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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Wheat malt for head
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Old 04-13-2007, 06:34 AM   #1
mew
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Default Wheat malt for head

I like a good head in a beer, and I've heard that some brewers around here throw in 5 percent wheat malt for head. Is this common practice for all types of beers, or are there some that just don't need it? I've also heard of other grains that increase head retention such as crystal malts, so maybe a beer with a lot of crystal will have plenty of head without any help.

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Old 04-13-2007, 09:28 PM   #2
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Try 8 oz to 1 pound Cara Pils (Dextrine Malt) for a dense, rocky head. It adds mouthfeel, too, sorta creamy texture. My advice is to mash it, but it can be steeped.

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Old 04-14-2007, 01:35 AM   #3
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Yeah, 1/2 lbs torrified wheat for me.

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Old 04-14-2007, 04:11 PM   #4
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Howdy,

I have heard roughly 2% wheat malt in your grain bill will help with head retention while not affecting the clarity of your beer. Make sure you don't go over 10% in your grain bill if your gunna use crystal malts. Dextrine malts I hear are good too but I have never used them.

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Old 04-14-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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If you wanna maintain a clearer beer, go with 1/2 to 1 pound of carapils (dextine).
This APA was just kegged and force carb'd. It cleared up a lot after a few days chiiling in the keg.

apa_kegged.jpg

Flaked wheat will give you a good creamy head as well.

belgian_wit_1.jpg

belgian_blond_pour.jpg  
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Old 04-14-2007, 05:17 PM   #6
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There was an article in BYO last year that was pretty interesting, I wish I could find the link. It basically indicated (at least the author's opinion) that good techniques were more responsible for head and head retention than auxiliary grains such as wheat. To me it makes sense as wheat malt is said to aid head due to the extra proteins, but in reality the protein content of wheat malt is only slightly higher than most barley malts.

OTOH, there is too much anecdotal and empirical evidence to ignore. Give it a try and see what works. I know I've had head issues in the past, but I think as I've improved upon my procedures and rigor it has improved to the point where I don't ever think of adding a malt purely for head effects.

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Old 04-15-2007, 01:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
There was an article in BYO last year that was pretty interesting, I wish I could find the link. It basically indicated (at least the author's opinion) that good techniques were more responsible for head and head retention than auxiliary grains such as wheat. To me it makes sense as wheat malt is said to aid head due to the extra proteins, but in reality the protein content of wheat malt is only slightly higher than most barley malts.

OTOH, there is too much anecdotal and empirical evidence to ignore. Give it a try and see what works. I know I've had head issues in the past, but I think as I've improved upon my procedures and rigor it has improved to the point where I don't ever think of adding a malt purely for head effects.
I agree about getting good head from elsewhere. Thats why I dont use the dextrine malts for body/head. I like the wheat cuz it gives the beer a crispness, and a good head.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:59 AM   #8
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Brew Strong podcast re: Head Retention (NOT Head Formation) - (Per Palmer) The head is created like a "Skyscraper". There are lots of parts that hold it up. "Z" Proteins & Hordine <-main girders, lipids<-stiffeners, Iso-Alpha Acids & Metal Ions<-reinforcers, etc. Conclusion - Wheat malt is better for retention than barley.

Do not skim your breaks (hot or cold). Do not use cocoa beans and other things that contain lipids (aka fats, oils). Palmer (or maybe it was Tasty) said they use some wheat malt in most/all of their beers. Careful not to over heat ("Excessively Thermal Load") your boil. You may get formation but not stability because you'll "denature" your proteins. Do not concentrate your boil either as more proteins will "drop out" than a standard boil.

"#1 cause of reduced head retention is a dirty glass"

The mention of Alpha Acids reminds me of another podcast that talks about the oils in hops that "flash off" at temperatures as low as 115 degrees. No more boiling hops. Only first wort hopping and post boil hopping (aroma hops at cool-down).

There was no mention wheat malt % to put in. Though I'm sure you could find recommendations on other forums here at homebrewtalk.com

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:23 AM   #9
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I don't think there is any doubt that a bit of wheat can improve head. It isn't the only thing that will and others might be more appropriate for a particular style. eg a little oat might work better in a stout than some wheat.

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Old 03-08-2013, 03:47 AM   #10
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This thread is quite old

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