Wheat beer has little head, no head retention!?

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Chrispy92

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Hey everyone,

So brewed my first hefe with WLP300, 45% Pilsner malt and 55% wheat malt.

The beer came out fantastic, did a step mash and kept all the ferm temps low. Even have a few German mates who absolutely love it.

Only thing is when poured it has a white head with large bubbles and it doesn't hand around for more than 30 seconds. No lacing either. Now this doesn't really bother me but I thought a wheat would have a nice thick long lasting head.

I did use a whirfloc tab in the last 10 mins of the boil. This actually cleared the beer completely like a Krystalweizen. Just curious if this is the reason my head is crap!?

Any sciency info on why the head would be affected when using whirfloc on a wheat but not on other brews would be appreciated
 

ncbrewer

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I used Irish moss (pretty much the same thing as Whirlfloc) in a hefe by accident once. It didn't affect the head.
 

JonM

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How long has in been carbonating/conditioning?
 

flars

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Large bubbles in the head could be in part from too short of bottle conditioning time. Length of chilling time can have an affect also. I'll chill my bottles for two days before pouring.
 

Lefou

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Hop oils and protein content can affect foam retention. I've noticed some of the good Belgian Leffe foam I've tasted that's laced the glass is bitter and I think it is hop-related.
The next beer I'm gonna attempt is a 50/50 Pilsner wheat with a bit of CaraPils and Citra, a high alpha acid hop. The plan is to combine a portion of Pilsner, the wheat, and CaraPils apart from the main mash at a higher temp and just use hops for bittering. No clarifiers.
I want to see if the head retention and foam improves.
 
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Chrispy92

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Fully carbed to 3.5 volumes been in the bottle for 3 weeks... Only a couple left actually. I really don't know what the issue was, next time I'm going to use no whitfloc and see what happens....
 
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Chrispy92

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Hop oils and protein content can affect foam retention. I've noticed some of the good Belgian Leffe foam I've tasted that's laced the glass is bitter and I think it is hop-related.
The next beer I'm gonna attempt is a 50/50 Pilsner wheat with a bit of CaraPils and Citra, a high alpha acid hop. The plan is to combine a portion of Pilsner, the wheat, and CaraPils apart from the main mash at a higher temp and just use hops for bittering. No clarifiers.
I want to see if the head retention and foam improves.
Hmm sounds pretty tastey. I'm about to do an American wheat with a decent amount of centennial. Will see how it turns out with the added hops... I may still throw on the whirfloc to see what happens.
 

dmtaylor

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Did you do a protein rest at around 122 F? That will kill your head retention. Never do a protein rest with 21st century malts. Look it up.
 
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Chrispy92

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^^^^^ I did a rest at 110 F to aid in the hydrolysis of ferulic acid. As per my recipe to produce 4-vinyl guaiacol (clove). This sits kind of close to the 120 protein rest temp, I had a slow time increasing the temperature so this may be what has killed the head.

I'll read more into it, cheers dmtaylor!
 

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