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Where to go now??? Brew wise?

Rob (Guinness Man)

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Hello all,

Its been a great start to the year and now we are heading into summertime I've stepped up my brews and have started using ale yeast. Here's the rundown for the year:


First brew back in Jan/feb was a Coopers European Lager. Came out pretty well a little low on gas but still a nice taste. But missing head and body.


The end of winter and moving into spring (Europe) I tried the Coopers Heritage Lager. This time using a can of malt Extract. I stopped using carbonation drops as they gas was crap with these. I added a teaspoon of white sugar to the second fermentation process in the bottle. Gas seems ok still a crap head and the body seems a little heavier. But...still missing something.


Take 3 and Its still pretty cold and I've just brewed a Coopers Pilsner with 1KG of DME, 500G o Dextrose. 1 teaspoon of white sugar for the bottle fermentation. Its still in the bottle so I have not tried it yet.


As spring has finally sprung and the temperature has risen I have just brewed a Cooper IPA. Mixed with 1kg of DME and 500G of Dextrose I'm hoping this will be my winner.


Is head retention is a black art? Not spoken to us mere mortals? My equipment is super clean, everything washed, dried etc but still the head only lasts a minute at the pour then seems to evaporate into the abyss.


I still find my process to be missing something. Whats the next stage to try? My beers are still not "Ahhh thats a nice drop" type of thing. Any ideas or step by step recipes most welcome.






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Have you used a "Brew Enhancer", ie: Coopers Brew Enhancer 1, Brew Enhancer 2? These

They contain Maltodextrin which doesn't ferment out adding body and helps with head retention. Maltodextrin can be obtained separately from brew stores, dry food ingredient suppliers, and even body building stores.


You have added extra malt in the brews you have done, that should add body and help with getting head ([innocent]) also.


If you are getting a head that is made up of large bubbles and it collapses quickly, I would be thinking the beer is still a little too young, which may be the case because you also seem to have issues with carbonation...


If you can rule out all of the above, clean your beer glasses!


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G'day mate, Grains such as Carapils (steeped) can aid in Head retention, I have been finding that since I started adding Spec grains and a little wheat malt (adds creamy head) that I am getting better results. A typical brew for me is 25lt so I had to play with it for a while to start to get it right (23lt's doesnt get me 2 crates of beer).


So this may make a typical kit brew for me.


1 can kit (CPA or such)

1 BE2 (or such)

400g - 500g LDME

200 - 250g Light Crystal 60 (steeped)

200g Carapils (steeped)

150-200g Wheat Malt

Hops to suit possibly 15 min and flame out additions or just dry hop.


IM finding now, as recently as a day or so ago, I had my first head lacing all the way down the glass... I was soooo proud!![lol]


Of course Ive not made life easy on myself by messing with how many liters I brew to... It also must be said that BE2 contains 25% maltodextrine which Carapils also contains, so just be sure that you use the Carapils sparingly if used with a "brew enhancer", with the amounts mentioned above Ive not 'tasted' any issues but I would certainly not use more than as stated.


If you have not yet started to dry hop, this can be of great benifit. At about 4-7 days in you can 'quickly remove' the lid and throw in 1g per liter (basic rule of thumb.. +/- for personal taste) of hop pellets. This can have a significant affect on flavour and aroma which I find desireable. Ive messed with varying amounts of Cascade, Perle, Chinook, Goldings, and Amarillo... and probably more, all (most) with good result on flavour.


Good luck..





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Try pouring your beer into a clear plastic cup taken straight from the pack. this will tell you the real amount of your head (and retention). Even though you say everything is super clean, there are many variables that can create a beer with seemingly no head!


One of keys to "wow, whata good beer", is time in the bottle. This invariably also helps with the head and the carbonation (creating smaller bubbles and in turn more compact head). It sounds like you are doing everything else ok. If you are happy to get into steeping grain and boiling hops that is the logical next step. It can increase the chance of something going wrong though!

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