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Irish needs a better head

I brewed NB’s dry irish a few months ago and wow, it’s awesome. Only issue I have is that it’s lacking the creamy head that I prefer with stouts. What do I need to do to get a creamier head on future batches?

Surprising you are not getting a dense head that doesn’t last until the last sip. I bottle condition for a minimum of four weeks. Chill for a week before opening. Heading gets even better after four weeks of conditioning.

I did an experiment last week. One of my beer glasses went through the dish washer. Poured half the bomber, foamy head of large bubbles, which completely subsided to a quarter inch layer within a minute. Cleaned the glass with PBW, poured the other half, thick dense foam, solid like an off color meringue.

Could you have some residues in your glass? With clean glasses, then it may be something in the process of brewing the Dry Irish.

what did you prime with? fizz drops, table sugar, corn sugar? also, how much did you use?

Carbonation is great but not much head at all. I don’t believe it’s due to my glass wash as I didn’t get any head to begin with. I used 2/3 of a cup of corn sugar for my 5 gallon batch.

You need the Activator Trick! Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (in the 1970’s) when Guinness first started shipping their flagship Irish Stout in glass bottles, they used to include a 10 cc syringe. (This was before the invention of the widget.) You were instructed to pour out your 12 ounce bottle into a 22 ounce pub glass, then take the syringe and suck up 3 - 5 cc of stout, followed by 3 - 5 cc of air and then shoot it forcefully back into the glass, thereby injecting nitrogen into the beer. How much beer/air you inject is dependent on the temperature of the beer and how much you carbonated it; just do an equal amount of both. Warmer means less. More carbonated means less. Colder and/or less carbonated means more. It’s a bit of trial and error, but once you dial it in you’ll never drink it the same again. Just make sure you try it next to the sink in case it overflows your glass. I do this with all of my stouts now, and it’s just as good and far cheaper than buying and installing a nitro tap.

http://www.packaging-gateway.com/features/feature774/feature774-4.html

FWIW: I carb mine to 2.4 volumes, as the injection process will diminish the carbonation. At this level, after injecting the nitrogen it tastes and feels exactly like pint of Guinness from a pub.

I’ve got that kit on tap right now and I get a super creamy head. Was yours all grain? Do other beers you brew provide a thick head? I second the thought on your glassware. Try some experimenting with your glasses.

[quote=“Ken in MN”]You need the Activator Trick! Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away (in the 1970’s) when Guinness first started shipping their flagship Irish Stout in glass bottles, they used to include a 10 cc syringe. (This was before the invention of the widget.) You were instructed to pour out your 12 ounce bottle into a 22 ounce pub glass, then take the syringe and suck up 3 - 5 cc of stout, followed by 3 - 5 cc of air and then shoot it forcefully back into the glass, thereby injecting nitrogen into the beer. How much beer/air you inject is dependent on the temperature of the beer and how much you carbonated it; just do an equal amount of both. Warmer means less. More carbonated means less. Colder and/or less carbonated means more. It’s a bit of trial and error, but once you dial it in you’ll never drink it the same again. Just make sure you try it next to the sink in case it overflows your glass. I do this with all of my stouts now, and it’s just as good and far cheaper than buying and installing a nitro tap.

http://www.packaging-gateway.com/features/feature774/feature774-4.html

FWIW: I carb mine to 2.4 volumes, as the injection process will diminish the carbonation. At this level, after injecting the nitrogen it tastes and feels exactly like pint of Guinness from a pub.[/quote]
That is such a cool trick Ken! Can’t wait to try it. :cheers:

I’m buying a syringe later today to try this tonight. Cannot wait. Btw, this kit is absolutely delicious. I can honestly say this is the best one i’ve brewed so far. I absolutely love it!

I agree! In fact, I’m brewing it again a week from this Saturday so that I can have more ready for St. Patrick’s Day…

Awesome. I have this kit sitting at home and I’ll be brewing it on Monday. Glad to hear it’s a tasty brew! Should have it done in time for St Patty’s Day!

It’s a tried and true 70/20/10 dry stout recipe. I brew something like this a couple times a year. It’s a really good stout. I mash at 152, 5.4 pH and get a good mouth feel and creamy head on it.

What a great tip! I tried it tonight and it worked like a charm on a slow to carb IPA. I’ve waited 3 weeks for good carbonation on this beer and this little trick made all the difference. Thanks!

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