Head retention

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Brewer_opie

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I just finished the carbin' my 1st brew (an English Nut Brown). It tastes fine, slightly green which I'm sure will mellow with more conditioning, seems to be carb'd ok, but won't hold a head. So, what are the potential problems?
 

carnevoodoo

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Post your recipe. How long has it been conditioning?

There are grains that aid in head retention, and I am sure there are other things too. I personally use a bit of wheat malt when I want more retention.

But again, it all depends on the recipe.

There are also things that can kill head retention.
 

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In addition to adding some ingredients as the others mentioned (notably wheat and carapils), one factor can be your glassware. Using a glass washed in a dishwasher (particularly with Jet Dry) can kill the head on a glass. It's best to handwash beer glasses, without soap.
 

Nurmey

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Washing equipment or beer glasses with detergent will kill your head. It's very hard to rinse the residue off completely.

Give us a run down of recipe and process and we might be able to spot the problem.

Welcome to HBT! We're glad you're here.
 
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Brewer_opie

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It was a kit beer (brewer's best)...I'm interested in "the things that kill head retention." I may have figured out my own problem...I used the dishwasher method for sanitizing bottles...I think the dishwasher had a drying agent in it...which I think might be the cause.
 
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Brewer_opie

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Also, when preparing to ferment I had a sizeable amount of my sanitized solution (bleach water) from my airlock get into the wort. I'm fairly confident it was poor bottle sanitizing method, but could this gross buffoonery have helped kill the head we all love so much? By the way, thanks for the welcome...this site has been instrumental in my beggining to brew experience...thanks for all the great posts!
 

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It was a kit beer (brewer's best)...I'm interested in "the things that kill head retention." I may have figured out my own problem...I used the dishwasher method for sanitizing bottles...I think the dishwasher had a drying agent in it...which I think might be the cause.
Yep, that would do it. I've made many Brewer's Best kits when I started out and they were fine. I bet the detergent (if any) and the drying agent left a residue that kills the head. The good news is that you can rinse those bottles as you use them (get all the yeast out and all the sediment with hot water) and then they'll be clean, and you can just use a no-rinse sanitizer like Star-san or Iodophor next time.
I know that the dishwasher seems easy, but sanitizing takes less than 10 minutes by hand. I start with clean bottles, and squirt sanitizer in them with a vinator, and stick them on the bottle tree. No kidding- 10 minutes or less!
If you still want to try something different, some people use the oven to sanitize. Neither the no-rinse sanitizer method or the oven method would leave any residue on the bottles.
 

ArcaneXor

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Also, when preparing to ferment I had a sizeable amount of my sanitized solution (bleach water) from my airlock get into the wort. I'm fairly confident it was poor bottle sanitizing method, but could this gross buffoonery have helped kill the head we all love so much? By the way, thanks for the welcome...this site has been instrumental in my beggining to brew experience...thanks for all the great posts!
Never use bleach in an airlock (better yet, don't use bleach for brewing, period) - it can create pretty terrible off-flavors in extremely small concentrations. There are MUCH better options out there for sanitizers (Star San) and air lock liquids (cheap Vodka).
 

BeerPressure

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Yep, that would do it. I've made many Brewer's Best kits when I started out and they were fine. I bet the detergent (if any) and the drying agent left a residue that kills the head. The good news is that you can rinse those bottles as you use them (get all the yeast out and all the sediment with hot water) and then they'll be clean, and you can just use a no-rinse sanitizer like Star-san or Iodophor next time.
I know that the dishwasher seems easy, but sanitizing takes less than 10 minutes by hand. I start with clean bottles, and squirt sanitizer in them with a vinator, and stick them on the bottle tree. No kidding- 10 minutes or less!
If you still want to try something different, some people use the oven to sanitize. Neither the no-rinse sanitizer method or the oven method would leave any residue on the bottles.
you dont use any soap in the dishwasher to sanitize, ive done the dishwasher method 3 times to no ill affect
 
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