Its mostly because it was an extract kit. It tends to get dark in the boil. You could try a late extract addition (like 10 minutes or so left in the boil), and it wont darken as much. Or make the jump to all grain where you have more control over the variables.
Bacteria are the only culture some people have.
Planning: APA, Skeeter Pee
Primary: Westy Clone, Honey Kolsch, 1554 clone
Lagering: Gluten-free Light Lager, Rye Marzen