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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: tomsawyer on March 23, 2012, 12:05:47 PM

Title: Hitting A Color?
Post by: tomsawyer on March 23, 2012, 12:05:47 PM
I don't use brewing software, just a calculator and a few equations to get my IBUs and OG.  I generally just wing it as far as color, but what would I need to do to determine this empirically?  Average the L values of the malt?

I ask because I've made a few brown ales lately and I haven't been making those much, and its been kind of a seat-of-the pants thing to get the right level of "brown".  Not that it matters that much.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: a10t2 on March 23, 2012, 12:25:47 PM
I got a little obsessed with checking color a while back and found that Daniels' formula comes the closest for my beers. The other formulas give similar results to one another, all of which seem to be about 20-30% too dark.

There's a great chapter on color in Designing Great Beers. Basically you do a weighted average of the malts' colors then apply a correction to convert to SRM. This paper has a chart comparing a few models: http://www.babblehomebrewers.com/attachments/article/61/BeerColor.pdf

Edit: I actually use a curve fit to Daniels' data, not the linear equation presented in Morey's paper.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: mabrungard on March 23, 2012, 01:43:38 PM
That is the Morey formula.  Its in Promash and I've coded it into Bru'n Water.  If you have that program, you can use it to estimate beer color in the same way as Promash.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: zen_brew on March 23, 2012, 05:34:08 PM
 All things considered, brewing software is pretty darn inexpensive.  Along with helping to predict color you get a world of other tools and options. Some of them are also actively updated in order to capture newer malts/hops/ingredients/techniques. For me it's money well spent, and many have fully functional free trial periods.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: brushvalleybrewer on March 24, 2012, 01:43:19 PM
This paper has a chart comparing a few models: http://www.babblehomebrewers.com/attachments/article/61/BeerColor.pdf

I used this as the source for the spreadsheet I use for recipe calculation. I've used several brewing software packages. They are fine tools, but I wanted to understand where the answers came from and why there was variation amongst the various programs.  ???
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: tomsawyer on March 26, 2012, 05:11:24 AM
Thanks for the replies, I guess the factor was all I was lacking.  I honestly hadn't researched it before I posted, just being lazy.

I'm not using software by choice, I've been doing OK without it.  I've been considering adding this to my repertoire though.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: malzig on March 27, 2012, 04:19:59 AM
One nice feature of software is the ability to compare different models for each beer you make.  BeerTools Pro contains the Daniels, Morey and Noonan models, and it displays the expected results on your recipe. 

By comparing a number of beers, I found that Noonan is predictive for my beers in the 10-20 SRM range (particularly in that crucial 14 SRM neighborhood when roasted malts are used for color), but tends to predict overly dark beer when I get somewhere above 25 SRM.  The Daniels model works better in my brewery as I get in that black beer range. 

Using the Color tool available in BeerTools Pro, I was able to customize the black end of Noonan's curve to resemble that of Daniels to make the program more accurately predict results in my brewery.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: tomsawyer on March 27, 2012, 06:30:30 AM
One nice feature of software is the ability to compare different models for each beer you make.  BeerTools Pro contains the Daniels, Morey and Noonan models, and it displays the expected results on your recipe. 

By comparing a number of beers, I found that Noonan is predictive for my beers in the 10-20 SRM range (particularly in that crucial 14 SRM neighborhood when roasted malts are used for color), but tends to predict overly dark beer when I get somewhere above 25 SRM.  The Daniels model works better in my brewery as I get in that black beer range. 

Using the Color tool available in BeerTools Pro, I was able to customize the black end of Noonan's curve to resemble that of Daniels to make the program more accurately predict results in my brewery.
I do all that with a calculator.  OK not really, I just wing it.  Sounds like I should probably give one of the software packages a try one of these days.
Title: Re: Hitting A Color?
Post by: erockrph on March 27, 2012, 07:35:42 AM
If you're looking for something free, I find the Brewer's Friend online recipe builder to be quite helpful for color prediction as well.

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