I’ve now made the 1 gal Irish Red kit from NB 3 times (my wife loves it), and each time it has been very very dark. Almost brown ale dark. I’ve followed the directions precisely and now even have a temp controlled fermentation chamber. They’ve been very cloudy too. So I’ve tried Irish moss and cold crashing to clarify. Still dark and cloudy. Any ideas?
That is just the color that this kit produces. It’s possible you might be scorching the wort a little. To prevent this you may want to add half the extract at the end of the boil (maybe 10 minutes left).
Cloudiness is a little bit trickier. How long are you letting these sit in primary? Are you transferring to secondary? Are you cold crashing? How cold are they when you serve them? Do they possibly clear up as the beer warms?
I think most of the color issue comes from your batch size. Moving up to 5 gal. full-volume boils will get the color much closer to what it should be.
It is a full volume boil, but the total volume is just less. The ingredients and quantities are supposedly formulated for this exact size (from the kit). I’ve upgraded to 5 gal batches, but was hoping to continue doing smaller batches to try different recipes before upgrading the time/energy/money for a full 5 gallons.
2 weeks in primary and 2 weeks secondary. The last 2 batches I’ve cold crashed for 3-4 days in the fridge, then bottle conditioned for 2-3 weeks. Served cool/cold. How long should I let them warm up out of the fridge before pouring into the glass?
If you are transferring to secondary and cold crashing the beer, the chances are its proteins clouding the beer and not yeast. Are you making sure you aren’t pouring the yeast at the bottom of the bottle into the glass?
How long are you taking to cool the beer? I’ve found that a good hard boil and a quick chilling process are the keys to clearer beer.
Not pouring the yeast into the glass. I chill the wort via ice bath, so about 15 mins as my sink isnt very deep to accommodate more ice. I usually have to drain and refill at least once. Could that affect the proteins in the finished beer?
15 minutes is plenty quick enough for chilling. I have noticed with some of my brews it does take a little longer after bottle conditioning to start to clear up. My most recent IPA that I bottled, after about 4 weeks in bottles it was still quite a bit hazy. Once it hit the 5 week mark is started to clear up.