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Old 02-23-2006, 01:59 AM   #1
todd_k
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Default Just bottled a dark, bitter Pale Ale

I just finished bottling and sampled a bottle of warm, flat Pale Ale. The beer is darker then I expected, more like an amber. It also has a bitter aftertaste. I guessing both are from steeping the grains too long? I ended up with 45 12 oz bottles.

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Old 02-23-2006, 02:27 AM   #2
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Bitterness is probably from hops or yeast...is it clear or could there still be yeast in suspension? Yeast lends a bitter taste sometimes. Or maybe it just needs to age a bit so the hop bitterness softens.

You probably won't get bitterness from steeping grain too long unless you boil grains for a LONG time. If you hold them in hot (not boiling) water for an hour or less, you'll be fine.

The amber color is just the way of extract. It's near impossible to make a really pale beer like a Corona unless you do it all-grain. LME is especially prone to darker beers. DME is better, but you still can't make a really light colored beer. Usually an amber color is about as light as it gets with extract, especially if you add crystal malts.

Give it some time in the bottle. It should do nothing but improve! Cheers

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Old 02-23-2006, 03:25 AM   #3
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I used DME.

It is not very clear although I wouldn't call it cloudy. I thought about the yeast in suspension after I made that last post. I'm going to let it sit for 10 days, maybe I'll open 1 in 4 or 5 to see how much it has changed. Thanks for the input.

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Old 02-23-2006, 01:41 PM   #4
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Dollars to donuts this brew improves greatly over time. Let it sit on a shelf for two weeks and try it then.

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Old 03-03-2006, 11:46 PM   #5
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Ok, it's been in the bottle for 10 days and here is a pic. It tastes OK, still a little too bitter for my taste but hopefully that will keep improving with some time.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/81913909@N00/107389435/

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Old 03-04-2006, 12:09 AM   #6
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yeah that is kind of dark...whats in the recipe? you must of used some chocolate, or black patent, or dark crystal, i dont see d.m.e. alone would be that dark...how long did you boil? a long boil will darken a beer too...the bitterness will mellow out a bit, the malt flavor should come through more eventually...

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Old 03-04-2006, 12:33 AM   #7
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5 1/2 lb light dry malt
3/4 lb Munich malt 10L
1/2 lb Crystal 60L
1 oz Columbus hops (60 min boil)
1 1/4 oz Cascade hops (end of boil)
6 tsp. Gypsum
2 tsp. Burton water salts
Wyeast 1272
3/4 cup priming sugar

I seem to have misplaced my recipe, I will post the boil time when I find it.

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Old 03-04-2006, 12:38 AM   #8
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From the looks of the recipe, the picture looks about right. Between the extract, the cyrstal 60 and the munich, it will be that dark. Try using the lighest extract you can find and use a lower crystal like 30-40. That will bring the color closer.

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Old 03-04-2006, 12:39 AM   #9
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Try doing a "late-brew" (thank you HB). It's where you only put a couple pounds of the extract in at the beginning, and the rest before your final hops. It prevents it from carmelizing as badly. I did this with my Zombiefoot, and it's a perfect bronze/gold color.

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Old 03-04-2006, 12:40 AM   #10
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I'd say it was the Crystal 60L. Is the bitterness also astringent (boil some ordinary black tea for 10 minutes as a sample)? That would point to steeping too long or at too high a temperature. Maybe next time use Crystal 20L.

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