Homebrewing - Home Brewers Blog

West Coast Brewer Home Brewing Blog

Category: Sanitization

A collection of methods pertaining to sanitizing home brewing equipment.

Home Brewing Cleaners

Cleaning and sanitizing your home brewing equipment is perhaps the single most important step in the home brewing process. Without proper cleanliness, your home brew is almost certainly going to suffer off flavors caused by organic compounds, residues, bacteria or fungus. In today’s blog entry, I am going to review some of the popular home brewing cleaners that are available on the market.

 

There are two typical types of cleaners available to home brewers, oxygen based and alkali based. Perhaps the most popular alkali cleaner is PBW or Powdered Brewery Wash. PBW was originally developed for Coors Brewing Company, but is now widely used in many large commercial breweries. PBW should be diluted to 1 to 2 ounces per gallon of warm water for cleaning kettles and chillers, and approximately 3/4 ounces per gallon of warm water for all other equipment. If time permits, it is best to soak equipment for approximately 12 hours in PBW solution and then rinse. PBW is capable of dissolving most organic brewing compounds without the need for scrubbing and is safe to use on all standard brewing equipment, including stainless steel. Powdered Brewery Wash is my cleaner of choice.

 

The most widely used oxygen based home brewery cleaners are Easy Clean and One Step. The main advantage to these cleaners is that no rinsing is required, but they are not typically as effective as PBW at removing tough stains or cleaning hard to reach areas.

 

It is important to keep in mind that cleaning is only the first step in preparing your fermentation, racking, and bottling equipment. You must also sanitize your equipment to insure that it is free of bacteria or fungus that could compromise the taste of your beer.

 

The above mentioned cleaners can be purchased here.

 

Home Brewing Cleaners

Home Brewing Cleaners

 

 

How to Clean a Keg for Home Brewing

The following is a quick video on how to clean a 5 gallon Corny keg.

 

 

To clean a keg you will need the following items:

1) PBW (Powdered Brewery Wash) or similar food grade cleaning agent

2) A scrubbing sponge or brush

3) A socket wrench or crescent wrench to move the body connects

4) Warm or hot water

5) A sanitizing agent such as Star San if you wish to sanitize the keg at the same time

 

Food grade cleaning and sanitization chemicals can be purchased here:

Home Brewing Cleaning and Sanitization Chemicals

 

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