Poor head retention with pressure fermentation??

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Off Balance Brewing

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So I've been doing room temp larger fermentation under pressure for the last year and I've noticed most of the batches won't hold any head, no lacing. I've tried omega German larger and pilsner 1 and also safale 34/70. Has anyone had this issue? I don't have an issue with any of my ales but they only see pressure toward the end of fermentation to spund/carb.

Process:
Ferment in keg/all rounder, gas jumper to serving keg, spunding valve on serving keg. I let the pressure build naturally then limit it to 15-18 psi at 66-72F. Then gravity rack into the serving keg.

I spray the serving keg down with starsan and dump before I hook it up. Could it be the starsan? I can't again I leave more in the keg than pushing out 5 gallons of it with gas instead.
 

day_trippr

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I doubt a mere film of Star San would affect head formation and retention.
I would look to the grain bill first...

Cheers!
 

Dgallo

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What’s your grainbill look like? How much hops did you use? How clear was your wort going into the fermenter(do you leave as much trub behind as possible)? What cleaners do you use? How clean was your glass?

Pressure ferments should theoretically increase your head formation/retention
 

crazyjake19

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I suspect the issue lies in your recipe. What does your grain bill look like? Have you brewed the same lager recipes without utilizing pressurized fermentation for comparison?

A small amount of residual StarSan would have no effect on this, nor would any trub or yeast present in the fermenter keg. I typically serve right from the fermenter keg without transferring, and have had no issues with head retention. In fact, my pressure fermented beers have actually had somewhat better head retention than the others.

What are you cleaning your kegs with, and are you rinsing them well? Same question for your transfer lines/hoses. You mention no issues with your ales, but are you drinking them from different glasses and if so, are they all cleaned the same way? Seems like a stretch, but I tend to drink certain beers from certain glasses, and if they're left in the kitchen my wife may clean them differently than I would.

Curious to see what the issue might be here.
 

crazyjake19

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This is incorrect information. There are lipids (depending on grain choice) and foam negative proteins in trub material
Perhaps the pint or so that sits in direct contact with the yeast/trub cake could be effected, but in several dozen keg-fermented batches I've not had a single batch with head retention issues, pressure fermented or not. BIAB, squeezed, majority of trub ends up in the fermenter keg, no filtering/fining/etc.

I'm guessing OP's issue lies elsewhere.
 
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Off Balance Brewing

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So I clean with pbw or oxy free depending how dirty. Same for all equipment and I would say I rinse 4 to 5 times.

My glasses are all same serving with finish dish detergent.

I take most of the trub over, I don't wait long to settle end of boil.

So far this had bad head retention

Malts (12.8 lb)
6 lb (46.9%) — Weyermann Munich I — Grain — 5.8 °L — Mash — 60 min

6 lb
(46.9%) — Maris Otter Pale Malt, Maris Otter — Grain — 3 °L — Mash — 60 min

0.5 lb
(3.9%) — Weyermann Caramunich II — Grain — 47.1 °L

0.3 lb (2.3%) — Weyermann Melanoidin — Grain — 26 °L

This was ok retention


Malts (10.8 lb)
8.5 lb (78.7%) — Weyermann Pilsner — Grain — 1.8 °L — Mash — 90 min

1.2 lb
(11.1%) — Weyermann Munich I — Grain — 5.8 °L — Mash — 90 min

0.5 lb
(4.6%) — Weyermann Caramunich III — Grain — 53 °L — Mash — 90 min

0.5 lb
(4.6%) — Briess Victory Malt (biscuit) — Grain — 21.2 °L — Mash — 90 min

0.1 lb
(0.9%) — Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate — Grain — 225.4 °L — Mash — 90 min

These pressure lagers are the first I've had head retention this poor.
 
OP
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Off Balance Brewing

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I suspect the issue lies in your recipe. What does your grain bill look like? Have you brewed the same lager recipes without utilizing pressurized fermentation for comparison?

A small amount of residual StarSan would have no effect on this, nor would any trub or yeast present in the fermenter keg. I typically serve right from the fermenter keg without transferring, and have had no issues with head retention. In fact, my pressure fermented beers have actually had somewhat better head retention than the others.

What are you cleaning your kegs with, and are you rinsing them well? Same question for your transfer lines/hoses. You mention no issues with your ales, but are you drinking them from different glasses and if so, are they all cleaned the same way? Seems like a stretch, but I tend to drink certain beers from certain glasses, and if they're left in the kitchen my wife may clean them differently than I would.

Curious to see what the issue might be here.
Recipe example below. I have not tried any lager not under pressure
 

Abhishek Dewan

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I had similar problem, even Krausen wouldn’t form or drop very fast. I found problem was with mashing, protein was getting destroyed perhaps, resulting in poor head. I started mashing at 67c , single step mash. What is your mashing temperature/process?
 
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