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Old 10-14-2005, 02:15 AM   #1
Shambolic
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Default Carbonation vs. Head

I've recently switched to priming with dextrose instead of crystal cane sugar. Problem is, I didn't think, and used the same volume to prime with. This is significantly less by weight...

The outcome is that I have a lager here with minimal carbonation (possibly also my Fool's Gold Ale, but I haven't tried it yet). This wouldn't bother me overly, but it has virtually no head. This makes for an unattractive beer. Now (for example), Guiness is flat, but has huge creamy head, so it can't just be head = carbonation.

How do you get a good head on flat (or almost flat) beers??

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Old 10-14-2005, 02:21 AM   #2
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It's much better to measure your priming sugar by weight than by volume if you can get access to a scale.

As far as head retention goes, higher volumes of co2 will aid in developing the head but certain malts contribute to head retention.

Oats, Wheat, Carapils all help with head retention.

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Old 10-14-2005, 04:47 AM   #3
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As Scott mentioned, different proteins and compounds from malts (and even hops) will aid in head retention.

Since DME is less fermentable, you would need more per weight vs corn sugar, let alone by volume (which may be closer, DME is pretty fine stuff.)

When you refer to Guinness as to being flat but having head retention, are you referring to Guinness when on tap?

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Old 10-14-2005, 04:30 PM   #4
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The guy I get my stuff from tells me that steeping grains also contribute to the head - something about the proteins they add. There is no clear correlation between carbonation and head retention, as anyone who drinks a Coca Cola can tell you - highly carbonated but no lasting head (ditto for Dos Equis, for that matter). Some degree of carbonation is necessary to having a head but it is not enough by itself to keep a head.

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Old 10-14-2005, 05:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM
The guy I get my stuff from tells me that steeping grains also contribute to the head - something about the proteins they add.
Cara Pils will give you head. If not, try her sister Melissa.

(I know.. that was a bad one...)

Edit: Also I have been told that steeping some wheat will help out.

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Old 10-15-2005, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
Cara Pils will give you head. If not, try her sister Melissa.

(I know.. that was a bad one...)

Edit: Also I have been told that steeping some wheat will help out.

-walker
Couldda been worse! You laid off any easy and choice remarks about protein!
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Old 10-15-2005, 12:45 AM   #7
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When given the choice. I always choose head over carbonation!

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Old 10-15-2005, 01:40 AM   #8
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you must have never had goooooooood carbonation before.

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Old 10-15-2005, 02:48 AM   #9
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I don't guess I have, and you know what they say. If haven't by time in my life, I probably never will.

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Old 10-15-2005, 07:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
you must have never had goooooooood carbonation before.
Man, you're scaring the chit out of me. I heard something about you boys and your club soda. I'm starting to think the wife and kids story is just a front. We still havn't see the pic of your wife helping you get the siphon started.
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