the Crafmeister cleaners dissolve better than either Oxi or PBW.  Turns out that Oxi and PBW  source their percarbonate from the laundry industry and it has a coating that doesn't full dissolve until 140F.  Craftmeister uses percarbonate made for the chemical industry and it dissolves at 110F.  Don't get me wrong....both Oxi and PBW work well.  But Craftmeister works better.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 04:19:29 PM by denny »
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