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I am going have a re-brew of an oatmeal porter recipe that came out really well. The only downside (for me) was that it effectively had zero head. How can I increase head retention but still get the smooth mouthfeel from the oats ?

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Did it pour with some head, then fall immediately? How many volumes of CO2 did you carbonate it to? –  STW Oct 24 '11 at 21:24
    
There was some initial head, but yes it died pretty rapidly. I carbonated to about 1.6 volumes CO2. I don't want to go too much higher since this wouldn't be true to porter style. –  Poshpaws Oct 24 '11 at 21:33
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With it being near to Halloween, this immediately made me think of the Headless Horseman. –  Dustin Rasener Oct 24 '11 at 23:23
    
Did you force carbonation (keg) or prime? –  C4H5As Oct 26 '11 at 0:52
    
Try rinsing your glass with super hot water first. Give it a really good rinse. Then a quick rinse with cool water to get the temp down. Then try pouring your beer. Don't even bother wiping the glass out. See if the head stays. The first thing to always check, even if its not been a problem before, is glass cleanliness. I always try the rinse trick first, if I don't suspect fermentation issues. Most any beer should hold head. –  brewchez Oct 26 '11 at 1:53
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1 Answer

Some people will say to add protein laden ingredients, but you already have oatmeal in there. Fermentation procedures are very important to head formation and retention. See this article: Getting Good Beer Foam: Techniques. It would help to know the recipe, also.

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Thanks for the link Denny. I will post recipe later when I get to my desk. –  Poshpaws Oct 24 '11 at 21:33
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