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krausen pushed foam stopper out of my starter

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scottfro

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so i've been starting to use my own slants to make starters and i've stepped up from .25 L to 9 L last night (in a 1 L flask which is probably a bit small to do this job) and when i woke up this morning the starter's krausen pushed the foam stopper right off. Its still resting on the top with a small gap allowing the foam to escape. do you think i should dump this for risk of contamination or is enough gas getting pushed out that i could use something sanitary to push away the extra foam and transfer it to a larger vessel?
 

SuperiorBrew

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I had that happen once, I washed the foam stopper with starsan and sprayed the top of the flask and put it back on, all was fine.
Now I add one drop of foam control to each starter and have no more problems.
 

Dycokac

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SuperiorBrew said:
I had that happen once, I washed the foam stopper with starsan and sprayed the top of the flask and put it back on, all was fine.
Now I add one drop of foam control to each starter and have no more problems.
Foam control? Does Wyeast possibly use that in their Activator packs? I have no evidence of krausen on my last starter which i did with 1010 American Wheat. kind of creep'n me out cause the bag swelled and all...
 

raceskier

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I've had it happen twice. I now try to leave a bit more head space in the flask, at least 25% open. Gotta get that 4l flask now. Hmmm foam control huh? That sounds interesting.
 

SuperiorBrew

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Dycokac said:
Foam control? Does Wyeast possibly use that in their Activator packs? I have no evidence of krausen on my last starter which i did with 1010 American Wheat. kind of creep'n me out cause the bag swelled and all...
I would not think so.
 

raceskier

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I was intrigued by the foam control use in starters, so I thought I would try it out on my latest attempt. Unfortunately my LHBS did not have any.

So, I started to investigate FermCap S foam control and found this MSDS: http://www.brewerssupplygroup.com/p...ontrol/FermCap S 5D01530 PDS Apr07 Update.pdf

The active ingredient is dimethylpolysiloxane. Turns out dimethylpolysiloxane is the active ingredient in OTC anti-fart tablets and fake boobs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dimethylpolysiloxane

Not having ready access to any fake boobs that weren't already err..... implanted in someone. I went to the medicine cabinet and found some Gas-X. I scraped a minute amount off of one tablet and added it to my starter wort. I boiled it as usual and added the yeast from a smack pack. I knew my smack pack was good as it swelled normally. When I spun up my starter on the stirplate for a day, I got only the slightest hint of foam around the edges and center of the wort. I dumped the starter into the alt I brewed yesterday and this morning it was happily krausening away. So the experiment was a success. The only downside I can see is that when starting with say a tube of White Labs yeast, I won't get a good visual indication of viability. I plan to start ranching and storing small yeast samples, so I'm thinking I will skip the dimethylpolysiloxane for the early step up in order to get a krausen, so I know I have viable yeast.
 
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