Brewing & Distilling

Which Non-Caustic Cleaner is Best for Me?

Now that Birko has three different non-caustic alkaline brewery cleaners, (Bru-R-Ez, Cell-R-Mastr, and BBC) one of the most common questions we get is: “Which one should I use in my brewery?” My response can vary, and depends on how the following questions are answered:

  • What are you cleaning? (Brewhouse? Fermenter? Packaging? All of the above?)
  • Do you have an ample supply of hot water? (If so, how hot?)
  • Can you easily rinse with warm or hot water? (Or just cold water for rinsing)

Our flagship cleaner, Bru-R-Ez, is the best one for brewhouse cleaning and needs 140-160°F water for optimum cleaning results. To be sure, it can be used cooler than that. It also rinses best with hot water rather than stone-cold water. Bru-R-Ez is the least expensive per pound and is the most versatile as long as you have hot water.  If you only want to use one product, Bru-R-Ez is probably the best option in terms of efficacy and the bottom line.

If the brewery does not always have hot water mentioned above, Cell-R-Mastr works well, especially for the cold side of the brewery (equipment after the beer is cooled) as it only needs 120-140°F water for optimum results. It is not as quick as Bru-R-Ez in the brewhouse but rinses well with cooler water and is ideal for packaging equipment machines. It is recommended for Wild Goose, Meheen and Twin Monkeys as the preferred alkaline cleaner.

BBC, with its higher level of alkalinity (pH 12 instead of 11 compared to the other two), is proving to be very effective for fermenter cleaning, but to be honest, is not as effective as Bru-R-Ez for brewhouse cleaning.  BBC isn’t recommended for use on soft metals for extended periods compared to the other two cleaners for packaging line and parts soaking. BBC rinses extremely well, does not necessarily need hot water for rinsing, and can help save water in the brewery by taking less water than other non-caustic cleaners on the market. Read my earlier blog with other common questions about BBC.

Contact us and we can help you pick the best non-caustic cleaner for your brewery.


Dana Johnson, Technical Director, Craft Brewing, Birko, can be reached at or (303) 289-1090.