One of the common problems gluten free beer drinkers (and homebrewers) run into is the absence of good head retention. There are numerous threads on this on the Homebrewtalk GF forum as well as essays, blog posts, etc out on the worldwide web. In the past, I have spent a lot of time reading what others have attempted and experimenting with ingredients…to no avail! There is actually head retention powder available for purchase. It is basically guar gum. When I learned that was the primary ingredient, I thought about using xantham gum (since I had some on hand), but I never did go that route.
One day, I read an article on the proper way to clean your beer glasses. Turns out, I was cleaning my glasses wrong. Now, I use soap on the exterior of my glass, and around the lip (where I put my lips!) and use very, very hot water to wash out the inside of the glass. But never soap on the inside, only hot water!
Since following the advice of the article I have discovered something: my gluten free beers have great head retention! Not only do the beers (once aged properly of course!) pour a great frothy head, but the head stays there as you drink the beer. On my dunkel, there is significant lacing of the glass. So much so that I’m wondering if I’ll have to scrub it!
So there ya have it. Throw what you thought you knew about cleanliness out the window and all of your problems (at least head retention on gluten free beer problems) will be solved!
The proof! (Transfiguration IPA)
Philippians 4.10-13: “I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”