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Old 11-30-2011, 03:57 AM   #1
StophJS
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Default Carbonation but minimal head

Figured I'd post this in here since it's sort of a beginners question. I've been reading about possible issues related to this problem, but I still can't figure out what's going on with my beer. Right now I have two beers in bottle, a cream stout and a holiday ale. The holiday ale has been in bottle for about 4 weeks now and the stout has been in bottle for 2 weeks today. The ale pours with a little head if I pour it rather aggressively, and the head disappears very quickly. The stout pours with negligible head no matter how I pour it. I've noticed that the ale has a head when I pour one warm for some reason.. I'll preempt the inevitable first question and say that there has never been any rinse agent in contact with my bottles or my beer glasses. Any advice is appreciated.

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:03 AM   #2
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How long are you chilling the bottles before opening them?

Bottled conditioned beer needs time in the fridge for the CO2 in the head space of the bottle to be absorbed by the beer as it gets colder. Be sure to let them sit in the fridge for a few days for optimum carbonation and flavor.

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post
How long are you chilling the bottles before opening them?

Bottled conditioned beer needs time in the fridge for the CO2 in the head space of the bottle to be absorbed by the beer as it gets colder. Be sure to let them sit in the fridge for a few days for optimum carbonation and flavor.
Wow I was totally unaware that chill time mattered in that way. A lot of the time I'm already drinking my beer by 1 1/2 or 2 weeks in bottle, so I leave the beer out at room temp to keep carbonating and just a chill a couple at a time to drink. Usually I throw them in the freezer for an hour.. Part of me figured there were downsides to this but I never really looked into it.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post

Bottled conditioned beer needs time in the fridge for the CO2 in the head space of the bottle to be absorbed by the beer as it gets colder. Be sure to let them sit in the fridge for a few days for optimum carbonation and flavor.
I have heard people say to make sure its in the fridge for a day or two, but this actually makes sense. Thanks for the simple explanation EdWort!
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:19 AM   #5
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It really does make a difference if you chill them for at least a couple days. Also, I've noticed it can take weeks after the beer has "carbonated" for the head to properly develop. I've heard other members mention that the type of glass, whether its wet or dry when you pour (the head will climb up a dry glass) and especially I've heard that if you use Jet Dry in your dishwasher it kills head retention.

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