Getting no Head

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kgx2

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So I have been drinking a Dunkel Weiss Bier I made a little over a month and a half ago. This was my 8th brew to date and I think it tastes the best of everything I've made. The problem is it has no head on it. Out of the bottle it will sometimes come up to the top and once in awhile even start to flow over but in the glass nothing. Different styles of glasses don't effect it either. Still no head. Is this normal for this type or is something missing? I did cold crash it (35ish) for a few days before bottling.

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Yooper

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One of the things that a weiss bier should be known for is great lacing and head.

Since it's probably not recipe related (assuming wheat malt in the recipe), I'd guess that it's glassware related.

To check, take one of your beer glasses and do a salt scrub on it. Simply moisten the glass, and sprinkle salt in it. Use your hand to "scour" the inside and the rim, then rinse well. Then pour a beer in it, making sure the glass is room temperature (not cold!).

If that fixes it, I'd guess that you use a dishwasher for your glasses. If that doesn't fix it, then we'd have to look at the recipe but generally extract beers don't have any issues with head or lacing or head retention as the extract (especially for wheat beers) has plenty of head retaining ingredients.
 
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kgx2

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I'll give the salt scrub a shot but as I said I've tried other glasses and other beers in those glasses don't seem have an issue.

It was primed with corn sugar as all my other brews have been. 2/3 cup to 16oz of water boiled then mixed in after letting it set to cool. Bottled right after.

The only thing different about this batch to any other is during primary fermentation it blew the top off the air lock and got all over the inside of the chest freezer I use to control the temperature. Very messy but didn't hurt anything I could tell as I put a blow off tube in it and was pumping plenty of CO2 for awhile after that. Then I racked it into a secondary (I rack everything into a secondary).
 
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kgx2

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Tried the salt scrub but still the same result. So recipe I guess?
 

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Tried the salt scrub but still the same result. So recipe I guess?
Maybe. Or maybe it's 2/3 cup sugar in the priming solution. Do you have a small kitchen scale, so you can actually weigh the sugar? It should be about an ounce per finished gallon, so 5 ounces, give or take, by weight. That may be quite a bit more than 2/3 cup depending on the size of the grains of sugar.
 
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kgx2

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The corn sugar I use is from my local HBS and its basically powder. I do have a small scale I bought just for brewing. If anything I over primed at bottling as I never seem to get 5 gallons.

I do have another thing I noticed though. Using the same glass I poured a Dunkel in earlier tonight I poured a honey ale I made prior. The honey ale gushed out of the bottle and had a ton of head in the glass but faded to the same as the Dunkel.

Something in my brew process?
 

flars

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Has The Dunkel Weiss Bier been in the bottle for a month and a half or brewed that long ago? Is your bottle conditioning at least four weeks with the temperature at or over 70°F? Do you refrigerate your bottles several days before opening?
From your description the bottles have carbonation, but the carbonation may not have been forced into solution by chilling.
 

thegreatmaibockaddict

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There are many causes for poor head retention. If it is not the glass, it could be any number of process related issues.

Causes:
Elevated Levels of Higher alcohols from fermentation (Temp too high)
Hard Water
Oversparging (releases fatty acids)
Over aeration of wort prior to pitching yeast
Extended enzymatic molecular breakdown of carbohydrates during mashing
Fatty acid release during yeast autolysis
 
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kgx2

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Extract brew so I know it wasn't most of those that caused the issue.

High alcohol could be but I don't think so.

I use spring water and its never been an issue.

Over aeration could be an issue cause I did shake the heck out of the fermenter.

Temp to high I doubt as well as it was in a controlled [email protected] roughly 65.

I'm guessing it was the over aeration or under priming it.
 

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Prob the priming sugar. Cant really over aerate the wort... esp with the shake method. Theres only so much 02 you can get into solution with the shake method. anyone that uses pure o2 with a stone will have more o2 than you.
 

thegreatmaibockaddict

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Extract brew so I know it wasn't most of those that caused the issue.

High alcohol could be but I don't think so.

I use spring water and its never been an issue.

Over aeration could be an issue cause I did shake the heck out of the fermenter.

Temp to high I doubt as well as it was in a controlled [email protected] roughly 65.

I'm guessing it was the over aeration or under priming it.
i listed all causes, but from what you just said, it may be the issue-shaking the fermenter.

Getting a siphon starter, where the end that goes into the fermenter has an aerator on the end of the siphon hose, may be a solution. Or go all out and get a stone...
 

kingboomer

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Just my 2c, but I find that cleaning my glasses with PBW seems to help with head retention over a salt scrub.
 

j1n

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i listed all causes, but from what you just said, it may be the issue-shaking the fermenter.

Getting a siphon starter, where the end that goes into the fermenter has an aerator on the end of the siphon hose, may be a solution. Or go all out and get a stone...
Please explain how shaking the fermentor causes no head in your beer. :confused:
 

jaropkls

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I started rinsing my glasses with starsan based on a post I saw somewhere and its had a tremendous effect on the head. Size, retention, and consistency all much improved over my usual hot water rinse
 

acarlotto

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Whisper sweet nothings to it. That has helped me achieve head in the past. Not so much now that I am married! :mad:
 

KepowOb

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Please explain how shaking the fermentor causes no head in your beer. :confused:
I think he means that, by shaking it, he didn't aerate it enough. If he's using a dry yeast, I don't really think that'd be a problem though (not from my experience anyway).

I actually had the same problem with my first few beers, and I never really did figure it out. I assumed it was a problem in my process, since my first few were kits, and eventually it stopped happening and I was happy, hah.

Reading through this though, I saw someone mention that fermenting at too high of a temperature could be the culprit. I can't say for sure that this is what caused it, but looking back at my own experience, it could easily be what my issue was, as my first few batches def. fermented at too high a temperature.... so out of curiosity, what was your fermentation temp?
 

thegreatmaibockaddict

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He said his fermentation temps were fine above someplace.

He also said that he shook the crap out of the fermenter for aeration. Problem is I remember reading that beer head retention will lessen the more the beer has been forced to create head during the process prior to reaching the glass. And excessive aeration is also an issue. It seemed to me since this is an extract brew, the problem came from overshaking the fermenter...
 

sloanfamilydsm

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The beer is only 6-7 weeks from grain to glass bottled. More time to carb up or warmer storage temps will cure his woes assuming priming sugar was stirred.
 

j1n

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He said his fermentation temps were fine above someplace.

He also said that he shook the crap out of the fermenter for aeration. Problem is I remember reading that beer head retention will lessen the more the beer has been forced to create head during the process prior to reaching the glass. And excessive aeration is also an issue. It seemed to me since this is an extract brew, the problem came from overshaking the fermenter...
Can you post the source of this info?

I have never read or heard about this before. I googled it and didn't find any info about it.
 
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kgx2

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Made a stout recently and this one seems to have decent head as long as I pour it straight into the glass not at the 45 angle. Bottled a sasion last week so we shall see if that turns out ok in a few weeks. I'll update results and thanks all for the advice/suggestions to resolve this.
 

DvlDg29

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Can you post the source of this info?

I have never read or heard about this before. I googled it and didn't find any info about it.
I second this, I get a lot of foam on top of my wort prior to pitching and the comments got me worried. I did some searching but came up empty. I've never had too many problems with head retention though so is this urban legend or can someone provide the science.

Semper Fi
 

lolznrofls

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A guy at my lhbs suggested issues could be related to what cleaner use use on your bottles before you sanitize. Soap will leave a residue. And that is a head killer..he says use pbw or oxyclean. Then sanitize...im still trying to read up on that.cheers!
IYAOYAS!
 
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