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Old 04-18-2013, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default Question...

about head retention?

So far I've made 3 batches and not a one of them has a bit of head retention. For that matter the only one thus far that has any head to it whatsoever is the very first batch which was the caribou slobber.

Is there something that I'm doing or not doing that is causing my beer to come out headless? It has plenty of carbonation, but little to no head and absolutely no lacing whatsoever.

I'm very saddened by this

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:07 AM   #2
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about head retention?

So far I've made 3 batches and not a one of them has a bit of head retention. For that matter the only one thus far that has any head to it whatsoever is the very first batch which was the caribou slobber.

Is there something that I'm doing or not doing that is causing my beer to come out headless? It has plenty of carbonation, but little to no head and absolutely no lacing whatsoever.

I'm very saddened by this
The very first thing that comes to mind is your glass. Because I made caribou slobber, and that recipe is totally foam and head city.

Can you do a "salt scrub" on your glass? Just moisten the glass, sprinkle with table salt right out of the salt shaker, and scrub the inside with the salt with your hand like it was scouring powder. Then rinse well, and keep the glass warm (room temperature). Then pour a beer and see how that is.

Often, the head retention (or lack of) is recipe related, but with that recipe I know for sure it's got solid head retention so I suspect the glassware.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:09 AM   #3
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3 things that could help with you head retention problems.Use flaked grains
wheat,oats,barley in your recipes.Carapils also helps.There may be other
reasons but these ingredients will help overall.Hope this helps.

Cheers

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Old 04-18-2013, 02:15 AM   #4
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The very first thing that comes to mind is your glass. Because I made caribou slobber, and that recipe is totally foam and head city.

Can you do a "salt scrub" on your glass? Just moisten the glass, sprinkle with table salt right out of the salt shaker, and scrub the inside with the salt with your hand like it was scouring powder. Then rinse well, and keep the glass warm (room temperature). Then pour a beer and see how that is.

Often, the head retention (or lack of) is recipe related, but with that recipe I know for sure it's got solid head retention so I suspect the glassware.
Under normal circumstances I would wholeheartedly agree with you on this except that I get good head retention with other beers poured in the same glass. For example, I drink Yazoo's Hop Project and have no issues with head retention on that beer. Thats the only reason I even bother with this question is because other beers that I drink have no issues... it's only mine ... I make bad beer i guess. Actually, thats wrong too, the beer I make tastes fine, just gives no head /end bad pun
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:51 AM   #5
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So what does your mash temperature profile typically look like?
And have you checked if your brewing thermometer is accurate?

Cheers!

[edit] I suppose the logic behind the questions should be stated: too low a mash temperature will kill head retention...

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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Under normal circumstances I would wholeheartedly agree with you on this except that I get good head retention with other beers poured in the same glass. For example, I drink Yazoo's Hop Project and have no issues with head retention on that beer. Thats the only reason I even bother with this question is because other beers that I drink have no issues... it's only mine ... I make bad beer i guess. Actually, thats wrong too, the beer I make tastes fine, just gives no head /end bad pun
Ok, well, you could do it anyway just to humor me. It won't hurt, might help.

Maybe commercial beers like Hop Project have far more hops resins, which provide crazy good head retention. A homebrewed IPA would be more of a comparison, since the hops oils/resins do make a great foam.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:39 PM   #7
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I treat my beer like I treat my girlfriends, flat and no head, I dump em. No, but in all seriousness, try Yoopers idea. Also how long are you letting these condition and at what temps? I have the slobber in bottles now and within 1 and a half weeks I had plenty of head. Keeps getting better each week and hangs out there for quite awhile. I followed the recipe, but as stated earlier, using some different grains will help too.

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:44 PM   #8
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I agree, defintiely try Yooper's idea. Your commercial beers may be too powerful for your puny glassware.

Note that if you are using jet dry in your dishwasher, you are killing most foam. Lots of detergents do the same.

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Old 04-18-2013, 04:50 PM   #9
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And commercial beers will always provide a different 'setting' then your homebrew, especially if you're new to the hobby. I only like to compare homebrews to commercial if I am cloning that brew. Such as Caribou Slobber is a clone of Moose Drool.

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Old 04-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
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Any trace of soap anywhere in your brewing process can kill the head. BTDTGTS. Mine happened with cleaning the bottles. Too much soap and a single rinse and I got 3 batches with no head. Yours could be the boil pot, the bottles, the glasses, anything that touches your beer.

Once I had mine figured out, I didn't need additives to get solid, long lasting head with great lacing in the glass. I typically have 3/8 to 1/2 inch of foam left in the glass when the beer is gone and it takes me over half an hour to drink the glass dry.

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