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Old 05-18-2012, 06:09 AM   #1
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Default Does head retention develop with age?

I poured a 2 week old RIS, which I understand is very young. When poured it formed an amazing deep brown head that disappeared almost instantly. Will head retention form with time, or is this the way it will always be?

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Old 05-18-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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I'm not sure I have heard or read anything specifically indicating head retention improves with age...

Some beers just don't retain head as well as others, especially higher alcohol ones. Consult the BJCP style guide to see what the expected head level and retentions are for the particular style you are dealing with.

There are other factors at work here though. Do a little research and you'll find that all sorts of things can affect head retention...namely glassware and cleaning methods. Some glasses provide better head retention and if you have used standard detergents to clean the beer glass they can sometimes leave films that will harm head retention.

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Old 05-18-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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In my experience is does. I could be wrong but I haven't had a 6 month old beer that hasn't kept a head.

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Old 05-18-2012, 07:18 AM   #4
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I would say it does. RIS and barleywine like styles can have relatively weak head retention though.

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Old 05-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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2 weeks and you're complaining that a RIS isn't ready yet? I wouldn't even be thinking about cracking the first one open for AT LEAST 6 MONTHS.

You're beers not even carbed yet, most NORMAL grav beers aren't carbed yet at two weeks, so of course head proteins haven't developed yet. Lacing and head is usually the last part of the process that develops.

Watch Poindexter's video of time lapsed carbonation, he shows how the lacing develops over time, except in your case replace the word weeks with MONTHS.


You're wasting your RIS if you sample any more of them until summer is over. It's a high gravity beer, they were meant to be aged, and travel....Some sat in casks for a year or more before they were consumed.

Llama's chart should give you an idea.



Ashpun is right though, most of those beers are really low on lacing and head...But what it will have needs to develop over time.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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Like Revvy said, head retention isn't your issue at all. Your beer simply isn't carbed up yet.

If I were you, I'd leave them alone for another two weeks, then try again.

Patience, Brother... Pez.

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Old 05-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pezman1 View Post
Like Revvy said, head retention isn't your issue at all. Your beer simply isn't carbed up yet.

If I were you, I'd leave them alone for another two weeks, then try again.

Patience, Brother... Pez.
Fer cher, but I'd leave it two months, not weeks. It's a RIS and the OP said it'd been bottles for only a couple weeks, that thing'll take another month at least to carb up properly.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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From Brad at Beersmith's description of the style.

Quote:
Imperial stouts are fermented at ale temperatures in the 63-68 F range, carbonated at low to moderate carbonation rates, and stored at ale temperatures or lower (as they were during the icy trip across the Baltic). Often Imperials require an extended aging period to achieve full maturity due to the high starting gravity.
The word "imperial" in the name should be a clue...when you have that word in there, that means you should be thinking long term about this beer.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:02 PM   #9
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yup, I've got a 9+% IIPA sitting in my closet for about 6 weeks now that is just beginning to show signs of life. It's killing me waiting for it.

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Old 05-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
From Brad at Beersmith's description of the style.



The word "imperial" in the name should be a clue...when you have that word in there, that means you should be thinking long term about this beer.
Oh yeah, IME pretty much anything over ~1.065 or so will take a month or more to carb up at room temp. Even longer for beers that start getting into the 'Double' or 'Imperial' range. I recently made a Pliny clone that took ~6 weeks to carb up, ~8 to really show it's legs, which was faster than I'd expected it to.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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