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Anti-Foam Additives

I ran to a LHBS yesterday to pick up some anti-foam additive. They carry a Five Star silicone based product instead of Fermcap S. Instructions were sparse. The guys at the LHBS had not used it before.

When there was just a hint of foam on the surface, I added two drops thinking it would form a protective barrier. This morning the krausen was about 2" thick. Added two more drops and the krausen fell a little in the center. A couple hours later, the krausen had rebounded and is about to enter the neck of the carboy.

Is this how these products are supposed to work? So far, I’m pretty underwhelmed.

I didn’t really see it work when I used it so I stopped.

I’ve had good success with Fermcap helping to reduce boil-overs in the kettle, but am not convinced that it helps prevent blow off in the fermenter. As a result, I just attach a blow off tube as a matter of course for the first week of fermentation and then switch to an airlock once activity settles down.

Yep, blowoff hose is SOP. But you can lose a lot of yeast through blowoff. That’s what I’m trying to prevent currently. So far no blowoff, but who knows what will happen while I’m sleeping.

I use Fermcap in the fermentor for every batch and never worry about blowoff anymore. I fermented a 5 gallon Irish Stout in a 5 gallon fermentor with nary an issue. I’ve done a couple big beers in the past month - an 8% pumpkin ale and a 7.5% Barleywine and they were fine despite vigorous fermentation. Those big ones still end up with a krausen some 2-4 inches thick, but no blowoff scares at all.

Instructions on Fermcap are to add 1-2 drops per gallon. So, if your product is similar and you’re doing a 5 gallon batch, you could be well short of the recommended dose. I work on the high side, using 6 drops in a 2.5 gallon batch.

[quote=“Fu Shen”]
Instructions on Fermcap are to add 1-2 drops per gallon. So, if your product is similar and you’re doing a 5 gallon batch, you could be well short of the recommended dose. I work on the high side, using 6 drops in a 2.5 gallon batch.[/quote]
Instructions on the Five Star product are to start with one drop per five gallons. This product doesn’t seem to do anything to prevent foam, but it helps push it back slightly if there is foam. For example, about an hour ago I was starting to get blowoff. I added two drops, which dropped the krausen back down to the bottom of the neck.

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