Five Star PBW Homebrew Cleanser Tips & Tricks, Compare Prices & Buying Guidance!

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts! This is a Top Post! See: All Top Posts

I love PBW!

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

This post used to contain prices, but in the interest of keeping information as up to date as possible, it now contains links to some top sources of PBW along with some thoughts about shipping and suppliers.  Historical pricing has been preserved and can be found toward the end of this post.

PBW Guidelines and Suggestions

Why shop around?  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.  Not so with PBW.  This is something that I go through relatively quickly.  Since we use this in bulk, why not save money and buy it in bulk.  Buy things in bulk that you use in bulk.

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.  You can easily pay the equivalent of over $20 per lb if you were to purchase PBW in 2 oz increments.  I’m not even sure why they make it.  I guess as a sample.  Along those lines, the 1 lb size should also be skipped.

Buy the bigger sizes (4 lb+).  If you’re an avid homebrewer and like PBW, it’s something you’re going to use.  Generally speaking, the larger size you purchase, the less PBW will cost per lb.  Buy the largest size your budget allows for.

PBW can make a good filler item if you’re looking to qualify for free shipping at sellers that require a certain order threshold to qualify for free shipping.

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.

Don’t disregard sellers that charge calculated shipping prices, with regards to cost… It’s the total to your door that matters.

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.

Shop around.  Prices change, sometimes quickly.  With calculated shipping cost sellers, your cost will vary based on your location in relationship to the retailer.

Use Tip – Remove Bottle Labels

Soaking beer bottles in warm PBW solution helps to dissolve labels and adhesive.  If you have some trouble spots of labels or adhesive that don’t want to come off.  Put a little PBW on a scrubby pad and rub directly on the spot.  The combination of full strength cleaner and the grittiness of PBW help make quick work of trouble spots.  See: Tip: Using Undiluted PBW to Help with Bottle Label Removal

Use Tip – Make Your Kegs Shine!

I like to use some full strength PBW right on a sponge to clean the outside of a keg when I’m reconditioning it.  That has two advantages.  Some grittiness and since it’s full strength, additional cleaning power. The picture above is from my post on rebuilding kegsJump To: PBW Scrub Section – If you look through the post you’ll see just how good the keg looks at the end.

PBW Sources – Save, Money Compare Prices

Specific Offerings

Quick Pick!

  • As of this posting, AIH has this for $25.19.
  • Get Free Shipping!  Adventures in Homebrewing is offering free shipping on most orders of $55 or more to addresses in the contiguous US.
  • Stacks With Free Shipping!  Adventures in Homebrewing is offering free shipping on most orders of $55 or more with a few exclusions.  Add On Items to Consider: 20% Off Seasonal All Grain Kits | 20% Off Seasonal Extract Kits | Sale Items

This is generally one of the best everyday values for PBW without having to purchase a larger 50 lb container.

PBW – Powdered Brewery Wash 4lbsPrice, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

New Option – PBW Tablets!

New tableted format for easy dosing. Use for growlers, spray bottles, glassware and more.

PBW Tablets at AIHPBW Tablets at Label Peelers

PBW Alternatives:

Related: Star San Tips & Tricks!

Pricing History

Important Note: This section is for reference only.  It contains historical prices that may not be up to date.  Pricing can be volatile and is subject to change.  Check each product page for current pricing, description and availability.

A note about shipping fee estimations.  If free shipping to addresses in the contiguous US is available at a certain threshold, 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.  For the purpose of this comparison, 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 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.  Cheapest shipping rates are used regardless of delivery speed.  These are figured to my address, I can’t figure these for your location.  Check the retailer for actual shipping cost to you.

Pricing as of 11/6/2018

Pricing as of 2/2/18

Pricing and ranks as of 8/17/15:


More: Our Last Fifty Finds!

Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application.  Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application.  Always read and follow manufacturer directions.

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1 thought on “Five Star PBW Homebrew Cleanser Tips & Tricks, Compare Prices & 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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