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Old 09-15-2012, 03:28 AM   #1
Sep 2012
Fargo, North Dakota
Posts: 3

So I'm fairly new to homebrewing and I'm running into a few questions that I'm not finding answers to in the forums so I'm posting this new thread.
1. I'm using extract kits and I've done three so far. An Amberale, a Lemon weiss and a honey ale. My issue is that the beers are all coming out with the same basic color, which in the case of the last two is considerably darker than desired. Is this a fault of something I'm doing in the brewing process or possibly something to do with the kit I'm using?

2. I've been using a turkey fryer burner for the boiling process and I'm considering upgrading to a banjo burner or the Blichman floor burner. Is it worth it? Other than a faster cook time what are the benefits to the upgrade?

3.I'm still finding more yeast flavor in my beer than I really want. I've been using secondary fermenter and given a little extra time in the secondary to get the yeast to settle out more so less of it makes it's way into the bottles. Anything else I can do?

Any help is much appreciated. Prost!

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Old 09-15-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
Feb 2012
Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 181
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

If you are adding all the extract at the beginning of the boil it can caramelize and darken. Try splitting half at the beginning and half with 15 min to go.
How long does it take you to get a boil? That would be be biggest thing, maybe split it in half. I would spend the money on a bigger brew pot, more tools, additional fermenter, before I bought a second burner when the first is working.
With lighter beers off flavors are easier to taste. It could be a few things. Not giving it enough time to ferment, to high of a temp, stressed yeast, etc. Make sure you oxygenize your wort ( shaking cool wort around works fine) and rehydrate your yeast (80 degree water an hour or so before you pitch). Fermentation temps have to be watched, usually the room needs to under 70 so the beer will stay under 75. Check out a swamp cooler. Beer usually needs to sit for a few weeks also, a lot of directions in kits rush it.

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Old 09-15-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
Senior Member
mrrshotshot's Avatar
Feb 2012
Petaluma, CA
Posts: 649
Liked 45 Times on 41 Posts

Steeping some specialty grains can change the color and add some nice flavor characteristics.

Agree, spend money on something better than the floor burner, unless you're having trouble bringing the wort to a boil.

If you can chill your beer it will help clarify before bottling/kegging.

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Old 09-15-2012, 03:42 AM   #4
Oct 2011
Aurora, Co
Posts: 412
Liked 123 Times on 84 Posts

1) Extract beers tend to be darker. Use the lightest extract you can get, and dry extract doesn't darken as it ages. If it tastes good, then, know, ......Drink it.

2) Cant answer, I brew electric.

3) The yeast will eventually settle out. Give it time. I mean months. You will be amazed at the difference. Also consider some fermentation temperature control.

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Old 09-15-2012, 03:42 AM   #5
May 2008
Round Rock, Texas
Posts: 179
Liked 3 Times on 2 Posts

I'm no expert, but here's the generic advice you're likely to get.

1. Color is determined by many things, but most notably the grains/extracts used combined with boil time. Adding more extracts at the beginning of the boil will create a darker wort in the end due to what are called maillard reactions (think white bread in a toaster). High heat combined with the barley sugars causes caramelization and darkens your product. Many of us dodged around this by just adding more of the extract later in the boil. Try adding half at the outset and half at about 15 minutes remaining (remove from heat to prevent scorching).

2. More BTU's means a faster boil, a more rapid boil, and in some cases better propane economy. If it is worth it to you to upgrade your burner for any of these purposes, go for it. I, personally, do all of my extracts and all-grain batches on my stovetop due to convenience and economy.

3. Yeast is the real rabbit-hole of the hobby. Lots of factors will affect the "yeast-flavor" in your beer. The easiest to control are yeast strain (some are valued for their yeast flavor character, others are considered "clean" or "neutral"), pitch rate (more yeast typically means less yeast flavor because of less cell reproduction - use to find appropriate pitch rate), fermentation temperature (using the low end of the yeast temp range usually means it will turn out a cleaner flavor whereas high end of the temp range will enhance the ester-production of a given yeast strain increasing the overall yeast character), and dissolved oxygen in the wort (more is better - shake for 15 minutes, aerate with a stone/tank setup, etc).

Hope this stuff helps. We're all here to learn.

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