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Old 03-11-2007, 03:32 PM   #1
Adam's Apples
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Default Good head!

I was round a friends last night and we were sampling each others recent brew efforts when I noticed a difference between the bitters we had made. Both were nice, although quite different, but his had a far better head than mine, which remained all the way through drinking. The only obvious difference between our methods was that he had put his brew in a keg, whereas I had bottled mine.

He didn't have any additional co2 or anything affecting the keg and had primed the beer the same way I had - with sugar. He didn't seem to know how he had achieved this either and said it was better than previous efforts.

He was swigging my homebrew from the bottle and didn't seem concerned about the sediment at the bottom that I had pointed out. This actually seemed to result in a better head on my beer, but this was probably due to the constant agitation in the bottle as it was tipped upside down.

There are a lot of possibilities and explanatins I know and it is possible the keg makes no difference, but can anybody give me a few pointers on achieving a better head and head retention?

I think I may invest in a keg as a space saver as it is far easier than stacking loads of bottles in the garage. The little tap and self-service option would be great for barbecues too.

Cheers for any tips.

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Old 03-12-2007, 05:52 PM   #2
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Thanks

No, the recipes are different, which is why I haven't really looked at this too scientifically yet. I guess I thought the keg might have been an obvious answer and wondered whether feedback here would back that up...doesn't look like it's that simple though!

I still think a keg is a good value + space saving option, but a chap at work today said beer is more likely to flat in a keg as the brew level drops and you have to pump loads of Co2 in to stop this happenning, so I may re-think this now.

If there are any simple, effective ways of improving head + head retention I would be grateful for any tips. If not, it will probably be something I fathom as I get more experienced.

Cheers

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:04 PM   #3
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Well a couple of thoughts....if you primed and left the two at different temperatures this can lead to a difference (over time they should come close though if you used the same ratio or priming sugar). Also, if you fermented at different temperatures there is a different amount of residual CO2 in your beer. This leads to the amount of head, retention is another story. One thing I am confused on though, is if he was swigging it from the bottle how did the heads get compared?

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Old 03-12-2007, 06:51 PM   #4
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I use 5% wheat malt to get a good head on my pale ales. You also have to make sure you have clean glassware, any residual detergent or oils will kill the head instantly. Fresh hops also make a contribution, as does CaraPils malt.

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Old 03-12-2007, 08:20 PM   #5
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Cheers.

There were a few people there and most of my beer was being consumed from pint glasses, but the chap who had done the other beer was swigging mine from the bottle and there seemed to be a head at the top all the way down. Probably just the constant agitation of tipping the bottle up as the head didn't stay in the glasses.

The beer remained carbonated and always had a fizzy feel in the mouth, but no head retention.

The head on my mates beer was more creamy than mine I noticed, more white.

I expect I will get to grips with the head thing a few brews in.

Cheers

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Old 03-12-2007, 08:24 PM   #6
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there's nothing like good head.

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Old 03-12-2007, 08:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcoffman
there's nothing like good head.
Amen brother, that goes for beer too !
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Old 03-12-2007, 09:37 PM   #8
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The best head I've ever had (on my beer that is) didnt even have any carapils or wheat in the beer. I dry hopped this one which is the only thing I did any different.

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Old 03-12-2007, 09:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimone
The best head I've ever had (on my beer that is) didnt even have any carapils or wheat in the beer. I dry hopped this one which is the only thing I did any different.

Damn, that looks delicious!
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