Head retention and body

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Head retention and body

Postby Piwo » Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:24 am

I currently use
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Head Retention

Postby BillyBock » Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:24 pm

I use either Carapils, Wheat, or Flaked Barley (whatever strikes my fancy at the moment). But lately I've been using Carapils. Earlier this year I made a Pilsner with 95% pilsner malt, 5% carapils and it had a merringue-like, long-lasting head that stuck to the glass. I believe the malt bill has a lot to do with it--if the protein structure ain't there, you ain't getting any head.

Nitrogen is what makes draught Guinness what it is. Since it's not soluble in beer like CO2...you don't fill up with gas as bad, which means you can drink more :D IIRC a nitro system is 75% nitro, 25% CO2. If you don't want to lay out the cash for a true nitro system, I've read you can achieve a reasonable facsimile by using a creamer faucet (a standard faucet that whips up the beer). Or just use your regular faucet but partially open it to whip up the beer. It also helps to use flaked barley in the grist.
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Postby brewmaster808 » Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:29 am

You didn't meantion if you bottle or keg. Truthfully I never had great head retention and body till I went to kegging with CO2. Not sure why but ended up a lot better with kegging.
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Getting good head...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Aug 27, 2005 3:18 pm

The only reason that famous Stout uses flaked barley is because it is such a low gravity beer it has little to base head formation on. The nitrogen helps to enhance the heading even further.

Unless you are brewing a beer in such a low gravity fashion or with body lightening adjuncts, proper brewing technique, quality fresh malt and proper equipment and glass washing technique are all that is required for proper heading. It never hurts to add stuff like light cara malts or wheat to the grist, but it is not necessary if you do a good job of mashing and sparging a quality grists. The use of nitrogen is not the best beer friendly practice and should be avoided if possible. Originally the only reason Guiness used nitrogen was to simulate a cask pour outside of their domestic market. Later through creative marketing the consumer was led to believe that this was expected. If you get the opportunity to see a cask pulled Guiness, you will note that is looks pretty similar to the nitro poured one, but has a better carbonation mouthfeel to it.

The list of proper techniques leading to good head formation is quite lengthy and would take up a bunch of space here. I assume most have been covered in the past but may have been spread out among posts. If anyone is interested, start another post and I'll hammer away!
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