Exchilerator recently sent me their new brewery wash to test out in my home brewery. I’ve always used PBW as my trusty cleaner, but I was happy to experiment with their new formula that they’re really excited about. While this wash was generously provided by Exchilerator in exchange for a product review, this is my honest opinion and experience using the product.
Brewery Wash Overview
Exchilerator’s brewery wash was developed in partnership with Logic and was designed for breweries, but more specifically for use in their line of counterflow wort chillers. The wash features a proprietary formula to better clean and flush wort chillers. That being said, I’ve been using the wash exclusively for a few months on all of my brew gear. Fermenters, the Exchilerator Maxx, kegs, carboys, brew kettles, stainless tables, mash tuns, you name it.
The brewery cleaner is 100% eco-friendly, biodegradable, and made from 100% renewable materials. The wash is non-corrosive and completely safe for all metals in your brewery. Exchilerator also claims it will also not remove the patina on copper or passivation from stainless steel.
How to Use Exchilerator’s Brewery Wash
The brewery wash looks like your typical granular powdered solution. A dosage of 1 tablespoon (.5 ounce) per gallon of warm/hot water is recommended for cleaning all equipment. Chillers should be flushed for 3-5 minutes with the solution and then be flushed with warm fresh water. That’s all there is to it. For tougher jobs, such as kettles, fermenters, or corny kegs, Exchilerator recommends a 24-hour soak.
The instructions say the solution works best when it is moving or being agitated over the surfaces being cleaned, but I’ve found great success with just soaking in still water. I’m sure recirculating my kettle during cleaning would make for an even better job.
My kettles and electric setup are on the newer side, so of course, they look nice to begin with. I’ve only got about 10 batches under my new electric setup. That being said, I’ve never really had to scrub my kettle with anything other than a soft sponge when using this wash.
I used this wash with my system after each of three big NEIPAs. All recipes featured hop heavy whirlpools and plenty of trub to go around. Usually, the kettle, false bottom, and electric element are all caked with a layer of sludge by the time I’ve transferred wort out.
My cleaning process has been as follows:
- I do a quick initial rinse of my kettle with my faucet sprayer to remove excess sludge and dump it down the drain.
- I fill the kettle with water, turn on my element to about 150°F to heat my water and add the recommended measurement of Exchilerator’s brewery wash (usually about 5-6 tablespoons). Recirculate or stir to incorporate.
- Turn off the element and let the kettle soak overnight.
- The next day I dump the kettle, flush with hot water with my sprayer one final time and dump water down the drain. I used a soft sponge around the edges of the kettle to ensure any grime was off but there wasn’t really anything. I did not scrub the element or bottom of the kettle.
Here’s what my kettle looks like after the final rinsing. I actually left the false bottom in the kettle while I soaked overnight. No scrubbing of any kind and the thing was spotless the next morning after rinsing. Everything was, to be honest—it’s powerful stuff.
This stuff just works great. It’s priced similarly to leading brewery wash ($13.47 for 1 pound as of writing) and the directions actually call for a little less per usage (only bout .5 ounces per gallon by my calc). I was personally blown away by how clean the kettle looked after cleaning with NO scrubbing. That’s more than I’ve ever been able to say. It leaves no film and no discoloration on the metal.
I’ve also been using this brewery wash for cleaning my fermenter corny kegs. I’ve heard people complain that cleaning corny kegs used as fermentation vessels is “a real pain.” Well, I’d beg to differ assuming you use the right cleaner and leave adequate time to soak. I never have to scrub anything and my kegs are always spotless.
As someone who is pretty particular and overlay paranoid by how nice my kettles and equipment look, you can say I’m really pleased with the cleaning ability of Exchilerator’s brewery wash. My kettles also have no smell afterward, so they just feel fresh and ready for the next brew day. I’m a fan, and I highly recommend you give it a shot, too. Check them out here.