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26

Most importantly, a good head helps release the aromas of the beer, especially the hops. Aroma is everything for enjoyment of a good brew. When enjoying a super-hoppy IPA, you should always use a glass that provides a large surface area for aromatics to rise from. It can also provide the a pleasant mouth feel. Stouts definitely benefit from a thick, silky ...


15

Apart from the simple explanation of people liking the foam, the lack of head could indicate problems with the beer. For example: It could mean that the glass is dirty, or there is left over soap residue on the glass. This can affect the taste of the beer. It could indicate that the beer has lost its carbonation (the head being formed by the gas quickly ...


11

Yes, beer is indeed generally supposed to have a head. The foam can add to both the flavor and the texture of your beer. It is preference for sure, and if you don't like it, then you don't like it, but I'd encourage you to try it from time to time with an open mind. The head of a beer is quite complex, consisting of proteins that are acted on by the hops, ...


7

With regards to the beer, 4 things primarily determine the amount and consistency of head: Types of malt used: light malt typically produces larger, more dish-soapy bubbles. Roasted or dark malts will typically produce smaller bubbles. The proteins in the malt are what determine the consistency of the bubbles. There are additives that can alter and enhance ...


5

There are a few things you can check with you keg. You said it's a home built system, yes? So is this a mini-fridge conversion, chest freezer/keezer conversion, or some other kit? Anyway, what length are the beer lines? Generally you need to balance CO2 pressure against beer lines to avoid consistently foamy pours. If your system isn't properly balanced ...


4

You were right to lower the temperature. Beer (or any liquid for that matter) is better at retaining gasses at lower temperatures. Therefore: cold beer = less gas released = less foam produced. Occam's Razor says your keg is probably warm. I'd check if your temperature is correct. Make sure the temperature is being checked from the bottom of the keg, as ...


4

Soap is absolutely the worst thing you could do I guess :P. Sometimes I notice that badly dried glasses (with soap rests) produce more foam... In general, make sure your glass is spotlessly clean. You could then either leave it dry or make it a little wet, works sometimes... Keep your glass diagonal to make sure the liquid touches the glass almost parallel ...


4

Beer is typically supposed to have a head of about 1/2 inch. This enhances the flavor and gives off an aroma that will add to the experience. A good bartender should give you a nice head on your beer unless you ask for your beer sans head. You should not be getting a glass half full of foam. Some brewers (I know Guinness specifically, but I'm sure there are ...


3

I was in a similar situation as you. I fixed it by venting the keg completely, then sealing everything up and attaching the gas line. I left the pressure off at first though. I slowly rolled it up to about two pounds and poured. I continued to increase the pressure very slowly and now keep it around 8 pounds. It sounds like you are over pressurized when ...


3

One of the most important tasks of the foam is to protect the beer against oxidation. This is why some beer glasses have a rough patch at the bottom so the bubbles will have place to "sprout" from. In a Duvel glass for instance it is a laser engraved Gothic "D". When the beer is in the glass (Duvel is highly carbonated) you can see the bubbles rising from ...


2

I had an opportunity to visit the Heineken Brewery on a trip to Amsterdam. During my tour, our bartender was able to give a succinct and general answer: to protect the beer, it's flavor and aroma. If you like, you can read more about foam physics and the importance of foam in this dated WSJ article: http://www.rpi.edu/dept/chem-eng/Biotech-Environ/FOAM/...


2

Here in the Netherlands, we mostly drink poured beer with like 1/4 of the glass filled with foam and we think the beer is not as good anymore when there is no foam in it as the carbonation is gone. But I don't know how it is in other countries, so I believe it is beer and country-specific how much foam there is in a glass.


2

You can find a discussion about it here. A couple of US brewed beers that arise from it are Sierra Nevada Kellerweis and Sly Fox Royal Weiss; but if you'd prefer a more easy-going (and usually cheaper solution), I'd go with Gösser Dark - although it's not make in the US (but in Austria) it's widespread across the country.


1

Erdinger Urweisse and Erdinger Hefeweissbier should also be close. Both are brewed in Erding (roughly 15 miles from Weihenstephan), but reportedly available throughout the world.


1

Lots of good, in-depth answers here. It looks like nobody (edit: looks like Soloem did, actually) mentioned the obvious: close your supply line and bleed excess CO2 from the keg. Sometimes a keg will come to you highly carbonated and you just have to bleed it. Sometimes you have to bleed it a few times (before you begin dispensing for the day). As long ...


1

I found an awesome resource: Draft Beer Quality. They have a very nifty pdf Manual that you can download for free!


1

Another something to look at: your beerline. Check for flaws, sharp bends, particles. Check your taps as well, as an imperfection there might cause the problem.


1

I must say that before starting to brew myself I disliked the head, but when you start to deal with low carbonated beer, it becomes interesting. Just bought this weird "head maker" an ultra-beer thing it is really weird, looks like a sex toy, but creates head with ultrasound. Just stick it in the beer and press the bottom. With some beers it definitely adds ...


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