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My beer always ends up darker

Can anyone help me a bit, I brew beer and it always ends up darker then what its supposed to be. Any place from all grain to partial mash to extract kit.

Also on boiling, what is the suggested boil? Like a heavy boil, or barely a boil?


You want a good rolling boil, but it doesn’t have to be hopping out of the kettle.

I wonder if your water chemistry is affecting things?

Thanx for that info, brings back a thought, if your water has chlorine in it, let it set a day before you use it…I have rural water, and its awesome to drink, but, but, I dont take it out the day before, to let it set, dont add the lil pills that I actually have, just never used any, I brewed a ten gallon batch yesterday and another today and both are very dark. And they are not supposed to be. All grain speckled hiefer, and today was irish blonde ale all grain.

I have to admit I am a hillbilly, I am from the country, and I like to drink beer. When I brew beer I have to drink beer, it just goes with the terrritory. Today, I really wanted to brew irish blonde ale, to specks, so I backed off on the consumption part. Only 2nd time I can say I was sober when I added the yeast. I like to save money, and I like to do unique things. I started malting my own barley, and today I used half of northern brewer barley and half of my barley, that I malted myself. And it still came out dark. So I had 35 gallons of beer in my brew room earlier today, but, I had a 5 gallon keg that for some reason I had 3 batches that got sour on me, puored the 3rd batch down the drain tonite. And had company last night and today, so my 5 gallon batch of speckled hiefer was consumed as soon as it was carbonated. 3 days…
I believe that I seen that ND was the second most state to consume beer and Englevale ND must add much to those statistics.

I rarely secondary ferment, but at times I work a hectic schedule. between 60 and 80 hours a week and I just did not have time to bottle. So I had to secondary ferment cause, when I come home at nite at 10pm I am so tired but realize I need to secondary ferment to save the beer. I realized I need to do something else, so I started to keg beer. Awesome. I like tap rather then bottle anyhow. I did however secondary 3 5 gallon batches this weekend, cause from what i understand you dont want to primary more then 2 weeks.

Is your beer darker in the drinking glass or just the carboy? Usually they are darker when in a larger volume.

There is no issue with leaving your beer in the primary for more than 2 weeks. In fact, transferring it to another vessel opens you up to a greater risk of contamination. So let it sit until you are able to bottle or keg it.

My friend want to grow his own barley and malt it. So far he’s had two bad crops so no attempts to malt.

Try a batch with RO from Walmart, and building your water with calcium chloride and sulfate and lactic acid. For light colored beer you need to add some acidic stuff to get the mash pH right. This will help the beere clear, haze might be contributing to your problem as well?

Darker than expected beer color is typically the result of higher than desired mash pH. Higher pH improves the extraction of color components from grain and there are other reactions that increase color due to the higher pH.

If the OP has an alkaline water, that is likely to produce higher than desired mash pH. Bringing mash pH to somewhere around 5.4 should reduce color in the finished beer. If the overall pH of the wort in the kettle is too high, that can also make the hop bittering ‘rougher’ and less pleasant. Acidification of the tap water or dilution with RO or distilled water are options for reducing alkalinity.

Thanks Martin, I had a vague recollection that water can affect color but wasn’t sure of what specific components/characteristics were involved.

[quote=“kevlee67”]…I think I started brewng in march, and I think I have brewed between 400 to 500 gallons of beer since.[/quote]Just FYI, federal law limits annual homebrew production to 100 gallons for the brewer plus 100 gallons more if there are one or more additional adults in the household, so 200 gallons per year is the max. Not that posting here is going to get you in trouble, but you might want to keep it to yourself in mixed company. :wink:

Really that is all we are limited to? I just had a friend of mine, who got me all the regulators and co2 tank told me that he purchase it from a beer brewer and he was told that home brewers can make 1800 gallons per year. I cant complain to him, he got me the co2 tank for 20 bucks and 1 regulator with 3 additionals on a bar for free.

I used to have a reverse osmosis system, it was great, I used it to raise fish, angel fish and guppys. I do kind of miss that water as I consumed it as well.

I may have to check into another system. I really like my rural water that I have now, But I have no clue on the PH level, I will send an email to the complany and ask about ph levels.



Well my cream ale looked like my oatmeal stout in the carboy, I kegged it yesterday. I have to say they get somewhat lighter in the glass as in the keg but not that much difference.

I also see you are from SE SD. How often do you brew and is it possible that I could make a trip to watch someone else brew? I would enjoy to watch a different brew style as I have developed my own. I have only gone to northern brewer for 2 of their classes one weekend, and really considering another refresher coarse, but other then that, its what I remember from the class and what I have read and or watched.


[quote=“kevlee67”] and he was told that home brewers can make 1800 gallons per year.[/quote]He was mistaken - the federal limits are 100 gallons for one adult, 200 gallons for 2+ adults, per household.


Thank you very much for that info.

What if friends come to brew beer at my house?

Should I try to delete my post?

Just try making a small batch with spring water from a store. I bet your color issue is just your water as Martin said. I have a well and I like the water to drink, but I don’t use it to brew beer because it is too hard! So I use bottled water, instead.

As to the 200 gallon limit, you are probably not alone…just keep quiet on specifics :wink:


[quote=“kevlee67”]What if friends come to brew beer at my house?[/quote]I think where the beer is fermented and consumed is the point of interest, so having friends over for a brew day and then giving them wort (pre- or post-pitch) to take home would not count towards your 200 gallon limit. And going to a friend’s house, brewing there, and then leaving the wort with them would not count either (basically “contract” homebrewing). These are both my opinion, though, so don’t quote me in court. :wink:


Well my cream ale looked like my oatmeal stout in the carboy, I kegged it yesterday. I have to say they get somewhat lighter in the glass as in the keg but not that much difference.


This seem unlikely.

Can you supply us with a recipe?

Hello Nighthawk and the rest that have devoted their time to help me.

cream ale

Extract kit.

5 gallon batch

.75 gambrious honey malt .25 belgian biscuit

6lbs pilsen malt
1 oz cluster.

I did this as an extract kit and tried to do on kitchen stove, I could not get the kitchen stove to bring this to a boil, I have a 30 qt stainless steel kettle, so in the process of boiling I moved the pot to my screamer.


3:27 added grain to water to steep
3:57 took out grains

Problem here… stove would not boil, so moved in this time, time is not recoreded

5:20 boil time and added hops
6:05 added wort cooler
6:23 turned off heat and turned on water for wort cooler

1.045 og

8-4-12 moved to secondary ferment.

8-5-12 moved to keg
I try to secondary at 2 weeks, I move to keg when I have a keg empty, it happened the day after I put in secondary. just my process.

8-8-12 tried a glass of it, dam its good, but my co2 tank ran out today. Speakled Hiefer was also on tap and kegged the same day, and well that beer just works well with my taste buds on a hot humid day working on the farm.

It did lighten up considerably in glass. I am looking in northern brewer book to try to compare the color of it and I would have to say it looked like it still had some yeast sediment on the bottom of keg, and I am comparing the first glass and my beer recently has all had a haze to it, so its not clear but color wise much lighter then oatmeal stout as I stated earlier but still dark. I would compare the color to (looking on wheat hybrid bears page of northern brewer) close in color to “Keeler’s reverse Burster Altbier” also to “Mild ale”

However its still much darker then the cream ale it was meant to be.

I also sent message to water company regarding water and my results are
conductivity 570
m alkalinity 64
p alkalinity 32
oh alkalinity 0
total hardness 170
ca hardness 120
mg hardness 50
total phosphate 0.35
ortho phosphate 0.02
polyphosphate 0.33

but they never gave me a ph number.

I will have a ph order into northern brewer on my next order. Unless I find a ph strip before I place my next order in a week or 2.

Thanx again for all the help from everyone.

Hello all
I used the 5.2 this last weekend in the brew, purchased the ph strips, and they kinda are generic, but near as I can tell, I would say my ph is around the 6. mark. Made 10 gallons on sunday morning. First time ever that i was not drinking a beer while brewing beer.

A gallon is not a gallon is not a gallon…

You are brewing kevlee67 gallons - how these convert to imperial or US gallons is hard to determine…

US gallons.

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