Author Topic: Fermcap S  (Read 9781 times)

Offline tomsawyer

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Fermcap S
« on: May 10, 2011, 05:27:26 AM »
I got some and used it this last weekend on three boils and it worked great.  I love being abel to walk away from the pot when it gets close to boiling.

My question is, how does this stuff work?

Also, are there any potential negative side effects?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline richardt

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 07:10:56 AM »
I love FermCap-S.  It helps prevent foaming and boilovers by affecting surface tension.  It also keeps the krausen under control (don't need as much headspace)--no wasted beer in blow off tubes, no clogged or blown airlocks.  I'm able to easily brew 4.5 gallons in a 5 gallon corny keg with a fermenter lid and 3 piece airlock.  The same is true for my plastic fermentor buckets.  The "high-water mark" ring of trub in the fermentor is no more than an inch or so above the beer.  I do brew in a temp-controlled fridge which does help keep the fermentation under control, as well.
I've not noticed any detrimental effects (e.g., beer foam height or retention, lacing, flavor, aroma).

You can still get boilovers even with FermCap-S.  Two situations come to mind:
1.)  Boiling your starter wort in the Erlenmeyer flask--really watch the wort as it gets close to boiling and reduce the flame/energy or move the flask off of the burner ASAP (while wearing protective oven mitts on both hands, of course!).  I have a ceramic stovetop, so I sometimes move half of the flask off the burner to help control the rate of heat transfer as we approach boiling.
2.)  Bringing your first runnings to a boil while sparging.  The first runnings are more concentrated (higher SG) and more prone to boiling over.  It is easily neglected while your attention is directed towards collecting the second runnings.  Be sure to add the FermCap-S right away and transfer some of the second runnings ASAP to help dilute the first runnings (prevents scorching and boilovers, IMO).

Offline denny

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 07:52:03 AM »
As much as I love Fermcap S, I've started looking for alternatives since I learned that the manufacturer really intends for beer using it to be filtered before consumption.  I recently ordered some Fermcap AT, which I understood to be different and able to be used in unfiltered beers.  After further research, it appears that might not be the case.   It looks like either version of Fermcap attaches itself to yeast and fermenter and walls and doesn't actually end up ion the beer, but there's enough conflicting info to make me keep looking for the real answers.

Here are some discussions about it...

http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5587&page=3

http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2060

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/1/50540.html?1303949027
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 07:54:19 AM by denny »
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Offline tygo

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 08:07:15 AM »
Hmm, that's a bummer.  After reading through those links I'm a little queasy about using fermcap in the primary.  I could do without it there but I really like to use it when I'm boiling starters.  I guess the two or three drops I put into the starter wort wouldn't carry over to much of a concentration by the time it gets to the glass.   So maybe I'll continue to do that.

But I'm going to think pretty hard before I add it to the fermenter again.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 08:55:14 AM »
Interesting.  Not sure I'll use it in my fermentor, but it would appear that it wouldn't transfer from the kettle once the wort is cooled.  In any case, thanks a bunch for the info.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline james

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 08:58:33 AM »
I personally don't worry about it.  The amount I put in a 5 or 10 gallon batch of beer is less than a single dose of gas drops I used to give my kids.  That was dosed directly to the mouth where in beer it is probably dropping out or sticking to the sides of the fermenter


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 09:31:46 AM »
Here is the MSDS sheet for Dimethylpolysiloxane
http://www.cdms.net/ldat/mp2MT004.pdf

The LD50 (Rat) is 5 grams per kilo.  That sounds pretty safe to me.

I'd still prefer not to drink it though, but I love using it in starters, the boil, fermentation, even cleaning my carboys and kegs (PBW foams when I run it through my rig).  I either need a replacement product that doesn't need to be filtered or I need to start filtering.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 09:45:12 AM »
THe LD50 (rat) for 95% ethanol is around 8g/kg.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 09:58:51 AM »
THe LD50 (rat) for 95% ethanol is around 8g/kg.
Exactly.  Someone is more likely to try to drink a pint (or more) of 95% ethanol, than a pint of Fermcap-S (10% DMPS), and they'd be better off with the Fermcap-S according to the MSDS.  Although you might want to check my math. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline richardt

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 10:21:41 AM »
Good points to consider.  I use just a dropper (or two) full when doing a 10 gallon batch. 
I think a lot of it stays behind on the break material and on the yeast. 
In the glass, my beer foam is long-lasting and I note no unusual taste.
Kidneys and intestines seem to still be in working order.

I'd use none if I could, but FermCap-S really makes things less messy and wasteful.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 12:31:41 PM »
THe LD50 (rat) for 95% ethanol is around 8g/kg.
Exactly.  Someone is more likely to try to drink a pint (or more) of 95% ethanol, than a pint of Fermcap-S (10% DMPS), and they'd be better off with the Fermcap-S according to the MSDS.  Although you might want to check my math. :)

I started to do the calculation on converting the LD50 of ethanol to an equivalent amount of 5% ABV beer for a 100kg human, but it only showed something like 1.5L.  I concluded that rats can't hold their liquor like we humans.  That or I messed up the calculation which is possible.

If you use the recommended 2drops/gal, thats 10 drops in 5gal and that might be around 1g (20 drops per gram of water but this looks a little thicker).  We'll assume worst case that it all carries over to the 5gal of beer.  Thats still under the dosage for an average 0.5kg rat if he drinks the whole 5gal.  As a waxy substance I could see it possibly accumulating in fatty tissue.  I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't carry over even 10% in the yeast of an unfiltered beer.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 03:07:40 PM by tomsawyer »
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 12:44:40 PM »
We'll assume worst case that it all carries over to the 5gal of beer.  Thats still under the dosage for an average 0.5kg rat if he drinks the whole 5gal. 

yeah, but you know damn well the little fooker isn't going to stop at that first keg. "betcha can't drink just one!" is his working motto.
Mark Tumarkin
Hogtown Brewers
Gainesville, FL

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 01:51:34 PM »
THe LD50 (rat) for 95% ethanol is around 8g/kg.
Exactly.  Someone is more likely to try to drink a pint (or more) of 95% ethanol, than a pint of Fermcap-S (10% DMPS), and they'd be better off with the Fermcap-S according to the MSDS.  Although you might want to check my math. :)

I started to do the calculation on converting the LD50 of ethanol to an equivalent amount of 5% ABV beer for a 100kg, but it only showed something like 1.5L.  I concluded that rats can't hold their liquor like we humans.  That or I messed up the calculation which is possible.
If the LD50 (Rat) of 95% ethanol is 8g/kg and we assume it is the same for humans, that allows 800g of 95% ethanol for a 100 kg person, or 760g of 100% ethanol.  If it's a 5% solution, that's by volume, so it's 4% ethanol by weight.  One liter then contains 40 grams of ethanol, so it takes 19 liters to get to 760 grams.  I suspect it would be very hard for a 100kg person to drink 5 gallons of 5% beer fast enough to kill themselves.  You rarely hear about alcohol poisoning from people drinking beer, it's usually the hard stuff.

Although I think it also illustrates that the LD50 for humans is probably less than 8g/kg.  I think a 750ml bottle of 95% ethanol each would be enough to kill more than half of the 100kg people in the world.

Someone should check this math too. :)
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 01:53:35 PM »
It's a simple decision for me. If it's not barley, hops, water or yeast, it doesn't belong in my beer.

Offline denny

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Re: Fermcap S
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 02:32:17 PM »
It's a simple decision for me. If it's not barley, hops, water or yeast, it doesn't belong in my beer.

No sugars, spices, fruit, etc.?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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