i have two brews that have been in bottle for just about two weeks. one irish red extract that was done to the recipe. the other the american rye extract kit that, where i steeped a lb of red wheat before boil, added some molasses and brown sugar to the wort. i have sampled both out of the bottle and the rye is everything i wanted. its delicious, well carbonated and has a great head that last thru the whole glass. ive read that wheat helps with head retention. the irish red has carbonation but absolutely no head whatsoever…ive also read that extract kits have poor head retention…i carbonated both with 110 grams of table sugar to 4.25 gal(red) and 4.6gal(rye). im thinking the addition of the wheat steep in the rye helped with its head, or maybe just the rye syrup itself…maybe a combination of the two. with the red though, after 2 weeks in bottle with no head but with good carbonation, any chance after a month or two a head could develope? or will it just be a headless beer? i read good reviews about the irish red kit, it seemed popular with a lot of reviews, the flavor is ok, given it is still really young. the rye ive already ordered again and will be preparing the same way as before…if i ever brew the red again, i will probably steep some wheat in it to see if that changes the outcome.
I’m not sure where the “extract kits have poor head retention” comes from. Every beer I’ve brewed, besides the innkeeper, has had nice frothy foam throughout the drink. I’ve done the red and the head was definitely there. I think I may have primed it a little higher, maybe 4.5 oz of sugar. Many things will affect head, though. The glass for one. Some dishwasher soaps leave a film that kills it. Here’s a site with some info along with other links…oh, I did brew a coffee beer that had no head, but it was undercarbed too. I tend to forget that brew since it was a dumper.