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Old 11-02-2012, 10:27 PM   #1
Mar 2009
Posts: 7

I brewed an oktoberfest. Everything went fine during the brew session. I'm drinking it now and noticed the head pours great then falls into this weird coagulated-cottage cheese look that I've never seen in my 6 years of brewing.

What it be? Has anyone else seen this?

peace out!

Recipe below:

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout -
Recipe: Okefenokee Fest
Brewer: Justin Crandall
Asst Brewer:
Style: Oktoberfest/Märzen
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 8.00 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.50 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.058 SG
Estimated Color: 12.3 SRM
Estimated IBU: 27.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.3 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Floor Malted Bohemian Dark (6.5 SRM) Grain 1 66.7 %
2 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 16.7 %
1 lbs Caramunich II (Weyermann) (63.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.3 %
1 lbs Floor Malted Bohemian Wheat (2.3 SRM) Grain 4 8.3 %
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 13.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 7.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 7.1 IBUs
2.0 pkg Southern German Lager (White Labs #WLP83 Yeast 8 -

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body
Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 16.00 qt of water at 158.4 F 148.0 F 75 min
Mash Out Add 9.60 qt of water at 205.9 F 168.0 F 10 min

Sparge: Fly sparge with 2.29 gal water at 168.0 F

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #2
Jun 2010
Illinois, Lake County
Posts: 987
Liked 61 Times on 59 Posts

Yes, my Oktoberfest happens to look just like that - it is the Marzen Madness recipe from BCS made with 34/70. I don't notice any flavor or mouthfeel impact. Not sure what causes it exactly, but I've seen other commercial beers that do this too.

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Old 11-03-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
Mar 2011
Methuen, Massachusetts
Posts: 73
Liked 14 Times on 11 Posts

I'm having the same problem with a recent batch. The head forms tight knit groups of tiny white foamy bubbles. The bubbles cling together in small groups and the groups almost repel each other, it looks weird if you watch closely, unlike any home brew I've made before.

The beer was 10# of pilsner malt with a Kolsch yeast and Saaz hops. Not sure if the ingredients matter but I can't think of anything in my process that was different from 2 recent batches which do not have this problem.

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Old 11-07-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
CoalCracker's Avatar
Sep 2009
Macungie, Pa
Posts: 1,704
Liked 106 Times on 65 Posts

Most of my beers end up looking like that. No need to worry.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
Apr 2012
Morgantown, WV
Posts: 198
Liked 31 Times on 23 Posts

Originally Posted by CoalCracker View Post
Most of my beers end up looking like that. No need to worry.
Do you know what causes it, coalcracker? Most of my kegged beers exhibit this clumpy head, but none of my bottled beers have.

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Old 04-01-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,978
Liked 3692 Times on 3172 Posts

Even though head is driven by carbonation after the pour,it's formed by dissolved protiens in the beer.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:31 PM   #7
Aug 2014
, Wisconsin
Posts: 492
Liked 64 Times on 44 Posts

I realize that I have given life to this zombie thread but I couldn't help but comment. I was Google searching for an answer to why my Oktoberfest has a sort of coagulated head to it. I found this thread and found it VERY interesting that the op had it happen to him on an Oktoberfest as well. I brew dang good beer and have been for a while now....all grain...good water chemistry...forced carbed in a keg...NEVER had a beer look like this. Taste is fine, aroma is fine...just looks weird. Haven't been able to locate online a good reason why this would happen?....
Hey, worst case get beer.

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Old 10-23-2015, 09:52 PM   #8
MaxStout's Avatar
Mar 2013
Blaine, MN
Posts: 4,138
Liked 1721 Times on 1009 Posts

I'm going to go with uniondr's answer above--it's proteins in the beer, since it's not an infection. I can't think of what else it would be.

I've had a few commercial beers that poured out a lumpy head.

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Old 10-23-2015, 10:00 PM   #9
Jun 2010
Illinois, Lake County
Posts: 987
Liked 61 Times on 59 Posts

Ever notice how bubbles form in nearly continuous streams from a nucleation site in the glass? I think these clumps of bubbles just form where the stream meets the surface. Beers that are more head retaining just exhibit these better.

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Old 10-23-2015, 11:06 PM   #10
Mar 2011
Jackson, MO
Posts: 137
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

I'm drinking an Oktoberfest now made with munich and Vienna and it does not have these clumps. I have brewed beers in the past that have had them and didn't think much of it, but now I'm interested to hear.

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