Beer’s frothy foam top is something many of us tend to ignore. The hat foam actually has a name: it’s called beer head (or sometimes just head).For all the Cerevisaphiles here are some fun facts about beer head.
Actual source of the beer head?
Bubbles of carbon dioxide floating to the top are what cause the beer head.Carbon dioxide can be produced one of two ways: naturally via brewers yeast or synthetically by dissolving it under pressure.
The process that creates the bubbles is known as nucleation, and it occurs during fermentation. A small defect in the glass acts as the starting point for the formation of a CO2 bubble. In fact, many beer glasses are purposefully etched, so that the dissolved CO2 has a place to gather and form larger bubbles.
Factors that determine it
Taste and smell are intensely connected; the bubbles in the foam bring out delicious aromas associated with different kinds of craft beer, which then also serve to enhance the flavor.
- The density in particular is responsible for the creaminess of the foam.
- Generally the wheat beers have bigger and long lasting foams as compared to the barely ones.
- The type of malt and adjunct dictate the foam’s density and longevity.
- Oats and rye are known for the great foam heads they can produce.
People have strong opinions on beer foam. Too much is considered no good, but not enough and your beer is incomplete. Brewers consider the foam just as much as any other component of beer!
Widgets are little devices that are sometimes put inside beer cans to help control the qualities of the beer foam, and Guinness actually patented the original one in Ireland.
You may also have heard of widget glasses, which have a pattern at the bottom that acts like a widget and helps to release those ever-important carbon dioxide bubbles.
The thickness of the head depends on the particular beer, and the shape and cleanliness of the glass, as oil in a glass will quickly dissipate a the foam on a head.