Head Retention with The Pope of Foam – BeerSmith Podcast 23

by Brad Smith on September 28, 2011 · 4 comments

Beer foam and head retention are the topics for this week’s podcast with Dr Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch endowed Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California, Davis. Known as “the Pope of Foam”, Charlie has been studying beer foam since 1979. He provides a complete overview of carbonation, how foam forms in a beer, how you can enhance the head retention in a beer, and much more.

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This Episode Sponsored by MoreBeer!

MoreBeer is the sponsor of this week’s episode. You can show your appreciation to them on your next order by using the special order links here at BeerSmith.com/MoreBeer – a portion of each order will go to support the BeerSmith sites, podcast, and newsletters.

Topics in This Week’s Episode (37:40)

  • This week’s guest is Dr Charles Bamforth, Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California at Davis. Charlie teaches sold-out classes on brewing at the University. His facebook page is here at UC Davis Brewing.
  • This week’s sponsor is MoreBeer – you can express your support for the BeerSmith sites by placing your next order with MoreBeer using the order page here.
  • Charlie introduces carbonation and talks a bit about the history of carbonation and how it is measured.
  • We talk about why some styles are highly carbonated while others are not.
  • Charlie talks about why foam is an important part of most modern beers.
  • We walk through how foam and carbonation affects the percepion, body and flavor of the beer.
  • Charlie talks about the most popular methods for carbonating beer.
  • We dive into the science of bubbles and head retention
  • Charlie provides a few methods for enhancing and managing head retention in a beer
  • We discuss the role of glasses and how glass shapes affect beer
  • Charlie explains how some beers like Guiness Stout are served with a nitrogen-carbon-dioxide mix

Thanks again to Dr Charles Bamforth who was kind enough to take time from his very busy schedule to appear on the show!

Thoughts on the Podcast?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee R October 4, 2011 at 12:11 am

Absolutely priceless article. Immediately answered a few of the questions I had about a recent brew (one had superb head retention; the other, none). It’s also enlightening to hear someone of the Pope’s stature explain WHY a thing is a good thing to do as opposed to simply reading what you believe in books. More! More!

One thing though. Dr. Bamforth said he’s not a historian…perhaps not in the realm of beer, but he certainly knows a lot of football history! If I’m not mistaken, and I’m not because I have a copy, he wrote, “In Keeping with the Wolves” – a history of goalkeepers from Wolverhampton.

Looking forward to the next podcast, Brad!

Bob Z January 20, 2012 at 1:29 am

Just catching up on these excellent podcasts and this one was no exception. I’ve been brewing Trappist Ale styles for a while and never really understood the head retention and the importance of pouring. Great stuff Brad and keep inviting the good Doctor back, he’s an excellent guest.

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