Author Topic: No head retention in lagers  (Read 8394 times)

Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2015, 06:48:55 am »
Resurrecting this one as I have a German pils with good head formation, but no head retention. 

We brewed 20 gallons of wort (5 of which was used for a saison) and I believe we added about 4 tabs (1 per five gallons as opposed to 1/2 per five gallons). 

I have been searching high and low to diagnose this.  Does excessive whirfloc negatively impact just head retention or head formation?
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2015, 07:17:46 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.


I remembered Keith posting this.
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Offline denny

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2015, 10:01:53 am »
Resurrecting this one as I have a German pils with good head formation, but no head retention. 

We brewed 20 gallons of wort (5 of which was used for a saison) and I believe we added about 4 tabs (1 per five gallons as opposed to 1/2 per five gallons). 

I have been searching high and low to diagnose this.  Does excessive whirfloc negatively impact just head retention or head formation?
Excessive whirlfloc could, but what do you consider excessive?  Read this...it not only has explanations, but there are tests you can do to help you dagnose your problem.

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

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2015, 10:20:50 am »
Denny, one of the possible causes listed in the article is using a weak boil. Have you noticed any foam issues with the Zymatic considering it never hit a true boil?

Offline denny

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2015, 10:23:20 am »
Denny, one of the possible causes listed in the article is using a weak boil. Have you noticed any foam issues with the Zymatic considering it never hit a true boil?

Nope, absolutely non.  Keep in mind that there's nothing magical about hitting 212 compared to 207.  The reason you need the extra few degrees is to get the wort moving in a normal kettle.  Since the Z recircs constantly you get the same effect.  A weak boil implies no wort movement.  That doesn't happen with a Z.
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2015, 07:47:10 pm »
I have also had plenty of my beers that have weak head retention. I get good foam on a pour but it disapates quickly leave little to no lasting head. Sometimes it's better than others, sometimes lacing is decent, sometimes not. I don't know where I am going wrong in my process. One thought I had after all this time is when I rack from the kettle to my fermenter, I always let the wort splash into the fermenter from a small legth of tubing on the kettle spigot. This creates tons of foam which I thought, hey extra oxygen. Well, today I didn't do that, I racked gently to my new carboy and oxygenated with pure o2. Lets see if this is an improvement. Other than that I don't know what could be my culprit, I feel I have pretty decent brewing practices after 6 years but there has to be something.

Offline charles1968

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2015, 02:22:58 am »
Just to complicate things further, yeast strain makes a difference to head retention and you can see the effect in the krausen. If the krausen refuses to drop (WLP800 pilsner and Wyeast3711 saison spring to mind), the beer will have good head retention. I get poor retention from W34/70 but great persistent heads from WLP800. Danstar Nottingham worse than Chico/US05. I'd say Nottingham gives the worst head retention of all the yeasts I've used.

A bit more info here but shows a limited range of yeasts:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02755.x/pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjm7amOssTJAhXBtBQKHd2kBTYQFgghMAE&usg=AFQjCNGIdEQEvDsFnnV3frkQUOz9GqwV_Q&sig2=mdxtIhSFGQbELF26RHAD3g

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2015, 03:16:50 am »
ABV probably effects it too, at least that seems to be a common denominator I've noticed. In my personal experience, no scientific data or qualified peer review, it seems like 4% beers retain foam a bit better than 14%.

Offline majorvices

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2015, 03:39:44 am »
One of the possible culprits for head retention could possibly, maybe, perhaps be lipids in the mash. Maybe. Perhaps. If your filtering technique is inadequate it's possible you are pulling a lot of lipids over which can cause problems with head retention and premature staling post packaging. Using a grant may help reduce lipids from being stripped from the mash.That said, it may not. But it might. Maybe.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #39 on: December 05, 2015, 03:58:09 am »
Ah... I sense another theory rabbit hole. Can lautering too fast negatively effect foam? I say... I don't know. Maybe, depends on who's asking.

Offline pete b

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #40 on: December 05, 2015, 05:47:30 am »
One of the possible culprits for head retention could possibly, maybe, perhaps be lipids in the mash. Maybe. Perhaps. If your filtering technique is inadequate it's possible you are pulling a lot of lipids over which can cause problems with head retention and premature staling post packaging. Using a grant may help reduce lipids from being stripped from the mash.That said, it may not. But it might. Maybe.
So Keith, your positive about this?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #41 on: December 05, 2015, 06:44:00 am »
Hmmm. I've been getting something similar on my lagers. The head drops quick and I'm left with a few lingering "rafts" of foam floating on top. The thing is, it's only on my lagers. Something like a saison with a similar grain/hop bill to my lagers gets a huge head for days.

I have thought it might be diacetyl, but I always do a long d-rest and taste for diacetyl before starting the lagering process. I also consider myself rather sensitive to it, but maybe I'm not and I just dislike it at high levels. I'm interested to see where this conversation goes.
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #42 on: December 05, 2015, 07:14:39 am »
Just to complicate things further, yeast strain makes a difference to head retention and you can see the effect in the krausen. If the krausen refuses to drop (WLP800 pilsner and Wyeast3711 saison spring to mind), the beer will have good head retention. I get poor retention from W34/70 but great persistent heads from WLP800. Danstar Nottingham worse than Chico/US05. I'd say Nottingham gives the worst head retention of all the yeasts I've used.

A bit more info here but shows a limited range of yeasts:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02755.x/pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjm7amOssTJAhXBtBQKHd2kBTYQFgghMAE&usg=AFQjCNGIdEQEvDsFnnV3frkQUOz9GqwV_Q&sig2=mdxtIhSFGQbELF26RHAD3g

Is it the 34/70? How many of us are using it in our lagers?
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Offline erockrph

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #43 on: December 05, 2015, 07:26:37 am »
Just to complicate things further, yeast strain makes a difference to head retention and you can see the effect in the krausen. If the krausen refuses to drop (WLP800 pilsner and Wyeast3711 saison spring to mind), the beer will have good head retention. I get poor retention from W34/70 but great persistent heads from WLP800. Danstar Nottingham worse than Chico/US05. I'd say Nottingham gives the worst head retention of all the yeasts I've used.

A bit more info here but shows a limited range of yeasts:

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2672.2005.02755.x/pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjm7amOssTJAhXBtBQKHd2kBTYQFgghMAE&usg=AFQjCNGIdEQEvDsFnnV3frkQUOz9GqwV_Q&sig2=mdxtIhSFGQbELF26RHAD3g

Is it the 34/70? How many of us are using it in our lagers?
I've gotten it from 2278 and 2633 (a blend - who knows what's in there) for sure. I don't recall whether I've gotten it from 34/70, WY2000 or WY2007 or not.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: No head retention in lagers
« Reply #44 on: December 05, 2015, 07:37:09 am »
I've had good luck with foam using 2124 and 833. I don't remember a problem with other strains, but I also don't remember stellar foam on those either .
Jon H.