So far 3 APAs, 2 IPAs, and 1 Belgian Red that I have brewed have turned out darker than the recipe has indicated it would.
My first thought was mash/sparge temps. If I had a thermometer that was not reading correctly I might be over-heating my mash and extracting tannins. Thermometer calibration to freezing and boiling water shows only .5 to 1 degree deviation to the high side.
My next thought was water chemistry. My tap water is off a municipal well and I have used a water report to settle on a 50/50 mix of RO/Tap with a little added Lactic acid to bring my mash pH into a good 5.3-5.4 zone. The likelyhood that I need to add brewers salts or gypsum has crossed my mind, but for all intents and purposes this mix should be adequate for an "average" water profile.
From here I am not sure where else to look for my problem. My APAs look like brown ale, my IPAs look like Porters, and my Belgian Red looked almost black.
Does anyone have any other suggestions or ideas on where this extra color is coming from?