Head Retention Issues

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pietro

Head Retention Issues

Postby pietro » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:44 pm

Hi all, first post here. I have peeked my head into the bottomless nebula/wormhole/Matrix's red pill of German brewing science, and found this here forum thanks to our fearless leader, Mr. Rabe....

Not the end of the world, because this beer will vaporize quickly because of how well it turned out, but having a head retention issue on our latest beer. The head forms pretty well, about an inch on a Spigeleau tulip, a little bigger on a proper pils glass, but looks like a glass of cider after about 30 seconds. Have never had the problem before with any of our beers, including the lightly hopped ones (Weizenbock, Robust Porter have great formation, retention and lacing)

The beer was our first crack at a German pils: 100% Avangard Pils, Tett to 35 IBU, Boiled Jever water profile, 2nd generation pitch of 34/70, <ahem single infusion mash at 152...see below>

tumblr_m1vtfdjBGm1qzt1yyo1_500.gif


We used a 1/2 bbl RIMS system, stainless 14 gallon conical, all with good sanitation. Fermented at 50* for 7 days to about 40% attentuation, then raised to 65* for 2 weeks. Lagered at 34 for 4 weeks.

Again, the beer tastes and smells spectacular. Graham cracker, slightly floral, bready aroma, big malt flavor, good mouthfeel, crisp, dry finish with some lingering hop bitterness.

Next time we will certainly do a Hochkurz mash, but any idea where I might look for our protein deficiency (or other problem(s))?
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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Bryan R » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:31 pm

Interesting, this is a tricky one. I would say if it foams at all(which it seems to do) it is not a protein issue, but somewhere else in the process. How is your hot side techniques, i.e. mashing and returning wort and the like?




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pietro

Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby pietro » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:05 pm

Dough in at 152, hold it for 40 minutes, begin recirc for another 20 minutes (holding temp), then start fly sparge with drip arm, drain into BK via march pump (slowly). What do you mean by 'returning wort'? Just lautering?
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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Roachbrau » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:09 pm

Do you have a malt lot analysis?

Maybe try Kai's foam stability test; basically, pour the beer hard straight down the center of a straight walled glass so it's basically a glass of 80% foam, set a stopwatch, and see how long it takes until the foam breaks down.

Absolutely clean glassware, rinsed before the pour? Also, pouring style makes a big difference. Most German beers I've had tend to have poor head retention when poured "normally", ie 45° angle to start, gradually increasing to straight in at the end. I always pour hard first to create the head, then fill the glass slowly after the foam settles. That's the best way I know to get that big, dense, pillowy dollop of foam like you see in the ads. The resulting lower carbonation tends to accentuate the malt as well.
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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Techbrau » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:10 pm

It's not guaranteed to be your issue, but quickly dissipating foam can result from yeast stress. You may be missing critical micronutrients like zinc which you can add back in with yeast nutrient. You also may not be aerating enough. If you have an otherwise clean ferment, these causes may be less likely.

Another possibility is that your system could be contaminated with oil or grease somewhere.
If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always gotten.
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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Bryan R » Thu Dec 03, 2015 5:23 pm





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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Brandon » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:18 pm

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pietro

Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby pietro » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:26 pm

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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Brandon » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:30 pm

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Re: Head Retention Issues

Postby Kit_B » Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:02 am


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