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Old 09-21-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
EricM83
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Default Little or no head retention?

I made an English Brown Ale and it has very good carbonation, but the foam disappears within a minute or so. Any ideas on how to fix that in future batches? I was reading somewhere that said more often than not that it's caused from dirty glasses, but I know they are clean. I'm new to this so I don't know.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by EricM83 View Post
I made an English Brown Ale and it has very good carbonation, but the foam disappears within a minute or so. Any ideas on how to fix that in future batches? I was reading somewhere that said more often than not that it's caused from dirty glasses, but I know they are clean. I'm new to this so I don't know.
Head retention is a pretty easy fix- you can just add some specialty grain to your recipe that will help. Like, a little flaked wheat, carapils, flaked barley, etc. Not enough to impact the flavor, but enough to give you good results.

What was the recipe in your English brown?
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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not just dirty, but soap residue. they may be very "clean" but soap kills the head.

there are certain grains that do aid in head retention, however, if it is not a glass problem but recipe problem.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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I don't remember what I all put in it. It was a kit I bought from the LHBS. When do you add the stuff that you're talking about?

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
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In addition to the advice Yooper and Berserker have given, I will add that I find head retention improves the longer my beers are aged, up to a certain point (terminal head retention-ocity?). Head retention from my bottles tends to reach it's best about 4-6 weeks after bottling, and kegs (chilled, and hooked up to CO2) are at their best after 2-3 weeks.

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:47 PM   #6
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My first beer had great head while the second and third had none. I tried to figure out why this happened. I had put brown sugar in my 2nd and 3rd but not my 1st and attributed it to that.

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