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No Head?

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Nossil

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I brewed a batch of Mangrove Jack Czech pilsner, and preboiled some Saaz hops for aroudn 15 mins. After this i added 1kg #15 booster Blend (500g dextros, 250gram maltodextrin, 250g dried light malt).

Added that to the boil with the Mangrove Jack Tin. Then added everything to fermenter and topped up with water.

Fermentation finished and I kegged, hooked up to gas and left it for a week. Now when i pour the beer it has a tiny bit of head (i think due to the high pressure it is disepnsing at), then the head dissapears pretty much straight away. Beer is very carbonated, so undercarbonation isn't the problem.
What am i missing in the brew process to keep a decent head on the beer? Ironically the Brew Booster Blend says "adds body, mouth feel, .........and head retention".



Also, to save creating new threads I'll throw in another 2 questions.
1 - When kegging i simply open the tap on the fermenter and letter it flow straight into the keg (no hose or siphon). I understand this is not the best way to do it because post-fermentation oxygen is the beers enemy, so no doubt all the bubbles are causing oxygen to get into the kegged beer. Is this a big factor in the outcome of the beer? Or is it just one of those 'best practice' guidlines?

2 - Dry hopping in keg. I have hops currently floating around in the batch of beer that is fermenting at the moment. The hops (30grams) are tied up in an old stocking (cleaned and sterelised!). Could I add this to the keg after fermentation has completed? Would the hops continue to add to the aroma/taste of the beer once its kegged?
I can't see the "floating stocking" being a problem in the keg, as it will just float on top until the keg is empty. But I won't bother adding it in if there is no point!



Sorry about the essay of a post, love the forum so much stuff to learn.

Cheers
 

Maheel

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make sure your glasses are very clean, soap residue can be an issue

bi-carb and vinegar seems to be popular
 

Bribie G

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Normally the "brew booster" malto dextrin is good for head retention and lacing. I'm not sure if oxygenation is a problem, but a metre and a half of cheap PVC or more expensive Silicone hose to fit around the ferm tap is really a must in the long term.

Could be the hops - they contain oils and some oils can kill head. Also I'd give your glasses a really good wash out with a strong detergent and rinse several times.

Apart from that, can't suggest anything else, kit beers normally have good head.
 

mattyra

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Not sure on the head retention thing as I always had the same issue. Maybe give the beer some more time, use more malt then dextrose and hopefully that helps a bit.

As for the putting the beer in the keg. I almost cried when I read that. Oxygen in beer is a bad thing. It quite often causes off flavours like wet cardboard and it can create green apple flavours (acetaldehyde) which won't go away over time. I would get a tube and push the beer to the bottom of the keg. Another thing people do is use the beer out side of the keg to flow the beer down the dip tube to the bottom of the keg. I assume they just hook up the beer out disconnect to the fermenter and open the tap. Gravity does the rest.

I have never dry hopped into the keg so can't completely comment on this. I just figured that it could possibly lead to having to do more cleaning so would rather not do it. I don't see any harm in doing it (unless it falls to the bottom or breaks and the hops fall to the bottom which would block the beer line) so why not give it a go.
 

Mike L'Itorus

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first, check glassware. Just because some guys go 'I always just rinse in hot water and it's fine for me' doesn't mean it will be fine for you. They're not having head retention problems; you are.

read the whole article, but start with the glass cleaning reccomendation at the bottom.
link

another issue could be the carbonation level. The more activity in the glass, the more disruption to surface tension, the quicker the dissipation of the head......ever noticed how beers of a lower carbonation level (such as english beers) often seem to have such a tight and well retained head?
 

bum

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Wrong account, Mike?
 

Nossil

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Thanks for the quick reply guys, at the moment I'm just putting the glasses through the dishwasher, so soapy residue could be the problem! I'll try the bicarb/vinegar trick and see what happens. If not i'll resort to the link Mike provided.


another issue could be the carbonation level. The more activity in the
glass, the more disruption to surface tension, the quicker the dissipation of
the head......ever noticed how beers of a lower carbonation level (such as
english beers) often seem to have such a tight and well retained head?
Interesting! I always assumed that more carbonation meant more head! I do like my beers fairly carbonated, so maybe i should dial down the KPA and see if this fixes the problem.



As for the putting the beer in the keg. I almost cried when I read that. Oxygen
in beer is a bad thing. It quite often causes off flavours like wet cardboard
and it can create green apple flavours (acetaldehyde) which won't go away over
time. I would get a tube and push the beer to the bottom of the keg. Another
thing people do is use the beer out side of the keg to flow the beer down the
dip tube to the bottom of the keg. I assume they just hook up the beer out
disconnect to the fermenter and open the tap. Gravity does the rest.

I might invest in some tubing that fits around the end of the tap (bunnings?). Given your reaction it appears that my current method isn't doing my beer any favours!
 

mattyra

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I might invest in some tubing that fits around the end of the tap (bunnings?). Given your reaction it appears that my current method isn't doing my beer any favours!
Just dropping the beer into the keg definitely doesn't do the beer any favors. Make sure that the hose is food grade. I purchased some hose from Bunnings that done the job for $4 (or something like that) that was food grade. Not expensive at all but will definitely help stop oxidation.
 

Bribie G

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You can always try the pocket beer engine trick.

Get a small hypodermic syringe from the chemist for 40c, suck up a few mls of beer then shoot forcibly down towards the bottom of the glass and get a "guinness churn" happening, and see if that makes a difference.
 

earle

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Dishwasher shouldn't be the problem as it uses salts rather than soap. It's one of the best ways to get clean glasses IMO.
 

roverfj1200

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Get some cheep plastic cups from the Supermarket and see if the head holds in them. this will rule in or out the glass ware. If your beer has no head but small bubbles are rising in the glass then most likely the glasses. I soak mine in Bottle washing powder mix to recommended rate and rinse. If they go dead. Which happens now and then.

Cheers.
 

GuyQLD

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I must be doing something wrong then, because every kit beer I've ever made (except for the coopers Hefe recipe I tried) has had thin mouthfeel and 0 head / head retention.
 

dammag

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I made a Coopers Sparkling Ale kit with a tin of liquid malt extract, 300gm of dex, 100gm of LDME and 100gm of maltodextrin. I used recultured Coopers yeast and syringe primed with dex.

After a week in the bottle the head is fantastic, with great carbonation. Pours nicely without a huge head but also holds it's head over the whole glass. Maybe it was a fluke but the head is great :beer:



Damian
 

hellbent

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I had the same problem and what I done was get out my hammer drill and gently "rough" up the bottom of the glass, give it a good cleanout then soaked them
in Iodphor for 20 mins and voila! no more flat beer!
 

RobboMC

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Dishwasher shouldn't be the problem as it uses salts rather than soap. It's one of the best ways to get clean glasses IMO.

What about the rinse aid?

My father refuses to not put beer glasses in the dishwasher and this kills the head on my brews when I take them over. My glasses at home produce perfect head on the same beers, so in my experiment it must be the dishwashed glasses.

Buy a new glass and NEVER put anything in it but really hot water and see if it makes a difference.

Yes, you can use the dishwasher, but you must turn the rinse aid off in my opinion.
Check out my picture; that's a kits n bits beer in one of my quite new dishwasher free glasses.
 

earle

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What about the rinse aid?

My father refuses to not put beer glasses in the dishwasher and this kills the head on my brews when I take them over. My glasses at home produce perfect head on the same beers, so in my experiment it must be the dishwashed glasses.

Buy a new glass and NEVER put anything in it but really hot water and see if it makes a difference.

Yes, you can use the dishwasher, but you must turn the rinse aid off in my opinion.
Check out my picture; that's a kits n bits beer in one of my quite new dishwasher free glasses.
Results obviously vary then. I always wash my beer glasses in the dishwasher with rinse aid and get great head retention.
 

7roy

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Results obviously vary then. I always wash my beer glasses in the dishwasher with rinse aid and get great head retention.
I use white vinegar instead of rinse aid in the dishwasher, heaps cheaper and does a pretty good job on the dishes and beer glasses. Who said mother-in-laws aren't good for something :D
 
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