Why do we want a nice head on our brews? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
Feb 2010
Boston, MA
Posts: 58

Hello everyone
Since becoming a homebrewer I have read so much about head retention and what hurts it and helps it etc. Well one of my friends was watching me pour and noticed that I aggressively poured at the end to create a head. He asked me why I did this and I told him to create a nice head on the beer. Then he simply asked me why and I had no idea. Ive never really thought about it. In my college days the perfect pour was one with no foam on top so you could drink it as fast as possible. And now the perfect pour is so much different. Why is there supposed to be a head on the beer? Thanks

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
Jan 2009
Pea Green, Colorado
Posts: 2,935
Liked 66 Times on 58 Posts

To keep us from gulping it down and allowing us to taste?

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #3
Feb 2010
Roseville, CA
Posts: 702
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts

I don't know how valid this information is, but it seems to make sense to me. The head typically adds a big part of the aroma component. Aroma heavily influences taste.

Drink what you like and share when you can. Support your local breweries.

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:48 AM   #4
Mar 2009
Menomonie, WI
Posts: 476
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

I think there is a much better mouth feel.

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:50 AM   #5
philrose's Avatar
Jul 2008
NoDa, Charlotte, North Carolina
Posts: 1,412
Liked 13 Times on 10 Posts

better aroma is the biggest thing for me, visually I like the look and am more apt to drink a well poured pint.

dOATmunder Export
Planning- Red Rum Malt Liquor

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Old 03-20-2010, 03:54 AM   #6
Feb 2010
Gainesville, Fl
Posts: 639
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

The bubbles popping in the head release a lot of aroma. Considering our sense of Taste is directly linked to our sense of smell it makes sense to want a big head on the beer.

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
Oct 2009
St. Louis
Posts: 30

In addition to aroma, the proteins and such that contribute to good head retention also contribute heavily to the mouthfeel. Would you want to drink a stout that felt watery or syrupy going down, or do you want it to feel like a milkshake in your mouth?

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Old 03-20-2010, 06:22 PM   #8
Sep 2009
culver city
Posts: 180
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Aroma... and it looks nice!

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Old 03-20-2010, 06:23 PM   #9
ChshreCat's Avatar
Aug 2008
Camano Island, Washington
Posts: 11,533
Liked 542 Times on 434 Posts

Head on your beer is like the whipped cream on your pie!
"Science + beer = good!"
-Adam Savage

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Old 03-20-2010, 06:41 PM   #10
Aug 2009
Windsor ON
Posts: 23

Personally, I pour more aggressively because I want to get more CO2 out of solution, the bite just takes away from the flavour IMO. As for why I want the head to stick around? It's purdy. I love seeing a nice whispy cloud of head towering over the rim of the glass... mmmmmm...

Also the popping bubbles help aromatic gases reach the olfactory bulb to be slightly scientific.

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