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Old 11-09-2012, 02:30 AM   #1
redd1982
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Help!! I brewed an imperial cherry stout, and there is no head after 32 days of bottle fermenting (as well as 14 days primary and 17 days secondary). I have never come across an issue like this. Why can I do to get head (no pun intended)?

OG = 1.066
FG = 1.021


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Old 11-09-2012, 01:18 PM   #2
zachattack
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No head doesn't necessarily mean no carbonation. Do you hear a big "hiss" when you open a bottle? How long do you leave it in the fridge before you open it?

Regardless, 32 days may not be enough. Some stronger beers need months to carb. I say keep it above 70 degrees and wait another month. It's only 6% ABV, so I'd hesitate to call it an imperial stout, but either way it'll probably be better with some age on it! So you'll do yourself a favor by waiting a bit longer.


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Old 11-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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There are several reasons this could have happened. One is that the larger proteins in the wort weren't broken down enough by protease enzymes which help with head retention. Another is if you used soap to clean your fermenting vessels or bottles and there was a very slight film left on them which can cause that issue.

In future batches of this recipe you can add carapils dextrine malt (maybe 4-8oz / 5gal) to the specialty grain bill, maltodextrin (up to 8oz / 5gal) and/or a heading agent, though heading agents tend to change the flavor of the beer. Now that it's in the bottle, however, I'm not sure there's much you can do.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzARzz View Post
There are several reasons this could have happened. One is that the larger proteins in the wort weren't broken down enough by protease enzymes which help with head retention. Another is if you used soap to clean your fermenting vessels or bottles and there was a very slight film left on them which can cause that issue.

In future batches of this recipe you can add carapils dextrine malt (maybe 4-8oz / 5gal) to the specialty grain bill, maltodextrin (up to 8oz / 5gal) and/or a heading agent, though heading agents tend to change the flavor of the beer. Now that it's in the bottle, however, I'm not sure there's much you can do.
Great points. It could also be that your glasses have a soap film on them, this can happen if you put them in the dishwasher.

I think it's important to distinguish between "no carbonation" and "no head,"
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:50 PM   #5
redd1982
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Thanks for the tips and pointing out possible mistakes. I am going to let the beer age, and see what happens.

Disregard the OG and FG readings I posted in the thread. That was a typo I copied from another thread I started. Thought I deleted that info.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Just wanted to say thanks the help. The beer turned out great with a tips you guys have me. I believe zachattack (sorry if I spelled it wrong) was correct about soap remaining in the bottles. I will rinse the bottles better before filling.

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