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puddnhead65

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Just tried my first HB last night. It was an English Brown Ale made from a Brewer's Best kit. Kinda fumbled the fermentation, but didn't hurt the beer. Had a 10 days in the primary, 5 in the secondary, and when I tasted it was on it's 8th day in bottles. Random numbers, I know, but I was confused about some things that I cleared up by reading posts here (love this site).

But I digress... About the beer. It was good! Still a bit green which I expected. Only odd thing I noticed was that it was more carbonated than I figured it would be and completely lacking head. From what I'd read I was expecting the opposite. I'm going to let it condition for for another couple weeks before enjoying it en masse, but I'll be testing again in a week.

Any thoughts on the lack of head?
 

funkapottomous

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I just posted a thread and it contained this question, but the answer i got is that my glass may have had soap residue left on it from the dishwasher, or it may not have been carbonated enough because I opened it too early.
 
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puddnhead65

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Thanks funk, hadn't seen your post. Seems like we may be in the same boat. I know the glass was clean. I always clean barware with non-residue cleaners so I know thats safe. With your beer was the beer itself flat or just missing head? Mine was kinda carbed, just w/o head.
 

mikebiewer

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How did you make it? Extract, partial boil, full boil, all grain. What temp did you ferment at? How many hops?

It is such an open ended question at this point. There are a lot of factors that go into proper head on a homebrew. I to haven't had a lot of success with head on my beers and I think part of it is the fact that I do partial boil extract kits. My beer isn't getting mixed up enough and the proteins just don't have a chance to become what they need to be to make good head.

I've got a couple ideas for next time to try so we'll see what happens.
 
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puddnhead65

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Extract kit, 1/2 boil. Fermented at 68ºF. 2.25 oz of hops, forget what kind. Plastic bucket fermenters. Basic priming sugar.
 

mikebiewer

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I would say you and I are probably in a similar boat. I think a full boil could really fix this issue.

I know there are other factors that go into it that an extract kit brewer really can't alter. A good resource to find out more about it though would be the Brewing Network pod cast. They have a whole episode dedicated to "head retention."

If ya search the net for it or iTunes I'm sure you'll be able to find it. It gets a bit technical at times and went over my head a little bit, but there is some good info there.
 
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puddnhead65

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I'll be switching to full boil on my next batch, we'll see what difference that makes.

And I'll def look up the podcast. Sounds interesting.
 

FungusBrew

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A couple more weeks from my experience always makes a difference in proper head retention. I've cracked some open day 10 to have no carbonation, and no head whatsoever. Two weeks later it was like a new beer.
 

mullenite

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My beer isn't getting mixed up enough and the proteins just don't have a chance to become what they need to be to make good head.
I'm new to this but my understanding is that if the beer didn't mix enough while you were aerating it should mix during fermentation (with the yeast in suspension eating the sugars, their CO2 farts should move the beer around enough to mix it.)
 

ChshreCat

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How long did you have the beer in the fridge before you opened it? When the beer first carbs, much of the CO2 will be sitting in the headspace of the bottle. It takes a day or two in the fridge for that CO2 to absorb into the beer. If you don't give it that time, what you get is a bottle of beer that gives you a nice satisfying "psssst" when you open it, some bubbles when you pour, but not enough carbonation to give you a decent head.

If that's not it, then it's possibly in the ingredients. Try moving up to partial mash brewing and throw in some carapils or flaked barley. Great for head retention.
 

mummasan

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There are many factors that contribute to good head on a glass of homebrew. This was your first brew so...drink your beer, read old posts about head retention, or lacing and make more beer.
 
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