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-   -   Help with headless Porter recipe! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/help-headless-porter-recipe-383091/)

Larso 01-20-2013 08:06 PM

Help with headless Porter recipe!
Hi, this is based on Randy Moshers 'Dicks Wheat Elixir Porter'.
I love this beer BUT it pours with an OK head which quickly dissapates leaving it looking like coca cola. The original had no roasted barley, I added that and intend adding more next time I brew it, will probably bump it up to 5% or so.
The lack of head retention is really bothering me. I've been told its the quantity of oats(I buy and roast breakfast porridge oats). Another much more experienced brewer has the same issues with this beer.
I dont believe its my process or equipment based on this other brewer having the same issues.
Can anyone tell me how to modify this recipe(maybe reduce the oats but I dont want to remove them completely) to get good head retention?
Maybe some of you guys brew oatmeal stouts/Porters with good head retention and can do a comparison?



Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.30 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 34.5 %
1.80 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC) Grain 2 27.0 %
1.40 kg Lager Malt (3.9 EBC) Grain 3 21.0 %
0.37 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (157.6 EBC) Grain 4 5.5 %
0.33 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (118.2 EBC) Grain 5 4.9 %
0.23 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 6 3.4 %
0.17 kg Black (Patent) Malt (985.0 EBC) Grain 7 2.5 %
0.08 kg Roasted Barley (591.0 EBC) Grain 8 1.2 %
10.00 g Northern Brewer [10.40 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 9 10.5 IBUs
18.00 g Liberty [3.60 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 2.2 IBUs
9.00 g Northern Brewer [10.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 3.2 IBUs

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.069 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.070 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.016 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.9 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.9 %
Bitterness: 15.9 IBUs Calories: 662.2 kcal/l
Est Color: 50.3 EBC
Mash Profile

Mash Name: BIAB, Medium Body Total Grain Weight: 6.67 kg

Yooper 01-20-2013 08:11 PM

Yes, oats provide a creamy mouthfeel, but because they are oily they seem to affect head retention and formation.

I'd try using flaked barley. That's what I use in my oatmeal stout, and it really provides both foam and foam retention. You could also use more cara-malts, like carafoam. That should really help.

pcampo 01-20-2013 08:33 PM

What about substituting some of those oats for carapils?

Larso 01-20-2013 09:35 PM

Thanks guys, will probably try both of the above.
Yooper, will I still get the same mouthfeel with flaked barley? or will it change the beer dramatically?
and pcampo, the same question I suppose?
I basically want the same beer with great head? obviously I've no problem with some changes but I dont want a completely different beer. Also, I want to keep some oats in there because theyre oven roasted(until smelling of cookies and golden brown) so I want to keep the character they lend to the beer. Can anyone tell me what level of oats I should be bale to use and get good head retention?



pcampo 01-21-2013 04:03 PM

Well any of those adjuncts we mentioned are going to not only contribute head retention but also change the mouthfeel a little differently from adjunct to adjunct. If you want to get a more accurate description of each adjunct check out morebeer.com and under their brewing ingredients you would be able to see a quick description, there may be a adjunct mentioned above that does impart any mouthfeel or flavor. From my understanding, I dont think oats are used for head retention. and since you roasted those oats, I would like to know if the roasting negatively impacts head retention, I really dont know.

However, your head retention problem may not be associated with your grains. There are other things that can contribute to bad head retention other than your adjuncts. For instances, your cleaning products, if you are using soap on your carboys and bottles, those detergents will defenitly affect head retention in a bad way. Or improper cleaning and rinsing will also affect it. Or even the beer glass that you use to pour in may have not been rinsed from the detergents. Most importantly, your mashing techniques can affect your head retention. Altering your mash schedule to enhance those proteins will help. If you do a protein rest, (120F-140F) that will break down those proteins used in head retention. A high body mash temp (158F) will help with head retention.

Another thing that contributes to head retention in a positive way are hops. Hops that have high alpha acid percentage will contribute to a lasting head.

Larso 03-17-2013 03:32 PM

Guys sorry for bumping an old thread but I've just been thinking my original recipe posted above uses 21% pilsener. Could I replace that completely with carapils? Any reason not to, how different are pils and carapils?

pcampo 03-19-2013 01:05 AM

I wouldnt do that. Too much of any adjunct that is non-fermentable is not good for the beer. They say you shouldnt have any more than 20% of your total grain bill adjuncts. Your talking about adding 20% of just ONE of your many adjuncts. Ive tasted a beer with too many adjuncts and it tasted funcky. Not only that but your going to greatly reduce the alcohol content of your beer by taking out 21% of pils which is a fermentable grain. Just add like 5% of carapils to your total grain bill, or none at all; just experiment.........the difference between pilsener and carapils, is that pilsner is a fermentable grain, or a base malt, which contain potentially convertable sugars that the yeast feed on, while carapils has absolutaly no fermantable sugars. Grains with no fermantable sugars contribute "body" to the beer, and in carapils case, head retention as well.

Larso 03-19-2013 03:45 AM

Thanks pcampo, ill look at that again. Learnin all the time!!!

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