Author Topic: No head retention in lagers  (Read 8397 times)

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2015, 12:52:34 pm »
The OP,didn't say how the mash was conducted, time and temp are important.

A protein rest is not good for head retention with modern malts.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2015, 07:07:04 am »
I can assure you its not the Munich or the 34/70.





Didn't you say you use chit malt?

Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2015, 08:21:54 am »
Potentially related:  I've recently brewed 10 gallons of a Munich Helles.  The first 5 gallons went straight from fermenter to keg to kegerator and the head was great.  The second 5 gallons, after kegging, sat in the basement at ambient until the first was kicked.  Head dissipates almost instantly on this second keg.  In this case I think the only two options are storage at high temp after lagering or oxygenation while sitting in the keg on deck.

Thank you all for some great information!

I was definitely looking in the wrong direction. My mash ph, time and temp were fine, but the fermentation and lagering were definitely less than ideal. I don't have temperature control, but my cellar is cool enough for a lager fermentation during the winter/spring months. But, after they were done fermenting I lagered them at ambient temperature as the above poster discussed. With all that has been discussed, including the article, that seems the most plausible cause in this case.

I guess the reason I'm miffed is because both beers tasted great, no fusels or solvents. They were very clean and tasty. I mistakingly thought that even though the conditions were not the greatest, if they tasted good, then all is well. That's what is great about this hobby, one never stops learning.

Thanks again!
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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2015, 04:35:29 pm »
I can assure you its not the Munich or the 34/70.





Didn't you say you use chit malt?

Indeed I do... However none in this beer!

Offline BrewHalla

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2015, 07:51:12 pm »
Like people are saying there are lots of reasons for loss of head retention.  "Using a lare portion of adjuncts, poor malt quality, or processing problems (addition of foam surpressors during fermentation,excessive foaming during fermentation, excessive co2 scrubbing to the beer to remove oxygen, incidental addition of surface active cleaning agents, etc) causing beer to lose its inherent foaming abilities"  you can always buy some propylene glycol alginate and add it to the keg to get some head retention back, if you're that concerned to want to do something to the beer now

Offline majorvices

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2015, 07:13:53 am »
Using too much fining can be a huge problem for head retention. Whirlflock may be the culprit (or Irish Moss). For a 5 gallon batch you really only need half a tablet of whirlflock. If using something else (Super Moss or plain old Irish Moss) be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2015, 07:34:46 am »
Using too much fining can be a huge problem for head retention. Whirlflock may be the culprit (or Irish Moss).

That's good info, Keith - never heard that. I know you only need half a tablet, but I just drop a whole one in for convenience. My beers don't have any head retention issues, but it's something to keep in mind anyway.
Jon H.

Offline majorvices

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2015, 09:27:06 am »
The actual dosage of WF is also based on OG. It is 2 tabs per bbl per 10 degree brix.

Offline a10t2

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2015, 01:34:34 pm »
Which works out to half a tablet for 5-6 gal at 5-6% ABV. Which is nice.
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Offline JT

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2015, 06:58:42 pm »
Using too much fining can be a huge problem for head retention. Whirlflock may be the culprit (or Irish Moss).

That's good info, Keith - never heard that. I know you only need half a tablet, but I just drop a whole one in for convenience. My beers don't have any head retention issues, but it's something to keep in mind anyway.
This is new for me as well and good to keep in mind.  I only use hot side fining, exclusively Irish moss and not for every brew.  No issues with head retention using around 1.5 grams per 6 gallon batch. 

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2015, 09:54:36 pm »
Does too much wirlfloc strip too much foam positive material? Or does the excess wirlfloc stay behind and cause the problem,

Offline Philbrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2015, 10:01:07 pm »
Using too much fining can be a huge problem for head retention. Whirlflock may be the culprit (or Irish Moss). For a 5 gallon batch you really only need half a tablet of whirlflock. If using something else (Super Moss or plain old Irish Moss) be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.
Hmmmm, I do have some head retention problems.  I do 6 gal. extract and partial mash batches and have been throwing in a whirlfloc tab just because.  But, now that I think about it, there's probably some such thing already in the extract. 
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Offline The Professor

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2015, 05:16:54 am »
Excessive aging and contact with autolyzed yeast could also be a factor.

Perhaps oxidation could be contributing to a lack of foam?

In any case, I wouldn't blame aging, necessarily.  I can't speak with regard to lagers specifically since while I love them, I rarely brew them...but my  IPA, Porter, and Barleywine/Burton which I brew a lot of and all of which get an average of 8-12 months aging at minimum (and in some cases far longer)  tend to pour pretty consistently with very long lasting heads of foam that leave a generous, clinging  lacing on the glass.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2015, 05:25:10 am by The Professor »
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Offline jtoots

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2015, 08:04:04 am »
Potentially related:  I've recently brewed 10 gallons of a Munich Helles.  The first 5 gallons went straight from fermenter to keg to kegerator and the head was great.  The second 5 gallons, after kegging, sat in the basement at ambient until the first was kicked.  Head dissipates almost instantly on this second keg.  In this case I think the only two options are storage at high temp after lagering or oxygenation while sitting in the keg on deck.

Thank you all for some great information!

I was definitely looking in the wrong direction. My mash ph, time and temp were fine, but the fermentation and lagering were definitely less than ideal. I don't have temperature control, but my cellar is cool enough for a lager fermentation during the winter/spring months. But, after they were done fermenting I lagered them at ambient temperature as the above poster discussed. With all that has been discussed, including the article, that seems the most plausible cause in this case.

I guess the reason I'm miffed is because both beers tasted great, no fusels or solvents. They were very clean and tasty. I mistakingly thought that even though the conditions were not the greatest, if they tasted good, then all is well. That's what is great about this hobby, one never stops learning.

Thanks again!

Cha-Ching!

Offline beersk

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2015, 11:41:34 am »
I'm more inclined to point towards the health of the yeast. I've had a few beers do this, both ale and lager, where it doesn't hold a head and goes flat looking. Fermentation temps were good, and were kegged and chilled immediately following fermentation (2 weeks or so). But I guess I'm just spit balling...
I don't think it's necessarily letting the beer sit at ambient temps for an extended time. Either way, it doesn't happen all the time, so it's really hard to say what the cause is. I guess, like Frankenbrew said, if it tastes good, what's it matter? There's lots of commercial beers that do this as well, especially a lot of the American lagers (all of them, really...). What's the cause of the head falling in those beers? Adjuncts? Doesn't seem likely, but I don't know...
Jesse