Very Little Head?

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CrossBones

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Hi, folks. This weekend I sampled the first bottle of my second-ever batch or beer, Midwest's Superior Strong Ale, and it tastes AWESOME. I'm very happy to have finally produced a great-tasting ale (the first attempt at beer-brewing turned out very yeasty), but I notice that it really doesn't have much head at all when poured.

Is this an indication of too little carbonation? I followed the instructions carefully when adding sugar and bottling, so I'm not sure what happened. Any ideas what might have caused this? One note - I transferred the beer from the primary to a secondary after two weeks, and left it in the secondary for another week, but... I used a plastic pail for a secondary instead of a carboy. Since the pail has too much headspace for the little CO2 generated, I wonder if maybe that somehow inhibited the head in the bottle...?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and ideas!
 

homebrewdad

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Hoq long has it been bottled? At what temp has it been sitting? How long has in been in the fridge after bottle aging?
 
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CrossBones

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In the secondary a week, then bottled; in bottles for two weeks, at about 76-78 degrees (I know - probably too warm); in fridge for only about a day or two before opening.
 

homebrewdad

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Typical rule of thumb is 3 weeks at 70 degrees to fully carb (for a normal beer). Big beers/lower temps can take longer.

Your higher temps may have helped carb up quicker. However, only a day or so in the fridge can lead to poor head retention. Give 'em a week and try again.

Make sure that you have no detergent residue on your glass - that will kill foam like nobody's business.


Of course, some recipes simply have more head than others.
 
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CrossBones

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3 weeks - gotcha. My previous batch, an Irish Red Ale, had a great head - and I really didn't do anything differently. Since I only refrigerated a few to sample, I'll wait another week before chilling the rest of the batch, and then another week before trying 'em again. Thanks!
 

MDB

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Anywhere else on the internet, this would have been a post about life after marriage....
 
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