Double Brown Stout, head retention

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mentaldental

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One of my house beers is a Double Brown Stout. This is a London style stout inspired by Ron Pattinson's research. The vital stats. are:
OG 1062. FG 1015.
Pale malt 70% (or mild ale malt)
Amber malt 12%
Brown malt 12% (I used Simpson's brown for this batch: its very dark compared to most other brands)
Carafa Special III 6% (as a substitute for black: first time for this too)
Hops: Goldings at start of boil to 60 IBUs.
Yeast: Voss Kveik (first time I tried this yeast)

I package and serve it from a cask via a handpump.

Anyway the end result was very dark (Simpson's brown is a dark example and Carafa III is darker than black malt.) but otherwise spot on. My only issue is poorish head retention. Don't get me wrong, there is a good collar of brown foam on the freshly poured beer which hangs around a few minutes but gradually disperses and there is also lacing on the glass.

So what should a add to get a longer lasting head? I don't want to add sigificant sweetness as I find the balance about right as is. I am thinking along the lines of wheat malt or dextrin/crystal malt. What do people suggest?
 

Hazelwood Brewery

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One of my house beers is a Double Brown Stout. This is a London style stout inspired by Ron Pattinson's research. The vital stats. are:
OG 1062. FG 1015.
Pale malt 70% (or mild ale malt)
Amber malt 12%
Brown malt 12% (I used Simpson's brown for this batch: its very dark compared to most other brands)
Carafa Special III 6% (as a substitute for black: first time for this too)
Hops: Goldings at start of boil to 60 IBUs.
Yeast: Voss Kveik (first time I tried this yeast)

I package and serve it from a cask via a handpump.

Anyway the end result was very dark (Simpson's brown is a dark example and Carafa III is darker than black malt.) but otherwise spot on. My only issue is poorish head retention. Don't get me wrong, there is a good collar of brown foam on the freshly poured beer which hangs around a few minutes but gradually disperses and there is also lacing on the glass.

So what should a add to get a longer lasting head? I don't want to add sigificant sweetness as I find the balance about right as is. I am thinking along the lines of wheat malt or dextrin/crystal malt. What do people suggest?
A little wheat will help, any type, 2% should be enough.
 

Sadfield

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Early boil hops and Roasted malts should normally be enough to get good head retention. I'm wondering if the Voss is the issue. Lallemands info states “Flocculation is very high producing clear beers without filtration or use of process aids". I wonder if it is stripping too much protein out. What are your stouts/Porters like using more conventional strains?
 

mentaldental

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Early boil hops and Roasted malts should normally be enough to get good head retention. I'm wondering if the Voss is the issue. Lallemands info states “Flocculation is very high producing clear beers without filtration or use of process aids". I wonder if it is stripping too much protein out. What are your stouts/Porters like using more conventional strains?
I don't normally have a problem although I have a Dry Irish Stout on tap which has very poor head retention. It also taste a bit odd. This was the first batch in 45 years of brewing when I had a stuck fermentation and I guess the problems are related to this.

I have used WLP002 a lot in the past and you could certainly describe that as having high flocculation (!) but not noticed head retention problems. But I will certainly bear your suggestion in mind when I use Voss again.

I used Voss for this batch because I have a bit of a bottle neck at the moment. One of my two fermenters has a Kellerbier in secodary fermentation/lagering at the moment. I used Voss to get the DBS through the system quickly and it certainly did that.
 

Alan_Reginato

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@mentaldental
a little off topic, but could you please give your beer tasting notes? What is Kveik's impact on a stout?
Just because I'm about to brew a stout with Kveik too.

Thanks!
 

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Also have a search for "foam negative" factors that might affect you regarding your process, eg cloudy wort tends to be foam negative, or an excessively hard and long boil. Or it might even be something as simple as some detergent left over after cleaning. Its probably a few things compounding each other
 

mentaldental

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@mentaldental
a little off topic, but could you please give your beer tasting notes? What is Kveik's impact on a stout?
Just because I'm about to brew a stout with Kveik too.

Thanks!
It's big powerful beer. Lots of roast malt flavours going on (especially the brown malt because it's a London style stout) with flavours of dark chocolate and black coffee very evident. There is sigificant hop bitterness but it is hidden behind all the malt flavours and is not as assertive as the BU:GU ration might suggest at 0.96. It's is actually a smooth easy drinking beer when served from a cask although the ABV at 6.4% makes itself known fairly quickly.

I can't detect much contribution from the Voss but, to be fair, there is a lot going on flavour wise anyway so I think any flavours from the yeast are well hidden. It was certainly very quick and I will probably use it again for this beer.

The biggest thing I have noticed is that the beer is pretty much black. In the past I have used black malt and lower EBC brown malts. Although the Simpson malt is much darker than all of the others I have access too it's flavour seems similar. The Carafa III has rounded and smoothed the flavour. It's a bit darker than most black malts which probably contributes to the blackness.

Hope this helps.
 

mentaldental

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Also have a search for "foam negative" factors that might affect you regarding your process, eg cloudy wort tends to be foam negative, or an excessively hard and long boil. Or it might even be something as simple as some detergent left over after cleaning. Its probably a few things compounding each other
Thanks for the ideas.
1. The wort was very clear. I use a RIMS set up and Protofloc for 10 mins and this combination works well for me.
2. I boiled for 60 minutes, which is normal for me. I use a 3kW heater element on full chuff although I wouldn't describe the boil as excessively hard. Still I take on board what you say. I will probably move to a shorter boil time for most beers in line with the current ideas so we shall see if that helps. I have been toying with making a new copper with dual elements to replace my ageing one but it just keeps on working so I keep putting it off.
3. I don't routinely use detergents for cleaning mainly using caustic soda and phosphoric acid. I use two cask washers, caustic first followed by acid so there should be no residue of caustic and I don't think phosphoric acid would be the problem. Having said that I did do a spring clean of the system recently using other cleaning agents so it is possible you have a point.

Cheers
 

Donegal john

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It's big powerful beer. Lots of roast malt flavours going on (especially the brown malt because it's a London style stout) with flavours of dark chocolate and black coffee very evident. There is sigificant hop bitterness but it is hidden behind all the malt flavours and is not as assertive as the BU:GU ration might suggest at 0.96. It's is actually a smooth easy drinking beer when served from a cask although the ABV at 6.4% makes itself known fairly quickly.

I can't detect much contribution from the Voss but, to be fair, there is a lot going on flavour wise anyway so I think any flavours from the yeast are well hidden. It was certainly very quick and I will probably use it again for this beer.

The biggest thing I have noticed is that the beer is pretty much black. In the past I have used black malt and lower EBC brown malts. Although the Simpson malt is much darker than all of the others I have access too it's flavour seems similar. The Carafa III has rounded and smoothed the flavour. It's a bit darker than most black malts which probably contributes to the blackness.

Hope this helps.
No detectable orange notes at all from the yeast ? What temp did you ferment it at ?
Thinking of using it for my next brew a porter.
In ipa’s I always get the orange flavour
 

Cwrw666

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I've only ever used Voss Kveik once and that beer had poor head retention.
In Garshol's `Historical Brewing Techniques', an interesting read covering farmhouse brewing in Northern Europe (mostly Scandinavia), I seem to remember one of the characteristics of Norwegian beers brewed with kveik is that it didn't have much in the way of a head to it.
 

mentaldental

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No detectable orange notes at all from the yeast ? What temp did you ferment it at ?
Thinking of using it for my next brew a porter.
In ipa’s I always get the orange flavour
No orange flavour that I could detect but I believe that is fairly subtle and and this is not a delicate beer so I am not surprised. Mind you I think orange would blend well with the chocolate and coffee flavours so might not stand out. I fermented at 27C which may have suppressed these flavors anyway.
 

mentaldental

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I've only ever used Voss Kveik once and that beer had poor head retention.
In Garshol's `Historical Brewing Techniques', an interesting read covering farmhouse brewing in Northern Europe (mostly Scandinavia), I seem to remember one of the characteristics of Norwegian beers brewed with kveik is that it didn't have much in the way of a head to it.
That's interesting. Garshol's book is on my reading list.
 

mentaldental

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I have just remembered that I got distracted on brew day and I had a boil over at the start of the boil. I guess that would have resulted in the loss of protein from the wort which could explain the head retention issue.
 

Donegal john

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No orange flavour that I could detect but I believe that is fairly subtle and and this is not a delicate beer so I am not surprised. Mind you I think orange would blend well with the chocolate and coffee flavours so might not stand out. I fermented at 27C which may have suppressed these flavors anyway.
I’ve done a few pales and ipa’s with it and it’s prominent enough in them but a stout/porter might well hide it
Anytime I have used it head retention has been fine though. I do add 100g wheat to most brews
Cheers.
 

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