New Brewer a couple questions about first batch

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BrewBalls

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My first batch is now fermenting. It was a Northwest Golden Ale from San Diego Brew mart. Its a malt extract kit with palisade hops.


1. The color of your wort is the color of your final beer right? I brewed a golden ale, but the final wort color is more like an amber ale. My thinking is that I might have boiled at too high a temperature and the wort got darker and darker during the boil and adding water in the bucket only lightened it slightly. Does the color lighted during the fermentation process? The instructions that came with the kit are more like a "one brew fits all" type that were kinda vague on what temps I should boil at. I didn't have specific brewing temps, but the instructions said to keep it at a "vigorous boil" If the final beer comes out as an amber color does this effect anything other than the appearance of the beer?

2. Right now my airlock is gurgling, but the center piece stays floats up kind of high and doesn't fully drop on a gurgle. And if I put the lid on it kind of just stays up. I filled it up half way. I keep the lid off the airlock while its gurgling. Should I be concerned?

3. Is there a place where I can find a reference chart to my initial gravity or a comparison of what it should be?

4. What happens if I left my flavoring hops in a few minutes too long?
 

JMSetzler

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Extracts tend to make darker beers than their all-grain counterparts. It's also difficult to judge the color of the beer in a fermenter. It's going to be a lot lighter colored in a glass. Your airlock is fine. It's not gonna drop because of the pressure behind it. Mine usually rise to the top and stay there until I take it out. A few minutes one way or another won't make a significant difference in hop bitterness or aroma...
 

rsmith179

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JM pretty much said it all. Extract brews will always turn out a bit darker than you would like them to. Getting into all grain someday will help with that. More vigorous boils may impact the overall color but as long as there was no scorching, that would not signifcantly impact your beer. If you keep brewing with extract, you may also want to look into late additions of your malt. 50% in the beginning, and 50% with like 15-20 minutes left in the boil. That somewhat helps with keeping the color light.
 

LarryC

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Just 2¢ worth from somebody who is still a noob. I read that if you do a partial boil instead of a full boil the color will be darker as well. (I just bought a new brew pot & hope to do a full boil for my next batch)
 

JMSetzler

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I have done a lot of extract brews and my colors have been very close to where I wanted them to be. I don't bring my water to a boil before I put my extract in. I get the water up to about 160° or so and then take it off the burner and let the kettle sit for about 5 minutes to stabilize the temperature of the bottom of the kettle. Then I add my extract and stir to completely dissolve it and then return it to the burner to bring it to a boil. This minimizes any opportunities for scorching the extract and creating darker colors.
 

Arkador

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another trick to assure you don't scorch your extract is to add it as DME in the last 15min of the boil. DME won't sink when poured in. this will also improve hop utilization

If you are hooked on the hobby, look for a local homebre club, that improved my brews ALOT.
 

wendelgee2

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Also remember that your color is darker because you just have more beer in one vessel...you're looking through a thicker cross section of beer. Same reason the sky is only blue when you look up, not when you look across the street. So, it will look lighter when you pour a pint than it will in the carboy/bucket/brew kettle.
 
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BrewBalls

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I've got a pleasant smell coming from the airlock.

another question about this weekend though, temps will be up to 90 during the weekend. since tuesday night my fermenter has been in a dark, cool closet. temps in the closet probably wont be that high, but I can move it to an air conditioned room for the weekend since I'll be here all weekend. but the fermentor will be exposed to more light in the air conditioned room and I will move it back the dark closet on sunday night. so its low light vs cooler temps.

should it stay put or have a/c for the weekend?
 
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BrewBalls

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Also remember that your color is darker because you just have more beer in one vessel...you're looking through a thicker cross section of beer. Same reason the sky is only blue when you look up, not when you look across the street. So, it will look lighter when you pour a pint than it will in the carboy/bucket/brew kettle.
it was definitely darker that what I expect a golden ale to be. it was even an amber color in my hydrometer test tube
 

Recusit8m

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Welcome fellow homebrewer and this info helped me as well...I had questions regarding my Lil Opal clone (Firestone Walker) from the past BYO issue...I thought I would get a lighter Golden color vs the Amber color I have now...
 
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BrewBalls

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I took a hydro reading since today would be 6 days since adding to fermentor and there doesn't seem to be any more activity from my airlock.

the color has really changed at this point, much closer to what I would think a golden ale should be. the hyrdro sample is a bit cloudy so i expect it to lighten in color even more as it settles over the next few days. and the maybe some difference as it carbonates in the bottle the sample at this point actually tasted kinda good. i took a few sips out of the plastic test tube
 
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