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I know perhaps the best malt for head retention is carafoam. However I was wondering how other malts known for this property compare to each other. Specially caramunich vs crystal malts. As I want to substitute a crystal 60L for a caramunich III in a red ale recipe, but I aim to keep the same head retention.

  • Hops also contribute. – Philippe Aug 29 '17 at 16:52
  • Thank you, in this case I am leaving the hopping as it is in my original recipe so I would'nt expect much change there. – Serge Aug 29 '17 at 19:10
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So far I found no difference in head retention from various relatively highly kilned specialty malts like crystal/caramunich etc. Carafoam is a different beast in that regard. Btw likely same level of head retention, as from carafoam, can be achieved with additions of flaked barley or torrified wheat. Not mentioning that healthy yeast and good fermentation are still equally important for head retention, if not more.

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  • Good answer. I may add oats in your list. Also, clean bottles will help (it is known that grease residue will reduce the foam) – Philippe Aug 30 '17 at 13:08
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Using specialty malts for head retention is kind of a canard. You'll have much better luck by controlling your fermentation....http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/35-head-retention/697-getting-good-beer-foam-techniques . To answer your question more directly, neither one is better than the other.

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