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Old 08-28-2009, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default Torrified wheat for head retention

I've been wanting to get better head retention on my extract brews - so far all of them start out great, but the head fizzles away in about 5 minutes or less.

Searching revealed that torrified wheat has been known to help, but try as I might, I could not find how I would go about actually using it in an extract brew. Plus I'd read all sorts of horror stories about gumming up mash tuns, turning to cement and needing rice hulls, etc. But, i figured I'd just steep some along with my other steeping grains in my next brew, a Brewer's Best dunkelweizen kit.

I only used about 3 oz. of the milled torrified wheat and just included it in the same grain bag along with the other grains, and steeped for about 30 minutes at ~168F.

After fermentation, I noticed what seemed to be a sour smell, and I also got quite a bit of a sour taste the first few bottles I tried after only a few weeks of conditioning. But, a few more weeks have gone by and tried another one last night - the sour taste had really mellowed away, and the head retention was really quite impressive. There was roughly 1/4" - 3/16" of head for the entire life of the pint (which i purposefully let live a good 30-40 minutes before finally consuming it all).

I'm not sure how much (if any) taste was imparted to the beer from the torrified wheat, or if it would be appropriate to use the wheat in other styles, but I recommend giving it a try if you're looking to help improve head retention. I plan on trying it in my next batch (whatever that may be).

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Old 09-03-2009, 12:34 AM   #2
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Hi Tiamat. Flaked or malted wheat will also help with head retention. The extract for your Dunkelweissen also probably was about 50% wheat malt extract, which would significantly enhance head retention. Finally, wheat beers (such as Dunkelweissen) sometimes have a flavor that can be described as sour.

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