Greetings! Regarding the use of Ferm-cap and Anti-foam products, supposedly they actually increase the head retention of beer because they actually keep foam type proteins in the beer instead of getting them stuck on the wall of the fermentor or brewkettle. I am exploring the possibility of using one of these silicone based products, but am hesitant to experiment because of my large batch size.(I am a microbrewery and can't pawn off experiments, and rename a beer like a brewpub can) Yes, I know how the product is all filtered out and supposedly helps head retention, but beer is funny and sometimes it diverges with sound theory.
My quandary is that I know some people who swear by it, and say it works great, but in reality their foam and head retention in the finished beer is terrible!! Maybe the product didn't hurt their foam, but they never had it in the first place. I worry that some brewers may be so happy that their kettle isn't boiling over that they are neglecting the truth of the finished product.
What are your experiences with this product relating soley to head retention? More specifically, how did these products work with your lightest, all barely malt beers? (I don't want to know your experiences with thick stouts, browns and proteinaceous wheat beers because any positive or negative foam contributions could be hidden really well there) If you have to dis someone hard just send me a private message--I'd like to get to the bottom of this. Cheers! Sam
Do you really want to add something like that to your beer?
If foam is an issue in your lighter products there are several avenues to run tests on that won't mess with your batch size. If an experiment went awry you could blend it away too. The bonus is the experiment didnt have any foreign materials in it.
Look at these areas:
Kettle Addition (Moss?)
Foaming on Transfer
Without knowing your process it is hard to recommend an experiement in these areas. PM if you want more info.
We started using Ferm-Cap and I have nothing but good things to say about it. We use a miniscule amount both in the kettle, and for beers that we filter, in the primary fermenter. We saw no reduction in the head retention of our beers. We don't make any barely malt beers, though!