Author Topic: homebrew turning black  (Read 5321 times)

Offline rcklinge

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homebrew turning black
« on: September 06, 2012, 09:21:29 AM »
I recently made a pale ale and made a belgian pale ale a couple of years ago. For both, I stored the carboy in my basement. Both seemed to be doing fine, but suddenly turned black (no black malts used). I think it has something to do with where I'm storing it: I split half of the wort for the Belgian Pale with a friend, who took his carboy to his place and his half turned out fine. Any ideas what's going on?

Offline In The Sand

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 09:50:31 AM »
Can we see the grain bill?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 09:53:05 AM »
Is it bottled?  Or is it still in the carboy?  If so, have you pulled a sample?

It often looks darker than it really is in the carboy after the yeast drops out.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 09:54:11 AM »
I recently made a pale ale and made a belgian pale ale a couple of years ago. For both, I stored the carboy in my basement. Both seemed to be doing fine, but suddenly turned black (no black malts used). I think it has something to do with where I'm storing it: I split half of the wort for the Belgian Pale with a friend, who took his carboy to his place and his half turned out fine. Any ideas what's going on?

Is this right? A couple of YEARS ago?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 09:55:48 AM »
Is this right? A couple of YEARS ago?

I missed that part...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 09:58:45 AM »
Is this right? A couple of YEARS ago?

I missed that part...

I'm thinking it is a typo and he meant a couple weeks ago but wanted to make sure. As was mentioned, yeast dropping out of suspension can make the beer appear darker than it really is, but if you age a beer for years it will get dark because of oxidation. Obviously pale ales need not be aged more than a couple of weeks/months at the most.
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Offline rcklinge

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 10:16:41 AM »
ha- sorry: it was brewed a couple of years ago, but I don't still have it. It turned black after a couple of days and I dumped it after a couple of weeks when it didn't look any better. The other half of the same batch (the one that my friend took with him) did not turn this black color, which is what makes me think it's environmental.

The current beer is still just as dark, even when looking at a sample. It looks like a stout, not a pale ale. I don't think it's the yeast dropping out.

Offline euge

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 10:35:23 AM »
Sounds like autolysis to me.
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Offline denny

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2012, 10:42:52 AM »
Sounds like autolysis to me.

I've never heard of autolysis making a beer turn black.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2012, 10:44:36 AM »
Any chance it's been in contact with a reactive metal? That's all I can think of. Since you're friend's turned out fine, I'd say that's quite a doozy.
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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2012, 10:45:43 AM »
I see, two different beers brewed separately at different times. I've been brewing for going on 17 years now and I have never seen anything like this. When you are looking at a sample is this in the hydrometer flask? Should not be turning dark, like pitch black. It will appear to darken in bulk, as was mentioned. Sometimes surprisingly so. But when you pour a sample it should not be stout colored.

Edit: reactive metal is a good suggestion!
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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2012, 10:51:46 AM »
I'm not completely sure it would help but can you attach a photo of the beer and the environment you are storing it in?

It might help trigger an idea for somebody on the board to see what you are looking at.

Paul
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Offline euge

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2012, 10:54:26 AM »
Sounds like autolysis to me.

I've never heard of autolysis making a beer turn black.

I had a Saison left on the yeast for months turn from straw-colored to what can be comparatively considered "black". While the brew did not stink it was quite reminiscent of soy-sauce and was very unpleasant. A dumper.
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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2012, 10:56:37 AM »
Sounds like autolysis to me.

I've never heard of autolysis making a beer turn black.

I had a Saison left on the yeast for months turn from straw-colored to what can be comparatively considered "black". While the brew did not stink it was quite reminiscent of soy-sauce and was very unpleasant. A dumper.

Well, I've never seen it personally but there is an eyewitness account of what could be the problem.
Keith Y.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: homebrew turning black
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2012, 11:20:49 AM »
Lots of times my beers in the basement have turned black.  It bothered me until I figured to turn on the light.

Honestly I have never heard of beer turning black, and I have several glass carboys of stuff thats been sitting for as long as two years.  Either you have a weird bacterial contamination or someone is jacking with your brew.  Or maybe it just looks dark in a darkened setting, and its clearing better than your buddy's since its in a cool quiet basement?
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