Author Topic: Head retention  (Read 1784 times)

Offline madscientist

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Head retention
« on: April 09, 2012, 11:06:24 AM »
So the last two batches I brewed (Amber and an Irish Red), I decided to use a priming sugar calculator rather than dump in the whole 5oz package of corn sugar.  Both beers taste great, and I think I like the carb levels much better, but I am thinking the head retention is suffering.  I poured a few and it is either really thin or non existant.  I suppose it could be soap residue in the glasses, but will this improve over the next few weeks?
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Offline euge

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 08:11:32 AM »
Probably not. Carbonation causes formation but little to do with retention, other than it may be continuously creating foam. Once that dies down so does the head. I'd look to yeast pitching, hops, grain-bill and boil intensity. It could be something as well with the glassware. Have you switched soaps, rinsing agents or cleaning methods?

I like vinegar as a rinse agent in my dishwasher.
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Offline denny

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 08:18:17 AM »
Pitching rate and fermentation process plays a large part in foam formation and retention.  The following article not only explains it, but has some simple tests you can do to help determine where the problem might be.

http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

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Offline madscientist

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 05:56:52 PM »
Pitching rate and fermentation process plays a large part in foam formation and retention.  The following article not only explains it, but has some simple tests you can do to help determine where the problem might be.

http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques

Great article, Denny.  I will take a closer look at my recipe and see if there is any conclusion I can draw.

Euge - I got a couple pint glasses from a st. patty's day party my wife washed them out with dish soap.  I have actually been using nothing BUT that glass for a while.  The glasses I used this past weekend were my mother-in-law's so they've been dishwasher washed countless times. 

I did not do a yeast starter.  I actually used a new yeast from East Coast Yeast.... ECY26 Dublin Ale.  I talked to the guy who runs ECY and he said I wouldn't need a starter since his pitching rate is so high to begin with.  I intend to ask him about the head retention and see if anyone else who has used the yeast experienced it.  But if this is also happening in another beer with 1056, I am wondering if there is another issue. 
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Offline Pi

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 01:31:01 PM »
I have been adding Fermcap to my fermenter and it works great. But I still get excellent head retention. How come the stuff works in the fermentor but not in the glass? Where does it go?
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Offline denny

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 01:50:36 PM »
I have been adding Fermcap to my fermenter and it works great. But I still get excellent head retention. How come the stuff works in the fermentor but not in the glass? Where does it go?

Because hopefully by the time the beer is fermented out it's dropped to the bottom of the fermenter so it doesn't make it to your glass.
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