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Old 04-07-2007, 06:27 AM   #1
plfuego
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Default Not much head

I looked around the forums and didn't find anything on this subject...

We have just opened the first bottle of our first batch (Munton's Yorkshire Bitter) and there was very little head on the beer.

During the first fermentation it bubbled very little, and we worried the yeast might be old. When we tested it using the hydrometer we got a reading of 1.011 (OG is 1.040 - 1.040 (not sure the decimals are right, but the readings were correct for what we were making)).

Is this a case of bad yeast? Or do we simply need to be more patient and wait for the carbonation to develop further?

pL

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Old 04-07-2007, 06:36 AM   #2
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How long has it been in the bottle?

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Old 10-04-2011, 06:24 AM   #3
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You need to wait a good 2 weeks in the bottle, in the yeasts temperature range also, you could also try checking your caps to make sure you got the sealing right, thats done me a couple of times, if you've ticked all the boxes and just think you didnt put in enough sugar you can always pop the lids off and add a little extra then re lid. if you got 1011 on the hydrometer i would think the yeast is good and the little bubbling is due to maybe colder temps or bit of a air leak in your fermenter. if you can live with the undercarbing and fancy a little bit of a head you can always inject your beer with a syringe and a little of your beer, remember though yorkshire bitter is meant to be flatter, im from yorkshire and have spent 15 years drinking that muck, cant beat it.

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Old 10-04-2011, 06:35 AM   #4
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1.011 is a good finish, little dry but not too much. Most styles look at 1.014 for a FG, keeping some residual sweetness without being too dry. My guess is aside from the yeast you might of mashed at a slightly lower temperature than 155.

Your yeast did a great job.

First you should look at the glasses you are using, if the beer has good carbonation but not so good head retention clean your glasses without soap of any kind, only sanitizers. You can tell a glass with soapy oily residue by the bubbles that accumulate on the sides of the glass. If any oils of any kind came into contact with your wort/beer it will kill the head. Also, if you want really good head retention try mashing with a little oats next batch.

If it is a carbonation issue, I don't know how you are conditioning the beer but give them an extra week it might help.

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Old 11-04-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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I didn't see anything in your post where you added carbonation candy, drops or sugar solution. Did you do that?

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Old 11-04-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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Also, once bottle conditioned, chill for 48 hours. I had several batches early on that were weak in the head department (4 weeks bottle condition) as they sit longer the head improves. I have also read on these forums that adding .5 lb carpils will improve head retention, but I have no idea why.

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Old 11-04-2011, 04:27 PM   #7
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Question that seems to fit well in this thread:
Will sanitizing the bottles with five-star (with no subsequent rinse) and allowing them to dry leave enough sanitizer in the bottle to retard the yeast?

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Old 11-04-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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Bitters are not supposed to have much (if any) head, and whatever you do, don't put it in the fridge for 40 hours before drinking it. The ideal temperature for a bitter is 55 - 57 F. Chilling much below those temperatures completely alters the character of the beer in a negative way.

-a.

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Old 11-04-2011, 05:46 PM   #9
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Even with my English Bitter being primed to the max of 1.3V,it wasn't much carbonation at all. And after 1-2 weeks in the fridge at 47F,they tasted nice & malty,1 finger head,& low carbonation. That's the way those ales are,when made to style.
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