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How can I get more head?

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rameses

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(Sounds like a letter to Penthouse!)

OK - I've brewed two batches now and neither had much head at all. I brewed them in October so they have been in bottles now for over two months. The taste is good and they do not taste flat, but there just simply is no head.

I am about to start my 3rd batch. What are some things I can do to get better head?

thx
 

homebrewer_99

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Do you rinse your glasses with cold water prior to pouring your brew?

Chances are you have a soap film on your glasses...do you use Jet Dry in your dishwasher? All of these contribute to a flat head in the glass.

Never dry your glasses either...the soap from them can also transfer.
 

ohiobrewtus

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Pay for dinner.

Bah dum dum... ching!

Clean glasses are a must. Normally I'd suggest addint fome flaked wheat or carapils, but you said you're about to start your 3rd batch so I'm guessing that you are doing extract.
 

Soulive

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+3 for clean glasses. If you can't use wheat or crystal malts, make sure that's not your culprit...
 

WOP31

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Using some wheat in you brews will help with head retention. If you are brewing with extract i found that using about a pound of wheat extract really helped in this reguard, and wouldn't alter the beer very much if giving proper time to clear in the secondary. If all grain you can use some wheat malt (a small percentage of your total grain bill).

Also look over your priming procedures. Are you using the proper amout of priming sugar, is it getting distributed evenly. things like that. Here is a calculator that you can use to figure out priming rates based on style:
http://www.franklinbrew.org/tools/carb.html
 

Donasay

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+1 on clean glasses, but also look at your bottles, if you run them through the dishwasher or don't rinse them well enough before bottling they may have soap residue on them.

The other thing you can add is malto-dextrine, it is an unfermentable that adds to both head retention as well as mouth feel, usually mouthfeel and head go hand in hand.

When in doubt whip it out... your hydrometer that is...
 

extexan

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You didn't say what type of beer you are brewing. List your ingredients may help us figure out why lack of head (doh!).
 
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rameses

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I think the dishwasher is the culprit. I do have JetDry in my dishwasher. I thought that would be the easiest way to sanitize a large batch of bottles at once.

If I run them through a cycle to sanitize, should I just rinse and air dry them afterwards?

As far as ingrediants - these were extract ale kits from AHS. Once was Honey Brown and the other was a Newcastle Clone.
 

TexLaw

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Well, there you go. Jet Dry killed your head, for sure. You might have other issues with head, but you'll never uncover them if you're getting Jet Dry in your bottles.

While the dishwasher is mighty convenient, I've never used it for washing or sanitizing bottles. The racks are mighty handy for drying bottles, though I slipped the bottles through the spaces in the rack to avoid getting any detergent in the bottle.

Good head is very important to me. :)


TL
 
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rameses

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TexLaw said:
Good head is very important to me. :)


TL
The worst head I ever had was still great! :ban:

Thx all - I'll avoid JD on this next batch and see how it comes out.
 

cclloyd

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rameses said:
I think the dishwasher is the culprit. I do have JetDry in my dishwasher. I thought that would be the easiest way to sanitize a large batch of bottles at once.

If I run them through a cycle to sanitize, should I just rinse and air dry them afterwards?
I did that too and had an off taste as well as minimal head retention. I have gone to a hot rinse and then 20 minutes in the oven at 240F. Zero issues.
 

Rivercat96

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Couple of ideas on the topic, a bottle tree is worth it's weight in gold, bottle brush or bottle jet adapter for sink also works great, all natural liquid soap, and some good ole Star San to make sure everything is sanitized. Don't forget to siphon your beer on to the sugar mixture before bottling, this will help mix up the sugar and beer much better than stiring. And the best for last, 22 oz bottles and mini kegs are awesome for saving time when bottling, champagne bottles can also be used it you've got 'em. Good luck.
 

ttownbrew

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homebrewer_99 said:
She was 19....most definitely...we went to school with her for 4 years...:D
we? this really is sounding like a letter to Penthouse...
 

Alamo_Beer

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I know it would be hard to formulate but I really wish there was some sort of "heading units" you could track when formulating a recipe. Like IBU's for instance...

This way when you were messing around with beersmith or promash or whatever you could have an idea on the head.

I doubt that will ever happen though bc there are so many other things that effect head besides recipe formulation...
 

BierMuncher

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Before you go buying a new dishwasher and throwing away your glassware...

How bout telling us your ingredients. If you're just opening a can of extract and boiling...no head for you.

You need to introduce some steeping grains.

A simple addition would be to steep a pound of basic quick oats in your beer. You probably have these in your pantry already.
 
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rameses said:
(Sounds like a letter to Penthouse!)

OK - I've brewed two batches now and neither had much head at all. I brewed them in October so they have been in bottles now for over two months. The taste is good and they do not taste flat, but there just simply is no head.

I am about to start my 3rd batch. What are some things I can do to get better head?

thx

Date fat girls? I have been told...
 

HP_Lovecraft

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This thread is quickly entereing the "Not safe for work" territory.
For me, I always add a little Wheat DME to every brew.

nick
 

HopsTat

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rameses said:
Thx all - I'll avoid JD on this next batch and see how it comes out.
Don't just avoid the JD. If you are still going to run the bottles through the dishwasher, don't use any soap. However, it's much easier if you just rinse out each bottle right after you finish it (bottle washers are worth their weight in gold), dry it and store it. When you're ready to bottle, just soak it in Iodophor (at the rate of 1 Tbsp of Iodophor for 5 gallons of water) for 30 seconds to sanitize. If you just shake as much of the iodophor mixture out by hand as you can, you'll be good to go. If you must use the dishwasher, just run it through the heating cycle, as this is all you need to sanitize the bottles.
 

budbo

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It's apparent you never had one from someone who was wearing braces at the time...
I did, more than once in my life, They never scraped little Budbo with the front of their teeth. Interesting concept.. I must admit I have never gotten any that invloved direct contact with the front of the teeth.
 
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budbo said:
I did, more than once in my life, They never scraped little Budbo with the front of their teeth. Interesting concept.. I must admit I have never gotten any that invloved direct contact with the front of the teeth.
wow

only a post like that can be found at homebrewtalk.com :ban: :mug: :ban:
 

Hogshead

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I read the title of this thread out loud, and my wife (who has no brewing experience at all) says, "just keep it clean."

how can you argue with that?
 

the_bird

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Hogshead said:
I read the title of this thread out loud, and my wife (who has no brewing experience at all) says, "just keep it clean."

how can you argue with that?
Hmmm... that can be interpreted about three different ways... what was she referring to whose cleanliness might be an issue? ;)
 

TexLaw

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YooperBrew said:
I don't know, I guess I'm a sicko. But when I read the title of the thread, the first thing that came to my mind was a very simple answer.

Jewelry.
I jut figured it would take a shave, but I've been drinking. :D


TL
 

Alabama Brewer

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One thing I had to learn when I started homebrewing was that it is ok to pour that sucker right in the middle of the glass.
 
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