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Old 06-12-2013, 02:33 AM   #1
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Default My beers all look the same

Here's A picture of 4 different beers that I have brewed. An amber ale, a scotch ale, a cherry wheat, and a spiced amber. They all look the same to me. Anyone else find that as a common thing? They all tasted different, it just bothers me (for no particular reason) that they all look the same.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:37 AM   #2
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That would bother me to. Some beers will look the same (say, a cherry wheat and an American amber) but most won't.

I would have to guess and say you're using extract and probably a partial boil of the wort, which darkens the wort more than a comparable full boil or AG version of the same beer.

There are some work-arounds in that, like adding the majority of the extract at flame out and/or making the boil size larger.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:40 AM   #3
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It's possible that all four beers are meant to look that way.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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I can see slight differences but the beers you have chosen thus far seem to be correct in color with the exception maybe being the cherry wheat. The cherry wheat could be the classic extract partial boil thing but I also have zero experience with cherry wheat beer, sounds really good though.

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:42 AM   #5
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Is the cherry wheat the bottom right pic?

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:43 AM   #6
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Yeah I'm doing extract with, usually, 2.5 gallon boils. How much will adding more water to the boil affect the color? And will it affect anything else? I imagine OG would be different from expected. Guess I'll have to do some research on it. Thanks!

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudsmcgee View Post
It's possible that all four beers are meant to look that way.
Amber, spiced amber, cherry wheat and scotch ale. I think you are on to something.

My second batch was a blonde. It came out looking like an amber ale (and my first batch was an amber ale that looked like a ... well a very dark amber ale). So yooper is onto something.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:46 AM   #8
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they all look different to me........put a Miller Coors Bud and Keystone side by side, same results

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Old 06-12-2013, 02:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpeebs View Post
Yeah I'm doing extract with, usually, 2.5 gallon boils. How much will adding more water to the boil affect the color? And will it affect anything else? I imagine OG would be different from expected. Guess I'll have to do some research on it. Thanks!
I would recommend boiling as much as your stove can- a 5.5 gallon boil will be much lighter in color than a 2.5 gallon boil, and more true to the color desired. Extract darkens with boiling, and with a condensed boil it darkens even more.

You could try adding the majority of the extract at flame out for your beers, and that will help a lot.
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Old 06-12-2013, 03:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Yeah I'm doing extract with, usually, 2.5 gallon boils. How much will adding more water to the boil affect the color? And will it affect anything else? I imagine OG would be different from expected. Guess I'll have to do some research on it. Thanks!
It won't affect the OG if your final volume is the same.

The theory, and Yooper will have to verify if it is true or not (I've merely been told it was true and based on my one experience of a dark brown blonde I choose to believe it) is that "cooking" the extract darkens the color.

Thus adding the LME at flameout results in a lighter colored beer because the LME never gets "cooked".

I haven't heard that a size of the boil affects color but if cooking darkens the color then it makes sense and if someone were to tell me it was so, I'd believe them. Material is more likely to get cooked if its at a higher concentrate.

Think of it like burning sugar. Make a sugar water syrup and cook it for a while. It'll turn brown. If you cook it for a short time it won't turn brown. Ergo late additions mean lighter beer. If the sugar concentrate is thick it will turn brown sooner than a thinner syrup. Ergo fuller boils make lighter beers.

Or people are pulling my niave leg. Well, I did have one very early addition blonde that came out very much a brunette and I had one very late a addition blonde of the exact same recipe that came out a dusty straw. So I'm a convert.
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