Author Topic: Head retention  (Read 679 times)

Offline sdfern4

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Head retention
« on: March 12, 2014, 06:38:11 PM »
Looking for suggestions for what to use for head retention in lighter beers. What do people use and how much?

Offline euge

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2014, 06:39:17 PM »
Looking for suggestions for what to use for head retention in lighter beers. What do people use and how much?

I'd say it is about great fermentation and carbonation. Healthy yeast begets nice head.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline majorvices

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2014, 07:10:39 PM »
+1 - if your fermentation is generating fusels due to high fermentation or pitching temps or under pitching (not enough yeast) your head retention will suffer. There's not much in the way of ingredients that will help that. Likewise, if your beer is not adequately carbonated your head retention will suffer.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2014, 07:19:41 PM »
When I started making sure I fermented below 70, my head retention improved significantly.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2014, 07:37:01 PM »
You can have great head retention with just base malt, if you have a good mash and fermentation.

If you want extra help, use some wheat in the beer, and lots of hops. Wheat proteins will aid the head, as will hop oils.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2014, 09:05:08 PM »
Lately (since November) I've been brewing session beers. My big beer is 1.050 lol. Most finish about 3.5-4% abv. Last fall I bought 3 pounds of carapils. I currently have 2.5 pounds left. I used it once, haven't used it since.

I don't need it because I don't use adjuncts in small beers. (Not afraid of flavor I guess) My premium lager is 8 lbs pils 2 lbs Vienna. No head problems at all.

I was listening to a February 14 episode of BN Sunday Session with Dr Bamforth, who says he's been wrong about caramel malts. He now knows that many caramel malts are foam negative. The lighter they are the more foam negative they are.

In my opinion good process all the way through is what gives you good foam. Poor process, or hight % of adjunct sugar, or high fusel or high abv will reduce foam.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2014, 05:59:08 AM »
You can have great head retention with just base malt, if you have a good mash and fermentation.

If you want extra help, use some wheat in the beer, and lots of hops. Wheat proteins will aid the head, as will hop oils.

Flaked barley as well. In fact, I use a little flaked barley in my belgian wheat because I was unhappy with the head retention (probably because of the oils present in the lime leaves used in recipe.)
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2014, 06:08:30 AM »
+1 to flaked barley and wheat, but also to low fermentation temps, good pH, and pitching enough healthy yeast.
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Re: Head retention
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2014, 08:36:18 AM »
You can have great head retention with just base malt, if you have a good mash and fermentation.

If you want extra help, use some wheat in the beer, and lots of hops. Wheat proteins will aid the head, as will hop oils.

Flaked barley as well. In fact, I use a little flaked barley in my belgian wheat because I was unhappy with the head retention (probably because of the oils present in the lime leaves used in recipe.)

Flaked barley works great for head retention, but I just don't like what it does for the flavor of a pale beer. It has a real "raw grain" flavor that , once you notice it, it tends to jump out at you. I've started using torrified wheat where I would normally consider using flaked barley, or even Carapils.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 09:01:39 AM »
Flaked barley and wheat work great.  So does rye although it will darken or "gray" the color a smidge.  In darker beers, rye is king, IMHO.
Dave

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 09:07:20 AM »
Duvel is proof that you don't need protein laden adjuncts and that sugar isn't a negative in terms of beer foam.  All that's in Duvel is pils malt and sugar.   It's the correct brewing processes that give it foam that any homebrewer would die for.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 09:36:22 AM »
Duvel is proof that you don't need protein laden adjuncts and that sugar isn't a negative in terms of beer foam.  All that's in Duvel is pils malt and sugar.   It's the correct brewing processes that give it foam that any homebrewer would die for.

Didn't Drew say they used some type of hop extract in Duvel to help aid head retention?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2014, 09:42:06 AM »
If you want extra help, use some wheat in the beer, and lots of hops. Wheat proteins will aid the head, as will hop oils.

+1

Also agree with healthy fermentation to keep fusels down. It comes down to good healthy brewing practices and approach. Experience is also a factor.
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Online denny

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Re: Head retention
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2014, 09:42:51 AM »
Duvel is proof that you don't need protein laden adjuncts and that sugar isn't a negative in terms of beer foam.  All that's in Duvel is pils malt and sugar.   It's the correct brewing processes that give it foam that any homebrewer would die for.

Didn't Drew say they used some type of hop extract in Duvel to help aid head retention?

Maybe, but if so I'd guess it's not the extract part that matters.  The polyphenols in the hops will bind the proteins in the beer to help with foam.  My guess (and it's only that!) is that those polyphenols exist no matter what the form of the hops.
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