Author Topic: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors  (Read 1601 times)

Offline ewpert

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2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« on: October 28, 2013, 08:40:51 AM »
Hey all,

My buddy and I made two batches of beer yesterday from the same mash.  We did a 10gallon mash, splitting the wort into two 5-gallon batches.  He was making a pale ale, and I chose to make an IPA.

Both beers boiled for 60min and cooled down at the same rate.  The only 2 differences were:

1) Amount of hops used (Pale vs IPA)
2) He brewed his on a propane burner, and I did mine on the stove.  His reached boiling temp almost 20min faster than mine.

The end result was that his beer is a very lovely pale (as expected), and my IPA is a darker amber. 

We're wondering what would cause the color difference?  Is there possible "scorching" on my IPA to give it a darker color?  Are hops able to, at all, affect the overall color of the beer?  Could the speed at which the beer came to a boil be playing a role in the color?

Thanks!

cornershot

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 09:09:53 AM »
Was the entire 10 gallons of wort run into one vessel, mixed, then divided? In other words, it's not a batch of first runnings and a batch of 2nd runnings?
Were the boil-offs/starting volumes/original gravities the same?

Online dkfick

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 09:11:27 AM »
The first runnings would be more concentrated and have more color.

I would say if you were to do it again pull all the wort (mash and sparge) into a single vessel.  Mix it up and then split it up.  This way you both actually have the same wort.

If you did the above then I would look into the possibility that you boiled a lot harder etc...
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Offline joe_feist

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 09:24:10 AM »
When you say stove, do you mean an electric stove? I remember reading way back that some carmelization could take place when using an electric stove. I know there are lots of folks out there who use electric, so maybe they could weigh in.
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cornershot

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 09:33:50 AM »
When you say stove, do you mean an electric stove? I remember reading way back that some carmelization could take place when using an electric stove. I know there are lots of folks out there who use electric, so maybe they could weigh in.
I brew on an electric stove and propane and sometimes my wood stove. I never split a batch between two heat sources but I have never noticed a difference, even with the same recipe.

Offline erockrph

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2013, 09:48:14 AM »
How are you determining color? Are you looking at the two side-by-side in the exact same glass? Wort color in the fermenter can be drastically different than how the finished beer will look, and different fermenters will make the same beer appear different. Also - yes, the quantity of hops can certainly have an impact on the appearance of the wort. I'd withhold judgement until both beers are completely finished.

Did you take a separate OG reading from each batch? If one of the beers has a higher OG, then it should be darker. If that is the case, then I'll echo the other suggestions that runnings concentration or boiloff rate are the most likely culprits.
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Offline ewpert

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 11:53:42 AM »
To respond:

1) We mixed all wort from the mash in 1 vessel, then divided it into 2 separate vessels.  Took gravity readings for both pre-boil and they were identical

2) We are comparing color in the carboys which are sitting side-by-side.  It is not a subtle difference....it's like comparing an amber ale to a Pale ale. 

3) My IPA was boiled on a gas stove, not electric


Offline ewpert

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 11:56:20 AM »
4)  Also, gravity readings post-boil were 1.059 (pale) and 1.060 (IPA)

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2013, 11:58:03 AM »
4)  Also, gravity readings post-boil were 1.059 (pale) and 1.060 (IPA)

suspended hop material will refract more light making the IPA appear darker. that's my bet. once both beers are bright they will be very close indeed. unless you dry hop the IPA then all bets are off.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2013, 11:59:31 AM »
Different yeast?

Offline ewpert

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2013, 12:03:22 PM »
5) Identical yeast

Offline kramerog

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2013, 12:09:34 PM »
Longer boils (presumably longer heating) will develop more color but I think that Mort's refraction theory is the principal difference.  Let us know what happens when the beers are bright.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2013, 12:26:44 PM »
I'd bet that the finished products will be more similar in color. Can you post pics?

Offline ewpert

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2013, 12:45:15 PM »
I would love to upload a photo, but I'm not sure how.....There don't seem to be any options for attaching an image.  "insert image" doesn't seem to do anything, and the "Attachments and other options" button doesn't offer any way to attach an image....

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 2 beers, same wort, COMPLETELY different colors
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2013, 12:48:21 PM »
Hmmm, I use tapatalk to access the forum from my phone. Not sure how the normal way works.