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Wheat Beer not as golden as the pictures

My very 1st batch was an American Ale. Second is a Belgium Wheat. Both from extract kits here at NB.

They look nothing like the beautiful golden color seen in the pictures on NB’s website.

I don’t know how one could get a golden beer from syrup that is as brown as pine tree bark but my question is: Is that normal? Is there some trick to getting the beer golden instead of dark or do you only get that with full grain recipes?

Extract batches will generally be darker than their AG counterparts, especially if you’re doing a partial boil and topping off in the fermenter. Doing a full boil will help lighten it up a bit.

You can also only add half the malt extract at the beginning of the boil, and save the other half for 15 minutes before the end of the boil. That will cut down on the amount of melanoidin production, which will help the beer stay lighter.

That said, it will also increase your hop utilization the same way that a full boil can. So if you don’t want to be bumping your bitterness up by about 30% (if I remember right), you’ll also want to reduce your 60 minute additions accordingly.

Both of the 2 suggestions above are on the money. Despite the color, they generally taste fine once you get the hang of it. I generally don’t sweat the color unless I’m concerned for judging and competition. Even then, I have won with an extract tripel.

My experience with extract is that, going for any color below say an amber ale, you end up with just lighter or darker variations of the same drab, muddled brown color.

[quote=“jimexcelcs”]My very 1st batch was an American Ale. Second is a Belgium Wheat. Both from extract kits here at NB.

They look nothing like the beautiful golden color seen in the pictures on NB’s website.

I don’t know how one could get a golden beer from syrup that is as brown as pine tree bark but my question is: Is that normal? Is there some trick to getting the beer golden instead of dark or do you only get that with full grain recipes?[/quote]

Go for late extra addition to end up with a lighter colored beer. Heating extracts, more pronounced with LME than DME, results in darkening of the color. The extract in the jug you received has already been heated once and you are going to heat it again. The flavor is not changed because it isn’t scorching or carmelization. The darker color is the result of the Mailliard Reaction. Same reason bread is darker on the outside than the inside. DME, if used in bread making, gives an even darker crust.

Use roughly one pound to one and a half pounds of extract per gallon of the boil volume. If the recipe has both LME and DME add the DME first and the LME fifteen minutes before flame out or power down, (electric brewing).

The change in hop utilization is negligible.

There has been some work to say that hop oil isomerization is less with hops like Magnum because of reduced hot break material in the wort, for sixty minutes of boiling, with late extract addition. On the other hand hop oil utilization is thought to increase with hops like Perle because there is less hot break material in the wort.

I haven’t found any confirming information on this yet.

You also get a lighter result from doing a full volume boil.

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