Head retention

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Head retention

Post  CalvinChubb on Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:38 pm

I've kegged twice now, and both brews have been carbed perfectly, but they lack a nice foamy head or lose it very quickly. I've also bottled both brews (8gal batches, 5.5gal into keg, rest into bottles), and the bottled ones come out fine, both carb level and keeping a nice head.

Is there something with kegging that I'm missing? Is it the tap? The keg? Not sure where to start looking...
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Re: Head retention

Post  saltydawg on Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:18 am

I just listned to a "Brewing Network" podcast on this subject. The show covered a lot of different causes for a lack of head retention, the recipe, the boil, aeration techniques. But they said the number one cause is a dirty glass!
Since the problem is only with your kegged beer, it might be your system needs to be disassembled and really cleaned...? Maybe replace beer lines...? Even excessive Star-San or other cleaners/disinfectants (in the keg, lines, etc...) have a surfactants in them, and effect your 'foam stand'.

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Heres the link to the podcast. John Palmer & Jamil Zainasheff are the hosts. They've written books and brew award winning homebrew. Always great to listen to the "BN" podcasts!!!

It seems to me the only thing that makes sense, is a problem in your draft system.

Keep us posted,

Rick
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Re: Head retention

Post  CalvinChubb on Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:16 pm

Very basic set up for the time being... Just have a hose and plastic tap hooked up to the keg.
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The day I made the first post, we actually ended up going through the entire keg later that night. Looks to be an issue with the plastic tapper. At first, evenly split between no head, perfect amount, and a glass of foam. Once everyone got the hang of it, the beers started coming out great. Tweaking the CO2 pressure seemed to have helped some as well.
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Re: Head retention

Post  Whatever on Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:53 pm

I am having slight issues with the plastic tapper as well. What psi did you have the most luck with Chubb?

I've been keeping mine around 15psi when on stand-by, but then drop to 5 for serving.

Also, for those of you who plan on converting a freezer...harbor freight makes a great socket/outlet timer that will take place of a temperature controller/thermostat. I set mine to run for 30 minutes every 2 1/2 hours, and it keeps the beer at a balmy 33 degrees +\-.

The best part is they are only $6
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Re: Head retention

Post  CalvinChubb on Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:52 pm

Whatever wrote:I am having slight issues with the plastic tapper as well. What psi did you have the most luck with Chubb?

I've been keeping mine around 15psi when on stand-by, but then drop to 5 for serving.
Started at 13psi, and I want to say it ended up somewhere around 5psi, too. Just kept tweaking it down slightly throughout the evening. I'll have to check when I get home, as the regulator should still be set from that night.

I'm still thinking the plastic/picnic tap is the main culprit, as there were still some cups of foam or no head towards the end of the night, just not as many once the pressure came down. Was all about angle of the tap plus how much the valve was opened.
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