Post #27 made 7 years ago
Folks,

I am still working on a solution for my head retention issue! :think:

Here are the things I have tried based on feedback and googling:

Splashing wort from cube to fermenter damaging head forming proteins:
I have fermented in the cube with no improvement on head retention.

Dirty glasses:
I have been cleaning all my glasses throughly by hand.
I then run water inside the glass and watch how it clings to the glass surface.
Apparently an even layer of water being held on the surface of the glass confirms no fatty residue.
This has made a slight improvement to lacing but no improvement on head retention.

Rinsing thoroughly after cleaning with PBW:

It was suggested that a layer may be building up over time affecting head.
I have increased the volume of hot water I use when rinsing on all equipment after cleaning with PBW.
I use the hottest water I can get out of my tap and then follow with a starsan rinse.

I am starting to run out of things to try now. :headhit:

However, I have noticed that when I take a hydro sample of my wort I get a great head retention in the test jar.
When I take another sample post fermentation I get little to no foam despite CO2 in solution.
Could it be my fermentation profile causing these issues?
I brew mostly ales with temp control in fridges at 18.5c - 19.5c.
I set the temp control at 19 with 0.5c margin.
Once I have hit my FG, which is usally 1009 - 1011 I crash the wort.
This is usually after 5-7 days.
Should I be leaving in primamy a little longer?
Is there something happening that isn't affecting gravity but helping with head retention properties?

I have been brewing the same ales over and over and changing one thing at a time to troubleshoot.
One thing I can say is I do get good consistency brew to brew! :thumbs:

Any ideas folks?

Thanks again!
Last edited by dicko on 04 Jun 2012, 09:53, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #28 made 7 years ago
Well, not sure I the fermentation profile is the problem but I'm a big believer in longer fermentation

You finish the primary fermentation, but of you crash chill immediately you never give the yeast a chance to condition the beer.

My preferred ale fermentation is 2 weeks at 17.5 then 1 week at 0.5 then keg and carb for a week

Beer still improves with an extra week in the keg too.

Try leaving your beer for an extra week before crash chilling then if problems still persist, check your mash profile.
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

Post #30 made 7 years ago
Thanks Stux.

I will try and be more patient!
Are you slow carbonating at serving pressure?

With regards to mash temps I usually aim for 65c.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #31 made 7 years ago
My system is balanced so the carb pressure (80-83kpa or so) is the serve pressure.

I put a keg on at 300kpa for 24-36 hours, and then dial it back to 83 (bleeding off the excess)

That gets the beer about 80% carbed and then it comes up to perfect carb in a couple of days. No shaking or labour involved ;)
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

Post #33 made 7 years ago
jakethesnake559 wrote:Hey Dicko,
Have you tried bottling a few out of a batch?
If the bottled ones have good head, then you could rule out your glasses and brewing procedure to focus on the keg carbing.
That is now on my list of things to try! Thanks!
Last edited by dicko on 04 Jun 2012, 19:16, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #34 made 7 years ago
Sounds like a nightmare dicko :angry:.

Only other thing I can think of is changing your base malt if you have been using the same one. Maybe you got some grain with low specs?

:scratch:
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Post #35 made 7 years ago
PistolPatch wrote:Sounds like a nightmare dicko :angry:.

Only other thing I can think of is changing your base malt if you have been using the same one. Maybe you got some grain with low specs?

:scratch:
It's very frustrating! Especially as I never used to have any issues.
I tend to use Fawcetts MO or GP as my base grain.

Looking on the bright side, all this experimentation aint such a bad thing. ;)
Last edited by dicko on 04 Jun 2012, 19:52, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #36 made 7 years ago
Am I missing something? The first reason for poor or lack of head retention is hardness of water. Soft water has good head retention and lacing. Hard water has no head retention at all! Try buying water or getting water from someone with soft water. Then brew and look for differences. Water in your home should be stable but who knows?
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Post #37 made 7 years ago
BobBrews wrote:Am I missing something? The first reason for poor or lack of head retention is hardness of water. Soft water has good head retention and lacing. Hard water has no head retention at all! Try buying water or getting water from someone with soft water. Then brew and look for differences. Water in your home should be stable but who knows?
Interesting!
I have attached a water report.
My water supply comes from Orchard Hills.
Pages 32-34

Doesn't mean much to me, let me know what you think!
Thanks again folks.
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Last edited by dicko on 05 Jun 2012, 05:46, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #38 made 7 years ago
Good Day Dicko, your report shows a small amont of iron, Yeast like it, but, the protiens that give a good head, don't.

The report doesn't show the carbonate(hardness) but the iron, and aluminum, show your water is a deep well source, so, you probably have hard water.

Most, grocery stores sell 3-5 gallon bottles of drinking water, or at least 1 gallon jugs....This water makes great beer.

One more question, do you filter the haze from the beer, or use something to reduce Chill haze???
If you do, that can cause the protiens that make a good head, to be reduced.

I had the same problems a long time ago. Now I secodary ferment til' the beer is nearly clear.
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Post #39 made 7 years ago
joshua wrote:Good Day Dicko, your report shows a small amont of iron, Yeast like it, but, the protiens that give a good head, don't.

The report doesn't show the carbonate(hardness) but the iron, and aluminum, show your water is a deep well source, so, you probably have hard water.

Most, grocery stores sell 3-5 gallon bottles of drinking water, or at least 1 gallon jugs....This water makes great beer.

One more question, do you filter the haze from the beer, or use something to reduce Chill haze???
If you do, that can cause the protiens that make a good head, to be reduced.

I had the same problems a long time ago. Now I secodary ferment til' the beer is nearly clear.
Hi Joshua,

I use one of those under the sink type water filters dont know if it helps.
Attached are the product specs. ;)
QL1_WFA12[1].pdf
Once fermentation is complete I crash chill the beer for a couple of days in the fermenter at around 0c.
Then I rack to keg along with some Polyclar at recommended doses.
This stays in the keg for at least an hour sometimes overnight.
Then I run the cold beer through a 1 micron filter into another keg, burp and set it down in my serving fridge.

The thing that really brought this issue to my attention was when I brewed a heffeweizen and even with 75% wheat the head was terrible. So I decided to rule out the Polyclar and filtering as the source of the issue.

What ya reckon?

Thanks again.
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Last edited by dicko on 05 Jun 2012, 07:29, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #40 made 7 years ago
Good Day Dicko, From what I have read, 1 micron is finer than head and body protiens, a 5-8 micron filter will let those protiens thru.

Or give the beer 2-3 weeks in a secondary, at the fermentation temperature, and it should be clear, with a good body, and a nice head. Then cold crash and keg and carbonate.

Even InBEV/AB has a 3 month secondary for Budwieser!
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Post #41 made 7 years ago
I think dicko is using the water filter on his input water

Fwiw, I'm on orchard hills water too, being jut near Blaxland, and I don't think I have a head problem ;)
Fermenting: -
Cubed: -
Stirplate: -
On Tap: NS Summer Ale III (WY1272), Landlord III (WY1469), Fighter's 70/- II (WY1272), Roast Porter (WY1028), Cider, Soda
Next: Munich Helles III

5/7/12

Post #42 made 7 years ago
dicko wrote: Hi Joshua,

I use one of those under the sink type water filters dont know if it helps.
Attached are the product specs. ;)
QL1_WFA12[1].pdf
Once fermentation is complete I crash chill the beer for a couple of days in the fermenter at around 0c.
Then I rack to keg along with some Polyclar at recommended doses.
This stays in the keg for at least an hour sometimes overnight.
Then I run the cold beer through a 1 micron filter into another keg, burp and set it down in my serving fridge.

The thing that really brought this issue to my attention was when I brewed a heffeweizen and even with 75% wheat the head was terrible. So I decided to rule out the Polyclar and filtering as the source of the issue.

What ya reckon?

Thanks again.
Well, I reckon you shouldn't be filtering a Hefe, with that style you want the yeast to stay suspended and end up with a cloudy beer:

"Hefeweizen (the prefix "hefe" is German for yeast) is the name for unfiltered wheat beers, while kristallweizen ("kristall" being German for crystal) is the same beer filtered."

"Hefeweizen is a cloudy wheat ale that originated in Germany. The direct translation is hefe-yeast weizen-wheat. Yeast in the name refers to the fact that this beer is unfiltered and remains cloudy thanks to the suspended yeast. This yeast also contributes the unique banana and clove qualities to the aroma and flavor of hefeweizen."

While I am not a "style nazi", I do believe Hefe is the one beer that gets its flavor from the yeast and said yeast has to be actively suspended in the beer to properly experience it. But I digress......

I think there is something to losing head-retaining elements during the course of filtering your beer and/or using the polyclar. Coming from someone who doesn't care if my beer is crystal clear, I'd say skip the poly and filtering next time around and see what happens.

A second thought: You obviously keg, so that means you serve your beer in a glass. Are your glasses really "clean"? Do you use a dishwasher or hand wash your beer glasses? If you hand wash, did you recently change your dish soap to one of those "anti-bacterial" or "hand-softening" detergents? Do you rinse all the soap residue off?

Try this to get your glasses "beer clean" and see what happens:

One of the easiest home methods is to create cleaning paste consisting of 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons of water. Take the paste and spread it on the inside of the glass, then using a bottle brush (or if you are fancy you can buy an electric scrubbing brush) scrub the glass clean. After scrubbing, rinse the glass with cool water and let is air dry open-side down. You may have to repeat.

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 05 Jun 2012, 09:25, edited 4 times in total.
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Post #43 made 7 years ago
joshua wrote:Good Day Dicko, From what I have read, 1 micron is finer than head and body protiens, a 5-8 micron filter will let those protiens thru.

Or give the beer 2-3 weeks in a secondary, at the fermentation temperature, and it should be clear, with a good body, and a nice head. Then cold crash and keg and carbonate.

Even InBEV/AB has a 3 month secondary for Budwieser!
Interesting.
Why would the head be affected on my Heffe without filtering though?
3 months secondary! Blimey!
Last edited by dicko on 05 Jun 2012, 09:48, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #44 made 7 years ago
thughes wrote: Well, I reckon you shouldn't be filtering a Hefe, with that style you want the yeast to stay suspended and end up with a cloudy beer:

Try this to get your glasses "beer clean" and see what happens:

One of the easiest home methods is to create cleaning paste consisting of 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 4 teaspoons of water. Take the paste and spread it on the inside of the glass, then using a bottle brush (or if you are fancy you can buy an electric scrubbing brush) scrub the glass clean. After scrubbing, rinse the glass with cool water and let is air dry open-side down. You may have to repeat.

---Todd
Hi Todd,

I dont filter my Hefes would as I wouldn't be tasting the yeast that I paid for!
My point really was that even with an unfiltered 75% wheat beer I still have poor head retention.
Head formation is not an issue however.

I have tried various glass cleaning methods including the one you suggest.
They do help a little bit from an initial lacing perspective.
However when I pour other peoples beers into my clean glasses they DO have excellent head retention.
So I have ruled out my glassware as being the source of the issue.

Thanks again.

Damn this hobby.... :drink:
Last edited by dicko on 05 Jun 2012, 10:02, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #45 made 7 years ago
What about an infection? You haven't mentioned any flavors associated with an infection, but maybe its there?

I can't think of anything else that you haven't already thought of. I admire your tenacity, if that counts for anything...

Post #46 made 7 years ago
BrickBrewHaus wrote:What about an infection? You haven't mentioned any flavors associated with an infection, but maybe its there?

I can't think of anything else that you haven't already thought of. I admire your tenacity, if that counts for anything...
I haven't noticed any off flavours.
Although my beers having been coming out a little drier than usual lately.
I have bought myself yet another thermometer and will be checking my mash temps.

However I do tend to leave the hydro sample knocking around for a few days after kegging.
Not for any particular reason, just helps to make me look busy... ;)

Would the FG have dropped even further in the sample if I had an infection?
Guess it would depend on the type of infection!
Last edited by dicko on 05 Jun 2012, 10:50, edited 4 times in total.
On Tap: ESB,Oatmeal Stout, APA
Primary: APA x 2
Cubed: Nowt

26/07/12

Post #47 made 7 years ago
If I were you, especially if you are noticing a possible side effect (lower FG) and might be associated with a problem you can't tackle, I'd do two things:

1) Forced wort test. This will check for an infection pre-pitching. I don't know the best way since you're no-chilling, but google it and you'll probably be able to figure out something clever.
2) Don't know the term, forced beer test maybe? Analogous to a forced wort test, but taking a sample of fermented beer as you're racking to a keg into a STERILE jar (at least as sanitary as absolutely possible, just to remove the jar as a possible source of contamination. I would pressure cook, if possible, at the very least boil for 15 minutes). Rack into the sterile/sanitized jar via whatever racking method you normally use to fill the keg. Instead of stashing the jar in the kegerator, let it sit out at room temperature or higher. Monitor for signs of infection. I suppose you could easily do this on beers you have around right now.

Post #50 made 7 years ago
deebo wrote:Maybe try mashing a bit warmer in your next brew and see if that helps?
Hi deebo,

Yes! I currently have a brew in primary after mashing at 67c.
I tend to mash most of my beers at 65c.
But as expected my thermometer appears to be innacurate.
So I'm using another one that I have bought and calibrated from eBay!
Will let you know if this fixes it.

Thanks again all.
Last edited by dicko on 14 Jun 2012, 13:51, edited 4 times in total.
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26/07/12
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