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Rapid Head Loss

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I cracked a bottle of my Thomas Coopers Wheat yesterday and when I poured it into the glass it had a really nice white head on it. Very 'spritzy' in fact, but within about 15 seconds the entire head was gone and the beer looked rather flat. There were some bubbles rising from the bottom, but very few.
It was a simple K&K recipe, with the T.C Wheat and a can of wheat malt extract with the kit yeast, I used dextrose to prime the bottle.
The beer was bottled on the 28/9, so not quite 2 months in the bottle.
The glass had been dishwasher cleaned beforehand and the next beer I poured, into the same glass, but from my keg, (a Czech Pilsner style beer) had a nice creamy head that stayed until the beer was finished.

Do wheat beers really need to be consumed so much earlier after bottling or could it be something else that caused the beer to lose its head?
 

verysupple

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I don't think you're drinking them too late. My wheats only start to get good after about 6 - 8 weeks in the bottle. I had troubles when I first started brewing because I used lots of dextrose, not only does it give a thin watery beer but it killed the head. But you used malt extract so that's a good thing. I now use crystal malt (of some type or another) in most recipes now which I find helps a lot with head retention as well as flavour and mouthfeel. Another thing I've heard helps head retention is using fresh hops, something about alpha acids changing surface tension or something (read it on BYO magazine website i think).
 
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Yeah, maybe it was me being too impatient. I might let the others go for another month, see what happens.
 

Juzdu

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I cracked a bottle of my Thomas Coopers Wheat yesterday and when I poured it into the glass it had a really nice white head on it. Very 'spritzy' in fact, but within about 15 seconds the entire head was gone and the beer looked rather flat. There were some bubbles rising from the bottom, but very few.
It was a simple K&K recipe, with the T.C Wheat and a can of wheat malt extract with the kit yeast, I used dextrose to prime the bottle.
The beer was bottled on the 28/9, so not quite 2 months in the bottle.
The glass had been dishwasher cleaned beforehand and the next beer I poured, into the same glass, but from my keg, (a Czech Pilsner style beer) had a nice creamy head that stayed until the beer was finished.

Do wheat beers really need to be consumed so much earlier after bottling or could it be something else that caused the beer to lose its head?
If I recall mate the TC Wheat can says to brew it with 500gm of DME, and 300gm of dextrose. How much DME did you use?

How does the beer taste, is it carbonated enough? My K&K with TC Wheat and 1kg of dextrose doesn't have much head a little while after the pour, but it's only been in the bottle 2.5 weeks. Coopers mention maltodextrin adding mouthfeel and head retention to their beers....i've put it in the Irish Red Ale I just bottled on Sunday, so won't know how true that is for a few weeks.

Mind you, I was out last night and ordered a Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and the waiter poured it into a glass for me. The head was completely gone within about 30 seconds. Could just be the glass wasn't all that well cleaned/rinsed...but it's not just a problem with home brew.
 
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If I recall mate the TC Wheat can says to brew it with 500gm of DME, and 300gm of dextrose. How much DME did you use?

How does the beer taste, is it carbonated enough? My K&K with TC Wheat and 1kg of dextrose doesn't have much head a little while after the pour, but it's only been in the bottle 2.5 weeks. Coopers mention maltodextrin adding mouthfeel and head retention to their beers....i've put it in the Irish Red Ale I just bottled on Sunday, so won't know how true that is for a few weeks.

Mind you, I was out last night and ordered a Peroni Nastro Azzurro, and the waiter poured it into a glass for me. The head was completely gone within about 30 seconds. Could just be the glass wasn't all that well cleaned/rinsed...but it's not just a problem with home brew.
As I said, 1 can of TC Wheat and 1 can of liquid wheat malt extract, so no dme, no dex, no maltodextrin.

Which in my opinion, should make it a better beer than if I'd added maltodextrin and dextrose, regardless of what the instructions on a can say.
Also when I poured the beer it seemed 'spritzy', which I meant as having considerable fizz, so my initial reaction was that it could be slightly over carbonated. But then to have the head dissipate so quickly, I'm not sure what to make of it.
The uncleanliness of the glass was my first concern, but I am confident that isn't a problem.

It tasted ok, I had one other different style of beer before that so there was a bit of a clash of flavours going on in my mouth.
 

Juzdu

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As I said, 1 can of TC Wheat and 1 can of liquid wheat malt extract, so no dme, no dex, no maltodextrin.

Which in my opinion, should make it a better beer than if I'd added maltodextrin and dextrose, regardless of what the instructions on a can say.
Also when I poured the beer it seemed 'spritzy', which I meant as having considerable fizz, so my initial reaction was that it could be slightly over carbonated. But then to have the head dissipate so quickly, I'm not sure what to make of it.
The uncleanliness of the glass was my first concern, but I am confident that isn't a problem.

It tasted ok, I had one other different style of beer before that so there was a bit of a clash of flavours going on in my mouth.
Shite sorry, my bad, for some reason my brain didn't process the fact you'd used LME, not DME. My first TC Wheat is also 'spritzy', I put it down to using carb drops in 330ml bottles....now i just pour it aggressively directly into a glass not tipped to the side to release some of the gas, it definitely helps.

Have you made a TC Wheat kit following the instructions on the can? I did with my 2nd brew (although i used the WB-06 yeast instead of the kit stuff), figured Coopers must have put it there for a reason, no doubt a balance of what's easy to do vs being good enough we want to buy it again. I see their website recipe for Hefeweizen says to do it with the kit can, 1kg dry wheat extract and WB-06. I wonder what difference WB-06 makes to head retention?
 

Juzdu

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I just put a bottle of my 2nd wheat beer in the fridge this arvo, the one with the wb-06 yeast. It's only been in the bottle 9 days, but just now poured a terrific head which it maintained through the entire 500ml. Spectacular beer considering it's a kit.
 
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I guess I would consider myself a bit of a 'malt snob', for want of a better term, although I have been a bit more flexible with my last couple of brews.

Another thing I did was rack the brew into my secondary fermenter and cold condition it for a week or so before bottling/kegging, my beer is really clear, not sure if that would make a difference or not. (less yeast?)

The yeast strain is definitely something that I intend to continue to experiment with, I have a Mangrove Jack, Bavarian Wheat bottled/kegged which was brewed with the wb-06 yeast, still a bit early to sample though.
 

QldKev

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I doubt it's the yeast. If the pour was too full of life I think you may just have vented all the CO2 from the beer too fast, hence the lower bubble level and poor head retention. Try chilling the glass and a nice slow pour, and see how you go.

QldKev
 

Juzdu

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I guess I would consider myself a bit of a 'malt snob', for want of a better term, although I have been a bit more flexible with my last couple of brews.

Another thing I did was rack the brew into my secondary fermenter and cold condition it for a week or so before bottling/kegging, my beer is really clear, not sure if that would make a difference or not. (less yeast?)

The yeast strain is definitely something that I intend to continue to experiment with, I have a Mangrove Jack, Bavarian Wheat bottled/kegged which was brewed with the wb-06 yeast, still a bit early to sample though.
Drool, I like your thinking, i'm a huge fan of wheat beers myself, so will also continue to experiment with the style. So many WLP yeasts to work through!

Both of my wheat kits have only been fermented in the primary (both took around 6 days to reach FG, I left them another 2 days then bottled). I prefer the yeast suspended in my beer true to the style, so much so I even invert and rotate my bottles before drinking, and if pouring into a glass always pour the whole brew. The 9 day old wb-06 wheat I tried today was very cloudy, which is how I prefer it.
 
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Thanks for your help fellers, I'll have to crack some more of them until I get to the bottom of it.

All in the name of r & d of course. ;)
 

kelbygreen

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could be your glassware. I have found my glasses on the sink rack drying without even being rinsed you can see the bubbles from the detergent :blink: Why the **** do I keep bicarb soda next to the sink for? why do I say dont wash them in detergent? why do I say I will wash them? as it clearly is not being listened to lol

Edit: WTF do you chill a wheat?? finish it off let it sit a few days and bottle, I got kegs so keg chill over night force carb and into it nice cloudy wheat :p love it!
 
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Edit: WTF do you chill a wheat?? finish it off let it sit a few days and bottle, I got kegs so keg chill over night force carb and into it nice cloudy wheat :p love it!

I love a cloudy wheat as well, but sometimes my production line is more efficient than my consumption line and I feel that my beer is better off chilling than sitting around at room temp before I can keg or bottle it. (right or wrong?)
All my beers spend a good week or more chilling, it's just how it works out.
 

Juzdu

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I love a cloudy wheat as well, but sometimes my production line is more efficient than my consumption line and I feel that my beer is better off chilling than sitting around at room temp before I can keg or bottle it. (right or wrong?)
All my beers spend a good week or more chilling, it's just how it works out.
For what it's worth (and some on this forum think very little, although it could be like IT geeks hating Microsoft), I wrote to Coopers about this in regards to their TC Wheat product. I asked how long it could be kept in a cupboard at 'room temp' before transferring to the fridge. Here's their response:

Frank Akers - Brewing Advisor said:
All beer should be stored out of direct sunlight at all times. UV light damages beer by causing photochemical reactions in the hop compounds that results in skunked beer, so called because it smells like skunk apparently.

Yes you can store your beer in a cupboard months, even years. Refrigeration is only necessary when you are ready to consume the beer.

Cheers,

Frank Akers
Brewing Advisor
Coopers Brewery
 

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