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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: roguejim on August 13, 2011, 08:43:16 AM

Title: Head retention in German pils
Post by: roguejim on August 13, 2011, 08:43:16 AM
Assuming 100% pils malt for the grain bill, i.e., no carapils, how do you achieve a long lasting white head?
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: blatz on August 13, 2011, 11:34:37 AM
proper pH, good sanitation and you should not have a problem.

the higher level of hops is one thing I know that helps.

that said, Duvel is all pils and sugar, and not that much hop, and that is what I call serious head retention.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 13, 2011, 12:18:48 PM
A healthy temperature controlled fermentation to eliminate fusels helps a lot.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: Pi on August 13, 2011, 09:38:15 PM
Try a shorter protein rest. Depending on whether you are using American or German malt. I use a RIMS system and once I get to Protein rest temp (50c) i start increasing my temperater at about 1.5 degrees C till i get to my next rest. Too long of a protein rest makes for almost no head.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: bluesman on August 13, 2011, 10:31:14 PM
Medium length proteins (polypeptides) are good for head retention. This is usually achieved through a protein rest, although with today's highly modified malts, most of this work was done by the maltster. A short rest (15min) at 122F won't hurt.

As has been said, increased hopping rates, a good healthy fermentation and proper carbonation levels will all help make good head.

Here's two good articles from BYO.

http://www.byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/625-fabulous-foam

http://www.byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: Malticulous on August 13, 2011, 11:54:35 PM
The was a thread over at NB someone mentioned something called chit malt that Germans use. I don't know what it is but he suggested using some unmalted barley as a substitute.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: jeffy on August 14, 2011, 12:11:29 AM
I found this on a site about Weyerman Chit malt.  Sounds interesting.
"Chit malt is made from highly undermodified barley and can be used up to 10% of the grist. Its purpose is to increase foam and head retention in the finished beer and may increase hop profile (Briggs). It is kilned to same degree as normal pilsener malt."
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 14, 2011, 01:14:07 PM
I have used flaked barley as a substitute for Chit Malt.    This was on Jeff Renner's recommendation.  A few years back I went to 100% pils malt, and the pils beers still finish dry and have great head retention.

A Hochkurtz decoction is what I do now, and I mash in at the first rest temp in the 144-146F range.  If you look on Kai's site, you will see that is what German brewers are doing to save time and energy.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: cfleisher on August 14, 2011, 03:46:09 PM
Paying attention to temperature and sanitation are the two most important things. Also, if you're going to do a protein rest, keep it on the shorter side (15-20 min.). I usually do a step mash at 122 for 20 min, and then ramp up to 146-149 for 60 min. Both pilsners I've done have had excellent head retention, with pilsner malt being the only malt.
Title: Re: Head retention in German pils
Post by: thcipriani on August 15, 2011, 03:26:23 AM
Never had a problem with head retention on any beer. I've always associated proper head and proper head-retention with proper pitching rate. Make sure you're using the pitching rate calculator as a starting point and adjusting your pitch rate up or down depending on your desired results.