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Old 01-22-2009, 06:07 AM   #1
Dec 2008
Posts: 49

I've just started popping open my second brew at 2 1/2 weeks in the bottles, and I'm getting no head. Even with a fairly "rigorous" pour, I get a small bit of bubbles on the surface which quickly go away. It is nicely carbonated...

It happened on my first brew as well, and it's really annoying me.

It's not the glasses, I've tried several different methods of cleaning the glasses, and several different kinds of glasses. All of them get head with micro-brews, but none on my home brews...

The recipe I just used:
6.6 lbs wheat LME
1.5 lbs DME
1lb crystal malt
1/4lb chocolate malt
1/4lb german caraffe
1.5 oz german spalt hops
2oz mt hood hops (1oz flavor, 1oz aroma)
and 3/4c corn sugar...

OG 1.060
FG 1.010

The only thing that I can think might contribute to it after reading a bit, is that I got very little cold break on both of the brews. It took over night to get the wort cooled. I had ice water in the fermenter and just poured the wort into the ice water and put the top on, waited till it dropped to pitching temp which happened to be the next morning.

Could that solve my problems? Is it just based on the fact that I didn't really cool the wort fast? I haven't been getting infections, the beer tastes great, just no head or lacing whatsoever.
Primary: Belgian wit
Bottle Conditioning: DFH 60min IPA
Drinking: Apfelwein

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:28 AM   #2
Jul 2008
Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 15

I can never get a good head either (mine is carbonated aswell) thats why I drink from the bottles.
Currently Coopers IPA
500 grams DME
500 grams Dextrose.

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Old 01-22-2009, 06:38 AM   #3
Dec 2008
Posts: 49

yea, it's upsetting...

when i bring my brew to places where people know beer, they're disappointed that it has no head, but always say it tastes great.
Primary: Belgian wit
Bottle Conditioning: DFH 60min IPA
Drinking: Apfelwein

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:54 AM   #4
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Cheeto's Avatar
Jan 2008
Spokane, Washington
Posts: 7,370
Liked 383 Times on 338 Posts

dwf137 try adding a 1/2# or more of carapils to your grain bill extract brews are notorious for having little or no head.

What temp are you steeping your grains at ?
I like to go for a temp near to what would be used for PM or AG brewing.

Congrats on the Beer

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I say some stupid chit -TXCrash post #7247287

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Old 01-22-2009, 07:57 AM   #5
GroosBrewz's Avatar
Sep 2008
West Richland, WA, WA
Posts: 817
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Just out of curiosity have you tried pouring one at room temp without chilling? Does your LHBS carry any kind of heading agent or heading powder? These often work when nothing else does..
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:30 AM   #6
Nov 2008
south of Eugene, OR
Posts: 360
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

my first batch had great head, with decent lacing. But tasted like crap.

My last batch has minimal head at pour, no lacing. But is by far the best tasting brew I have put forth.

As long as it tastes good, It does not bother me.

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Old 01-22-2009, 09:04 AM   #7
EvilTOJ's Avatar
Dec 2005
Portland, OR, Oregon
Posts: 6,401
Liked 50 Times on 35 Posts

With that Caraf and wheat you should be getting awesome head! (snicker)It's possible it could be your bottles that are killing the head on it. How are you cleaning/sanitizing them?
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

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Old 01-22-2009, 09:54 AM   #8
Dec 2008
Melbourne Australia
Posts: 124
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Ok i know its not the glasses but i have to say Detergents kill heads. Look at how you clean the glasses. Mine go in the dishwasher and the head is great, if i wash them by hand with detergent it dies in seconds. I know that's not the problem. Dry hopping adds to head and not bitterness, perhaps add some dry hops.
Glass shape also helps, how do you measure your carbonation? by scoop? Do you use dex? I use dex. some use LME. Look at how you clean bottles. Perhaps cut shorter your fermentation time or swill before bottling to allow more yeast in the bottle.

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:57 AM   #9
Jan 2009
Latitude 33.57 , Longitude 86.75
Posts: 48

What's the water like that you are using? Is it tap water?

Also, if the fermenter you are using is a plastic bucket then it has piss poor ability to dissipate heat. I would cool it more in the pot with an ice bath and the go to the ferm w/ ice water. Yeast is tougher than you think. I have pitched dry yeast (Nottingham) at 95 to 100 degrees and didn't have an issue. It's not recommended, but the beer turned out fine.
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #10
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Dec 2008
Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 197
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+1 on the CaraPils recommendation. I brewed a Kölsch from DME and after only a week in the bottles it poured with a nice head that stuck around for a bit...still needs a couple of weeks in the bottles for the flavors, but the pour is nice.

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