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Old 12-07-2010, 11:05 PM   #1
braceful
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Default Fermcap-s: Am I expecting too much?

Saturday, I brewed a Belgian Blond (OG 1.066) with a 1.5 L starter of Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes pitched 20hrs after making up starter. Batch size was 5.25g.

Fermented at 64* in a 6g Better Bottle. Did not use a blowoff, although typically I would have, because I was using Fermcap (1st batch using the stuff). Fermentation was noticeable (quarter inch krausen of small, delicate bubbles) after 6 hrs. At that time I added 10 drops of Fermcap-s. After 8 hours the krausen was about an inch high. I added an additional 6 drops of Fermcap as I was worried about a blowoff.

Sunday morning I woke to krausen in the airlock. I quickly rigged up a blow-off tube and added an additional 10 drops of Fermcap, which knocked down the krausen pretty well. Sunday afternoon, the krausen had risen again and the beer was blowing off foam. At that point I added about 20 drops of Fermcap, which again knocked down the krausen. Sunday night, yep you guessed it, the beer was blowing off again. At this point I said "F*ck it" and let it blow off foam.

By Monday night, the krausen had finally fallen some on its own. In total I lost about a quart of beer.

My question is am I just expecting too much from Fermcap? I bought it to prevent losing beer (and the other goodies that effect bitterness and head retention) from blow-off when fermenting in my BB. Have others experienced similiar results when using Fermcap in a 6g BB?

I noticed that this yeast doesn't churn as much as other yeasts I've used. Could it be possible that the Fermcap just settled into the trub and was therefore ineffective?

FYI, yes I shook the Fermcap before I added it and yes, it was refrigerated.

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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i always just racked into the BB onto about 5 or 6 drops of fermcap, then use my drill-mounted whip to oxygenate the wort, then pitch yeast and never needed a blowoff tube. when you were adding these drops over time, were you just dropping them drop by drop into the krausen or were you mixing it in in some way?

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:41 PM   #3
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I actually add mine in the boil and it seems to have some carryover effect into the ferment. I think rawlus is right in figuring it needs to be mixed in somehow.

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Old 12-07-2010, 11:52 PM   #4
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I add 1/2 tsp to the boil only (7.25 gal) and I have no boil overs whatsoever. There's clearly a carryover effect as my fermentations now are very quiet with very little blow off.

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Old 12-08-2010, 12:13 AM   #5
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My experience is it only helps in the boil. I've never had any effect in the fermentor.

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Old 12-08-2010, 12:22 AM   #6
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Same here- I only use it to suppress foam in the boil.

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Old 12-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by passedpawn View Post
My experience is it only helps in the boil. I've never had any effect in the fermentor.
I use it in the fermenters as well as my starter flasks. It works very well at eliminating blowoffs. I usually wait until the krausen is getting close to the top of the vessels then add a few drops.

The only time fermcap didn't work for me was when I used german ale yeast at 65*f. The next time I dropped the temp to 58* and fermcap controlled it.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:39 PM   #8
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bja, it sounds like your process is identical to what I did. Do you mix in the Fermcap or just add the drops onto the krausen?

I'll try adding the Fermcap before I aerate and hope the mixing helps.

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:42 PM   #9
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26 drops of FermCap?

Oh my.

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Old 12-08-2010, 03:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by braceful View Post
bja, it sounds like your process is identical to what I did. Do you mix in the Fermcap or just add the drops onto the krausen?

I'll try adding the Fermcap before I aerate and hope the mixing helps.
Onto the krausen, and I don't add them unless I think it's going to blowoff, so no mixing at that point.
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