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Old 02-01-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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Default Fermcap S conclusion?

Ok, been going through all the threads a bit, and was hoping to summarize the info and make sure i got this straight.

Fermcap S (or similar foam controls)

-can add to the BK. About 6+ drops for 5 gal. batch. When cooling, fermcap will settle in the trub and get discarded.

-can add to starter. To prevent boil-over on the stove in erlenmeyer flask. About 1 or 2 drops

Now, does that mean, that when you cool to pitch yeast, you have to put it in again to keep krausen under control? Another 1 or 2 drops?

-can add to primary. about 6+ drops per 5 gal. batch. when the air-lock/blow-off starts bubbling.

Does that mean, from the starter it will have settled out, and you have to put it in the primary again?

Then, what if a person wants to save the yeast-cake? Possible to or not? since the fermcap is settled out along with the yeast. Is it really possible to keep re-using yeast with the fermcap in it?

Apologies if any of this was in a thread somewhere, i searched and didn't find everything.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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1 drop would probably be sufficient for a starter. It would likely carry over from there to krausen control in the starter, but I've never tried this so I am just speculating.

You definitely want to add in both the boil kettle and the fermentor (if you want it for both purposes. It tends to get left behind in the sludge when you transfer.

I don't see why you couldn't keep the yeast cake. Fermcap is just food grade silicon...i.e., it is quite inert. I'm not sure here if you would need to add more of it to the next batch, though. I suspect you would.

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:00 PM   #3
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For the starter, I wound up using 2 drops in the flask, yeah. I put it in after the DME (though next time I'd put it in before) and it broke up the bubbles and prevented a boil-over. With a stir-plate I never get krausen in the flask, idk if this is normal.

As for yeast washing, I would personally say go for it. There is literally nothing in Fermcap that will hurt you and nothing bad could possibly come from having it in your yeast cake / washed yeast / future beer.

I am curious how much people use for primary fermenting, though. Doing my first corny keg primary today or tomorrow!

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #4
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I put a couple drops in the starter and use a stirplate as well and never get a krausen. I use it in the boil kettle but not the primary. I can tell you from the blowoff tube on my beer I did Sunday that it does not carry over.

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Old 02-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmnop View Post
With a stir-plate I never get krausen in the flask, idk if this is normal.

I am curious how much people use for primary fermenting, though. Doing my first corny keg primary today or tomorrow!
Thanks for the reply.
I would suspect if you put the fermcap in the boil for the starter, when using a stirplate it would get suspended again, eliminating the need for a drop to prevent krausen. That would confirm you not getting krausen with your stir-plate. Depending on the yeast you can get a good amount of it (like my belgian-wit volcano last week).

In the primary, from what i gathered, wait till bubbling starts, then add so fermcap stays suspended. If you do it before that it will stay at the bottom and won't work.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch-brew View Post
Thanks for the reply.
I would suspect if you put the fermcap in the boil for the starter, when using a stirplate it would get suspended again, eliminating the need for a drop to prevent krausen. That would confirm you not getting krausen with your stir-plate. Depending on the yeast you can get a good amount of it (like my belgian-wit volcano last week).

In the primary, from what i gathered, wait till bubbling starts, then add so fermcap stays suspended. If you do it before that it will stay at the bottom and won't work.
I only use fermcap in my primary. I drop a few drops in as I pitch my yeast, stick it in the fermentor and forget about it. I'm sure waiting for activity would make it more effective, but doing it right at the start has given me enough control to serve my needs. I tend to get a nice inch of krausen and not more.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch-brew View Post
Thanks for the reply.
I would suspect if you put the fermcap in the boil for the starter, when using a stirplate it would get suspended again, eliminating the need for a drop to prevent krausen. That would confirm you not getting krausen with your stir-plate. Depending on the yeast you can get a good amount of it (like my belgian-wit volcano last week).
I never had krausen in my starters before I got Fermcap, either, but those were American ale yeasts. I thought the stirring action of the plate (which is fairly vigorous) was keeping it from forming. Either way, I have a wit yeast that I Fermcap'd as I described before on the stir plate right now, and it hasn't made a peep of foam.

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I only use fermcap in my primary. I drop a few drops in as I pitch my yeast, stick it in the fermentor and forget about it. I'm sure waiting for activity would make it more effective, but doing it right at the start has given me enough control to serve my needs. I tend to get a nice inch of krausen and not more.
Just to clarify: would you say "a few drops" is more like 2 or more like 4 or more like 6?
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmnop View Post
Just to clarify: would you say "a few drops" is more like 2 or more like 4 or more like 6?
5 or 6, but that stuff is so goopy that it's hard to say for sure.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:23 PM   #9
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5 or 6, but that stuff is so goopy that it's hard to say for sure.
Yeah, I was a bit surprised at how solidly it comes out. Thanks!
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:23 PM   #10
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I use fermcap to boil 7 gallons in an 8 gallon pot. Works like a charm. It seems to have some carryover to fermentation. I have never had a blow-off. I do not add fermcap to the fermenter.

Fermcap will not prevent erlenmeyer flask "volcano boil over" if you drop the stirbar into the flask just before bioling temperature is reached. Don't ask me how I know this......

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