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Thread: Head retention problems with our belgian white ale

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    181
    Interesting...

    I was going to suggest too much yeast in the final product - that can often lead to poor foam... but sounds like you sorted it! I did know oats over 5% would cause such an issue, but we are all learning all the time...

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Pune, Maharashtra, India
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    17
    Quote Originally Posted by dfalken View Post
    Anyone want to share some ideas as to why we are having head retention issues? We are using fresh grated sour orange peel, fresh coriander, chamomile (both fresh flowers and tea bags), unmalted wheat and flaked oats. My guess is maybe oil from the oranges, the chamomile or the coriander is messing up our head? Thanks in advance for the help.

    Disclaimer: We've never had head retention issues with any of our other beers. We are currently on our third batch of our seasonal belgian white. The second batch was able to retain the head somewhat, the first and third batches lose the head entirely in a short amount of time. Carbonation is good at 2.8 volumes and a good head is produced when pouring it but it completely dissipates soon thereafter.
    Sorry for firing up an old thread! I was looking for head retention issues in my witbier since I face the same issue. But, the only difference is that I do not use oats in my recipe. My recipe is:

    50% Pilsner Malt
    50% Unmalted Wheat
    ~5 oz/hL of Coriander seeds
    ~9 oz/hL of Orange Peels (zest)

    Mashing schedule:

    20 minutes at 38C (100F)
    60 minutes at 68C (154F)
    Sparge at 75C (167F)

    Yeast: Fermentis Safale T-58
    Carbonated at 2.7 volumes

    Flavourwise, aromawise, the beer matches my expectations. The issue is head retention.

    The verdict from this post is that oats could hamper it, but I don't use any oats in mine. Another issue that I face is, the beer is surprisingly clear (almost brilliant), even though it has 50% of unmalted wheat, plus no clarifying agents, no extended conditioning, etc. I'm suspecting a play of proteins over here, but can't narrow down whether the proteins are large, or are broken down too much, or what.

    Halp please!

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    46

    Flaked wheat

    Also curious...would flaked wheat create this problem too? We are using that instead of flaked oats.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Dallas, Bangalore and soon Goa
    Posts
    299
    Quote Originally Posted by parthamehendale View Post
    Sorry for firing up an old thread! I was looking for head retention issues in my witbier since I face the same issue. But, the only difference is that I do not use oats in my recipe. My recipe is:

    50% Pilsner Malt
    50% Unmalted Wheat
    ~5 oz/hL of Coriander seeds
    ~9 oz/hL of Orange Peels (zest)

    Mashing schedule:

    20 minutes at 38C (100F)
    60 minutes at 68C (154F)
    Sparge at 75C (167F)

    Yeast: Fermentis Safale T-58
    Carbonated at 2.7 volumes

    Flavourwise, aromawise, the beer matches my expectations. The issue is head retention.

    The verdict from this post is that oats could hamper it, but I don't use any oats in mine. Another issue that I face is, the beer is surprisingly clear (almost brilliant), even though it has 50% of unmalted wheat, plus no clarifying agents, no extended conditioning, etc. I'm suspecting a play of proteins over here, but can't narrow down whether the proteins are large, or are broken down too much, or what.

    Halp please!
    You could try dropping your mash in to 35*C. That will allow for B-glucanase to go into solution, and theoretically no protein degradation will occur. It will allow cell walls to be degraded, allowing enzymes better access. Generally you would only use this step if using under modified malts with thick cell walls.

    My first suggestion would be to try brewing without the first (38*C) step (assuming you are using modern, well modified malts). I would mash in around 63*C to favor B-amylase. This will allow for B-amylase to create higher weight molecular products that help head retention. Unless you are having issues with lautering (or filtering) this is probably the best method. You can rest here for longer than a traditional 60 minutes which should help.

    Furthermore, protein breakdown is going to occur most at 45-50*C, so if it takes a long time to raise the first (35-38*C) step, this will cause issues with head retention. You can always start with a thick mash and add hot liquor to help raise the temperature faster (Jump Mash).

    As stated earlier in the thread there are a lot of other factors that can effect head retention, so be sure not to discount all those as well.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Pune, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by Humulus16 View Post
    Also curious...would flaked wheat create this problem too? We are using that instead of flaked oats.
    If it were flaked wheat, a single infusion would suffice since flaked wheat is already gelatinized. But for the head retention, I don't know whether it'll have an effect (positive or negative). Do you face problems with head retention when using flaked wheat in your witbier?

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Pune, Maharashtra, India
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    You could try dropping your mash in to 35*C. That will allow for B-glucanase to go into solution, and theoretically no protein degradation will occur. It will allow cell walls to be degraded, allowing enzymes better access. Generally you would only use this step if using under modified malts with thick cell walls.

    My first suggestion would be to try brewing without the first (38*C) step (assuming you are using modern, well modified malts). I would mash in around 63*C to favor B-amylase. This will allow for B-amylase to create higher weight molecular products that help head retention. Unless you are having issues with lautering (or filtering) this is probably the best method. You can rest here for longer than a traditional 60 minutes which should help.
    I did read about a lot of people saying well-modified malts will convert even unmalted grains without a problem (although there were mixed opinions about it).

    I'll try the thing you said- I'll mash at directly 63-64*C and have an extended mash of say 90 minutes or something.

    Quote Originally Posted by UnFermentable View Post
    Furthermore, protein breakdown is going to occur most at 45-50*C, so if it takes a long time to raise the first (35-38*C) step, this will cause issues with head retention. You can always start with a thick mash and add hot liquor to help raise the temperature faster (Jump Mash).

    As stated earlier in the thread there are a lot of other factors that can effect head retention, so be sure not to discount all those as well.
    Since large proteins cause haze and my beer also turns super clear, I think there is going on a LONG protein rest. (20 minutes at 38*C, and then assuming one degree rise per minute, another 18-20 minutes to surpass 55*C). ALL proteins would probably be breaking down in that much time, leading to a clear beer AND no head.

    I'll try this other thing too that you said, just for curiosity's sake, but I think method no. 1 should work. I'll post the results here once I'm done!

    Thank you so much, kind sir!

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