Author Topic: Beer Color  (Read 2476 times)

Offline wrknight

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Beer Color
« on: February 11, 2014, 07:16:22 AM »
Lately, my extract brews have been much darker than the recipes indicate.  My latest beer was supposed to be an IPA but it is nearly the color of a stout. 

The previous IPA using an almost identical extract recipe turned out perfect.  The primary difference between the current brew and the last is the equipment I used.  Previously I brewed in a 4 gallon pot on a regular stove.  I upgraded to an 8 gallon pot and an induction stove so that I could boil the full batch instead of boiling half the batch.  Aside from that, I know of no other difference between the first and second batches.

Other recent (extract) brews have also come out darker that I expected.  Anyone have any ideas why?

Offline brewfun

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Re: Beer Color
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2014, 10:35:41 PM »
When I think of stout, I think of black color. I hope you're not that dark because that could indicate scorching, which would have a smoky, burnt taste.

Liquid extract will darken as it ages from oxidation. Usually brown or burnished gold.  Also, severely oxidizing your wort can darken it. The latter is hard to do if you're even moderately gentle in handling hot wort.

Is this recipe your design? Or a kit?
If you're boiling at high gravity, this can darken quickly. The late extract technique is preferred.
Maybe the wrong extract was given to you?
Or maybe somebody goofed and added some dark malt to the recipe or gave you the wrong bag of specialty malt.
Malt milled at the store? Perhaps someone milled a dark malt before yours?

Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline wrknight

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Re: Beer Color
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 03:01:10 PM »
The color is not black but it's very, very dark brown (I would guess around 30 SRM).  The recipe was my own, not a kit.  I used a dry extract, so I know from the color that it was the right extract.  I added about 8 oz of toasted malt, but according to Beersmith's software, that should not have made much difference. 

I am using a new 8 gallon kettle with an induction heater to boil 5 gallons of wort and am concerned that it might be overcooking the malt, but I don't know how to tell.  I try to keep it at a low boil and It doesn't appear to be boiling that vigorously.   After cooling (takes about 20 minutes) and decanting into the primary fermenter there is no indication of burnt malt anywhere in the kettle. 

In my last batch I used an almost identical recipe and boiled 2 1/2 gallons of wort in a 4 gallon pot on top of the kitchen stove, and then diluted it with another 2 1/2 gallons of water to make a 5 gallon batch.  This batch came out perfect with a color around 8 SRM.  The new brew hasn't finished yet so I can't tell about the flavor.  I'll find that out in another couple of weeks.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Beer Color
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 05:25:29 PM »
What is the material that your wort pot is made of?

Induction stoves have a reputation for very smooth and even heating, but rely on metals that are poor conductors to create friction as the source of heat. The most common is iron, which is reactive with wort. One way or another, a magnetic metal is part of induction cookware.

If you had the heat on while you dissolved the extract, that could be a source of browning as it sat on the bottom of the kettle. Induction stoves heat much, much faster than conventional.

Other than that, I don't really have many answers. You've eliminated ingredients as the source.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline wrknight

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Re: Beer Color
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 08:05:33 AM »
The brew kettle is stainless steel with specially designed ferro-magnetic base for induction cooking.

Offline brewfun

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Re: Beer Color
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2014, 09:49:19 AM »
Well, that's all I can offer. You've eliminated all the suspects I can think of. Sorry, man...

When you figure it out, please let us know. I'd love to learn.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

 

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