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Old 02-24-2010, 04:06 PM   #1
chibrew
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Default Can't brew a light colored wheat beer, help?

I've now brewed two different wheat beers, both of which have turned out tasting great, but I'm not getting that light yellow color that you normally associate with wheats (think Hacker Pshorr or Blue Moon). What gives? One recipe used 6.6 lb LME the other used 6 lb DME, both of which had 60%/40% wheat/barley mix, or thereabout.

I've only got a five gallon brew kettle and can't upgrade to a bigger one at this time, so larger boils aren't an option. Any other way I might get the color I'm looking for?

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:09 PM   #2
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its tough to get light colored beer with extract ,using all grain is a lot easyr,to achieve color .but you could try late addition with your boil that helps..

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:11 PM   #3
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I have the same problems. late addition definitely helps, but there isn't much else you can do. I did a late addition with a Bavaran Hefeweizen and it still came out way to dark. like an amber. I think no matter what you do extract = darker than you want.

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Old 02-24-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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From my readings, even commercial brewers have resorted to using air dried (wind blown) malts and even larger portions of unmalted to keep the color light.

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Old 02-24-2010, 06:12 PM   #5
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In "Brewing Classic Styles" they say to make a normal gravity wort and then add the remainder of your extract at flameout. So If you're boiling 3-4 gallons I'd try adding half your extract as usual, then at the end of the boil, take it off the heat and stir in the rest. Everything I've read says there's no need to worry about things like hot break when using extract since that was done when the extract was made. You could even go with 25% up front and the rest at flameout but that will probably increase your hop utilization and you'll want to adjust the amount of hops.

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Old 02-24-2010, 06:18 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone, glad to hear that I'm not the only one having this problem. I guess the good news is that I stop worrying about the color once I drink a few of them.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:14 PM   #7
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The best thing you can do to reduce your dark colored brew is to stop using LME.

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Old 02-24-2010, 10:24 PM   #8
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Agree with Homebrewer 99.

I've been told and read a few places to use DME over LME to lighten things up. However, that is going to require you to get some software to start making your own kits or to take a kit from a place like Northern Brewer and order all of the ingredients separate. Which if your trying to make this easy every time, isn't as easy as it could be.

Your call though.

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Old 02-25-2010, 04:29 AM   #9
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From what I've read (and my limited knowledge) LME in itself doesn't cause darker beer...if it is fresh. LME does darken with age and can do so pretty q= uick at high storage temps (say 80+ degrees). That said I'm currently drinking a cream ale brewed with LME that is about as blonde as you would expect from the style. If you're using fresh LME then you can lighten it up by doing the method I mentioned above...and it's actually recommended for DME as well if your OG is going to be more than 1.04.

All the experts say that a high gravity wort + long boil = melaniodins = darker color. Keep your boil gravity around 1.040 and add the rest of the extract at flameout. I think you'll see a big difference.

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Old 02-25-2010, 04:59 AM   #10
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Better yet, get yourself a couple of 22 quart pots from wallyworld, a paint strainer bag, and brew your wheat beers on the stove-top - all-grain (see deathbrewers fantastic tutorials on how this is done - it's how I got started on AG) A lightening of color will not be the only benefit....I guarantee the flavor will improve as well. wheat beers are too delicate to turn out great using extract, IMHO, though they will turn out good enough.

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