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Old 09-27-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
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Default Minimizing color change during boil

Lately I have been trying to make some lighter ales. The wort come out looking perfect after the mash but ends up way darker after a 60 minute boil. Is there a way to minimize this change? Do I have the burner up too high? Its becoming a bit frustrating. I guess I should mention I do 5.5 gallon batches. I know low volume batches are more prone to color change but it seems mine are a bit extreme. Thoughts or Experiences?


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Old 09-27-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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Are you doing extract or all-grain? If extract, you can leave half of it out until the last 10-15 minutes, which should help.

Are you using specialty malts that affect the color? Even if you're not scorching or caramelizing your wort, by boiling off the water, you're concentrating the compounds that give the wort color, same as you're concentrating the sugars. Use a little less high-SRM grain and shoot for a pre-boil wort that's a little light in color in order to hit your color spot-on post-boil, same way your gravity's a little light pre-boil to hit the right number post.

Edit: what kind of boil are you doing -- gas? electric? It's probably possible to overheat and scorch your wort on any kind of system, but without even knowing what kind of system you're using, it's gonna be hard to tell whether it's scorching the wort.


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Old 09-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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All grain

12lbs 4oz 2 row
1lb carapils
12oz 15L
8oz honey malt

Really nothing dark. Beersmith figured it at 6.2 SRM but it ended up way darker. I know it gets more concentrated but just seems way darker.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #4
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Late hop additions also keep the wort lighter. minimize hop boiling time, and add more hops to equal original IBUs.

Note: this will increase aroma and flavor from hops.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeTee View Post
Late hop additions also keep the wort lighter. minimize hop boiling time, and add more hops to equal original IBUs.

Note: this will increase aroma and flavor from hops.
Do you have a source for this? I'm not discounting it, I'm genuinely curious, because I've never heard that.

I guess your rate of boil could have an effect on it. Personally, I've actually had trouble getting any color change from the boil. The only time I've noticed a difference is with boils greater than 90 minutes. Also, your boil off would have an effect on it, not just the caramelization. If you start with 7 gallons and boil down to 5, that will darken the wort since you're only boiling off clear water. Although, I start with 6.5 gallons originally and boil down to 5.25, and still don't see much change in color.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
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Honestly, I find that Beersmith's color profiles tend to be lower than what actually winds up being brewed so I tend to modify my recipe to be a little lower in SRM than what Beersmith tells me, so in other word if my original input tells me it will be 6.5 I will modify so it tells me it is more like 5.8-6.0 and then the beer actually turns out how I expect. I know it's a little goofy but it works

Edit: Just read CeeTee's post and am curious about this as well as I have never experienced anything associated with color and hop additions in any beer I have brewed either..........
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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This particular batch is an IPA. I had late hop additions at 20,10 and 1 with 3 different hop varieties. My pre boil volume was 7.5 and I ended up with 6 gallons as expected. I modify my equipment profile to account for the absorption from the hops so I end up with 5.5 in the primary. My OG was 1.067 and was estimated to end up at 1.068 by Beersmith so I'm pretty sure my process is right on track. Maybe its my water profile here. IDK
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:30 PM   #8
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I was going to ask the same question about boil rate; crank down the heat.

Steam boil kettles will give you the least amount of darkening (yea... at home brew scale...), then direct fire, then electric elements because the higher heat density increases malliard product production.

Ph has an impact on wort darkening, too (can't remember the details, though)

Increased nitrogen AND sugar loads also increase the rate of malliard production so YES, increased boil gravities will increase this but so will increased protein levels (only add that yeast nutrient at the end of the boil)


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Old 09-27-2013, 09:45 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. There has been some good points made. Gives me some things to tweak next time.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheZymurgist View Post
Do you have a source for this? I'm not discounting it, I'm genuinely curious, because I've never heard that.

I guess your rate of boil could have an effect on it. Personally, I've actually had trouble getting any color change from the boil. The only time I've noticed a difference is with boils greater than 90 minutes. Also, your boil off would have an effect on it, not just the caramelization. If you start with 7 gallons and boil down to 5, that will darken the wort since you're only boiling off clear water. Although, I start with 6.5 gallons originally and boil down to 5.25, and still don't see much change in color.
It was on one of the first episodes of Basic Brewing Radio. Its been a while, but they ran an experiment on the different hop schedules and how they affected bitterness, aroma, and flavor. It turns out the longer boiled hops darkened the wort. All extract was added in the last 15 minutes.


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