Bio-Film and PBW

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Daniel Parshley, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Daniel Parshley

    Daniel Parshley Active Member

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    I was sure I could break down all my equipment and keep it clean since I have worked in a microbiology lab. Wrong. After 36 batches, I had a visible film in my clear tubing and a sure sign I was headed for an infection. Wort will surely grow a bio-film quicker and better than anything I've seen. Some have shared in these forums about using Star San for general sanitation use and the need to use a caustic like PBW for buildups. The PBW worked and I gave everything a soak, rinse, and a shot of Star San. What is the recommended period for PBW cleaning of brewing equipment?
     
  2. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I clean and sanitize after every brew session. That may be easier since I am a BIAB brewer and now I'm using a Brewzilla electric all in one. In any event, I still clean everything when done.
     
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  3. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is a minimum amount of time for pbw, it's just the cleaning step and as long as you remove the gunk and debris its job should more or less be done. Some use of the hand or rag or sponge can help with the cleaning step. That said, I think its fairly typical for most to do a little soaking for 20 minutes or half hour and rinse. Star San only needs about 30 seconds contact time to do its job and is only as effective as the step performed before it.
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    PBW should be used hot - at least 120F - and soaked for 20 minutes minimum to be fully effective. I put 10 gallons of it in my system (HERMS recirculation), heat it up to 170 and let it pump through for 20 minutes. I'll then transfer the hot PBW to whatever kegs and vessels need a soak. It can sit sealed up (after it cools) and be reused.
     
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  5. Daniel Parshley

    Daniel Parshley Active Member

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    PBW after every brew session? I was soaking and washing with regular dish washing soap immediate after use and finished with a spray of Star San. Obviously didn't work. Others have said to use PBW hot. I made a batch in my boil pot, brought it to 150 F, and soaked everything (valves, bungs, tubing...). Then did all 6 fermenters.
     
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  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    PBW and an acid rinse, keeps my equipment sparkly-clean....
     
  7. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Didn't know that PBW could be saved and reused!
    Could I transfer it to a bucket, and keep it there until the next brew day? Say a week or 3 at a time?
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I may have to start rinsing before my CIP procedure (pump, RIMS tube and chiller). PBW is PRICEY!!! But worth it when cleaning beerstone and biofilm.
     
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  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    PBW is a high-PH cleaning solution. As long as the PH holds up, it's still effective. I find that it works to hold it in a covered bucket or in a carboy. Not so much in a keg. The PBW is fine but it makes the keg sort of funky. Star San in a keg is fine, probably indefinitely.
     
  10. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I too save PBW that's still "clean" in a covered bucket. Most stuff I do try to rinse most of the heavy gunk off first and used pbw is still great for soaking hoses and parts and running through buckets and fermenters. I do think it is a bit pricey, but I do prefer it over say Oxyclean. Oxy does a fine job but I think pbw does just a little better quicker, and I also like the way it rinses much easier. Absolutely nothing wrong with Oxy though and I do still use it, I just prefer pbw.
     
  11. Yaakov

    Yaakov New Member

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    What is your acid rinse that you use?
     
  12. Yaakov

    Yaakov New Member

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    What is your cut-off point with PBW alkalinity, before you toss it? I just ordered some and want to learn how to not waste it, but at the same time, not keep a bucket of crud around. Thanks!
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have some 90% phosphoric acid - I mix it at about a tablespoonfull per gallon. Sanitizes, too....
     
  14. Yaakov

    Yaakov New Member

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    Thank you!
     
  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    PH doesn't seem to be as critical for a wash like PBW as it is for a contact sanitizer like Star San. A range of 10 to 12 seems to be the accepted range. I always check to see if it still feels "slick" on my fingers and if it takes a thorough rinsing to get rid of that. As long as that's the case, I consider it good to go.
     
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  16. Yaakov

    Yaakov New Member

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    Great info...thank you!
     

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