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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: scottNU on August 22, 2013, 03:27:18 AM

Title: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: scottNU on August 22, 2013, 03:27:18 AM
I am planning on brewing a pale ale this weekend.  This is the grain bill.

11.00 lbs   Rahr 2-Row   
0.75 lbs   Briess Munich 10L   
6.00 ozs   Briess 2-Row Caramel 40L   
6.00 ozs   Briess Carapils   

I have purchased and milled my grain for the batch, however I made a mistake.  I thought the Munich malt was 60L instead of the 10L that was available.  The predicted color of the beer is quite a bit lower than I would like.  I know it's mainly cosmetic, but I was wondering if I could darken the color without significantly impacting flavor.

I looked at some malts that I could add at low levels.  If I add 1 oz of Carafa III, I can get the SRM back to 9.3 or so which would be fine.  I am considering adding the Carafa only to the last 10 minutes of the mash with the hope to get mostly color over flavor.

Does anyone see a flaw in this plan or have a better suggestion?  Thanks for the help.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: klickitat jim on August 22, 2013, 04:02:34 AM
At 1 oz you won't taste it. Well, I wouldn't anyway
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: klickitat jim on August 22, 2013, 04:05:00 AM
If you hop more than a couple ounces I doubt you need the carapils. I'm assuming it's for head/lacing. I think you have plenty of foam maker
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: Three on August 22, 2013, 06:13:50 AM
Are you going back to the LHBS to get the Carafa III?

If yes, just get the Munich 60L malt you want and use the Munich 10L later.  It's only 12 ounces. So a buck or so?  Gas back and forth would at least be that much.  If you have the Carafa III already and want to give it a try. Go for it.  See what happens, take note of what happens, and so on....

I would just use what you have.  It will be a fine beer with a nice golden/red color.  Then when you brew it again, get some of the darker Munich.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: dmtaylor on August 22, 2013, 11:01:33 AM
An ounce of dark malt is a great idea.  I do this sometimes and you will not be able to taste a difference.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: Jimmy K on August 22, 2013, 12:31:22 PM
Carafa or Midnight wheat would work. Just throw it on the mash before you start sparging.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on August 22, 2013, 12:51:18 PM
Looks a lot like my Pale Ale recipe.

I wouldn't worry about the difference in color - at 3/4 lb, it won't be too much of a difference anyway.

It will be tough to adjust the color without overdoing it, let alone the flavor impact.

If you REALLY can't stand it at that lighter color - food coloring.

Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: Jimmy K on August 22, 2013, 01:21:21 PM
If you REALLY can't stand it at that lighter color - food coloring.
Or sinamar.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 22, 2013, 01:23:34 PM
Looks a lot like my Pale Ale recipe.

I wouldn't worry about the difference in color - at 3/4 lb, it won't be too much of a difference anyway.

It will be tough to adjust the color without overdoing it, let alone the flavor impact.

If you REALLY can't stand it at that lighter color - food coloring.

Well, Sinamar from Weyermann's would work after the beer is brewed. It is derived from Carafa.

Beat to the punch!
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: scottNU on August 22, 2013, 01:30:07 PM
Carafa or Midnight wheat would work. Just throw it on the mash before you start sparging.

Jimmy - are you suggesting adding the Carafa at the end of the 60 minute mash?  Any concerns with such a small amount of time to convert the starches?  I suppose that the very small amount of grain (~ 1oz.) is not a reason to worry.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 22, 2013, 02:35:09 PM
Carafa or Midnight wheat would work. Just throw it on the mash before you start sparging.

Jimmy - are you suggesting adding the Carafa at the end of the 60 minute mash?  Any concerns with such a small amount of time to convert the starches?  I suppose that the very small amount of grain (~ 1oz.) is not a reason to worry.

What starches? Those have all been carbonized into things that don't convert.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: gmac on August 22, 2013, 02:54:26 PM
Put some of carafa III in cold water and put it in the fridge the day before you plan to brew.  Then add to colour in the last 10 mins of the boil.  I grind it very fine with a coffee grinder to get more colour out.  You won't have any flavour and the boil will kill any bacteria plus you've kept it in the fridge.  Strain through a coffee filter if the grain isn't settling out of solution on its own (or use a french press if you have one).  This is about the most accurate way I've found to really adjust your colour.

But since this is a pain in the ass to remember to do before, I always just toss an ounce of pale chocolate on top after the first runnings.  It's the action of the sparging/vorlauf that gets the colour out.  That's why everyone is telling you to add it to the sparge, not the mash.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: scottNU on August 22, 2013, 03:05:03 PM
Carafa or Midnight wheat would work. Just throw it on the mash before you start sparging.

Jimmy - are you suggesting adding the Carafa at the end of the 60 minute mash?  Any concerns with such a small amount of time to convert the starches?  I suppose that the very small amount of grain (~ 1oz.) is not a reason to worry.

What starches? Those have all been carbonized into things that don't convert.

Ah, duh.  Right.  My bad...no coffee had been consumed when I responded.  That's my story!
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: scottNU on August 22, 2013, 03:13:30 PM
Great ideas.  Thanks for all the suggestions.  In any case, it will be an interesting experiment.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 22, 2013, 03:35:25 PM
Carafa or Midnight wheat would work. Just throw it on the mash before you start sparging.

Jimmy - are you suggesting adding the Carafa at the end of the 60 minute mash?  Any concerns with such a small amount of time to convert the starches?  I suppose that the very small amount of grain (~ 1oz.) is not a reason to worry.

What starches? Those have all been carbonized into things that don't convert.

Ah, duh.  Right.  My bad...no coffee had been consumed when I responded.  That's my story!

No problem.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: djsanta on September 07, 2013, 12:56:19 AM
+1 to a little Carafa III or some Midnight Wheat...all color/no flavor, especially if added late in the mash.  Also, GMAC's "grain tea" idea if great.  Dose near the end of the boil to dial in the color you want.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: scottNU on September 07, 2013, 02:18:18 AM
I ended up using 1 oz of debittered black malt in the MLT, sprinkled onto to the grist after first runnings before adding the sparge water. The color ended up where I wanted it to and I didn't detect any excessive roastiness when I sampled from the carboy.

It looked and tasted good. I will keg it sometime next week. I need to drink some more beer to clear out a keg space.  Thanks again for all the advice.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: gmac on September 08, 2013, 10:45:25 AM
Glad it worked out.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: bobberdc on September 08, 2013, 01:30:29 PM
Too late now, but for future reference you could try adding some melanoidin malt. The color is around 20L and will add a nice maltiness to the beer without adding sweetness.

Also - if you want the darker munich next time, ask for caramunich.
Title: Re: Ideas to slightly darken a pale ale
Post by: erockrph on September 08, 2013, 08:00:19 PM
Too late now, but for future reference you could try adding some melanoidin malt. The color is around 20L and will add a nice maltiness to the beer without adding sweetness.

Also - if you want the darker munich next time, ask for caramunich.

Something like Victory or Aromatic would work similar to melanoiden as well, but the amount needed to get the color you want would definitely have an effect on flavor.

And CaraMunich is a completely different animal from dark Munich. CaraMunich is a crystal malt, and Dark Munich is a darkly kilned base malt.