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Old 11-09-2009, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default No head on my beer, but it is carbed, wtf?

OK, here's the recipe:
grain: 10# 2-row, 1# carapils, 1# crystal 60L
hops: 0.5 oz centennial FWH, 0.5 oz centennial @60, 1 oz cascade @ 30 min, 1 oz cascade 10 min, 1 oz cascade dry hop
yeast: S-05

Mashed at 152F, OG 1.048, FG 1.008. Everything went fine as far as I can tell.

***The 1 oz Cascade at 10 min was fresh first year wet hops from my backyard. ***

It has been on kegged and on gas for two weeks. Several days were at 30 psi. The current temp is roughly 40-45F. Serving pressure is 12 psi. But when I pour the beer it creates absolutely no head, even if I try to make it. The keg is definitely holding pressure and I can't find any leaks with soapy water.

So what gives? Did I mess something up while brewing? Could the fresh hops be screwing it up? The beer pours normally but with no head. The beer once in the glass looks to have carbonation bubbles. Very odd. It tastes fine to me, just absolutely zero head. Thoughts?

Thanks, Brian

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:55 PM   #2
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There's nothing in your recipe that would cause this. My first thought is that somehow something oily got into your beer -- that will kill the head.

I've never grown hops -- should they be dried out prior to using? Perhaps the oils from the hops are the culprit? I don't know, just thinking out loud here.

Another possibility is your glass -- are you using rinse agents in your dishwasher? Sometimes those can knock down the head.

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:57 PM   #3
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+1 on making sure you don't have Jetdry in your dishwasher.

Try hand-washing a couple glasses and drying them with a lint-free cloth and see if that helps.

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Old 11-10-2009, 12:28 AM   #4
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As far as I know fresh wet hops can be used as is. They don't need to be dried first.

And I have multiple taps. If I pull a pint off another beer, everything is fine. If I pull one off the wet hopped beer, there is no head. It's bizarre.

I cleaned this keg previously with oxyclean and starsan. I rinsed very thoroughly afterward. Is it possible that residual oxyclean could be causing this?

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:41 AM   #5
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It might just be a fluke. I guess it all comes down to, How does it taste?

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:46 AM   #6
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I am having a similar problem. I made an extract + steeping grains recipe for an IPA. It has been bottled for 3 weeks, It tastes great, it is carbed nicely, but there is no head. I also get a slight buttery mouthfeel in the first couple drinks. This was my first batch and it included 3 oz of whole hops and one oz of pellet hops (1/2 oz dry hopped).

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:57 AM   #7
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As an experiment, you might pump up the pressure on this and see if you can overcarb it a little and see what it does to the head then. Just for curiosity sake.

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Old 11-10-2009, 03:05 AM   #8
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I got a similar problem when naturally carbing a couple of batches in kegs. The natural carbonation in the keg worked great, I put them on gas and then after a few days the head just disappeared. I force carbed both batches and then put them on constant serving pressure and now their fine. Assuming your on constant pressure, and not swapping out CO2 connections each time you need to charge a keg to pour, you might want to try re carbing them at 30 psi over night and then putting the back on serving pressure. If glass cleaning, oils and everything else get checked off the list, I'd try that and see how it goes. Im still perusing the best heads on all y beers, but this is just something I tried and had good success with.

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Old 11-10-2009, 04:10 AM   #9
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+100 for big head!

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Old 11-10-2009, 01:11 PM   #10
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That's the thing though, I've tried over carb-ing it by keeping it on 30 psi for several days. When I bleed the pressure down to get it to serving pressure, it is obvious by the gas released that the keg has been holding the pressure. I'm sure there is no leak because 1) I've used this keg many times and 2) my CO2 tank has not run out even while putzing around with this keg at 30 psi. I don't get it.

The beer tastes OK, but the lack of head makes it look like I'm drinking apple juice.

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