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Old 07-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #1
jefferym09
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Default wheat and priming sugar

im curious if Wheat beers generally require more priming sugar than other beers. i bottled a Weissestaphen Kristall Weissbier clone with 3/4 cup corn sugar in a pint of water like i normally do but it barely retains a head. i brewed two Belgian wits before that were primarily wheat as well and had the same problem.

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Old 07-09-2013, 11:40 PM   #2
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Simple answer, they do require more sugar to conform to the style.

The proteins in wheat actually help head retention. But it is true that weizens and wits are traditionally highly carbonated, much more than the normal ~2.5 volumes for most American beers. Weizens for example can be about 4 volumes of CO2. So when you make the style, you should increase carbonation. If you don't, you won't get the same head you'd expect from the real thing.

In the future, you can use this calculator: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

Note that to get that level of carbonation safely (i.e. avoid bottle bombs), you can't use normal bottles. Thicker bottles (including most swing-tops) will work.

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Old 07-10-2013, 10:46 PM   #3
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so you're saying that if i primed it correctly to get proper head retention, but am using regular brown pry-offs bottles ( most of them from Deschutes) then i am looking at potential bottle bombs?

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:49 AM   #4
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Yeah, that's right. It's hard to get the classic thick pour without the right level of carbonation, and you can't really get that level of carbonation safely in normal bottles.

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:43 PM   #5
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well dang, oh well i'll have to settle for taste only, weird though it Tastes carbonated, it just doesnt retain head. but i guess thats good enough

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:53 PM   #6
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There's plenty of commerically available Hefeweizens with the traditional amount of head that come in normal 12 oz. bottles (e.g., Hoffbrauhaus). I just made a Hefeweizen with about 4.1 volumes CO2, bottled in normal bottles - no bombs, great head. Granted, I'm a newb and may have been lucky.

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Old 07-12-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wintermute2 View Post
There's plenty of commerically available Hefeweizens with the traditional amount of head that come in normal 12 oz. bottles (e.g., Hoffbrauhaus). I just made a Hefeweizen with about 4.1 volumes CO2, bottled in normal bottles - no bombs, great head. Granted, I'm a newb and may have been lucky.
I just bottled a hef in Widmer Brother's bottles. Hoping my luck is as good as yours, after reading this thread.
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Old 07-12-2013, 05:23 PM   #8
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Yeah, I mean it's not to say that you can't get a hefe with a lot of head with fairly normal carbonation. It's just one thing that helps get that real hefe look and feel. There could be other things going on, too, as part of the process. It could even be pouring into glasses that aren't totally clean, or that are TOO clean (have rinse aids in the dishwasher?).

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Old 07-12-2013, 07:26 PM   #9
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all i can say is that when i make a regular ale with mostly Barley, i add the same amount of corn sugar and get much better head (*snicker*). But as far as my wheat beers go i've had the same problem of little or no head. I'm a little afraid of just upping the sugar amount becuase of my batches (that was not a wheat beer) did explode. but thats a different story...

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