PBW Price Comparisons and Buying Guidance!

PBW – Powder Brewery Wash is my go-to brewery cleaner. It is a non-hazardous buffered alkaline brewery cleaner and it.. works great.

Using the Spray Bottle Method for Star San means that I use so little Star San that it’s really not even worth price comparing.  I have made one bottle of Star San last for years using that method.

Not so with PBW.  This is something that I go through relatively quickly.  Under the premise of “buy things in bulk, that you use in bulk” I thought I’d do some price comparisons.

First observation… Buy the bigger sizes (4 lb+).  Never buy the 2 ounce size of PBW.  It’s not even close to enough for one batch of beer.  I’m not including it in the results here, but, you can pay $20 per lb for this size.  I’m not even sure why they make it.  I guess as a sample.  Similarly, the 1 lb size doesn’t make any sense at up to $10 per lb and is not included in this post.

A note about shipping fees.  If free shipping at a certain threshold is available, shipping costs are considered $0.  It’s more difficult to consider calculated and flat rate shipping.  $7.95 flat rate shipping could ship a bunch of stuff, so it doesn’t seem fair to include that entire cost in this comparison.  I’ve divided those figures in half.  50% of flat rate shipping fees are used when flat rate is available.  Calculated shipping is even trickier.  It doesn’t seem right to attribute the entire cost to a single PBW purchase.  Shippers have minimum shipping costs.  You may pay close to the same amount for two of something as for one.  To try and account for that, calculated shipping (in all but one case – as noted) is based on the average of shipping two items.  Cost = shipping for two containers of PBW divided by two.  Note that if shipping fees are calculated, they should be considered an estimate.  I can’t figure these for your location.  Check the retailer for actual shipping cost to you.

Results – 17 Offerings:
Note that prices can change quickly.  This is a point in time snapshot.  Check each product page for current pricing.

Amazon Offerings – prices on these can change quickly.  Check the product page for current price and availabliity

Compared to Last Update

These prices and shipping estimates were collected on 2/12/18.  Pricing can be volatile and is subject to change.  Check each product page for current pricing, description and availability.

Our last update to this resource post was completed on 8/17/15.  MoreBeer’s 50 lb offering held the most inexpensive spot back then.  It still holds the top spot today!  On 8/17/15 it figured to $5.02 per lb and has dropped to $3.94 per lb!  Kudos to MoreBeer for making a great choice even better!  Thank you for providing homebrewers with high quality and reasonably priced equipment and supplies.  The most expensive option that we looked at remains the same… Great Fermentation’s 4 lb offering.  That figures at almost $9 per lb and is the exact same price it was in 2015.

Pricing History

Pricing and ranks as of 8/17/15:


Quick Picks:

  • If you’ve got the budget or can go in on a group buy, one of the 50 lb offerings makes the most sense.
  • If you’re not ready to spend $200 on PBW, MoreBeer’s 8 lb PBW (with the prospect of free shipping at a relatively low threshold) is a great choice.
  • Double check Amazon’s offerings before pulling the trigger.  Some great deals can be had.  – 4 lbs and 8 lbs

Some Take-Aways:

  1. Retailers that charge calculated shipping have minimum shipping/processing thresholds.  Consider placing a larger order to offset that minimum.  Other items may ship for free or not much more.  Along the same lines, take advantage of sellers free or flat rate shipping offers.  Just get ingredients for your next batch or two.
  2. Never buy the 2 oz size of PBW.  If homebrew dentists existed… this size would be a free giveaway after you went to the homebrewing dental hygienist for your regular whatever-those-people-would-do.  Along those lines, the 1 lb size should also be skipped.
  3. Buy the largest size of PBW your budget allows for.
  4. Don’t disregard sellers that charge calculated shipping prices, with regards to cost… It’s the total to your door that matters.
  5. PBW can be a good add on item for flat rate shippers or an add on item to reach thresholds for free shipping at other retailers.  Examples – If you’re putting together a William’s Brewing order, their 8 lb offering might make sense to tack on under their flat rate shipping.  If you’re wanting to qualify for free shipping at MoreBeer, their 4 and 8 lb sizes are great add ons.  If you’re wanting to qualify for free Amazon shipping look for qualifying 4 lb and 8 lb offerings on Amazon to help get you there.
  6. Shop around.  Prices change, sometimes quickly.  With calculated shipping cost sellers, your cost will vary based on your location in relationship to the retailer.

One thought on “PBW Price Comparisons and Buying Guidance!

  1. Lewy

    Williams Brewing has the 50# PBW for 164.90 plus 18.33 shipping (for me to San Diego) Totaling 3.66 per pound.

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