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coloration of the brew

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2nd Street Brewery

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Ok time to jump into the fire.
First post from a newbie, I have been brewing for a couple of years just not much (2-3batches a year) I do use a secondary glass carboy and I bottle not keg. I am trying to find a way to lighten the color of my brew. Currently it all comes out darkr than what I would like. I'm not looking for clear, as in the color of commercial brews but I would like it lighter than the dark amber I always seem to get no matter what type of beer I brew. For example I just did a German lager that while it tastes great is still darker looking than I thought it would be. EVerything I read says that the color is dependent on the malt/grains used but I was hoping to get some real world advice on the subject.

Thanks
Dave aka Brewman45
 

tnlandsailor

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If you are extract brewing, there is a limit on how light your beer will actually get. The process of making malt extract naturally darkens the malt a bit, making it hard to get a really light color in the finished product. In addition, the process of boiling will make the beer darker as well (for you chefs out there, it's the Malliard reaction). You can resort to using some adjuncts like rice syrup solids, but they will affect the final flavor of your beer. Your best bet is to use the extra-light DME and don't use any dark specialty grains. Nothing darker than Crystal 10, and keep a light hand on that. Stick with a 60 minuted boil to minimize darkening due to boiling. You may find that adding stuff and altering your processes trying to make the beer a lighter color causes you to sacrifice some flavor. Not a good trade. Unfortunately, the best way to make a light colored beer is to go all grain.

Prosit,
 
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2nd Street Brewery

2nd Street Brewery

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Thanks for the info. I kind of thought that was what I would hear but it's good to get validation. Haven't gotten up the nerver to go the all grain route yet, don't have the gear either. As an aside I am very impressed with the amount of knowledge in this forum. I plan on picking the brains of everyone here.
thanks again
 

Dude

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2nd Street Brewery said:
Thanks for the info. I kind of thought that was what I would hear but it's good to get validation. Haven't gotten up the nerver to go the all grain route yet, don't have the gear either. As an aside I am very impressed with the amount of knowledge in this forum. I plan on picking the brains of everyone here.
thanks again
I noticed recently by switching over to DME instead of LME that I can get a slightly lighter color as well. My latest APA turned out lighter than my recipe called for. I was pleasantly surprised!
 

homebrewer_99

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I know everyone has their recommendations, and here's mine...you should look into switching over to DME. Now others may recommend all grains. Both are fine.

DME lasts longer, stores easier, is less messy, and (best of all) does not require you to buy any new equipment other than what you already have. With grains you'll need to invest in a bunch of more equipment and supplies.

I recommend using Extra-Light or Light DME as a base and adding darker malts if you need to darken the color as the big guys do. :D

Rice powder/solids work fine as well as corn sugar to add alcohol without and color. I don't (use or) recommend using too much corn sugar because it tends to make the beer more cidery flavored.
 
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