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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Let's talk about Foam Control drops (aka Fermcap)
View Poll Results: What do you think of Foam Control/Fermcap Drops?
I've tried it -- love the stuff! 398 31.64%
I've tried it -- meh. 48 3.82%
I haven't tried it, but mean to. 527 41.89%
I haven't even heard of this before. 152 12.08%
Don't put that in my beer -- Reinheitsgebot baby! 133 10.57%
Voters: 1258. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-18-2010, 06:47 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by SupraSPL View Post
Interesting tip. For any brewers that try this, make sure the pennies are actually copper (1981 or earlier).
But after that they were copper coated, right? So it should still work.
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:49 PM   #152
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I've been having some vicious blowoffs recently...well ever since I got my stirplate.

And you say this will help me?

I fill a 6G BB with 5.25G of wort. (I Really want a 7G BB)


I've read this will make my final more bitter...thoughts?

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Old 03-18-2010, 08:10 PM   #153
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Actually, it tends to INCREASE head. Read the early parts of the thread to find out why.
Mili grazi


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There are lots of people with the same reaction as you. If the added convenience of it (magic stuff) is not enough to outweigh your fear of the product, then obviously there is no reason to use it.
Indeed.

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It is actually designed to NOT make it into your beer. This is clever stuff. On its own, it is relatively heavy and does not carry a charge, meaning that it won't dissolve in water. However, with a bit of agitation (e.g., a rolling boil or active fermentation), it gets stirred up and suspends in the wort/beer. That's when it does its magic. When activity calms down, it drops out. When you siphon or rack off your beer or wort, it stays behind in the trub.
So it's miscible in water, but not soluble? And heavier than water so it precipitates out of solution?
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:26 PM   #154
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So it's miscible in water, but not soluble? And heavier than water so it precipitates out of solution?
No, it is NEVER soluble in water. It can only be held in water by suspension.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:50 PM   #155
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But after that they were copper coated, right? So it should still work.
The inside of them is zinc. I don't think you would want to get any of that in your brew. Cut one open on a hack saw.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:29 PM   #156
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The inside of them is zinc. I don't think you would want to get any of that in your brew. Cut one open on a hack saw.
How much zinc is bad for you? Isn't it like a vitamin or something?
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:20 PM   #157
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http://msds.chem.ox.ac.uk/ZI/zinc.html

http://cartwright.chem.ox.ac.uk/hsci...cals/zinc.html

I've seen punctured pennies that look full of white powder. It may not be that bad, but as a hobbyist metal worker, I hear a lot of people talk about NOT using zinc plated metal due to fumes that can burn off of it that can be very harmful.
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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what-kind-r-value-ferm-chamber-190459/
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:29 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by JayInJersey View Post
I've been having some vicious blowoffs recently...well ever since I got my stirplate.

And you say this will help me?

I fill a 6G BB with 5.25G of wort. (I Really want a 7G BB)


I've read this will make my final more bitter...thoughts?
I just brewed and fermented (2) 5.25 gallon batches with Belgian yeast strains and 6 lbs of wheat DME. Normally that would be 24-36 hours of nonstop foam and goop blowoff. I added 3 drops of Fermcap S and I am glad to report ZERO blowoff. There was a healthy krausen which almost perfectly filled the headspace. This is a game changer for me because it allows me to use wheat DME rather than wheat LME.

I imagine there will be increased bitterness because a lot escapes during the blowoff (taste the blowoff foam sometime). If hope there is because my last brew came out too sweet and so far I am blaming it on the loss of bitterness from blowoff. Luckily the sweetness if mellowing out a bit with time.

One thing I am concerned about though, when to add the fermcap? On my first batch I added it right after I pitched the yeast. I added 3 drops and swirled the bottle to mix in the fermcap and the foam instantly disappeared. When I shook the bottle it would be smooth as glass and when I stopped a bunch of bubbles came up. In other words I suspect that the fermcap may have released some of the gas that I painstakingly aerated into the wort (by shaking violently for a few minutes)

On my second batch I waited until the krausen began to form before I added the fermcap. As far as I understand the yeast will gobble up the oxygen in the first few hours.
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Old 05-06-2010, 09:13 PM   #159
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How far up the sides are people filling carboys when using Fermcap S?

I did a three gallon IPA batch in a three gallon carboy (the three gallon mark on mine is right where it starts to taper at the top) and got some blowoff after adding Fermcap s drops.

I'm not surprised it had some blowoff but I'm curious what other people are doing in carboy's. A picture would be great.

Do you just drop the drops in and forget about it or do you shake it up after adding the drops to disperse the Fermcap?

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Old 05-09-2010, 09:13 PM   #160
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I added some of this stuff to my first batch last week during the boil and it did prevent boilover. There was hardly any foaming going on at any point during the boil. However, I did not put any in the primary fermenter as I've read that it will add about 10 IBU's to your beer, and I didn't want to make it anymore bitter. I did have to use a blowoff tube to handle the krausen when the yeast got going. Can anyone attest to the extra bitterness that this stuff supposedly creates when added to the fermenter?

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