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Head retention advice

So my head retention sucks. Been brewing a couple years now and doing all grain for the last year. Now that most of what I think are the more important things are falling into place, I’m looking towards getting better head retention. Most of my IPAs and pale ales have poor head retention even though I use a lot of hops. I realize I am mostly mashing low at 150 to 152. (I keg my beers). I don’t want to get into the carapils debate because I have read that a lot of people passionately hate using carapils for head retention alone. Anyway, I was wondering if using some flaked barley in beers like a pale ale or IPA is an option. I love the head I get on my stout due to flaked barley (and Nitro). Or does this give a mouth feel or other taste that would be completely out of place in the style? Any opinions?

The first thing to do is read this…http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/ … techniques . It helps you diagnose and test for the problem. If you have fermentation issues, you can add all the flaked barley/carapils/whatever you want and it won’t help.

BTW, a lot of people DON’t hate using carapils…I’m one of them. Decide for yourself. And myself and others have noted off flavors from using flaked barley in paler beers.

Good read Denny, thanks.
I always make starters, and have a morebeer conical with temp controller. I oxygenate with pure O2 for about 50sec for an ale. I keg, so my carbonation is right. Maybe residual detergent on my glasses has something to do with it, I will start hand washing them separately. I also use one full tab of whirlfloc at 15 min (for 5gal batch) and get tons of cold break (don’t know if that has anything to do with it). Maybe I will try using 1/2 tab.
What off flavors have you tasted using flaked barley?

[quote=“Trapae”]I also use one full tab of whirlfloc at 15 min (for 5gal batch)/quote]
This doesn’t have anything to do with it. But all you need is a half tab at 5 minutes. Any longer will denature the active ingredients making it pointless.

A high mineral water will knock the head off of any beer . Have you had your water analyzed ?

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