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Author Topic: The color of some light beers...  (Read 3504 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2022, 10:46:57 pm »
May a a bit of Sinamar or roast grain.
What can I say... my mind goes to weird places.  :D

Weird places indeed!

I’m guessing Denny was right all along in his suggestion of “light distortion”! More importantly you’re just guessing without side by side comparison.
There have been my pale gold beers and also commercial light beers in glasses on a table at the same time and it's definitely noticeable.  No guessing involved.   
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline delasouph9

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2022, 07:06:46 am »
Thanx for sharing in Marine Buoys
« Last Edit: March 10, 2022, 12:21:17 am by delasouph9 »

Offline BrewNerd

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2022, 07:13:57 am »
Maybe their base malt is darker than the pils you're used to seeing. Maybe they don't use pils malt at all.  Maybe the beers are oxidized.  Too many variables to make a guess.
True, they could use 2-row brewer's malt, pale ale malt, etc. I considered the oxidation.  I have seen some homebrewers post a picture of a beer that they say is 2-row + wheat  and a smidge of C20 (I'm making this up) and the beer looks much, much darker than the recipe would suggest and I assume oxidation in those cases.  But it seems like something that happens across the board.  Some of these beers are more pale for sure... Pacifico, Peroni and some others seem more pale.  But even Miller Lite has more color than you might expect for a "light beer".  I have a beer on tap right now that is 75% pilsner and 25% munich 1.  It's still more pale than many light beers.

And let's not rule out color distortion due to the photography.  Have you gotten one and actually looked at the color IRL?


As I clutch my pearls I am shocked, shocked that a massive industrial brewer pays millions of dollars to an advertising agency to make a beer look delicious not realistic. By the time you realize that the beer doesn't look as advertised you've already paid for it. Mission accomplished, advertising firm.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2022, 07:46:40 am »
I have no idea what that means.  I'm not looking at pictures, I'm looking at the beer in a glass in front of me.  I am not imagining this, I have seen it and I have consumed it.  I'm not talking about a fancy ad photo, I'm talking about the color of an actual glass of beer.  Try it sometime. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2022, 08:50:32 am »
I have no idea what that means.  I'm not looking at pictures, I'm looking at the beer in a glass in front of me.  I am not imagining this, I have seen it and I have consumed it.  I'm not talking about a fancy ad photo, I'm talking about the color of an actual glass of beer.  Try it sometime.
I agree with you and have wondered this as well. I've always assumed the macro breweries are just adding some kind of coloring agent. I made the mistake of trying to make my pale mexican lager darker based on examples I see and it ended up too malty because of the malts I used to add color. Next time, super pale will be fine with me...
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2022, 09:08:13 am »
Modelo especial is definitely darker than a beer would be if it was made with just pils malt and corn, its grain bill is listed as malted barley and corn. Not sure on the labeling requirements for food coloring in beer. Wouldnt surprise me if a tiny bit of roast grain is added for color.

Offline pete b

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2022, 09:12:45 am »
Roast grain seems to be a likely candidate. When I make an English Pale Ale/Bitter with no crystal I add <1% black malt and the color change is remarkable with no flavor/mouthfeel impact.
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2022, 10:01:43 am »
Roast grain seems to be a likely candidate. When I make an English Pale Ale/Bitter with no crystal I add <1% black malt and the color change is remarkable with no flavor/mouthfeel impact.
I use roasted barely for most of my color adjustments, it does a great job and the tiny amount needed cant be detected in flavor (by my tastebuds)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2022, 10:40:40 am »
That goes back to the cold-steeped midnight wheat or carafa (almost no flavor) or Sinamar although I had a hard time finding it awhile ago which is why I made my own. You could also take a page out of BrewBama's playbook and mill the dark grain separately and add it to the mash at the end of the mash timeframe.  Color with almost no flavor.  I have done it a few times now. 

I agree with you and have wondered this as well. I've always assumed the macro breweries are just adding some kind of coloring agent. I made the mistake of trying to make my pale mexican lager darker based on examples I see and it ended up too malty because of the malts I used to add color. Next time, super pale will be fine with me...
Exactly.  The beer drinks like a normal pale lager but it has more color than you would expect.  Adding more grains to get the color could throw off the flavor which is obviously not desired.  Earlier someone mentioned pale ale malt.  Could it be pale ale malt (more color) and corn creating the color?  Doubtful since it's probably more expensive.  I could see cheap(ish) 2-row, corn and some coloring.  By adding this homemade sinamar I definitely added color and I definitely did not add much in the way of flavor... pretty sure it did not impact the flavor at all.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this.  An everyday beer drinker probably wouldn't notice but when you make a beer with pilsner malt and corn and come out with a super-pale beer, it becomes more noticeable. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline jeffy

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2022, 10:56:28 am »
Most large breweries are trying to be as consistent as possible and adjust the color, IBU and gravity for every batch.  I used to get empty drums from Yuengling with a pint of some really thick coloring agent still in the bottom.  They told me they went through a couple of these 55 gallon drums every week.  I don't know if they are trying to match the color of the beer from decades ago or as a result of current marketing, but I know they do it.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2022, 11:02:33 am »
Most large breweries are trying to be as consistent as possible and adjust the color, IBU and gravity for every batch.  I used to get empty drums from Yuengling with a pint of some really thick coloring agent still in the bottom.  They told me they went through a couple of these 55 gallon drums every week.  I don't know if they are trying to match the color of the beer from decades ago or as a result of current marketing, but I know they do it.
Yes, not unheard of for breweries to add colorant to have consistency.

Also, I think Yuengling used porterine, whatever that was, in its porter.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2022, 11:43:38 am »
Most large breweries are trying to be as consistent as possible and adjust the color, IBU and gravity for every batch.  I used to get empty drums from Yuengling with a pint of some really thick coloring agent still in the bottom.  They told me they went through a couple of these 55 gallon drums every week.  I don't know if they are trying to match the color of the beer from decades ago or as a result of current marketing, but I know they do it.
Interesting insight.  We often have no idea what commercial breweries do and they're probably very different than anything we would think of at the homebrewing level.  I seem to remember someone on the FB German Brewing group saying that they went to a German brewery somewhere (I forget which or where) and there were stacks and stacks of large containers of Sinamar in the brewery.  I have absolutely had dark ales and lagers whose flavor did not seem to match the color.  With all that color you might expect more roastiness but there are plenty of examples of beers with a ton of color but not a ton of "dark flavor".  It's probably more common than we think. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline BrewBama

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The color of some light beers...
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2022, 12:00:48 pm »
…there were stacks and stacks of large containers of Sinamar in the brewery.   …

I believe I recall Hopfenundmalz saying he saw that on a German brewery tour as well.

Midnight wheat or Blackprinze as well as the Carafa Special series add dark color with little roastiness. I believe because they are de-husked.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2022, 12:03:19 pm by BrewBama »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2022, 01:32:32 pm »
…there were stacks and stacks of large containers of Sinamar in the brewery.   …

I believe I recall Hopfenundmalz saying he saw that on a German brewery tour as well.

Midnight wheat or Blackprinze as well as the Carafa Special series add dark color with little roastiness. I believe because they are de-husked.
At the moment the one Brewery i recall seeing Sinamar in was Russian River.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2022, 01:49:33 pm »
No wonder I can't find it anywhere... all the commercial breweries are stockpiling it.  TBH, it's very easy to make yourself.  Mill midnight wheat, Carafa, etc. and put it into a container with some filtered water for a day.  The less water you use, the more concentrated the resulting liquid will be.  Then just strain the liquid into a container you can seal up and keep it in the fridge.  On brewday check the color of your collected wort in a glass measuring cup, etc. and add some of the inky liquid until you have your desired color.  A little goes a long way and it's easy to overdo it. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.