Want my Beer Darker Please

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ChuckGViolin, May 26, 2017.

  1. ChuckGViolin

    ChuckGViolin Member

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    I've just bottled my 3rd BIAB batch and a common thread with my last two is, the color isn't really what I wanted. My honey wheat was way too dark and this brew, a brown IPA was way too light - looks like a regular pale ale.

    My efficiency was only 64% which leads me to want to use more grain while I work on fixing that problem. Should I also go darker than the recipe editor says just to get what I want? What else can I do to get my colors right?

    On side note, both brews taste good. I've got some ph measuring and fixing supplies for the next brew as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    the calculator is pretty accurate when it comes to color, unless you're inputting the wrong malts in... check that you're also buying the right malts, and they match what you're inputting into the calculator.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Darkening is fairly easy. Either get your hands on some Sinamar, a black malt extract used as a colorant, or steep some black malt and add it to the beer. Lightening is a different story. Filtering will take some color out, as will dilution but both have problems. Best live with too dark and use less color malt next time.
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Unlike the IBUs
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I would think the efficiency is the culprit, the lower the efficiency the less taste and color you have, try a finer crush and incorporate a good dunk sparge, get your efficiency up in the 70's then change the grain
     
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  6. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    My colour has been about spot on , had 1 lager batch come out a bit dark but mostly exactly as predicted
     
  7. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Are you using established recipes or putting together your own grain bills. For most styles, there are a lot of recipes that you can copy or use as reference points.
    You should be getting a lot better than 64% but if you had the right grain bill, color shouldn't be off to any greater percentage than OG. Brown IPA wants dark caramel maltiness without too much roast, but just a touch of Chocolate Roast, Coffee Roast, Roasted Barley can add just right note and Midnight wheat can add some color without adding a lot of flavor. Pale Ale base malt with Munich, Dark Munich, reasonable amounts of C-60 and a little C-120 along with an ounce or two of dark roasted grains should be appropriate for the style.
     
  8. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Efficiency could be the issue. Checking ph is a good idea. Remember you need to check after mashing in. Different recipes adjust differently. If you want to start messing with water the online book by John Palmer how to brew would be good to read first. He just touches basic water science and keeps it simple to understand.
     
  9. KC

    KC Active Member

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    I agree with working on mash efficiency, and I'd put pH as the top priority. Also applicable to BIAB, especially when jumping from partial mash with steeping grains: Don't tie the bag too tight creating a dense doughball. That impedes heat transfer to the center and hinders enzyme activity.

    A note on honey color: Don't rely on the preset in the recipe builder. Honey can be light or dark depending on several factors. Even a single jar will darken over time.
     
  10. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I don't tie the BIAB bag at all. It makes it much tougher to stir.
     
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  11. ChuckGViolin

    ChuckGViolin Member

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    The recipe is mine. The first time I brewed it, I used some coffee malt but didn't really care for the taste. The color was better. Going forward, I think (besides fixing the efficiency issues) I'll put in a very small amount of midnight wheat or use 120L caramel instead of the 80L that I used in this recipe.
     
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  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Other than the colour problem shes still a good beer there chuck? Thats the main thing making a good sessionable beer.
     
  13. ChuckGViolin

    ChuckGViolin Member

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    We'll see. I tasted it during bottling and it tasted pretty good. I'll probably crack one open this weekend which will be 10 days. Early, yes, but at least it should be carbed.
     

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