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Old 11-03-2005, 09:37 AM   #1
mike004
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Default Getting a decent head on the beer

Newbie batch #3. I added some steeped grains and plenty of hops to a basic LME recipe. The difference between my previous LME-only batches is startling. Lots more flavour, smells better, more body. Recipe is shown below.

One problem, though. The brew has carbonated well and when I pour a bottle out it has enough bubbles to last until I finish drinking it. But I would prefer a small head on the beer. Is this possible using bottle conditioned beer. What ingredients should I add to get a decent head? Nothing drastic, just similar to most commercialy-available bottled beers.

===recipe follows==

Dark lager 4 UK galls.
-----------------------
Steeped grains
3.5 lb Light LME
1 lb Dark LME
0.5 lb light DME
0.5 lb crystal malt (steeped)
1.5 oz Hallertauer (50 mins)
0.5 oz Hallertauer (10 mins)
Irish moss
Safale dry lager yeast
Fermentation good after 12 hours.
Primary 12 days in bin.
Secondary 14 days. Hallertauer dry hops.
Bottled for 2 weeks -- Nice, hoppy, good carbonation. Not much head.

Thanks
Mike

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Old 11-03-2005, 12:11 PM   #2
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There are several different grains that will aid in head retention.

The most common is Cara Pils also called Dextrin malt.

Another one is oats.

Another is wheat.

Any of these added to the grist will aid in head retention.

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Old 11-03-2005, 01:57 PM   #3
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Thanks.
They have some "torrified wheat" at my local home brew shop. I'll try a little in my next batch.

Mike

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Old 11-03-2005, 02:01 PM   #4
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ON my 1st batch, I just used LME and DME with hop pellets. No other additives, and I got a great head on my beer. I did prime with a full cup of corn sugar for a 5Gal batch, so it is fairly well carbonated, but I was surprised w/ the head.

FWIW, one thing that I found out is that if you are using a glass from the dishwasher that uses a rinsing agent, like JetDry, or some such, your head will die in the glass before it even forms. I tested this out: Used one glass right out of the washer (I use Jet Dry) and one that I re-washed by hand with soap and water only. The handwashed one had a better head.

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Old 11-03-2005, 02:44 PM   #5
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Good point. Beer clean is a lot cleaner than dishwasher clean. I like to pitch champaign yeast into my porters and stouts before kegging, makes for great nitro-like heads. Haven't tried it in bottles though.

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Old 11-03-2005, 02:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Good point. Beer clean is a lot cleaner than dishwasher clean. I like to pitch champaign yeast into my porters and stouts before kegging, makes for great nitro-like heads. Haven't tried it in bottles though.
I'm brewing my 1st stout this weekend- when you keg, how much champagne yeast do you pitch? I might be interested in trying it in bottles!
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Old 11-08-2005, 12:31 PM   #7
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hand wash your glass in hot water only that seems to hold the head a little longer

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Old 11-08-2005, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
hand wash your glass in hot water only that seems to hold the head a little longer
All of my beer glasses get a hot water rinse only, no soap! I towel dry them and put them in the beer fridge.

My first brew took 3 weeks to carbonate and develop a good head, it looks like the second batch is going to take at least that long, if not longer. My basement is pretty cool around 65 degrees F.
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:41 AM   #9
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poor head retention can also be atributed to cleaning and sanitizing brew equipment.

use wheat in lighter ales and chocolate wheat for darker ales. i used some chocolate wheat in a brown ale and it rocked. nice head and collar of foam the whole pint!

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