Why is my blonde ale so dark?

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jjayzzone

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Check out the link below. The lighter colored one is my hefeweizen, and the dark one is my "blonde ale." WTF?

Hefeweizen and blonde ale picture by jjayzzone - Photobucket

Color after a week - http://s564.photobucket.com/albums/ss88/jjayzzone/?action=view&current=100_6173.jpg (on the right)

The grains are;

9.5 lbs pale malt (2 row)
1 lbs cara-pils
1 lbs munich malt

Before the boil, it was very light....but i did have to boil off about two gallons to get down to 5 gallons. Is it the concentration of the sugars or something? It seems to have gone dark during the cooling phase after boiling.

I'm just confused, and still pretty new to AG brewing.
 

carnevoodoo

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There's no way it affected the color that much in the boil. Maybe your perceptions were off from seeing the second runnings, but it is likely that you used dark munich and that's just the color profile you got out of it.
 
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jjayzzone

jjayzzone

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Very likely. I was just surprised that my "blonde" turned out "brunette." Brunettes are hotter anyways....
 
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jjayzzone

jjayzzone

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I'm also wondering why my efficiency was so low as well. I hit my target OG, I hit my mash temperature, my sparge temperature, but I ended up with efficiency of 54% according to this formula;

Brew Your Own: The How-To Homebrew Beer Magazine - Brew Wizard - How do you calculate your "brewhouse efficiency?"

BeerSmith says I hit 64% efficiency, though. That's probably more correct, though, as i'm guessing it takes into account possible points for different types of grains.

I'm just confused. I feel like I hit everything perfectly. I was pretty confident about today's batch until I did that formula.....

I had 5 gallons of wort after boiling, SG of 1.055, 11.5 lbs of grains used. I preheated the mash tun, had no dry spots in the mash, and batch sparged (which could be part of the cause). My mash water was 1 1/4 quarts per lb, and sparge water was 1/2 gallon per lb.
 

Hodor_Baggins

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Also, your beer will look darker in a carboy as opposed to a glass. More beer for the light to go through means more light gets absorbed. I bet next time you take a hydrometer sample it will look much lighter.
 

bad coffee

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I just called my blond 'dirty blond, because that's how we like them' when it turned out darker than expected.

everyone still loved it, though.

B
 

ChshreCat

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I just called my blond 'dirty blond, because that's how we like them' when it turned out darker than expected.

everyone still loved it, though.

B
I was just going to say that looked like a dirty blonde to me, but ya beat me to it. :D
 

jkpq45

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Any idea what the Lovibond ratings on your grains were?

If you got something above 25L I'd expect your brew to be a pretty amber like what you achieved. You've just ended up with a blonde who has dark streaks, not the worst thing in the world...

Let's just hope the carapils will help her give you head....
 
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jjayzzone

jjayzzone

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Any idea what the Lovibond ratings on your grains were?

If you got something above 25L I'd expect your brew to be a pretty amber like what you achieved. You've just ended up with a blonde who has dark streaks, not the worst thing in the world...

Let's just hope the carapils will help her give you head....
Unsure of the Lovibond ratings.....and i'll cross my fingers on the carapils....
 

FSR402

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They always look dark when you put them in the carboy. As it ferments it will get lighter. Also as someone else stated, it will look lighter in a glass.
 

The Pol

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My darkest blonde has been 5.0 SRM... and it is no where near that dark in the carboy. Jees, that looks like a stout.

Here is my blonde in the carboy.
 
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jjayzzone

jjayzzone

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My darkest blonde has been 5.0 SRM... and it is no where near that dark in the carboy. Jees, that looks like a stout.
The blonde ale is the one on the right in both pictures. Are you referring to the original picture of the blonde ale as being pretty dark?
 

The Pol

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The blonde ale is the one on the right in both pictures. Are you referring to the original picture of the blonde ale as being pretty dark?
WOOPS, that did look dark in the first photo, didnt realize it was the one on the right in the second photo too. My bad...
 

Jack

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It's probably just a pathlength issue (i.e. it looks darker because light has to travel through so much beer). It will very likely be lighter in the glass.

Did you accidentally use dark munich malt (versus "normal" munich)?
 
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jjayzzone

jjayzzone

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It's probably just a pathlength issue (i.e. it looks darker because light has to travel through so much beer). It will very likely be lighter in the glass.

Did you accidentally use dark munich malt (versus "normal" munich)?
Very likely....

I'm sure it will taste great....
 

blackwaterbrewer

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i have never understood the brewhouse/overall efficiency formulas. too confusing. i guess that is why i am a carpenter, not an engineer. anyway, just remember, the monks didn't have Beersmith or HERMS. i'm sure their beer was pretty good. the numbers can freak you out, but your beer will always be good.
just write down everything in case your weird brew turns out amazing (which it almost certainly will)!
 

Revvy

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We get this question all the time, and noone's given you the obvious and correct answer...

IT is important to realise too that beers in glass carboys ALWAYS look darker than they really are, due to refraction and the thickness of the walls...Don't worry, it will look different when it is in your glass. We see this question a lot...

Obligatory science explanation done in small print :D :

Refraction
In addition to reflecting light, many surfaces also refract light: rather than bouncing off the surface, some of the incident ray travels through the surface, but at a new angle. We are able to see through glass and water because much of the light striking these substances is refracted and passes right through them.
Light passing from one substance into another will almost always reflect partially, so there is still an incident ray and a reflected ray, and they both have the same angle to the normal. However, there is also a third ray, the refracted ray, which lies in the same plane as the incident and reflected rays. The angle of the refracted ray will not be the same as the angle of the incident and reflected rays. As a result, objects that we see in a different medium—a straw in a glass of water, for instance—appear distorted because the light bends when it passes from one medium to another.



The phenomenon of refraction results from light traveling at different speeds in different media. The “speed of light” constant c is really the speed of light in a vacuum: when light passes through matter, it slows down. If light travels through a substance with velocity v, then that substance has an index of refraction of n = c/v. Because light always travels slower through matter than through a vacuum, v is always less than or equal to c, so . For transparent materials, typical values of n are quite low: = 1.0, = 1.3, and = 1.6. Because it is the presence of matter that slows down light, denser materials generally have higher indices of refraction.
A light ray passing from a less dense medium into a denser medium will be refracted toward the normal, and a light ray passing from a denser medium into a less dense medium will be refracted away from the normal. For example, water is denser than air, so the light traveling out of water toward our eyes is refracted away from the normal. When we look at a straw in a glass of water, we see the straw where it would be if the light had traveled in a straight line.



Given a ray traveling from a medium with index of refraction into a medium with index of refraction , Snell’s Law governs the relationship between the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction:

Crap-all if I understand it all, but it looks cool! And that's why your beer looks darker....It will look different onces it's carbed and conditioned and in your glass...so relax! The glass of the carboys are notorious for giving incorrect color...some are even slightly green tinted.
 
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