Do you prefer beer with or without foam? Charlie Bamforth the professor of brewing sciences at UC Davis says people want foam, so he's applying scientific principles to produce the perfect beer. SmartPlanet visits his lab and looks at an instrument that measures the foam stability of beer.
Got foam? In search of the perfect beer
Posting in Science
Do you prefer beer with or without foam? Charlie Bamforth the professor of brewing sciences at UC Davis says people want foam, so he's applying scien...
Aug 11, 2010
'hamilton'' premium beer. 04_srt, you and rwilliam@ are right on what you said about the head of beer but remember not everybody know about the quality of beer theirs is just to drink what people call beer.
Verrrry Interesting! I have been around heavy beer drinkers for most of my adult life. I know of no one who wants a lot of foam on his/her beer. Bartenders have notoriously tried to fob off foam filled glasses of beer on their customers, and have been appropriately verbally attacked for trying to avoid giving full measure in the glass. But if somebody wants to pay for research to promote foamy beer, why shouldn't some aggie professor go for it?
Having a good head on a beer is great, it helps to release the favor of the brew by providing a mix with the air. Only problem that the good professor seems to have is that they don't pour the beer properly.
Aside from the foam or no foam debate, if I had known this school had a "brewing" degree I would have went to school there!
Most of our "taste" is due to odor. So a 1-2 inch head on a beer will give off the aromas that are so important to taste, and will improve the flavor of the beer.
I have been drinking beer for about 40 years. The less foam in my beer, the better. Now if me and the guys, are having a beer fight. Shake it, point it, and let it fly!!!!
Foam is beer which is undrinkable, a waste of money and beer. why would anyone want to have the bubbles in your nose. If I have a beer served with excess head, I send it back. When you lose the carbonation, you also lose flavor. The same is true with a soft drink. shake up a diet coke or soke and see how it tastes, beer is the same.
Making a premium beer with a long lasting "head of foam" is something they do in Germany for hundreds of years now. The basic recipe is simple: barley, hops, malt and pure water. NOTHING else. Stay away from all the chemicals and keep crap like corn and rice out of the recipe. It's not rocket science.
Docmartn, as a beer maker/drinker you undoubtedly know and appreciate how foam, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, can be an indicator that the right combination of ingredients, brewing technique and environment (i.e., a clean glass) has resulted in a beer worth drinking. You also know that not all beer styles should be expected to exhibit the same "headiness." Let's hope that Dr. Bamforth's research is not directed toward uniformity of foaminess that responds to some marketing mandate. Bamforth's Brew-foam-in-a-can (now you can make any beer look better with one quick squirt) is not a product worthy of UC Davis's research.
As a homebrewer, I recognize the aesthetic value of foam. A nice, rocky, stable head is desirable. It is a direct reflection of one's brewing technique/skill. However, using science to create foam artificially is cheating, IMO. In addition, foam is also directly related to OTHER factors: an invisible layer of dish soap on your glass will kill the head. So will taking a sip of beer after eating anything greasy (or anything in general, pretty much). foam is good, in moderation. But when you get 3/4 of a glass of foam, and only 1/4 beer, it's more of a burden.
This has to be one of the worst ideas I've heard of. I've been drinking (and making) beer for many years and I've never had someone say... "I wish I had more foam in my beer" As a matter of fact it's just the opposite. Who are these people the professors is polling?