Fizzy beer with no head

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hector

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I get 3 "or 4" of foam. Take hydrometer sample,then stir & pitch starter.
Do you mean after wasting 3 inches of Foam , you still get a good Head at the End in the Glass just because of the late Extract addition ?!

Hector
 

unionrdr

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I'm not wasting anything. That's what I get after aggressively pouring the wort,top off water,& stirring like mad for 5 minutes. Then pitching yeast. I get good head & color from late additions,& a good process. Simple,yet effective.
I find that not boiling the shnikies out of all the DME/LME makes for better color,flavor,& head. What can I say? It works for me.
 

Paisano

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ok so report:
I bottled my irish red tonight, which also signified the 3 week mark for my second non-boiled over and late add of majority of extract porter...and....
SUCCESS!!!! This version of the porter has head and the same great taste!!! The head itself was thick with small bubbles, creamy in texture and clung on until the last drop, I'd call that perfect. The body of the beer itself was more pronounced, not as hollow as the headless cola version of the same porter.
I can only really conclude that a less vigorous boil over lower heat to avoid boil-over during hot break plus the late addition of the majority of the extract was the key here to producing quality head on the brew.
Thank you for this thread - it has solved my problem.
Nice! I would be very interested to hear if there is still foam retention after bottle conditioning.
 

gtlaw10

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Nice! I would be very interested to hear if there is still foam retention after bottle conditioning.
the porter? it's done bottle conditioning, as i was bottling the irish red i was drinking the successful version of porter after 3 weeks in the bottle.
as for the irish red - i am sure it will be fine, it was a late addition and boiled gently.
 

damien5000

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I have also puzzled over the head that consists of big bubbles that dissipate quickly, so I'll add my 2 cents to the discussion.

So far, I've only had the bubbly dissipating head in a few bottles of each batch- beer still tastes good. With the remainder of the bottles being normal.
So in my case I put it down to something contaminating the bottles. I don't put them in the dishwasher or use detergent on them.

Sometimes the "bubbly beer" will go in to a glass that just had a good-headed beer in it so I don't think it's the glasses.

I sanitize my bottles with a weak bleach solution then rinse with tap water.

I know that I soaked some of my bottles in the kitchen sink once to remove labels. And then the second time i went to do that on different bottles i noticed that there was the slightest film of detergent or an oil on the water's surface in places that you could see in the light. I don't soak or sanitise anything in the kitchen sink now.

At this point I'm thinking that some of my bottles may have gotten some kind of very slight oil or detergent contamination in them that didn't wash out with the sanitisation and rinse and it destroyed the head. A beersmith podcast talks about both of these things being good at destroying head.

Or, my city tap water has things in it and I should use a no rinse sanitiser.

But, I also like the less intense boil idea to improve head/lacing too so I will try that with the next batch.
 

gtlaw10

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I have also puzzled over the head that consists of big bubbles that dissipate quickly, so I'll add my 2 cents to the discussion.

So far, I've only had the bubbly dissipating head in a few bottles of each batch- beer still tastes good. With the remainder of the bottles being normal.
So in my case I put it down to something contaminating the bottles. I don't put them in the dishwasher or use detergent on them.

Sometimes the "bubbly beer" will go in to a glass that just had a good-headed beer in it so I don't think it's the glasses.

I sanitize my bottles with a weak bleach solution then rinse with tap water.

I know that I soaked some of my bottles in the kitchen sink once to remove labels. And then the second time i went to do that on different bottles i noticed that there was the slightest film of detergent or an oil on the water's surface in places that you could see in the light. I don't soak or sanitise anything in the kitchen sink now.

At this point I'm thinking that some of my bottles may have gotten some kind of very slight oil or detergent contamination in them that didn't wash out with the sanitisation and rinse and it destroyed the head. A beersmith podcast talks about both of these things being good at destroying head.

Or, my city tap water has things in it and I should use a no rinse sanitiser.

But, I also like the less intense boil idea to improve head/lacing too so I will try that with the next batch.

FWIW, that sounds like you might have figured it out already. The late addition seems to solve the issue of the entire batch looking like glasses of soda, but I've never experienced inconsistent head throughout a single batch before - and frankly your logic in looking to the bottles for a solution is sound. Also- I'm sure you've heard of Star San on the forum, it's not too expensive (much more so compared to bleach to be honest) and worth every penny as a no rinse sanitizer. You might also want to invest in an inexpensive carbon filter, like a brita knockoff, it'll improve consistency as well.
In the end though, trying every little thing no matter how far fetched is the name of the game when faced with an issue - good luck to you sir! :mug:
 

bolus14

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First, sorry for re-kindling an almost year and a half old thread.

I have brewed 5 batches now, in this order Irish Red(MS kit), Honey Ale(MS it), Chimay Blue clone(from these forums), Lemon Coriander Weiss(based off MS kit), BBD Saison Furtiff - just bottled - (ChshreCat's recipe) and with the exception of maybe 5 bottles I've had very poor luck with head retention. First two batches I added all extract at beginning of boil, I have since learned there's no reason for that nonsense :D. The next 3 I have either added around a pound of DME at the beginning of the boil or none of the extract until 10 -15 min were left.

The third batch was a dubbel and after a week of carbing in a 70 -75 degree room and 1.5 - 2 days in the fridge it had great head, remainded until the glass was empty. I opened another a couple days ago, about 3 weeks in 70 -75 degree room and a week in the fridge, no head but lots of carbonation. The carbonation was noticeable through the whole glass, not like soda where it dissipates after a few minutes. The rest of this batch is currently "resting" in a 60 degree closet as it's still boozy, but without the huge head that you get with Belgians this batch isn't going to be a favorite of mine.

The fourth was a lemon coriander weiss, much like Midwests kit but I bought stuff from LHBS and used different hops than what their kit called for, grain bill was identical though. The first bottle of this as well had great head and tasted how I expected. I'm down to 13 bottles left and have only had one other bottle have good head when poured and retain it. The rest have had some head or almost no head when poured and some had left trace amounts of lacing and some have left none.

My general process is partial boils, usually 2.5 - 3.5 gallons, with research I've learned to add most of the extract anywhere from 15 min to flame out so that's what my last few batches have been. Then top of with refrigerated tap water. I do have pretty hard water in the area I live, it's city water so probably some level of chlorine, and I haven't pre-boiled to remove chlorine or minerals. Ambient temps stay in mid to upper 60's and I just allow the temps to free rise. I rinse all bottles with pretty hot water, then soak 12 -18 in Star-san as I'm bottling, remove from Star-san bucket, fill, cap, store in room that's 70 -75 degrees for at least 2 weeks, I just move to fridge as I drink them, and fridge for at least 2 days, again some get longer as I drink them.

At this point I'm thinking either I'm boiling to hot, but I recently read that rigorous boiling does something with maillard reactions that is wanted, or the city water I'm using has something in it that is causing the problem. I think for my next batch I'm going to buy spring or distilled water, does anybody have thoughts on which I should go with? Should I buy just what I'm topping off with, 3 or 4 gallons, or should I buy 6 or 7 gallons and use only that water?
 

unionrdr

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Since your tap water is hard,I'd go with the spring water. I buy local spring water for 25c per gallon,& get 7 gallons worth. I chill a couple gallons to top off with to get the temp down to 60-64F. I brew with the rest,& what doesn't get brewed with might be used for top off. It's been working really well for my PB/PM BIAB batches. & the yeasties seem to really love it.
 
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