Author Topic: Off Color Causes  (Read 1415 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Off Color Causes
« on: January 25, 2016, 09:39:09 PM »
I'm curious if anyone might know leading causes of a really strange off color? I judged at Best of Craft this weekend and we had two beers, one a Cream Ale and one an American Blonde, that had a very strange color problem. They were both about 3-4srm, mostly yellow, but with a gray-green tint. Both moderately hazy, very low head. Both oxydized, one had strong canned veggy DMS on nose and flavor. The other had strong cheesy sweat sock isovaleric acid on nose, and musty flavor. Both very thin but not dry.

The other two judges thought they were dishwatery. Other than lacking the soap of dishwater, that was fairly accurate. I have no idea who the brewery was and don't care to know. But none of us could think of how you could get that bizzar color. My wildest guess would be some unknown contamination.

Anyone ever experience this? Ideas on cause?

Offline denny

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2016, 09:43:34 PM »
I've gotten that color a couple times on pils that have lagered for many months.  I assume it's oxidation or infection, but I can't tell ya the chemical process.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2016, 09:46:37 PM »
I've had a couple of very light colored beers end up a bit green with too much hop garbage left in the brew.  That doesn't sound like the issue you saw though.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 09:57:33 PM »
I've had a couple of very light colored beers end up a bit green with too much hop garbage left in the brew.  That doesn't sound like the issue you saw though.

Paul
Same here on the über hoppy IPAs on occasion, but I don't think that is the case here.

I wonder if it's related to the haze. It would be interesting to see what it looked like after they fined it.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 10:18:06 PM »
It's hard to describe. The faint green aspect of it might be blue-gray combined with yellow. Dunno for sure.

I was quite impressed though, it can't be easy to get isovaleric into an American  blonde... lambic maybe, but...
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 10:20:36 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 10:32:29 PM »
Since we've ruled out greenish hop matter (and they weren't hoppy styles anyway), I wonder about pH. Proper pH is known to make beer color lighter than pH outside the optimal range. Sounds like this could've contributed.
Jon H.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 10:45:32 PM »
Possible. They didn't taste sour, but that doesn't mean anything. Isovaleric indicated contamination but DMS doesn't. Hmmm

Offline jeffy

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 11:07:03 PM »
I call it "salmon" color and find it comes from oxidation.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2016, 11:18:13 PM »
I for one have found rye and/or rice hulls to contribute a greenish-gray color to my pale rye beers (I have used up to 40% rye malt several times).  Since rye and rice hulls so often go hand in hand, I'm not entirely certain if the color impact is due to one or the other or both.  But just take a look at rye malt sometime -- it's downright ugly!  And then those rice hulls... who knows where those have been!?  What I do know for sure, in my experience, is that I think it's possible, especially in the case of a Rye APA or IPA, for the brewer to have used a high rye content to enhance flavor and head, and with that, likely some rice hulls to go with that rye for fear of stuck runoffs, etc.  I have since learned that I need to rinse my rice hulls, but I haven't brewed a rye beer or used rice hulls lately to note any color impacts in rinsing versus not, positive or negative.  Eventually I'll know with greater certainty whether it's the rye or the rice that's made my rye beers so dang ugly.  But, they're tasty!

For whatever it's worth (approximately nothing), I have also succeeded in making a green cider once.  I researched this and discovered it was due to a high copper content in either the apples themselves or in the processing equipment for the juicing.  In any case, over time the green stuff eventually dropped out and left behind a normal yellow cider, and it tasted just fine.  One of the best ciders I have ever made, in fact.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2016, 11:20:36 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 11:40:10 PM »
I can't properly describe the color I'm talking about. So I poured a little sample of a blonde, took a photo, then using photo editor I adjusted blur, hue, and saturation until the photo shows what im talking about.

Should look sorta like this


But looked just like this

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 11:44:45 PM »
Damn, that does look like dishwater.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 11:50:38 PM »
Honestly, I don't see anything necessarily wrong with that, at least not on my monitor here at work.  Looks like just a super light version of the style, with only 1 to 1.5 SRM.  It is possible.  It can happen with a really low gravity beer and a really weak boil.  Looks kind of like wort from 100% pilsner malt.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 12:13:42 AM »
Honestly, I don't see anything necessarily wrong with that, at least not on my monitor here at work.  Looks like just a super light version of the style, with only 1 to 1.5 SRM.  It is possible.  It can happen with a really low gravity beer and a really weak boil.  Looks kind of like wort from 100% pilsner malt.
Except for the hardcore DMS in one, stink foot isovaleric in the other, obvious oxidation, water like thinness, and no ability to form head in both.

On my screen it's faint yellow, faint gray, faint green, and I was trying to reproduce a strange opalescent haze. I expected the feel to be ropey, but it was just like water.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 04:55:57 AM »
Except for the hardcore DMS in one, stink foot isovaleric in the other, obvious oxidation, water like thinness, and no ability to form head in both.

I've tasted beers like that before.  My deepest sympathies.
Dave

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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Off Color Causes
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2016, 06:52:18 AM »
I'd venture a guess at infection. Thin, DMS, isovaleric and protein degradation (no head) all point to a bacterial infection. The presence of floating bacteria (or yeast for that matter) would give a slightly cloudy appearance that would make the beer appear lighter than it would be otherwise. Pull a young pale sour beer and you can get a similar color. The appearance fits all other indications of an infection.
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