Author Topic: Head Retention on A Wheat beer  (Read 1561 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2014, 09:24:47 PM »
Thanks Denny for the great info.  The beer foams with a head when poured, but dissipates quickly, so I'm guessing that it has to do with oils in the peppers.  I will have to work on the recipe as it is one of my favorite Spring beers to make and drink.

I highly doubt peppers are the problem. 68 ambient is far too warm temperature for just about any beer ( did you take the time to read Denny's link?) most wheat beer yeasts I have used work best 10-15 degrees cooler than what you are currently fermenting. For an example I start my hefeweizen fermentation off at 58 degree. And thats fermentation temp - not ambient. Fusel oils from uncontrolled fermentation temp most likely your problem here.

This is good to hear. In my opinion the biggest leap forward in what I feel is quality improvement in my beer is cooler temps. I can't imagine fermenting at 68° now. It would explode and end up tasting like paint. For me 55° is money.

I'm certain some would think my beer is too clean. It might be. But I also think some of those guys think IPA is Latin for 1 pound per gallon. Which, it might be. But not for me. Clean is good. Clean is a huge compliment
« Last Edit: April 02, 2014, 09:29:21 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline majorvices

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2014, 04:11:32 AM »
Thanks majorvices.  Next item for my brewing will be a fermentation chamber.

I think you will simply be amazed at how much better your beer turns out. Fermentation control and proper yeast pitching quantities are every bit as port any as sanitation.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2014, 04:30:18 AM »
I still say that oils from the skin of the peppers will kill head retention and that in this case it is a likely cause.
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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2014, 05:23:05 AM »
My pepper beers have about 3 poblanos and a half a habanero in 5 gallons.  The very first time I made this beer in the mid 90's with "raw" it had "the amazing disappearing head" syndrome.   It poured fine, then poof!  Gone!
Since then I have treated the peppers as above.
It adds a touch of smokiness, but very little.

Missed this. I am not a big fan of pepper beers so have no experience with them. Didn't realize oils in peppers could kill head retention. But I still vouch for proper fermentation temps. If you are fermenting @ 68 degrees ambient your beer will peak 6-8 degrees higher than ambient temps. Maybe even higher. And while there may be some commercial hefeweizen breweries that do ferment at those temps I have not had luck fermenting weissbiers that warm.
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Offline stevenb

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2014, 09:02:23 AM »
Thanks all.  Well, looks like I have a few things to figure out on this beer. Thanks again.
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Offline stevenb

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2014, 12:41:34 PM »
I may have spoken too soon on no head retention.  I took some to my newly founded homebrew club meeting and the brew is now holding and retaining about a 1/4" head.  Anyone have any ideas on that?  (I am happier now.) 
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2014, 01:28:03 PM »
I may have spoken too soon on no head retention.  I took some to my newly founded homebrew club meeting and the brew is now holding and retaining about a 1/4" head.  Anyone have any ideas on that?  (I am happier now.)

how clean are your glasses at home? beer clean?

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2014, 01:33:44 PM »
I may have spoken too soon on no head retention.  I took some to my newly founded homebrew club meeting and the brew is now holding and retaining about a 1/4" head.  Anyone have any ideas on that?  (I am happier now.)

The longer you give the CO2 to go into solution, the more foam you get.
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Offline stevenb

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2014, 01:39:57 PM »
Thanks Denny.  I was thinking that could be a possibility as well.  I have it resting comfortably in the basement at 65 degrees.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2014, 02:25:26 PM »
I have made one jalapeno beer and it was many years ago.  The most striking thing about it to me was the complete lack of any head formation.  It bubbled like campaign in the glass.  And the heat would knock you down.  I admit that it was something like 1lb of fresh peppers in the boil for 15 minutes.  (I was young, what can I say?) 8^)  Getting the beer on your skin would burn.

I was the only person who would drink it except for one friend form New York who calls me every year to see if I have made it again.

I always wrote off the lack of any foam to the oil in the peppers.

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Offline stevenb

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2014, 08:00:01 PM »
Thanks slowbrew.  I noticed it on the last one I brewed which was a year ago as well.  This one appears to be shaping up though now after another week in the bottle. 
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Offline Cidafa

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2014, 06:35:38 AM »
You could also try adding .5 lb to a 1lb of Carapils/Dextrine to your recipe. That should help with your head retention without altering the flavor or color too much.

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2014, 07:03:51 AM »
I think you've found the problem.  Just wait a little longer.  Not sure about the physics but I would certainly agree that beer that has been on CO2 for a month have much better head than my beers that have been on for just a week or two.  I'm sure it just "gets in there" better.  If I had to explain it I'd say it was magic. 

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2014, 07:25:31 AM »
You could also try adding .5 lb to a 1lb of Carapils/Dextrine to your recipe. That should help with your head retention without altering the flavor or color too much.

If you have foam problems cause by your process, that won't necessarily help. 
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Offline nateo

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Re: Head Retention on A Wheat beer
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2014, 07:08:32 AM »
When I first started brewing, I had a lot of beers with head-retention issues. One of the worst offenders eventually developed a noticeable off-taste. I think it could be a sanitation issue. I think there's a range where your beer can be infected, but below taste threshold, but it can affect stuff like clarity and head retention.
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