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A newbie question on color

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ScottM

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First, let me say it only took a week of lurking to decide I needed to jump into this forum. I've checked out a bunch of other sites, and this forum has impressed me.

I'm on my 3rd batch of beer. First was the simple ale kit that came with the homebrewer's kit I purchased. Not bad, not great, I made a lot of mistakes, but ended up with a drinkable "beer" (in quotes on purpose). Second batch I attempted a wheat beer, and the mistakes snowballed into 2 exploding bottles, and an undrinkable sludge that was poured down the drain. Batch 3 was the continental pilsner kit from Better Brew. I just moved to the secondary, because it was done fermenting, but due to work commitments I won't be able to bottle for a couple days. As a result my spare fridge is now a lagering fridge for the next week. The beer looked good and tasted fine, but this brings me to my question: Each batch I've done seem's to be on the darker side compared to what I expected for the style. Is this the result of the ingredients (I've used both LME and DME in the batches)? Or is this just typical for homebrewing?

Thanks for any input, and Happy Brewing!
 
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It's typical for extract brewing. The stuff caramelizes resulting in slightly darker colors. Try doing a late extract addition, putting the bulk of your extract in the boil for the last 10 minutes. I tend to go 40 percent at the start of the boil and 60 percent in the last 10 minutes. Color is still a bit darker. It's mostly unavoidable with extracts.
 

Thumper

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I would agree with both of the previous statements. It is due to the extract. In my limited experience it doesn't seem to affect flavor, just apperance. Last night I opened my first bottle of an expermental batch of belgian wit. I compared it to a Avery Brewery White Rascal. It was darker, but had the exact same taste (which is over the top in coriander). I did expect the strong coriander taste as I mistakenly put .75 oz of "ground" coriander seed in the boil. I later found out that I should not have ground it. It was a 2.5 gallon batch to boot. It is a dead on White Rascal clone, but that is not excatly what I was going for.

Anyway just an example to show you.
 
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ScottM

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That's what I kind of assumed. So we can match a flavor profile with extracts, but the only way to match colors would be in an all grain setup.

I'm intrigued on the later addition of extract to help avoid some of the carmelization. Would I save some of the liquid or the dried to add later in the boil?
 
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I'm partial to adding LME as the late addition. But that's just me. Stir the living you know what out of it before returning it to the heat so it doesn't carmelize.

That said, I try to avoid LME just because I don't like the goopy mess.
 
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That's what I kind of assumed. So we can match a flavor profile with extracts, but the only way to match colors would be in an all grain setup.

I'm intrigued on the later addition of extract to help avoid some of the carmelization. Would I save some of the liquid or the dried to add later in the boil?
Yes. for Late Additions, basically just add ~1/3 of the extract at the beginning of the boil and the rest at about the 15-20 minute mark
 

Figbash

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I've switched almost exclusively to DME, late additions and a full boil to keep the color light. A third of it goes in at 90 minutes, the hop schedule starts at 60 minutes and the rest of the DME goes in at flame out. There is plenty of heat in five gallons of wort to pasteurize the remaining DME after the boil is complete and you'll get zero carmelization.

Tom
 
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ScottM

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Very interesting Figbash, I'll have to try this on my next batch.

Thanks for all the input, everyone.
 
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