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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through February 25, 2005 * Foam control question < Previous Next >

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Busted Still Brewery
Advanced Member
Username: Brewlabs

Post Number: 693
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, February 21, 2005 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

at what point do you add foam control. B3 website says right before fermentation...WTF???

I pitched about an hour and a half ago...can i go ahead and add it?
 

Dave Witt
Advanced Member
Username: Davew

Post Number: 672
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes.

You can add it to the boil to help prevent boilover, too. It works good to add as you're filling the fermenter. Then when you aerate, foaming is minimal.

(Message edited by davew on February 22, 2005)
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 497
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually, why not just wait and see if you need it? It works very quickly.
 

tranquil_liza
Member
Username: Tranquil_liza

Post Number: 207
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i have a two litre flask. i added two drops of fermcap to my one litre (quart) starter. i didn't have to worry at all that the starter was going to foam over.

i added 1/4 tsp fermcap to my 5.5 gallon wort prior to fermentation. no foam there, either.

i have yet to add fermcap to my boiling kettle. i have a 7.5 gallon kettle to boil 5.5 to 6 gallons of wort. preventing a boil-over takes caution. fermcap could save some tense moments here.

question....can i use fermcap in all of these stages without worrying about overdoing it??
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 498
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 12:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use it for all three, and I have never noticed a lack of foam retention in the final product. It's tremendous in the boil. You can wait until the very, very last minute before it boils over and five drops knocks it right down.
 

Busted Still Brewery
Advanced Member
Username: Brewlabs

Post Number: 695
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 02:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what is that stuff made out of? all natural i hope
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2389
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I believe the active ingredients are food grade mineral oil and vitamin E.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1208
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 03:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mmmmmm, food grade mineral oil, yummmy... :-)

A spray bottle with dihydrogen oxide works great for boilovers too...
 

R. M. Zelayeta
Junior Member
Username: Troglodyte

Post Number: 30
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

About a year ago, I purchased some foam control drops to help me run two starters at once. Last fall, I had an especially raucous WL 001 starter try to climb out of its airlock. I cut a drop twice, on two sanitary spoons, and added it to the starter...

**Poof**

No more Mr. Krausen. A little goes a long, long way. All beers raised off of that cake turned out as per usual--good taste, normal head, and usual color. Rather than use foam drops, I would suggest purchasing a 6.5 gal carboy, and a couple of 1.5 gal jugs at you local blue or orange hardware box.

Foam drops are black magic. If you insist on using them, keep a rosary handy and your misal open.

rz

PS: Foam drops are supposed to live in the fridge.
 

Dan Listermann
Advanced Member
Username: Listermann

Post Number: 901
Registered: 03-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am under the impression that antifoam is silicon oil. It seems to need mechanical suspension to work. Once it falls, it seems to stay down.

Dan Listermann
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2783
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 04:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I usually add foam control to the chilled wort right as I strain out the hops. I then let the wort site for 15 minutes to settle out some of the trub, transfer it to the primary, add the yeast and oxygenate. Haven't found the need to add it to the boiler, I just turn down the propane.
 

Paul Hayslett
Advanced Member
Username: Paulhayslett

Post Number: 660
Registered: 02-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 05:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> I am under the impression that antifoam is silicon oil.

You and Bill may both be right. There are at least 2 different formulations available, maybe 3. The product William's sells, Fermcap, lists "dimethylpolysiloxane" as the active ingredient. (Anyone know what that is?) B3's product is definitely different and Five Star sells defoamers for both kettle and fermenter. They may all use different active ingredients.

> Rather than use foam drops, I would suggest purchasing a 6.5 gal carboy,
> and a couple of 1.5 gal jugs at you local blue or orange hardware box.

Nice ideas but not always adequate. I mostly use 6.5gal buckets for primary and it was not at all unusual to have to pull the airlock before I started using foam control. Especially with very large or wheat beers. And a 1qt starter in a 1gal jug once overflowed on top of my fridge. I never want to have to empty, move, and wash behind my fridge again.

IMO, foam control rocks.
 

Chad Dickinson
Intermediate Member
Username: Icehouse

Post Number: 348
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 05:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I keep a bottle of.... get this..... O2 handy.
Good old cold water.

When my boiling pot starts to boil over, I squirt it back down with water. Yeah, not as fancy as foam control drops, I know.... but it works pretty well.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1210
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 06:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This sounds vaguely familiar to me.... :-)

Starting to wonder if flaxseed or fish oil would have a similar effect... May try it out next time for kicks...
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2390
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 06:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Flaxseed and fish oil have a noticeable aroma. The amount used to control foam is small but I wouldn't want to add any aromatic compounds to the wort. Mineral oil has virtually no aroma.
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 1211
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ah, but it's natural... Not sure if it'll 'bond' to the trub like the other stuff claims, but think I may try it on my next batch that I make for the bud crowd... :-)

Then again, I dryhop the majority of my ales so I think it would not be noticeable. Of course, adding oil to a beer to INCREASE head retention is just not adding up logically?!
 

Steve Funk
Junior Member
Username: Tundra45

Post Number: 51
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Tuesday, February 22, 2005 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Has anyone tried using vitamin E for foam control? It would seem very convenient to just pierce a gel cap of vitamin E with a sharp pin and squeeze out a drop or two when you need it.
 

Chris Bodley
Junior Member
Username: Cincichris

Post Number: 100
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mineral oil dsn't affect head retention - and it won't give any flavors to the beer?

I thought it just reduced the kreusen, didn't realize you could use it in the boil.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 2401
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The antifoam agent breaks down (the result is mostly water) during fermentation. That's why there is no effect on the heading of the beer.
 

Patrick C.
Intermediate Member
Username: Patrickc

Post Number: 279
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 01:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

A spray bottle of water works to stop a boilover, if you can spray the water and turn down the gas at the same time. Foam control prevents boilovers. You don't have to worry about watching like a hawk, just put in the drops and wait for it to boil. It may not be necessary if you have plenty of space in the kettle, but when I make 10.5 gallon batches in a 13 gallon keg it is definitely worth it.
 

Wayne Faris
Junior Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 60
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2005 - 02:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

In the last 15 or so batches since I started using a spray bottle, I have only had one boilover. That happened when I dropped the bottle, the top came off and the whole works rolled off the porch and into the bushes. Frantic stirring and turning the heat down kept it to a minimum. Wort does stink as it burns off the burner ring. That said, I boil 6.5 gal in a 7.5 gal pot and with the spray bottle, I seldom have a problem. Once past the hot break, the pot only needs minimal attention.