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Final Color of Your Brew

When does the final color of your beer become visible? I ask as I’m brewing an Irish stout and currently the color is more of a hot chocolate color versus that of a stout. I know I’m early in the fermentation process but I can’t help but wonder.

The color coming out of the kettle is pretty close to the color you will get in the final beer. Once it is in the fermentor, it will change because it clouds up with the yeast, but after that clears, it will look like it did right after chilling.

It will also look different in a glass carboy than it will in the glass. I usually find that the beer is darker.

I’ve only got a few brews under my belt, but I’ve found that–with the exception of the stout–they have all looked much darker in the carboy than they do in the glass because of the way light passes through a larger volume of the liquid.

Yeast in the beer makes a big difference. If I transfer a pilsner from primary to secondary and the yeast hasn’t dropped well, it will look like a secondary full of apple sauce. I usually use some gel in secondary so the next day the beer will be much clearer and also appear much darker because all of that light-colored yeast has dropped. Remember too that a beer in a thin, tall pilsner glass will look lighter in color than a beer in a thicker glass. Cheers.

I just brewed a oatmeal stout and I’m in the same boat. My very first home brew was an irish stout and it’s color was the same. Is there something with stouts? I brewed a porter and it jet black.

I’m on my 2nd Irish Stout force carbing now for Saturday.

The 1st never turned black. It stayed hot chocolate. I was trying to go back to extract for a batch so just steeped the specialty grains. The next stout (all grain), I used a coffee grinder and completely annihilated the roasted barley. Both had about 1lb. Now this one is black. I’m not even sure I could call the 1st one a stout. It really didn’t fit a category.

What is your recipe? The 1st stout was a kit. My 2nd was Jamil’s recipe. The 1st kit also had crystal-20 in it so it was sweet. Sweet and Brown. Ugh. I think the new one is a tad too roasty. Not sure if age would help that, but I’ll never get the chance. It should be kicked this weekend.

When it’s in your glass and ready for drinking.

When i wrote this post, it was when I was doing my first batch. My experience gained, tells me that you will never see your final color until all of the yeast has dropped out of suspension. Having said this, my stout did not keg as dark as it was supposed to get.

Ahhh…but the important question is: “How does it taste?”

My Irish stout came out almost jet black; just the slightest bit of light shines through. I brewed the extract kit for this one and squeezed the hell out of the specialty grain bag after steeping.

I had a bottle on Saturday and it tasted great, although it was a little under-carbed, which I suppose is not the worst thing for an Irish stout. Still, hopefully the second week of bottle conditioning will make for more carbonation…

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