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Old 04-09-2009, 05:41 PM   #1
GabrielKnight
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Default I want head!!

Why does a pub served real ale have such a good head, while mine has a few washing up liquid style bubbles that disappear in less than 30 seconds. I've got the flavour perfect but the texture is more like water than the milky texture of a good pint.

I'm just using Youngs Barley Wine kits atm, with Muntons spraymalt 'Beer Improver', but surely this can't be the only problem.

I've thought of recarbonating a little for volume, but the last think I want is a slightly fizzier version of my current brew.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Translation for Americans- "washing-up liquid" = dishwashing liquid.

First question- are you making sure to not leave any washing-up liquid residue on your glasses and beer equipment? Soap can kill a head.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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Translation for UK brewers: dishwashing liquid = Fairy liquid. "For hands that do dishes" of course.

I use a dishwasher, just like the pubs. This isn't just that the glasses aren't right. There is no inkling of any head, anywhere, whatsoever, in any container including the primary. What are the scientific processes that bring about a good head / mouthfeel?

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Old 04-09-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GabrielKnight View Post
Translation for UK brewers: dishwashing liquid = Fairy liquid. "For hands that do dishes" of course.

I use a dishwasher, just like the pubs. This isn't just that the glasses aren't right. There is no inkling of any head, anywhere, whatsoever, in any container including the primary. What are the scientific processes that bring about a good head / mouthfeel?
Are you calling me a Fairy!?

Head formation/retention, AKA foam stability, is the result of proteins in a certain size range being carried to the top of the beer by CO2 coming out of solution. If you're an extract brewer, I'm afraid I can't be of much help since I've never brewed extract. But there are some serious extract brewers on here who can help.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:44 PM   #5
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Well I'm 100% on this but try steeping carapils. It's good at giving you head...and keeping it too

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Old 04-09-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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If you think it's too thin, more dextrins would help. I only know how to get that by mashing at a higher temperature, though, so if you're doing extract that I'm not sure what the best course of action would be.

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Old 04-09-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigafoos View Post
If you think it's too thin, more dextrins would help. I only know how to get that by mashing at a higher temperature, though, so if you're doing extract that I'm not sure what the best course of action would be.
If you're adding dextrose (Muntons Beer Enhancer), that will probably thin the body. Adding malto-dextrin would help with body. Not sure about the head retention though with just extracts.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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just don't add too much malto or you'll get beer jelly

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Old 04-09-2009, 07:24 PM   #9
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Try dropping an expensive piece of jewelery in the primary.

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Old 04-09-2009, 09:57 PM   #10
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Yeah giving her jewelry always works, huh?

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