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Author Topic: The color of some light beers...  (Read 3543 times)

Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #45 on: March 03, 2022, 09:46:47 am »
I too have been trying lately to adjust the color in my beers. I have a Dunkel that I added 1% Carafa special 1 to the main mash. I got the color I was wanting but am noticing a small chocolate contribution. The thing is I like it but will add it at the end of the mash next time to compare. I made a Vienna Lager a while back and added 25% Avangard dark Munich at 15° L for color adjustment. It added color but also an almost light fruit flavor of some type. I decided to only use it in dark beers in the future. I bought some Mid night wheat to try in place of the Carafa 1 and may try homemade Sinamar trick.
I am thinking I might quit chasing color and just brew to taste.
           
I notice that carafa products will contribute flavor and that flavor can be stronger when the beer is fresher and it will become a part of the overall flavor of the beer after the beer has conditioned a bit.  But I *do* like the flavor contribution of carafa.  Midnight Wheat seems to have less flavor to me.  I also have not worked out which malts to hold back until the end of the mash and maybe BrewBama will answer that.  If I have 4 ounces of a dark crystal do I mash it or hold it until later?  For now I mash it.  The only thing I hold back is something like carafa or MW.  I hear you on the concept of chasing color.  I don't necessarily recommend it.  But between the great malts we have now and some LO steps which have made my wort more pale, a beer that I might be trying to create that's in the spirit of a commercial group of beers (say, pale Mexican lagers like Modelo Especial, etc), has come out MUCH, MUCH more pale that the beer I'm trying to reproduce which just makes me wonder about how the brewer got the color.  I was at my dad's house once and he offered me a beer (Busch Light...  ::)) and it had to be the most pale beer I have ever seen.  Like one tick north of water.  :D

Wheat has no husk, so Midnight wheat has less of the acrid flavors.
Right.  Some of the carafa products are also dehusked, right?
Not all of the husk is removed, about 40% remains.
This is in reference to carafa special?
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Offline denny

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #46 on: March 03, 2022, 09:48:57 am »
And then there are some of us who don't care for the weakened flavor of dark malt added late or steeped.
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Offline Iliff Ave

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #47 on: March 03, 2022, 10:03:41 am »
And then there are some of us who don't care for the weakened flavor of dark malt added late or steeped.
I'm with ya. I often use a couple ounces of carafa in the mash and like the bit of complexity it adds.
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Offline BrewBama

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The color of some light beers...
« Reply #48 on: March 03, 2022, 10:14:26 am »

Can I assume you are using built-up RO water?  Because with my moderately bicarbonated well-water, dark malts are a blessing for the mash.  And maybe because of this bicarbonate, I have never found that full-mashed dark malts added any undesirable astringency.  YMMV

Apologies to VT for the tangent...

Ah yes… a very important distinction. I use RO (sold as ‘purified’ in my grocery) and distilled …and I use a very simplified water approach: 1 tsp CaCl in the mash to aid the enzymes as a co-factor to conversion. Any other salts are added to the boil but are routinely limited to CaCl and gypsum. No bicarbonate for me thanks.

I am less concerned with astringency than I am with a consistent batch-to-batch approach to the mash. So far, I am very pleased with the results.

Of course, these techniques aren’t mine, they’re found in Gordon Strong’s book Brewing Better Beer. There’s a seat for every butt and this approach apparently isn’t for everyone I guess.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2022, 10:44:31 am by BrewBama »

Offline erockrph

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #49 on: March 03, 2022, 11:00:31 am »
Late to the conversation, but yes some commercial pale lagers are much darker than they taste (and Modelo is the most noteable one I can think of). For comparison, I currently have a beer on tap that is 2/3 Vienna malt and 1/3 Flaked corn. The color is light straw, not even close to gold. I brew several beers a year that are a riff on this grain bill and none come even close to Modelo Especial (let alone Negra Modelo, which many are probably closer to in flavor). While it wouldn't surprise me than many craft breweries are using something grain-based like Sinamar, Carafa Special, Midnight Wheat, etc., I'd be willing to bet that the big boys just use caramel color.

I've used brewer's caramel before, and it's easy to use and completely flavorless. You can turn a pale beer inky black if you want and it tastes no different. I stopped making color adjustments to my beer a while ago because I generally don't care, but if it were available in the US, I wouldn't think twice about keeping some brewer's caramel on hand to tweak the color of my brews when warranted.
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Offline denny

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Re: The color of some light beers...
« Reply #50 on: March 03, 2022, 11:10:08 am »
Late to the conversation, but yes some commercial pale lagers are much darker than they taste (and Modelo is the most noteable one I can think of). For comparison, I currently have a beer on tap that is 2/3 Vienna malt and 1/3 Flaked corn. The color is light straw, not even close to gold. I brew several beers a year that are a riff on this grain bill and none come even close to Modelo Especial (let alone Negra Modelo, which many are probably closer to in flavor). While it wouldn't surprise me than many craft breweries are using something grain-based like Sinamar, Carafa Special, Midnight Wheat, etc., I'd be willing to bet that the big boys just use caramel color.

I've used brewer's caramel before, and it's easy to use and completely flavorless. You can turn a pale beer inky black if you want and it tastes no different. I stopped making color adjustments to my beer a while ago because I generally don't care, but if it were available in the US, I wouldn't think twice about keeping some brewer's caramel on hand to tweak the color of my brews when warranted.

I believe Drew used it recently and has a source.
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell