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Old 03-20-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
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Default Let's talk about head............retention

Ok, so I know I can add carafoam and the like for better head on my beer, but has anybody tried using various gums, like xanthan, guar, etc. I'm thinking about making a beer where the foam REALLY persists and is strong. I worked with a guy from Poland and he said one way you could tell if a beer was really good was if you could float a quarter on the head! That would be pretty impressive. This would purely be for the novelty of it. I'd probably split up a batch to experiment and make sure I don't overcarbonate

I think either guar or xanthan gum might do the trick, the question then is when do you add it? During the boil? When kegging?


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Old 03-21-2007, 05:41 PM   #2
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Wow.. what an amusing question! Far more amusing than the usual fermentation of Coke versus Pepsi and making prison wine in a toilet!

I can't really be of assistance, but I'm giving you a bump because I wouldn't mind learning a thing or two about head retention....


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Old 03-21-2007, 05:56 PM   #3
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I used to work at a plant that makes xanthan gum. I don't know if it will help with head retention, but it will thicken your beer and make it really slimy...which sounds nasty. Maybe in very small amounts it might do something, but I'll leave the testing to you.
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Old 03-21-2007, 05:59 PM   #4
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Question...are you an all-grain or extract brewer?

AND...most importantly of all....you MAY already have good head retention, but are your glasses Beer Clean? That is prolly the #1 killer of head retention and people don't even realize it. Notice how the head is always better on your second pint of the evening?
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fifelee
I used to work at a plant that makes xanthan gum. I don't know if it will help with head retention, but it will thicken your beer and make it really slimy...which sounds nasty. Maybe in very small amounts it might do something, but I'll leave the testing to you.
I'm always interested in these obscure kinds of things. What is xanthan gum? Where does it come from? how do you make it? How do you use it? What's it good for?
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
I'm always interested in these obscure kinds of things. What is xanthan gum? Where does it come from? how do you make it? How do you use it? What's it good for?
It is basically a thickener for food. Without it, you would have runny Ranch Dressing. In your hand it just looks like flour, but add a little water and things gets slimy as hell. I always wished we could spread out a bunch on the warehouse floor add water and have a massive slip-and-slide. I wasn’t on the microbiology side but the basic process is similar to a brewery. A massive stainless steel tank filled with sugar water to which an organism is introduced (I think it was yeast, as we were always worried about alcohol fires in the dryers). After awhile, out came a thick goop that is dried down into the powder.
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:56 PM   #7
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I love these titles...
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:35 PM   #8
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I'm doing all grain. What I want is a beer that leaves a nice layer of foam on your upper lip, like a good milkshake does. Why? Because I want to brew a beer that I can then call.....Moustache Ride Pale Ale.

Here's some info I found on the web. I've seen another link before but can't find it again
http://oz.craftbrewer.org/Library/Me...unzeFoam.shtml

So what I'm currently thinking is to brew a 7.5 gal batch Sierra Nevada clone and then put 2.5 gal into a 3 gal carboy and eventually my 3 gal keg and still have 5 gal of non-experimental beer.

I was thinking about adding a little xanthan gum to the secondary, and also maybe some powdered egg whites. I also might do a mini mash of 1 lb of grain and a bunch of soy protein and do a long protein rest. Maybe add the egg whites here too. I would then boil this for 15 min. and add it to the experimental portion of the batch. I hope that this might sufficient to give me lots of small protein bits that will give good head, but not lead to chill haze. I hate chill haze. I'll probably add a little lecithin to help control the small amount of oils in barly malt.

Then I could ask all of my friends wives if they'd like a moustache ride
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba
I'm doing all grain. What I want is a beer that leaves a nice layer of foam on your upper lip, like a good milkshake does. Why? Because I want to brew a beer that I can then call.....Moustache Ride Pale Ale.

Here's some info I found on the web. I've seen another link before but can't find it again
http://oz.craftbrewer.org/Library/Me...unzeFoam.shtml

So what I'm currently thinking is to brew a 7.5 gal batch Sierra Nevada clone and then put 2.5 gal into a 3 gal carboy and eventually my 3 gal keg and still have 5 gal of non-experimental beer.

I was thinking about adding a little xanthan gum to the secondary, and also maybe some powdered egg whites. I also might do a mini mash of 1 lb of grain and a bunch of soy protein and do a long protein rest. Maybe add the egg whites here too. I would then boil this for 15 min. and add it to the experimental portion of the batch. I hope that this might sufficient to give me lots of small protein bits that will give good head, but not lead to chill haze. I hate chill haze. I'll probably add a little lecithin to help control the small amount of oils in barly malt.

Then I could ask all of my friends wives if they'd like a moustache ride
That's pretty funny right there. Wish I'd have though of it.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:29 PM   #10
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The Germans would never put that crap in their beer.

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