Head and head retention?

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dougler13

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So my first beer came out the other day and it's good. The only thing is that it realy does'nt develop any head. The beer is an extract amber ale. I was just wondering what sort of things wether it's adjuncts, or grains, or just techniques lead to a nice foamy head?

Oh and I carbonated for about a week using 4 oz corn sugar it was a 5 gallon batch thanks for any help.
 

SteveM

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What they said. Note that even if your first beer formed a nice head at a week in the bottle, this is not likely to happen every batch. And notice over time how the character of the head changes - early on, it will have larger bubbles that don't last as long as you might hope. As it ages, the bubbles will be smaller and will last longer.

If you are an extract brewer, it is wise to always use steeping grains. These add a little of a lot of things, but they really shine at helping your head retention.
 

Yooper

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Another thing to be aware of is your glass. Glasses with any jet dry from the dishwasher or any soap residue will not let your beer have a head. I rinse my beer glasses with hot water and let them dry. I do put many of them through the dishwasher if I've had friends over, but I don't use jet dry in the dishwasher, and I tend to still rinse the glasses before putting them away.
 

dirtymike1

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Yes, like Yooper said, soap suds, while they might not be the problem, its something that should be avoided. I learned that lesson about 12 years ago when I was a little child living in germany. The village i lived in brewed there own beer and I remember my neightbor, he was the barkeep, about how to pour a beer. Pretty cool just reminincing.
 
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dougler13

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Thanks for the quick reply guys. I used steeping grains crystal, munich, and a little chocolate. I'm mostly Austrian and have a little bit of a beer glass collection too which they all get hand washed and never ever get put in the dish washer. I would guess that it would just be the beers age. I just couldnt help testing one or two when I noticed the yeast had floculated to the bottom of the bottle.

I'm happy I did test them though because now I'm curious how they will change as the beer ages over the next few eeks to a month.

Thanks again.
 

TexLaw

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You definitely need more time for all the stuff to settle out of your beer and stop tearing up all the bubbles.

For grains, you can add a little carapils, carafoam, or wheat. If you move to all-grain brewing, you also can do a protein rest. It sounds like you are on the right track, though.


TL
 

TexLaw

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No, it usually promotes head retention. Without a rest, many of the proteins will come out of solution as either the chunks you see in hot and cold breaks or the haze you see in finished beer. A Protein rest will break those proteins down into either smaller chain proteins or peptides that can remain in the beer and provide head structure.


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