Author Topic: Well carbed but no head  (Read 1521 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #15 on: October 24, 2013, 08:01:08 AM »

How long has the beer been in the keg?  Do you carbonate at serving temp?

I've found that with higher serving pressures the beer will initially seem carbonated but has poor head forming and retention.  Given time (maybe a week or so) the head seems to stabilize.

What I think might be happening is that the higher pressure is forcing the gas into suspension, which is why the beer seems carbonated, but that it's not fully dissolved into the liquid when I initially tap the keg.  The pour is good, the carbonation seems to be there, but I get a thin fizzy head that dissipates quickly.  A week or so later, it's a different story.

So, maybe you just need to be patient?

The beer has been in the keg now about a week at 30psi at 40F.

The root beer is clear as well so there is is nothing suspended and yes, it is a full 10% ABV.

Like I mentioned, the co2 appears to be fully absorbed as there are a ton of bubbles rising from the bottom of the pour from start to finish and it tastes well carbonated.

 The tiny thin head that is forming is not dissipating quickly and there is nice lacing as you drink it.

I guess I'll see how it develops over another week or so but I'm thinking it has something to do with the root beer extract oils and ingredients that might be limiting the head production.

I've never used in but I think commercial soft root beers often use a heading powder of some sort (maltodextrin maybe?) to get that long lasting big thick foam.

I suspect, and this is totally a suspicion based in my own hippie dippy view of the world in which 'old' and 'natural' food techniques are ALWAYS better than 'new' and 'engineered' food techniques (I jest, but just a bit). that if you used the traditional herbs and spices to make your brew you would get a robust and long lasting head of foam which is what the heading powder is supposed to emulate.

You know, I just had a thought, what about a little flaked wheat? triticale, which is a hybrid between wheat and rye, is extremely neutral in beer (I found out to my sadness when I had 10 gallons of triticale saison that was just meh) and should boost your proteins some.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #16 on: October 24, 2013, 08:07:05 AM »
I use a heading agent in my sodas to get good foam.  Maltodextrin works, and I have some gum arabic but have not tried it yet.  I still don't get a big foam stand though.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2013, 08:29:47 AM »
So to follow up, last night I tried a pour from about 6-8" straight down into the glass. I could see a nice 1/4" or so of carbonation and head trying to form just below the surface and got about 1/16" of head, nice and tan but that's it.

I'm going to assume that whatever is in the extract, oils, etc are probably preventing a decent head from actually forming as the this layer was retained and there was nice lacing on the glass, thanks for the input everyone!

I assume your glasses are "beer clean"?  You could try a salt scrub to be sure.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2013, 08:54:58 AM »
I've never used in but I think commercial soft root beers often use a heading powder of some sort (maltodextrin maybe?) to get that long lasting big thick foam.
I toured Fordham once and in their section of soda ingredients (they make Old Dominion sodas) they had boxes of 'concentrated foam'.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2013, 09:47:36 AM »
This is too funny you all just chimed in with the same thoughts! Just got off the phone with a company and apparently foam enhancing products are quite common in both home and commercial sodas!

Here's what I need:http://homemadesodacompany.com/foamenhancer.aspx in case anyone else is looking as well!

Thanks for all the thoughts, gonna order some up!
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Offline duboman

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2013, 01:35:49 PM »
i popped into the local LHBS and picked up some malto dextrine to give a try until I can order the other stuff,
anyone with a suggestion on how much to use for a 3 gallon batch?

Should I boil it up first in a little water and then add it, I assume so......?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2013, 11:12:56 PM »
Yes, boil it first.  It has a tendency to clump too, so whisk it or something to get it mixed in the water.  I would use about 3 oz in the 3 gallon batch, maybe a little more.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline duboman

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2013, 04:58:31 AM »
Yes, boil it first.  It has a tendency to clump too, so whisk it or something to get it mixed in the water.  I would use about 3 oz in the 3 gallon batch, maybe a little more.

Thanks Tom,

I decided to go with about 2.5 oz boiled and added last night so I'll give it a day or two to settle in and see how it works. I figured if necessary I can always add a bit more if needed.

Gary
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2013, 06:53:37 AM »

How long has the beer been in the keg?  Do you carbonate at serving temp?

I've found that with higher serving pressures the beer will initially seem carbonated but has poor head forming and retention.  Given time (maybe a week or so) the head seems to stabilize.

What I think might be happening is that the higher pressure is forcing the gas into suspension, which is why the beer seems carbonated, but that it's not fully dissolved into the liquid when I initially tap the keg.  The pour is good, the carbonation seems to be there, but I get a thin fizzy head that dissipates quickly.  A week or so later, it's a different story.

So, maybe you just need to be patient?

The beer has been in the keg now about a week at 30psi at 40F.

The root beer is clear as well so there is is nothing suspended and yes, it is a full 10% ABV.

Like I mentioned, the co2 appears to be fully absorbed as there are a ton of bubbles rising from the bottom of the pour from start to finish and it tastes well carbonated.

 The tiny thin head that is forming is not dissipating quickly and there is nice lacing as you drink it.

I guess I'll see how it develops over another week or so but I'm thinking it has something to do with the root beer extract oils and ingredients that might be limiting the head production.

I've never used in but I think commercial soft root beers often use a heading powder of some sort (maltodextrin maybe?) to get that long lasting big thick foam.

I suspect, and this is totally a suspicion based in my own hippie dippy view of the world in which 'old' and 'natural' food techniques are ALWAYS better than 'new' and 'engineered' food techniques (I jest, but just a bit). that if you used the traditional herbs and spices to make your brew you would get a robust and long lasting head of foam which is what the heading powder is supposed to emulate.

You know, I just had a thought, what about a little flaked wheat? triticale, which is a hybrid between wheat and rye, is extremely neutral in beer (I found out to my sadness when I had 10 gallons of triticale saison that was just meh) and should boost your proteins some.

Ttriticale??  Do you want to kill all the Tribnles?  You must be a Klingon.  ;D

Wheat might be worth a shot in the next batch but it sounds like there are other options to fix the current one.

Interesting stuff.

Paul
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Offline duboman

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2013, 04:54:41 PM »
Update: added about 60 grams of malto dextrine. Mouthfeel is slightly creamier and better. Head formation is a bit better but still dissipates rather quickly. Here's a before photo: and here's an after:

Next batch I'm going to try the foam enhancer product posted previously.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2013, 05:02:51 PM »
Looks just fine to me. How's the lacing?

Offline duboman

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #26 on: October 30, 2013, 07:03:09 AM »
Looks just fine to me. How's the lacing?

Lacing is great! Taste is great! Head formation is better too!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2013, 10:24:53 AM »
Sounds like you got it licked then

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Well carbed but no head
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2013, 12:22:49 AM »
Awesome, thanks for the update.
Tom Schmidlin