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Old 11-17-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Heading on beer has a couple requirements. First it some time. It takes a bit of time for the proteins needed for heading to bind so if you are racking to your keg and drinking the beer the next day, don't expect to have much head on the beer.

The second requirement is clean equipment. Any residue of soap will kill head. I found that the hard way with too much soap and not enough rinsing of the bottles and ended up with 10 gallons of beer with no heading.



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Old 11-17-2013, 04:22 PM   #12
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Since your doing partial boils I'm guessing your an extract brewer. Partial boils are a big culprit of poor head retention. Try to boil as much water from your recipe as you can, even if it's not the entire batch.

Until you can do full boils, there is a product I used to use, called biofoam. It's super cheap, I used half of the recommended dose and had good results.

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Old 11-17-2013, 05:39 PM   #13
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So you decided to tackle a biggie as a new home brewer? Foam is a complex. Here's a few thoughts:

Foam Positives:
- CO2 - to create through nucleation but doesn't do much to preserve it
- Proteins - big hydrophobic ones. Complex topic. Try to stay away from protease active temps in your mash to avoid protein breakdown. 125 - 135 dF are the most active protease active temps
- More hops, therefore better foam mostly due to to the bittering acids
- Maillard products, so I have read. The combination of sugars and amino groups that takes place mostly in kilning and the kettle

Foam Negatives
- the opposite of the above
- left over detergents that are on the glass
- higher alcohol has been associated with less foam (all else equal)
- fats/lipids

From my experience, hops really do seem to be the biggest contributor though most do feel strongly about the proteins being the biggest contributor.

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