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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: oscarvan on April 01, 2011, 09:09:29 PM

Title: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: oscarvan on April 01, 2011, 09:09:29 PM
The good, NO BOILOVER..... full throttle to a rolling boil....turn it down and maintain. SWEET.

The Bad. Big ol' paint strainer hop bag sealed. As in hang it above the kettle and it takes 1/2 hour to drain. The two don't work together apparently. Unless there's another reason for that. Which there may be...... Against the rule of never changing more than one thing at a time I also hung the bag in there before boil (for FWH). But, this means there was a serious hot break inside the bag as well.....

I'm hoping I got proper hop utilization.... :-[ It tasted bitter enough so I am optimistic.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: tschmidlin on April 01, 2011, 09:13:51 PM
I doubt it's the fermcap, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong.  Hot break makes more sense though.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: tubercle on April 01, 2011, 11:25:33 PM
Its hot break. Tubercle don't chuck in the strainer bag until the break has settled and no problems. On the occasion where FWH is done, the bag is full of break material.

 Been there.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: oscarvan on April 01, 2011, 11:57:01 PM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2011, 12:02:54 AM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.
I have a false bottom, why use a bag?
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: euge on April 02, 2011, 12:58:17 AM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.

FWH is ok just don't boil the bag. It's already done it's work AFAIK.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: ccarlson on April 02, 2011, 01:00:44 AM
Fermcap was the worst brewing purchase I think I ever made. It didn't work for me. Save your money.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 01:18:05 AM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.

FWH is ok just don't boil the bag. It's already done it's work AFAIK.

FWH need to stay in through the boil.  I use both Fermcap and FWH in a bag and haven't experienced the problem Oscar has.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 01:18:47 AM
Fermcap was the worst brewing purchase I think I ever made. It didn't work for me. Save your money.

Hmmmm....tell me more.  Works like a charm for me so maybe we can figure out why it didn't work for you.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: ccarlson on April 02, 2011, 01:21:05 AM
I don't know what to say. I used the required amount and it boiled over. I then added more and it still boiled over.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: el_capitan on April 02, 2011, 01:26:01 AM
I have used Fermcap-S in 50 batches of beer, and have never had any problems with it.  In fact, it's the same bottle that has lasted for 50 batches, and may well last for 50 more.

I only recently started using it in the boil (last 20 batches or so) and was pleased to find that it was doubly useful.  I've also had success using Fermcap-S to knock down the foam when making maple syrup, although I had to add it several times.  

I really like the product, and highly recommend it to anybody out there.  It works great in wine, too!
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: euge on April 02, 2011, 02:36:53 AM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.

FWH is ok just don't boil the bag. It's already done it's work AFAIK.

FWH need to stay in through the boil.  I use both Fermcap and FWH in a bag and haven't experienced the problem Oscar has.

Take it out right before the boil starts, drain and put it back in after the break. Why not? A modified FWH. I bet no-one could tell the difference.

Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 02:41:15 AM
Take it out right before the boil starts, drain and put it back in after the break. Why not? A modified FWH. I bet no-one could tell the difference.



Ah, I didn't understand that's what you were doing.  Nuthin wrong with that.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: tubercle on April 02, 2011, 01:03:33 PM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.

FWH is ok just don't boil the bag. It's already done it's work AFAIK.

FWH need to stay in through the boil.  I use both Fermcap and FWH in a bag and haven't experienced the problem Oscar has.

  I don't actually "experience" the problem either because I don't go through a long drain time with the bag, I just squish to against the side of the kettle with a slotted spoon and I'm done. I'm too lazy pragmatic to go through all of the draining.

  I have noticed break material inside the bag though that stops up the weave in FWH (my preferred method) vs throwing in the bag after the break has settled. To me there is not enough wort in the hops to drain every little bit. Just squeeze and go.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: oscarvan on April 02, 2011, 01:39:13 PM
Not worried about the last drop either. What I am worried about is the bag being sealed and thus my hop utilization going south, or at least become an unknown.... I mean, when the water won't drain out, that means it doesn't recirculate either.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: tschmidlin on April 02, 2011, 03:50:48 PM
I know what you mean, but we don't know if it is plugged in the boil or if it gets plugged when you pull it out and it starts to drain.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 03:52:38 PM
I'm too lazy pragmatic to go through all of the draining.

Well the lesson you have learned (imagine Yoda voice).
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 03:53:38 PM
Not worried about the last drop either. What I am worried about is the bag being sealed and thus my hop utilization going south, or at least become an unknown.... I mean, when the water won't drain out, that means it doesn't recirculate either.

Maybe you just need bags that have a more open weave to them.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: tubercle on April 02, 2011, 03:55:09 PM

 Maybe one of these will help your situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFxuooOKe4o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7UBYqsOF0
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: maxieboy on April 02, 2011, 05:38:41 PM
I ditched the bags. Got one of  these  (http://www.northernbrewer.com/brewing/brewing-equipment/all-grain-equipment/false-bottoms/abt-large-hole-false-bottom-1-2-hole-no-elbow.html), (except when I bought mine they were $22!) wrapped it with fairly stiff SS screen(thanks TimO). Voila, "hop taco" on steroids! 225 sq. in. of straining area. Use an oz of whole hops to help out and you're golden. Gonna have to rustle up a pic...
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: euge on April 02, 2011, 05:45:44 PM
I don't know what to say. I used the required amount and it boiled over. I then added more and it still boiled over.

Are you sure it was used correctly? You add the drops as the foam starts to rise in the kettle. It knocks it right out and the foam doesn't reappear.

I'm sure it is the same technique for fermenters and krausen.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: denny on April 02, 2011, 06:06:28 PM
I don't know what to say. I used the required amount and it boiled over. I then added more and it still boiled over.

Are you sure it was used correctly? You add the drops as the foam starts to rise in the kettle. It knocks it right out and the foam doesn't reappear.

I'm sure it is the same technique for fermenters and krausen.

Actually, it is possible to have your boil turned up so high that not even Fermcap can help.  If you use a little caution, it works great.  If you assume it makes it so you absolutely can't boil over, you'll be in trouble.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 02, 2011, 06:33:34 PM
I have a false bottom in the kettle.  I use freely roaming hops (no bags to fence them in), and the fermcap-s has been no problem.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: blatz on April 02, 2011, 06:43:17 PM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.
I have a false bottom, why use a bag?

With pellets or whole leaf?  That may be the difference?
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: euge on April 02, 2011, 06:45:43 PM
Actually, it is possible to have your boil turned up so high that not even Fermcap can help.  If you use a little caution, it works great.  If you assume it makes it so you absolutely can't boil over, you'll be in trouble.

Jeez! I've never had a problem with it failing in the boil. If someone is boiling that hard- then it's an additional issue. AFAIK that isn't great for the end product.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: oscarvan on April 02, 2011, 10:01:05 PM

 Maybe one of these will help your situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFxuooOKe4o&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7UBYqsOF0

That is the very device I use, and clogged up.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: The Professor on April 02, 2011, 10:44:23 PM
Learning is taking place. Fermcap stays, FWH goes.
I have a false bottom, why use a bag?

With pellets or whole leaf?  That may be the difference?

I use a false bottom in my boiler as well, these days mainly with pellet hops...no problems at all and no schmutz going into the fermenter either..
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: blatz on April 02, 2011, 11:48:29 PM

I use a false bottom in my boiler as well, these days mainly with pellet hops...no problems at all and no schmutz going into the fermenter either..

So free floating pellets?  If so what kind of kettle do u have and who made the false bottom
?

I've not tried pellets only in years; I recently switched to a false bottom from a screen, but I've been skirred to try pellets not in a bag because of the horror stories.

I stock mostly whole leaf but if I could use pellets without bags that would be sweet!
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: maxieboy on April 03, 2011, 12:03:28 AM
I've always used 1 oz leaf for insurance. Works very well. Maybe one day I'll try all pellet. Or maybe not.   :P

hopfenundmalz and Professor: which FBs are you guys using? I'm using an ABT wrapped in SS screen suspended to give me the extra straining area.
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: hopfenundmalz on April 03, 2011, 12:06:13 AM
I can use around 8 oz max pellet hops without problems for 10 gallons.  Over that I should have a dose of whole hops in there to help keep some of the spooge above the false bottom.  I can use over a pound of whole hops with no worries.

Right now the boil kettle has a Sabco false bottom, SS screens with round holes.  The mash uses a pico-brewing false bottom, slotted copper. 
Title: Re: Fermcap-S The good and the bad.
Post by: pfooti on April 03, 2011, 05:10:16 PM
It's also worth noting that if you're having boilover problems you can turn the heat off and let the wort sit for approx 10 minutes right as it starts brushing 212F. That gives the hot break more time to coagulate and sink, keeping it from causing boilover foam. I used to do that when I had a 7 gal boil in my 8 gal pot, never a real boilover problem as long as I was paying attention. As soon as the temp hits 211 or so, I'd turn the heat off, have a beer, and turn it back on again. I have since started using Fermcap to help cut down on the ridiculous foaming I get during aeration and reduce blow-off as well.

On the other hand, it is definitely possible to boil over your wort from just excessive heat; the hot break foaming only makes the situation worse. Also, if your wort is really thick and syrupy (well above 1.100, say you're doing a partial boil but added all your LME/DME to 2.5 gallons) you can have boilover problems that fermcap won't help either. Fermcap just helps prevent boilovers and blowoffs by significantly reducing the foam-forming potential in the wort. Happily, it also drops out by the end of fermentation (I hear it adsorbs to the yeast when they drop) or else there'd be a problem with head retention.