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04/21/06 04:45 PM  
Does anyone have knowledge to share on:

1. Why lacing is considered a good thing (aside from the aesthetics of it)

2. What causes one beer to lace a glass while another's foam just slides right off?

3. How to achieve a beer that leaves a nice lacing?

Something in my head wants to say it has to do with attenuation, but that's just me guessing.

04/24/06 10:29 AM  
Re: Lacing
Simple but tough question - good one! I don't have a lot of answers but I can offer some guesses...

1. Lacing follows an actual head of some sort remaining when the head dissapates. Beats a totally bubble-less surface! I think it is the sign of a nice, small, well integrated bubble. The lace looks nice but I think suggests the presence of other pleasent factors.

2. Bubble size? I think the tinier the bubble the creamier the beer. I would imagine the structure of the fluid would be a big factor here. Or perhaps at least in some cases it is a property of the yeast, that is where the bubble comes from. Though I bet force carbonated beer can lace if its the right beer.

3. Dunno, that's never an specific objective for me. It nice when it happens, but I'm usually focusing on other aspects of the beer when I design it.

Neat topic, can anyone here do better than me? That be nice!

04/24/06 11:40 AM  
Re: Lacing
1. Why lacing is considered a good thing (aside from the aesthetics of it)

It reveals two things: 1) You have a very clean glass to start with and 2) the beer is saturated sufficiently with CO2 and the bubbles are very very small, which is usually a factor of higher carbonation levels and a longer maturation time to allow the carnbonation to infuse itself deeper into the liquid giving tighter and smaller bubbles.

2. What causes one beer to lace a glass while another's foam just slides right off?

A proper amount of residual head forming proteins and see answer #1

3. How to achieve a beer that leaves a nice lacing?

See answer #2 and #1

04/30/06 11:13 AM  
Re: Lacing

Foam stability is crucial to creating a lasting lace. If the head doesn't last, it can't stick to the glass. Cisco is correct that proteins play a key role.

If you're still extract brewing, you might try steeping some carapils (up to 1# per 5 gal) to increase your foam stability (and, hence, lace). That'll work for mashed wort too. Some brewers add wheat flour, malted wheat, unmalted barley, oats, or other starches in small amounts to their mashes to increase foam stability. They'll all leave behind some of the proteins needed for foam stability. Mashes should also avoid any time in the 130s (F) range, according to George Fix. These temps break down and eliminate the medium-length proteins you need for a good head. Step mashes can spend time in the 120s for a protein rest to eliminate (clarity-reducing) long protein chains, 140s for fermentabilty and 150s for body. Miss the 130s and you'll be good.

04/30/06 06:15 PM  
Re: Lacing
Thanks bill6beers for expanding further. I always add at least 1lb of some form of wheat for every 5 gallons to every beer. I also do a lot of step mashing and also stay away from the 120s and 130s unless I'm making a Wit or Hefeweizen.
05/01/06 12:55 PM  
Re: Lacing
I'm still mostly using extract, and have been adding flaked wheat, rolled oats, carapils or carafoam, and occasionally about 4Tbs of whole wheat flour, mini-maches at around 150 for 30 minutes...usually about 1-1.5lbs per 5g batch. I've been noticing that older bottles and larger bottles tend to leave lace more often/better than newer smaller bottles (I'm comparing beers in 750s, 12 oz, and 187s).
08/01/06 05:46 PM  
Re: Lacing
Just FYI--if a beer laces, that doesn't necessarily mean the glass is clean or dirty. Certainly, a clean glass is going to allow for the best head, but lacing can still happen regardless. The only thing lacing requires is the proper proteins.
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