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MB331

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I've brewed close to 30 extract kids over the last few years and each one has resulted in a darker color than anticipated or what is depicted on the website where I bought the kit. I recently did a Pliny clone and while it tasted fine the color wasn't even close. Is there some chemical reason for this or are the pictures of the extract kits misleading?
 

Sunfire96

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Boiling extract usually darkens it. Some people remedy this by reserving more of the extract to add near the end of the boil, but the hop additions will need to be altered if utilizing this method (more IBUs are created in a lower gravity wort)
 
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MB331

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That is what the recipe called for. Of the 10 lbs of extra light malt/sugar, 2 pounds of the malt were added in the beginning of the boil. The remaining 8 pounds were added with 5 minutes left.
 

BrewerBrad82

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Liquid malt extract undergoes Maillard reactions that will cause darkening over time. The higher the temperature during storage, the faster these reactions happen. IIRC, the reaction rate doubles for every 10C in temp increase.
 

Sunfire96

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You could also try shortening the length of your boil, but again, there will be changes to the bitterness gained from hops

Edited to add byo.com article about lightening extract beers:
 
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MB331

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Thanks for all your replies. I'll check out all your suggestions.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Mostly for future readers at this point (see OPs reply in #7).
Edited to add byo.com article about lightening extract beers:
Article is from Oct 2002 and (at the moment) behind a paywall. I skimmed it. Everything in the article is pretty much built into quality extract brewing processes that advanced extract brewers use.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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With regard to the claim that "boiling extract usually darkens it", check out Basic Brewing Radio (either November 17, 2005 or August 25, 2005) for an estimate as to how much boil will darken wort. TL;DR? it's not much.

Next, construct an experiment to prove (or disprove) that estimate to one's satisfaction. I did that experiment once (link).
 
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