View Full Version : Head Retention Issues

07-01-2009, 08:42 PM
I have had less than satisfactory head retention on a Belgian golden ale that we have been brewing, and can't figure out why. It is 8.5% abv, finishes at 2.5 plato, is force carbonated to 2.5 volumes CO2, and left unfiltered. We have only brewed the beer 3 times, and the end product has been very consistent, and the taste is excellent. The beer contains about 5% flaked oats and has some munich malt in addition to pilsner malt and sugar. We don't want to change the flavor profile or increase the carbonation. We regularly produce over 30 beers, and all of our beers have excellent head retention. This beer does have some significant spice additions however: 1 oz/bbl of sweet orange peel at 15 min until end of boil, and 1/2 oz/bbl of lemon peel in whirlpool. Would the citric acid in the spices be significant enough to affect head retention, or could the oils in the rind be to blame? Any thoughts would be very helpful.


Matt Manthe
Thomas Creek Brewery

09-13-2009, 05:55 PM
You mentioned nothing about hops! Hops are a great way to improve head retention. Are you using any type of foaming control agent in the process (like fermcap, etc...)? I know you don't want to change your flavor profile, but you might want to think about the hop bill in your recipe.


09-13-2009, 06:29 PM
Try adding some wheat to the grain bill.
Good Luck

09-13-2009, 06:58 PM
Lipids from oats can cause foam problems. Could also impact shelf life. And force carbonation can foam the beer in the tank if not done very gently. Try spunding the tank 1P from FG. Natural carbonation is superior to forcing from still. Good luck.