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Old 11-24-2008, 02:04 AM   #1
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Default darkness?

All the beer that i make seems to be darker than what i want and what i feel the recipe should be. what can i do to make my beer lighter in color. i have been making american pail ale and it comes out looking drown to dark brown in color.

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Old 11-24-2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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Had the same problem, the guys here cleared it up for me a couple days ago, and this is what I learned:

Boiling all of you extract together in a partial volume boil causes the extract to caramelize, leaving the wort and subsequent beer darker than it ought to be. The way to correct this is to either do full-volume boils or to withhold some of the extract to be added later in the boil. Some combination of the two would probably do the trick.

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Old 11-24-2008, 03:38 AM   #3
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+1 to doing a bigger boil and/or a late extract addition.

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Old 11-24-2008, 11:38 AM   #4
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+2 I started following this advice from the outset, and it works. I do both full boils and late additions. That being said, color doesn't bother me all that much. The colors for an IPA or a hefeweizen will be pretty accurate- maybe a bit darker than average. Since many of my beers are porters, stouts, and Scotch ales, it's all pretty moot. If you're after something that looks like Coors Light, your only recourse will be to move to all-grain.

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Old 11-24-2008, 11:31 PM   #5
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also the beer in primary will look a lot darker because its a larger volume, and there's floating particles of hops and yeast to further cloud it and make it seem darker.

once its done, clarified and then in a pint glass, it will likely be a bit lighter.

going AG will give you more control over the final color than extract-only brewing. you could also do partial mashes and top off with extra light DME, in addition to late extract addition. You'll come aweful close to the same color as an AG brew of the same recipe.

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Old 11-24-2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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What exactly do you guys mean by partial or full boils? I see those two terms all the times on the board.

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Old 11-25-2008, 12:36 AM   #7
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A partial boil means boiling less than the full amount (often 2-3 gallons) and then topping off with water to the 5 or 5.5 gallon level. A full boil is just that -- starting with 6 or so gallons to allow for boil-off and end up with the 5 gallon batch size.

Hope this helps.

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:16 PM   #8
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I always do a partial boil (2 gallons) because that's what the directions always say to do. Thanks for the info

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Old 11-25-2008, 03:45 PM   #9
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same here -- I usually start with a strong 3 gallons as I only have a 20qt pot. I'm hoping to acquire a larger pot -- probably a 40qt, so I can do full boils.

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