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Partial Mash Darkening in Secondary

a few weeks ago i brewed a partial mash ipa. after brew day it was a golden, almost amber color. after a few weeks i racked to secondary to add dry hops. i racked into my new glass carboy. I noticed after a day or so in secondary that the beer has turned significantly darker. This is my first time with something like this. Has anyone seen this or have insight?

The color of the beer is really hard to tell when it’s in a carboy. There isn’t anything about moving to secondary that would cause darkening of your beer. The only think I can think of is the lighting conditions were different? Or you could have just stirred up some stuff into suspension when transfering causing it to appear darker?

My guess it is just the optics involved in clearer beer. Light will reflect off suspended particles and make the beer appear lighter in color.

As the beer clrears, the color should deepen somewhat.

So if you are looking to make a beer with very deep/dark color, pay just as much attention to clarity as you would when brewing a pale beer.

having yeast in suspension is an interesting side note. I fermented down to 1.014 and it’s been in secondary for a few weeks now. lighting conditions havent really changed as its just been sitting in my cellar. i checked on it this afternoon and it almost looks like i have some fermentation bubbles at the top of the beer…

Unless there is significant activity this is probably just trapped gas. If you see fermentation actually start up again at this point it is not good.

If you suspect something sinister, you can take a gravity reading to see if it drops below 1.014, but I would not bother unless there is real evidence of re-fermentation.

Assuming your beer is clear, I would not fret anything, and it does explain the deeper color.

I think what the OP is describing is this which is completely normal. See attached pictures taken about a day apart. It shows the fermentation is complete and the yeast is dropping out of solution.

I have a honey kolsch that I just racked to secondary a week or so ago. Before I racked it, it was the color of the bottom of the carboy in the first photo. A few days later, it looked like the second pic, only darker. I drew a sample to check the gravity, and it was a beautiful, crystal clear light honey gold color with just a touch of red highlight. Clearing definitely makes beer look darker in a carboy. :cheers:

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