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View Full Version : PBW is not strong enough!!



Mike Lachelt
08-07-2017, 10:11 PM
Hi all,

After making hopped and especially ginger ciders, I find that running PBW though CIP doesn't get the flavour out. You can still taste hop and/or ginger, even after cycling PBW through the CIP multiple times, and for a good long time. Can anyone recommend an alternative to PBW, maybe something stronger, or an additive of some kind that can help me to clean the tank?

Thanks all!

Mike

wailingguitar
08-08-2017, 06:35 AM
I use Birko's BruREze and have never had an issue with flavors being left behind. If you like PBW for it's ease and safe handling, try BruREze.

jebzter
08-08-2017, 07:48 AM
Why not a caustic? Something that is chelated, with a good surfactant package.

AT-JeffT
08-08-2017, 09:23 AM
A formulated chlorinated caustic cleaner will be much more effective. However, I'm guessing it's not the cleaner that is causing your flavor carry-over. Most likely, it's soft parts, or CIP shadows.

jebzter
08-08-2017, 10:09 AM
A formulated chlorinated caustic cleaner will be much more effective. However, I'm guessing it's not the cleaner that is causing your flavor carry-over. Most likely, it's soft parts, or CIP shadows.

I strongly recommend against chlorinated caustics, if by any chance you mix an acid or cip with out a proper an full purge of the concentrated co2 in the tank, it will evolve chlorine gas and it will destroy anything and everything it touches. Stainless especially. I have seen it happen(not at my brewery, but at someone elses), it is not worth it to even risk.

beerguy1
08-08-2017, 10:31 AM
I strongly recommend against chlorinated caustics, if by any chance you mix an acid or cip with out a proper an full purge of the concentrated co2 in the tank, it will evolve chlorine gas and it will destroy anything and everything it touches. Stainless especially. I have seen it happen(not at my brewery, but at someone elses), it is not worth it to even risk.

I have used formulated caustics in my brewery for over 15 years without a single issue. Chlorine is an oxidizer and works at lower temperatures, caustic really starts working well at 150f and yes NEVER mix acids and chlorine. I would however be cautious just randomly mixing chlorine and caustics it can cause issues

AT-JeffT
08-08-2017, 11:17 AM
I strongly recommend against chlorinated caustics, if by any chance you mix an acid or cip with out a proper an full purge of the concentrated co2 in the tank, it will evolve chlorine gas and it will destroy anything and everything it touches. Stainless especially. I have seen it happen(not at my brewery, but at someone elses), it is not worth it to even risk.

It comes down to your risk tolerance. Certainly know the risks before using it.

It was the only solution to a problem we had a while back. After 10+ years of using a PBW-like product we has bronze colored silicone stains in our fermenters. We tried caustic and it didn't touch it after a number of cycles. Chlorinated caustic got it off after one cycle.

We use it as a nuclear option in our brewery. We try and use it twice a year on our tanks and after positive micro results.

Mike Lachelt
08-09-2017, 09:21 AM
I use Birko's BruREze and have never had an issue with flavors being left behind. If you like PBW for it's ease and safe handling, try BruREze.


Thanks for the tip. I'm definitely encouraged by the ease of use and safe handling. Do you have an idea why it might be better than PBW? Definitely worth a try. I wonder if I can find it in Canada!!

Mike

Mike Lachelt
08-09-2017, 09:28 AM
A formulated chlorinated caustic cleaner will be much more effective. However, I'm guessing it's not the cleaner that is causing your flavor carry-over. Most likely, it's soft parts, or CIP shadows.

Hey Jeff, thanks for your thoughts. When you say soft parts, I'm not sure what you mean. I can only think of the carb stone...but I can taste ginger in the rinse water when the carb stone is taken out. I don't think it's the fittings. Cleaning those separately doesn't change much. What else might soft parts refer to? And, are "shadows" areas that the CIp spray doesn't touch?

Thanks again. Mike

Mike Lachelt
08-09-2017, 09:31 AM
I strongly recommend against chlorinated caustics, if by any chance you mix an acid or cip with out a proper an full purge of the concentrated co2 in the tank, it will evolve chlorine gas and it will destroy anything and everything it touches. Stainless especially. I have seen it happen(not at my brewery, but at someone elses), it is not worth it to even risk.

Thanks for the warning!! This certainly turns me off the idea. Are there non-chlorinated caustics out there? (Is chlorinated caustic what people standardly refer to just as "caustic"?

Thanks again, this is truly helpful.

Mike

Mike Lachelt
08-09-2017, 09:34 AM
It comes down to your risk tolerance. Certainly know the risks before using it.

It was the only solution to a problem we had a while back. After 10+ years of using a PBW-like product we has bronze colored silicone stains in our fermenters. We tried caustic and it didn't touch it after a number of cycles. Chlorinated caustic got it off after one cycle.

We use it as a nuclear option in our brewery. We try and use it twice a year on our tanks and after positive micro results.

Thanks! Given my risk aversion, I think if I use stuff like this it will be on an annual type basis. That way I could take the time to be extra careful and do it myself so nothing goes awry!

Cheers,
Mike

AT-JeffT
08-09-2017, 09:48 AM
Hey Jeff, thanks for your thoughts. When you say soft parts, I'm not sure what you mean. I can only think of the carb stone...but I can taste ginger in the rinse water when the carb stone is taken out. I don't think it's the fittings. Cleaning those separately doesn't change much. What else might soft parts refer to? And, are "shadows" areas that the CIp spray doesn't touch?

Thanks again. Mike

Mike,

Yes CIP shadows are areas that are missed or have inadequate coverage from the CIP system/spray ball.

Soft parts are anything non-stainless. In a fermenter, that's mostly your manway gasket.

BlackH2O
10-19-2017, 12:23 PM
I use Birko's BruREze and have never had an issue with flavors being left behind. If you like PBW for it's ease and safe handling, try BruREze.

I switched from PBW to Bru-R-Ez and had to go back to PBW. My tanks were visually dirty after my normal CIP routine with the Birko product. I don't think PBW is strong enough so I switched, but there were still traces of hops that were not cleaned until we went back to PBW. The owner is so irritated at the distributor that I even have to stop using the Birko products that do work well. Just my 2 cents.

wailingguitar
10-20-2017, 07:31 AM
I switched from PBW to Bru-R-Ez and had to go back to PBW. My tanks were visually dirty after my normal CIP routine with the Birko product. I don't think PBW is strong enough so I switched, but there were still traces of hops that were not cleaned until we went back to PBW. The owner is so irritated at the distributor that I even have to stop using the Birko products that do work well. Just my 2 cents.

That is truly bizarre. Was the temp and concentration right? Did you speak with Dana about the issue? That is totally the opposite of what I have experienced. I've been using BruREze since it first hit the market in like '96. When I have come into new situations we always make the change, and always with success.

BlackH2O
12-01-2017, 07:56 PM
I use Birko's BruREze and have never had an issue with flavors being left behind. If you like PBW for it's ease and safe handling, try BruREze.

I took your advice and got in some bru-r-eze, what a mistake. Didn't even clean anywhere as good as PBW and I was disappointed. Used it to CIP our fermentors, ran hot water rinse first, then the bruRez. Still had a visual ring of organic material around the top of the tank. We brew this beer minimum of twice a week and never had any ring when using PBW. So bad they gave me the 5gal pail for me to use at home. Believe me I wanted it to work, just didn't work out. My 2 cents from experience.

UnFermentable
12-02-2017, 02:28 AM
I took your advice and got in some bru-r-eze, what a mistake. Didn't even clean anywhere as good as PBW and I was disappointed. Used it to CIP our fermentors, ran hot water rinse first, then the bruRez. Still had a visual ring of organic material around the top of the tank. We brew this beer minimum of twice a week and never had any ring when using PBW. So bad they gave me the 5gal pail for me to use at home. Believe me I wanted it to work, just didn't work out. My 2 cents from experience.

Very odd. I have experienced the exact opposite. PBW has never given me as good of results as I have seen from other products including Bru-R-Eze, Cell-R-Master (both non-caustic alkaline), or Cir-Q-late. I tend to prefer the liquid (non-chlorinated) caustics myself, and have used products from Ecolab, Birko, 5-Star, Divosan, Loeffler, and a handful of others. PBW has been my worst performer. Even what I can obtain in India does a better job.

Both Cir-Q-Late and Bru-R-Eze contain sodium metasilicate (the active ingredient in PBW) although at slightly lower levels. They do have other additives as well which should enhance the performance (matches my personal experiences). Even then, adding more product (stronger solution) should give you identical results. Not sure why you would see such a worse situation from Birko products that contain the same active ingredient. Perhaps it has something to do with the water profile you have and the additives in the Birko. I use RO, and everything else has worked better than PBW when using the manufacturers suggested dosage and temperature.

barleyfreak
12-02-2017, 08:38 AM
Yeah that Birko's version does not work and 5 Star's does seems odd. I used to use PBW but switched to Bru-R-Ez and use it on my FVs. They sparkle every time. I use Cell-R-Master on beer lines and the Cir-Q-Late on hot side cleaning. All very effective for what I am using them for. I assume you got the dosage right. I think it is 1-2 oz/gallon between 140-160 deg for 30 minutes.

Unfermentable: Both Cir-Q-Late and Bru-R-Eze contain sodium metasilicate (the active ingredient in PBW) although at slightly lower levels. They do have other additives as well which should enhance the performance (matches my personal experiences).

I think you meant to say Cell-R-Master in the above quote?

BlackH2O
12-03-2017, 02:14 PM
I use 2 oz per gallon at about 160F even ran CPI for a bit over 30 minutes. Needless to say I was shocked as well. I will be going with Loeffler products. I wished it did work because the Birko distributor is local to me, a PIA to deal with but local. Now I will be grouping orders with 2 other area breweries to cut down of freight costs. On another note, I wish someone had told me that the Birko Ultra-Niter and Puma X, suck when it comes to cleaning high ABV and Hoppy beers. I thought I had done my research.

Geoff

Crosley
12-03-2017, 03:27 PM
I have been using Birko for a few years now and could not be any happier with all of the results.
Fermenters - CellRMaster
Kettle - CellRMaster
Kettle Elements (every month) Acid Brite #2
Lines - CellRMaster
Kegs - UltraNiter and XPuma

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

wailingguitar
12-04-2017, 06:56 AM
I took your advice and got in some bru-r-eze, what a mistake. Didn't even clean anywhere as good as PBW and I was disappointed. Used it to CIP our fermentors, ran hot water rinse first, then the bruRez. Still had a visual ring of organic material around the top of the tank. We brew this beer minimum of twice a week and never had any ring when using PBW. So bad they gave me the 5gal pail for me to use at home. Believe me I wanted it to work, just didn't work out. My 2 cents from experience.

I can't even wrap my head around this, not sure where the problem might be, but my experience over a lot of years is very much contrary to your experience. If this did in fact happen, I am guessing there was either an issue of concentration of temperature. Did you call BIRKO and discuss it with them? Dana Johnson is a top-tier guy when it comes to brewery chemicals, every bit of advice he has given me over the years has been effective.

BlackH2O
12-04-2017, 04:39 PM
I switched from PBW to Bru-R-Ez and had to go back to PBW. My tanks were visually dirty after my normal CIP routine with the Birko product. I don't think PBW is strong enough so I switched, but there were still traces of hops that were not cleaned until we went back to PBW. The owner is so irritated at the distributor that I even have to stop using the Birko products that do work well. Just my 2 cents.


That is truly bizarre. Was the temp and concentration right? Did you speak with Dana about the issue? That is totally the opposite of what I have experienced. I've been using BruREze since it first hit the market in like '96. When I have come into new situations we always make the change, and always with success.

Actually I didn't speak to Dana, never responded to my emails or phone message, their distributor was even worse. One other thing regarding chlorine, we use a fair amount of English ale yeast, and the first thing you are asked if you have a problem, do you use a chlorine based cleaners. Just saying.

BlackH2O
12-04-2017, 04:54 PM
I have been using Birko for a few years now and could not be any happier with all of the results.
Fermenters - CellRMaster
Kettle - CellRMaster
Kettle Elements (every month) Acid Brite #2
Lines - CellRMaster
Kegs - UltraNiter and XPuma

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

I hear you, I would love to be able to use it. Their warehouse is in the next town over and I could pike it up. But I have used the Ultra-Niter and Puma X products in my keg washer and have found hop particulate on several spears during random checks. Never an issue with the 5 Star but is was time consuming.

UnFermentable
12-04-2017, 09:46 PM
Unfermentable: Both Cir-Q-Late and Bru-R-Eze contain sodium metasilicate (the active ingredient in PBW) although at slightly lower levels. They do have other additives as well which should enhance the performance (matches my personal experiences).

I think you meant to say Cell-R-Master in the above quote?

Yes that is what I meant, thanks for catching that.

Consider me skeptical of where this is coming from. It sounds like someone who has a bias against Birko to me. Now the Ultra-Niter and X-Puma don't work either. Dana didn't return call or email to a customer who need help with a product issue and specifically sought him out. The other products with basically the same actual chemicals work. Seems fishy.

Used these products for many years in different location and different brew houses, and different water profiles always with good results. Not to say they are the best, necessarily, but I have manually inspected kegs cleaned with Ultr-Niter/X-Puma combo and sanitized with the Birk-OX and they were spotless. Re-passivated tanks, spotless. 7BBL up to 120BBL. And yes I dry hopped around 1.5# per BBL and 1.5# per BBL hot side in some. Cleaned with the Cir-Q-Late, Cell-R-Master, and Bru-R-Eze. Again 7-120's. Worked great. I know at least a dozen brewers who have experienced the same as well.

Met Dana a handful of times, and he is a genuinely caring guy who actually home brews as well. He gets back to me quickly when I ask him to re-send data sheets. Even when I am literally half way around the world, have an 11.5 hour time difference, and don't even purchase his products. I can't get the Birko here easily, so I use the concentration rates and procedures from Birko with equivalent chemicals and they work exactly the same. I find it very hard to believe he would just ignore an issue brought on by a concerned customer.

wailingguitar
12-05-2017, 05:26 AM
Yes that is what I meant, thanks for catching that.

Consider me skeptical of where this is coming from. It sounds like someone who has a bias against Birko to me. Now the Ultra-Niter and X-Puma don't work either. Dana didn't return call or email to a customer who need help with a product issue and specifically sought him out. The other products with basically the same actual chemicals work. Seems fishy.

Used these products for many years in different location and different brew houses, and different water profiles always with good results. Not to say they are the best, necessarily, but I have manually inspected kegs cleaned with Ultr-Niter/X-Puma combo and sanitized with the Birk-OX and they were spotless. Re-passivated tanks, spotless. 7BBL up to 120BBL. And yes I dry hopped around 1.5# per BBL and 1.5# per BBL hot side in some. Cleaned with the Cir-Q-Late, Cell-R-Master, and Bru-R-Eze. Again 7-120's. Worked great. I know at least a dozen brewers who have experienced the same as well.

Met Dana a handful of times, and he is a genuinely caring guy who actually home brews as well. He gets back to me quickly when I ask him to re-send data sheets. Even when I am literally half way around the world, have an 11.5 hour time difference, and don't even purchase his products. I can't get the Birko here easily, so I use the concentration rates and procedures from Birko with equivalent chemicals and they work exactly the same. I find it very hard to believe he would just ignore an issue brought on by a concerned customer.

Agree, I've been dealing with Dana since 1996 and he has always been Johnny on the spot when it comes to returning calls. Usually it is within an hour, the longest I have ever had to wait was, at most, 24 hours. There are only 2 guys that I will go to with brewing chemical questions; Dana Johnson and Dirk Loeffler. Agree that this all sounds like some sort of bias/smear job.

In addition to using BruREze for tank and brewhouse cleaning, we use Dana's keg cleaning routine (Ultra Niter/XPuma) and I couldn't be happier with the results.

Not sure about the 'distributor' thing, I have always purchased direct from BIRKO. Now that Country Malt is distributing their products, I may piggyback chemical with malt, but that remains to be seen.

barleyfreak
12-05-2017, 08:02 AM
I might as well pipe in again. I agree with the above regarding Dana at Birko. Always answers in a timely fashion. Always. Has always provided me the information/advice I need. And I too have had great success with the Ultra-Niter/XPuma combo for both kegs AND cold cleaning serving tanks. In fact it was Dana's article on cold cleaning bright tanks pressure that got me doing it and though he indicates one is supposed to be using a rotating spray ball in that case, I have been using static and the serving tanks still come out spotless. Same with the FV's with BruREz and I have dry hopped at as much as a 2#/bbl rate for the double ipa.

BrewinLou
12-05-2017, 01:05 PM
+1 for BruREz Been using it for 13 years. The only variance in cleaning performance I have noticed has come from water temp not being hot enough (120-140f), we preheat the tank with a hot liquor rinse now. Also not using the correct concentration. I have seen in a few instances the need to run the cycle longer if you have left a tank empty and dirty for a long period of time letting the dirt ring crush up nice and hard. BruREz is bullet proof, and very user friendly compared to caustics. Also make sure your pump has enough head pressure to feed you sprayball correctly.