Please help new brewer

made 5-6 5gal batches,no matter what style they all come out reddish brown,no head,but do taste ok,been using extract,made pitch with NB fast pitch and single dry pack yeast,boiling full batch for 90min,fermenting at mid to upper 60’s,

Extract ales will on average be a little darker. What is your priming sugar process? Assuming you are bottling.

The dark color of all your beers is coming from the extra long boil. Really no reason to boil an extract wort longer than 60 minutes. The darkening of the extract is the Maillard Reaction. Same as the sugars in bread being darkened in a toaster. A 60 minute boil is for hop oil extraction. A beer like a Pale Ale with only flavor and aroma hops can be boiled for as little as 15 minutes. Adding half of your extract at the end of a shorter boil will keep your beers lighter in color. This is called late extract addition.

I would not recommend making a starter with dry yeast unless you are brewing a very high OG beer. An undersized starter with dry yeast that has not been rehydrated will probably reduce the number of viable cells that were in the pack.

Having no head on your beers can be from introducing soap in your brewing process or just having soap residue in your glass. Lack of head can also come from under priming the bottles, bottle conditioning for to short of time, or having the bottles to cool during conditioning causing the yeast to become dormant.

This will undoubtedly raise some questions. That is why the forum is here.
Welcome to brewing and the NB forum.


i just follow the kit recipe for bottling,what is the best rehydrate process

follow kit recipe for priming should i add more sugar,condition at room temp for 2 weeks,what is best rehydrate process,

Rehydrate the dry yeast in one-half cup of water that has been boiled then cooled to 85° to 95°F. Add the yeast to the cooled water. Let it sit for 15 minutes then stir the yeast to eliminate clumps. Let it sit for another 15 minutes then pitch into the fermentor. It is best to rehydrate the yeast after the wort in the fermentor is cooled to the fermentation temperature or slightly lower. Holding the rehydrated yeast longer than 30 minutes can reduce the amount of stored nutrients within the cells.

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thank you

For timing, I usually put the tea kettle on at the start of the brew. It usually cools enough during the brew time, that I can pour the water into a cup and add the yeast at the brew’s flame-out time. Break up lumps after chilling the wort, then pitch after aeration and OG measuring.

I’ve also just sprinkled the dry yeast. Not sure if I can taste a difference in the end product, but there’s definitely less lag when rehydrating.

It is safer to use a priming sugar calculator for priming the beer in bottles. You can prime according to how you like the carbonation. Recipe instructions are often rather generic. This is a good calculator. Also has listed the different sugars that can be used for priming.

The temperature to enter into the calculator is the temperature the beer rested at after fermentation. During this rest period some of the dissolved CO2 in the beer will off gas. The calculator estimates the CO2 volume remaining.

Priming sugar amounts are given by volume and weight. It is more accurate to weigh the priming sugar. Inexpensive digital scales can be found for $20.

Bottle condition at room temperature, 70° to 75°F, for at least two weeks for low OG beers. Lower temperatures will extend the conditioning time. Chill a beer for a few days before sampling. The chilling forces the CO2 into solution that has formed pressure in the headspace. Higher OG beers will take more time to carbonate.

Forgot about another reason for beers not carbonating. Loose caps or capping twist off cap style bottles. Twist off cap bottles may sometimes seal if a bench capper is used. Not worth the risk to try it though.

i do brew as well extract kit brewing
but found out do start with a five gal water boil and steep the grains separate boil kettle than when its time add the grains to the five gal boil wait untill the rolling boil arrives than add the dme about 15 min to the end of the boil add the lme and the irish moss
did discover i end up with a 5 gallon worth and my beer is not to dark or reddish
but important stay to the one hour boil

as well i add more days most the time a extra week of fermenting before i transfer to the second fermentor

Good responses from the group. +1 to the soap residue concerns, and I think star san should be the final step for your bottles. Here, foam is just fine, “don’t fear the foam”, and I run star san through the fermenters, bottling buckets etc repeatedly which I think nullifies any soap also. I do use a small amt of dish detergent to clean the plastic bubbler at times, with no ill effect as long as I follow with star san.

Cool bottle conditioning temps and not enough priming sugar should also be explored, as noted.

thanks,i do use star san on everything and according to caculator using correct amount of corn sugar,appriciate everyones help,going to try all grain next with dead ringer kit,brew on!!!

I have had the same problem with color in my extract beers. In fact a year ago I didn’t thoroughly read the instructions on the NB Belgian Tripel and added all the malt at the beginning of the boil. It tasted fine, but did NOT look like a Tripel, it looked more like an amber, or even a brown ale… As @flars pointed out, its the Maillard reaction, it makes a big difference.

You can add a bit of CARAPILS or similar to your grains and you will have beter head retention and lacing. +1 on the 60 min boil and late additions to LME at the last 15 minutes to keep Maillard reaction down. You can also use a full 5 gallon boil to reduce the Maillard as well.

Cheers - Greg