Author Topic: Fermcap S  (Read 9779 times)

Offline dak0415

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #45 on: May 12, 2011, 08:51:11 AM »
Ok, here's another Q.  Do the particulates in Fermcap S have a charge? (My thinking is that the would bind with gelatin or other finings and drop out).
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #46 on: May 12, 2011, 08:54:27 AM »
All of this had made up my mind that I will cut back or eliminate my use of Fermcap.  I made beer without it for years and even though it may not be immediately fatal, I have enough health problems already that I don't see the need to be potentially adding any more.

+1 Why take a chance?
Life is full of risks.  I'm convinced that this risk is less than many, and less risky than eating fruit sprayed with pesticide.  But do what works for you, no problem.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #47 on: May 12, 2011, 09:01:39 AM »
Ok, here's another Q.  Do the particulates in Fermcap S have a charge? (My thinking is that the would bind with gelatin or other finings and drop out).

I don't think its charged, it has properties more like a wax.  It would probably drop out from cold treatment, and if it were sticking to yeast then you could still remove it since the yeast would presumably still have external charges.
Lennie
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ccarlson

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #48 on: May 12, 2011, 09:15:35 AM »
Ok, here's another Q.  Do the particulates in Fermcap S have a charge? (My thinking is that the would bind with gelatin or other finings and drop out).

It's radioactively charged. Why do you think it works so well? :)

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2011, 09:19:28 AM »
Probably not news to anyone here but just a 1/2 oz hops as a first wort hop can reduce the boilover potential (but not nearly as well as Fermcap I assume, I've never used Fermcap).

Offline denny

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2011, 10:43:40 AM »
Probably not news to anyone here but just a 1/2 oz hops as a first wort hop can reduce the boilover potential (but not nearly as well as Fermcap I assume, I've never used Fermcap).

Ya know, I've heard that for years, but as much as I  FWH I've never found it to work for me.
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Offline pfooti

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2011, 10:47:37 AM »
I'd done some research on Fermcap a while back; my understanding was that quite a bit of it adsorbed to the yeast as they flocculated and dropped (otherwise you'd have lousy head on your beer).

Personally, I don't use Fermcap to control boilovers. You can prevent most boilovers (if you get them a lot) by just turning off the heat when you get to 210° F or thereabouts and holding for 10 minutes. A lot of boilovers occur because the hot break proteins start to coagulate and form a pretty robust foam. After a few minutes, they've formed much heavier clumps and end up just floating in in your wort looking like egg drop soup (another coagulated protein). I used to do long-boil batches on an 8 gallon pot (so I'd fill the pot to 7.5 gallons to get to my proper postboil volume) without anything but a 10 minute hold just before 212. No problem. Since then, I've gotten a much bigger pot, so I'm not too worried about boilover anyway.

On the other hand I still do use Fermcap-S. I toss it in right at the end of the boil (or sometimes directly into the fermentor buckets) to keep foam under control during transfer, aeration, and high kraeusen. I can fill a standard ale pail fermentor with at least six gallons of wort with no fear of blow-off. I use about 25% - 50% of the recommended dosing level and still get really nice foam control. All that translates to about 10% more beer per batch.

I have also seen it claimed (although not empirically proven) that PDMS will actually improve head retention in certain circumstances because you end up losing fewer foam-positive compounds in blowoff during fermentation.

... runs over to google scholar ...

Huh, lookit that. My affiliation with a university means that in addition to the normal journals I subscribe to, I can also get ASBCJ and other brewing science stuff. Good thing I married a chemist, I can even figure out what they mean some of the time. I'll look more into whether anyone has researched the effects of PDMS on the finished beer.

Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2011, 10:51:35 AM »
Probably not news to anyone here but just a 1/2 oz hops as a first wort hop can reduce the boilover potential (but not nearly as well as Fermcap I assume, I've never used Fermcap).

Ya know, I've heard that for years, but as much as I  FWH I've never found it to work for me.
I used to boil in an 8 gal kettle so I had very little room for boilovers, it's not a huge benefit but ime it definitely helps...a little.

Offline amish electrician

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2011, 11:35:48 AM »
So what does that make you, a pharmaceuticist?

That is one of the many things I've been called....  :P

All of this had made up my mind that I will cut back or eliminate my use of Fermcap.  I made beer without it for years and even though it may not be immediately fatal, I have enough health problems already that I don't see the need to be potentially adding any more.

+1 Why take a chance?
Life is full of risks.  I'm convinced that this risk is less than many, and less risky than eating fruit sprayed with pesticide.  But do what works for you, no problem.

I will echo Tom and say, yes, of course, if you don't feel comfortable using the product then certainly don't use it.  Your health will not be adversely affected by NOT using it.  But unless you have an allergic reaction to Fermcap, based on what I've been reading, the risk of developing any health issues when using it as instructed is very very very low.  I'd agree that your risk of problems from pesticides or E Coli contamination on produce is magnitudes greater.

Again, I am not trying to change any minds; don't use it if it makes you uncomfortable.  But if you are on the fence about it, let me summarize why I conclude it is perfectly safe to use.

It is present in many other foods we commonly eat, and although the FDA has set a limit on its presence to 10ppm that doesn't mean that at 11ppm you are going to be getting sick.  For food additives they do their best to make sure there is a wide gap between safe and problem levels.  This is seen in the MSDS data showing the acute lethal dose to be undetermined, again more than 5g/kg of this is a LOT. 

From my calculations, it seems that at the recommended usage, the highest amount of DMPS that could potentially be present in finished beer is below the FDA level.  But as some have suggested it may bind to yeast and drop out, lowering the concentration even further.

Also, DMPS is basically the same active ingredient in Gas-X type drugs, which are evaluated by the FDA.  Everything I've read regarding those indicates that there is little risk of problems in the event of an overdose, the biggest risk being an allergic reaction to inactive ingredients.  Further, there are no reports of any side effects I could find.

Of course there is always the concern of toxicity from chronic use, but for DMPS there appears to be little chance for that as it is essentially unabsorbed into the body.  So I think it is perfectly safe to use for me, I am probably doing more damage drinking the alcohol in the beer compared to the Fermcap. 

Offline jeffy

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2011, 11:45:15 AM »
Probably not news to anyone here but just a 1/2 oz hops as a first wort hop can reduce the boilover potential (but not nearly as well as Fermcap I assume, I've never used Fermcap).

Ya know, I've heard that for years, but as much as I  FWH I've never found it to work for me.

Same here.  I don't think FWH helps prevent boil-overs at all.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2011, 12:46:53 PM »
So how does DMPS work?  I suppose its reducing the surface tension of the protein-laden bubbles on the surface of the wort so they pop sooner?
Lennie
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ccarlson

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2011, 01:10:44 PM »
Probably not news to anyone here but just a 1/2 oz hops as a first wort hop can reduce the boilover potential (but not nearly as well as Fermcap I assume, I've never used Fermcap).

Ya know, I've heard that for years, but as much as I  FWH I've never found it to work for me.

Same here.  I don't think FWH helps prevent boil-overs at all.

Ditto. It's never made any difference to me either.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2011, 03:55:23 AM by ccarlson »

Offline hopvine

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #57 on: May 24, 2011, 02:59:32 AM »
It won't clog up a sprayer.  Just add it in the same concentration (roughly 2 drops per gallon) in the spray bottle if you don't want to worry about exceeding the ppm number.  Keeping it in the fridge is just good practice to reduce/prevent bacteria and mold.  You don't have to refrigerate a spray bottle of StarSan because the low pH (<3) keeps things sanitary.

I may be oversimplifying the method by which Fermcap works, but isn't it insoluble in water?  I believe it forms a thin layer on the top of boiling (or fermenting liquid) which reduces surface tension and therefore the liquids ability to foam.  This is why it is recommended that you add it immediately before the boil, or just as fermentation is starting; the upward currents in the keep it elevated to the top surface.  In the absence of boiling or fermentation, it would simply sink to the bottom.

Based on this, I believe you will just end up with a thin layer of Fermcap in the bottom of your spray bottle.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #58 on: August 26, 2012, 06:43:42 AM »
I'm just now seeing this discussion and my 2c  are: why are we using this stuff to begin with?

It's not needed to prevent  boilovers. Blow-off during primary is good for your beer. If you reuse leftover wort for starters you don't have to worry much about boil overs with them either.

Homebrewers like to point our that BMC is cutting corners wherever they can. Fermcap was made for them, not for us.

Kai

Offline majorvices

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2012, 07:59:14 AM »
All of this had made up my mind that I will cut back or eliminate my use of Fermcap.  I made beer without it for years and even though it may not be immediately fatal, I have enough health problems already that I don't see the need to be potentially adding any more.

+1 Why take a chance?
Life is full of risks.  I'm convinced that this risk is less than many, and less risky than eating fruit sprayed with pesticide.  But do what works for you, no problem.

Man, I've done sheets of acid, mounds of cocaine and smoked bushels of dope, consumed buckets of pills and literally thousands of gallons of beer and bourbon in my 42 years along with hundreds of cigars. But thankfully I have never consumed more than a dropper full of Fermcap, if that. Whew!  ;)
Keith Y.
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