No Head

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Bills Brew

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Is it normal that some brews have less, or no head, than others? Ive even had different bottles from the same batch with varying degress of head.

My Hefwiesen, Pilsner, and to a certain extent Bavarian Ale all had little, or no head when poured into the glass after 3 weeks in the bottle. I can see the carbonation bubbles. But no head.

As opposed to my IPA and Lager which both produced good head.

In all cases I used the 4-5 oz of priming sugar.

thanks,
bill
 

drunko

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I don't know the answer to the problem, but I have a porter that is the same way. Hopefully someone with solutions chimes in.
 

budbo

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It happens for a couple reasons.. The main one being how well you mixed the priming sugar.. For a 5 gal batch I try to re-stir after each 12pack bottled. Since doing the stir often method my bottles have been much more consistent. I have also been told if you rack really well both times (from primary and secondary) you can end up with some bottles being really short on yeast so it can take much longer to carbonate to a head.

I also have found if you clean with bleach and don't rinse enough it can cause it (I stopped using bleach a while ago)
 

wild

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Bills Brew said:
Is it normal that some brews have less, or no head, than others? Ive even had different bottles from the same batch with varying degress of head.
It may also depend on your bottle-washing procedure and cleaning consistancy. Soap will reduce head and retention.

Wild
 

pitt100

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wild said:
It may also depend on your bottle-washing procedure and cleaning consistancy. Soap will reduce head and retention.

Wild
Same goes for the vessel you pour it into. Soap/film will reduce head retention.
 

AllHoppedUp

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May have something to do with how long you're letting it condition as well. I usually try a bottle from a new batch after 3 weeks and it usually has no head to speak of. After a couple months in the cellar I find they've developed a nice head . . . and they taste a LOT better.

If I had the patience I wouldn't touch my beers for at least 2 months. I've had a couple batches that I initially considered big disappoinments . . . but after a couple months left alone they're fantastic.

AHU
 

Shambolic

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I'm finding now that my brews take a fair bit longer than 2-3 weeks to carbonate properly. In fact, I had one that was almost flat after a month, but at 6 months was significantly fizzy.

Just give them time.
 

kevy_kev

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I have the same problem and the inconsistency in the priming sugar mixing in is a good answer, I think.
The beer in the bottles I know were bottled first have much better head than the ones that were bottled last.
 

D*Bo

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Are your beer glasses being washed in a dishwasher with some type of anti spotting agent? Those break up protien strands which is what forms the head.

Whay do you use to clean your bottles/fermentor? Rinse after sanatising? Do you use a bottle tree?
 

homebrewer_99

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omniscientomar said:
No head?! That Sucks!! :D
No, that doesn't suck. That's what "no head" is all about...:drunk:

What are you guys using soap on? Just your glasses I hope.

I've been brewing since '93 and don't use soap on any of my equipment. The reality of it is malt is sugar. Once you dissolve it with hot water the equipment is clean.
 
OP
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Bills Brew

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Thanks for all of your answers, even "desertbrew's"!!

I don't use soap or chlorine in any of the brewing stuff.

Yes, only the glasses have been through the dishwasher, and I just noticed that the wife has this little thing hanging in the dishwasher. Looks like one of the rinse aid things. Hmmm???

Or perhaps a little more time is the answer. It seems like "more time" is the answer to a lot of "problems" that come up. I've only been brewing since the first of the year, and I can really say this is the greatest hobby / obsession I've ever had.

Thanks Guys!!:mug:
 

Beer Snob

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Bills Brew said:
Thanks for all of your answers, even "desertbrew's"!!
Yeah Desertbrew seems to have this way of pointing out real depressing points! :D


You know other things that I've been talking with people in other threads about head are additives, like chocolate.
 

Schlenkerla

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kevy_kev said:
I have the same problem and the inconsistency in the priming sugar mixing in is a good answer, I think.
The beer in the bottles I know were bottled first have much better head than the ones that were bottled last.
I would agree mixing is a likely culprit! Do you boil the water and sugar first before putting it in the bottling bucket? I don't. I do it the old fashion way.

Put the sugar in the bottle. 2.5 tsp for each 1 liter/quart bottle. ~ 18-19 bottles per 5 gal batch. Fill each bottle, cap and shake. Perfect each time. No infections! I use special scoop for this. A 3/4 tsp is good for 12 oz.

Aside from mixing, bottle/glass cleanliness, the last possibility is fill level. Not sure which is worse. I believe over filling is the worse than under filling.
 

Lou

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Schlenkerla said:
.....the last possibility is fill level. Not sure which is worse. I believe over filling is the worse than under filling.
why do you think that?
 

Schlenkerla

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I though about your question for a bit....

The main reason why fill level matters is that there is only a limited amount of sugar for CO2 and the air in the bottle is compressable. Air is very compressible and liquid is not. Liquids are 98% uncompressible.

As the sugar ferments it fills the air space with CO2 after the air space can take no more CO2 it starts blending with the beer to a point.

Assuming a normal supply of sugar, a low fill level will result in flat beer. All of the CO2 will fill the air space. It doesn't want to be in the liquid.

On the flip side high fill level will result in quickly filled space of CO2 then overcarbonated beer or blown up bottles. If the bottles are strong the carbonation will cease under its own pressure.


:)
 
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Like Bill said, a bit of wheat, be it all grainers or DME is great for head retention. I add 1/2 to 1# in most my brews. You are talking head retention and not carb right? However wheat does very little for the other topic. Did I start that? Probably...
 

D*Bo

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I'd recommend washing your beer glasses by hand, see if that helps.

For future batches a little wheat will help.
 
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