Cream ale wrong color

I just got a kit for a cream ale brewed it today everything went fine hit my temp perfectly mash PH was 5.4 target gravity perfect extraction 79% but the color was a copper color instead of the straw gold. I was told this could be due to my water profile. Would a water profile cause such a dramatic difference. Just wondering if anyone has ever had this problem before?

The color in the carboy/pail/kettle can be very different than when it is in a 16oz glass.

Who said your water may be the culprit?

A tech at northern brewer made the water comment, I hear what your saying about the carboy but I have a hard time seeing that being such a huge difference. I am of the option that I may have got a different kit by mistake. I will give it a week or two and see what happens.

There was another posting where someone thought they might have received the wrong kit. I can’t find it though. :?

If it’s an extract kit, it will be darker than you expect. Extract beers always finish darker than the style would call for. This is especially true if you using darker DME/LME.

Yep, I think the guy ordered the rye pale ale and was sent the rebel rye porter instead.


[quote=“Nighthawk”]The color in the carboy/pail/kettle can be very different than when it is in a 16oz glass.

Who said your water may be the culprit?[/quote]

This is also very true.

+1 that would be my guess as well.


It’s not the water. I’m with the other guys who think you just plain got the wrong kit, or at least one wrong ingredient in your kit. We’re all only human.


In any case , if when you taste the beer the flavor meets your expectations, you still made a cream ale. It would get dinged in a competition because of the often arbitrary rules they have to follow, but in the end how it tastes is much more important.

If the color of the beer holds more importance, you will have more control over that aspect if/when you choose to go all grain.

In the meantime, savor the flavor! :cheers:

I don’t think the OP’s brewing extract, in his post he mentions his mash ph and efficiency and this is the all grain forum. At any rate it’s possible that it’s the wrong kit or the wrong malt was put in the kit. He will know the true color when he racks it for packaging or secondary by how it looks in the siphoning tubing.

This was a all grain batch after sitting over night it looks much lighter in color so maybe after all settles things will turn out fine. How it taste in the end is the most important thing.

This is what I find happens with the color of my brews (regardless of all grain or extract):
Rack to primary - it looks fairly dark compared with final pour color
Active fermentation - looks significantly lighter than final pour color
Post-active fermentation - looks significantly darker than final pour color

I’ve read that the much lighter color during active fermentation is due to light reflecting off of all the particles in motion/suspension in the beer. Once active fermentation is over, everything settles back down and the beer appears darker. Makes sense to me.

Keep in mind that the light has a lot more volume to pass through in a carboy than in a glass, so things are definitely going to look darker (active fermentation notwithstanding).

[edit]I think the best early gauge of final color that I’ve seen is the color of the beer passing through the tube when I rack to the bottling bucket.

I would be sure not to ask that person any more questions.

I would be sure not to ask that person any more questions.[/quote]

If you knew who I know over at MW, this would be a true statement there also.