Beer Foam with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #231

by Brad Smith on February 28, 2021 · 2 comments

Dr Charlie Bamforth joins me this week to discuss foam and head retention in beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (50:57)

  • This week I welcome back Dr Charlie Bamforth, Professor Emeritus at the University of California at Davis. Charlie specializes in the study of the wholesomeness of beer including beer perception, polyphenols, foam stability, oxidation and flavor stability.
  • We start by discussing how Charlie got the name “The Pope of Foam”
  • We have a brief discussion on carbonation levels, how they are measured and how they vary for different styles of beer.
  • Charlie explains what the bubbles in beer foam are composed of and how their stability is important.
  • We talk about nucleation and the size of bubbles in relation to their long term stability.
  • Charlie explains the key ingredients in beer, specifically malt and hops and how they provide the building blocks for foam stability.
  • We discuss the brewing process and how you can choose mash temperature to maximize foam.
  • Finally we talk about glasses, glass shape and the very important process of serving beer.
  • Charlie provides his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Dr Charlie Bamforth for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Rhoe June 14, 2021 at 7:21 pm

I was wondering about NEIPA. Since little to no hops are added to the boil and mostly to the whirlpool or cool down and dry hopping. You don’t get the isomerization as in other beer. I really like the style. Mine has both wheat and oat in the grist. Do the added proteins from the wheat and oats make up for the lack of boiling hops I regard to the foam?

josh buhl February 12, 2022 at 2:01 am

interesting podcast but I kept waiting for a mention and discussion of dextrin malt (e.g. carafoam) which is touted as specifically improving head retension…

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