What gives good head?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

BIGCUNN60

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2012
Messages
85
Reaction score
2
I love a good play on words, but seriously? Is it the carbonation or the ingredients? Both? I couldn't take the anticipation and just cracked a bottle of my very first batch after only 5 days in bottle. I enjoy the taste but it has no head. School me here beer people.
 

944play

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,725
Reaction score
49
Location
Portland
There is a Brew Strong episode on head retention which you might find edifying.
thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-09-01-08-Head-Retention
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,296
Reaction score
3,702
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
You have no head, because the head proteins haven't developed yet, because the beer has only been in the bottles for 5 days.....

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

And just because a beer is carbed doesn't mean it still doesn't taste like a$$ and need more time for the off flavors to condition out. You have green beer.

Temp and gravity are the two factors that contribute to the time it takes to carb beer. But if a beer's not ready yet, or seems low carbed, and you added the right amount of sugar to it, then it's not stalled, it's just not time yet.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience." ;)

If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them more time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

I've carbed hundreds of gallons of beer, and never had a beer that wasn't carbed, or under carbed or anything of the sort (Except for a batch where I accidently mixed up lactose or Maltodextrine for priming sugar). Some took awhile, (as I said up to six months) but they ALL eventually carbed.
 

eastoak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2011
Messages
3,304
Reaction score
176
Location
oakland
I love a good play on words, but seriously? Is it the carbonation or the ingredients? Both? I couldn't take the anticipation and just cracked a bottle of my very first batch after only 5 days in bottle. I enjoy the taste but it has no head. School me here beer people.
like others have said, 5 days is too early but ingredients (flaked barley really helps), carbonation and yeast all have important roles in head formation/retention. i have had beer form really nice foam after only 5 days in the bottle and i have a wheat beer that forms a very thin head and it's been in the bottle for over 4 months now which i suspect might be due to the yeast i used. in my experience beer that will form a good head will show signs of that early on (maybe not 5 days), beer that will never form a big head will not be helped by time.
 

Calder

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2010
Messages
8,542
Reaction score
1,033
Location
Ohio
...... I don't think you know her .......

But talking about beer. Time will help most beers. If the beer is 2 moths in the bottle at reasonable temperatures and you still have a problem, you need to think about what might have gone wrong. Less than that time at reasonable temperatures, you should just wait.
 

steber

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2011
Messages
314
Reaction score
16
Location
Kingston
Time is the biggest factor. I've also found that a good chill gives the best head. If I only chill a beer for a day after I've let it condtion for x amount of days it has very little head. Same beer left in the fridge for atleast 5 days usually gives me a nice head with good retention.
 

C-Rider

Senior Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 17, 2011
Messages
4,009
Reaction score
482
Location
Wai
Don't forget a CLEAN glass. My Papa would just about kill u if u used his beer glass for anything but his beer.
 

spearko520

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
1,021
Reaction score
66
Location
allentown
I only came for the jokes!

Anyone???
i actually stopped by for suggestions, as i've been thinking of cheating on my wife. it was the "what" part that drew me in. I was expecting lists of flora, fauna, and inanimate objects, which technically, may not be cheating...
 

944play

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
2,725
Reaction score
49
Location
Portland
Head is highly over rated................it just looks nice
It's an egregious cliche, but we eat with our eyes. So while the second part of your sentiment may be in fact true, it does not correlate with the first. A nice head is strongly indicative of a well-brewed beer. One with nice foam just feels ineffably better than one without.
 

DannyD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
420
Reaction score
9
Location
Polokwane
It's an egregious cliche, but we eat with our eyes. So while the second part of your sentiment may be in fact true, it does not correlate with the first. A nice head is strongly indicative of a well-brewed beer. One with nice foam just feels ineffably better than one without.
I was aiming a bit more to the joke side.......:D ("overated" and "looks nice")
 
Top