Author Topic: Beer color doesn't match my rig  (Read 3926 times)

Offline BannonB

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Beer color doesn't match my rig
« on: September 03, 2015, 08:46:14 AM »
As a home brewer and long time Beersmith user, I found that once your equipment is dialed in, you get repeatable results.

One exception is color.

Ever since I can remember, my beers have been approximately 4 points off of the SRM shown in Beersmith for a given grain bill.  They taste fine, but I getn unexpectedly dark pale ales and so forth.

I don't see a way to correct for that, so I change recipes to remove chocolate or go to lower crystal values.  This works, but since we have computers and software, a simple equipment profile accomodation might allow me to know what I'm going to get.

Is there a possiblity to add an equipment profile characteristic to calibrate for color?

Or any other suggestions?

Thanks,

BannonB

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Beer color doesn't match my rig
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2015, 04:29:56 PM »
Are you certain the ingredients in the BS recipe exactly match the lovibond of what you used?   Some of the darker roasted grains can vary quite a bit, or they state a wide range that could explain four SRM points. 

As a test, I just changed 8 oz. of Briess Chocolate from 350L to 400L, and it moved SRM up two full points.   Then I added just four more oz, and it jumped four more points. 

Another four oz was another four SRM, so it doesn't take much to be 2-6 points off.   The chocolate malts I have in my BS2 range from 350 to 630L.

Offline Oginme

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Re: Beer color doesn't match my rig
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 05:55:36 AM »
Even minor changes in color of malts add up.  I picked up a bag of Maris Otter a year ago at my LHBS and the color was listed at 3.0 on the tag.  The previous bag was 3.8 and the color difference in a low gravity smash recipe was almost 1 point SRM.  Since then, when I pick up various malts I ask to see the tag from the bag it came from (most of the specialty malts are in 5-gal pails).  It is not too surprising how much variation can be found from the same maltster on different batches, especially as MaltLicker pointed out, on the darker roasted malts.
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Offline brewfun

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Re: Beer color doesn't match my rig
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 09:06:25 AM »
Ever since I can remember, my beers have been approximately 4 points off of the SRM shown in Beersmith for a given grain bill.  They taste fine, but I getn unexpectedly dark pale ales and so forth.

My first response to this is always, "How're you measuring that?"

If you're doing something like using a pint or sample glass and looking at the cylinder, you're getting a wrong result. Especially if you're using a guide like the BJCP color card. SRM is measured at a depth of 1 cm and color references are gauged to that (including the BJCP card).

Some malt color references in BeerSmith are based on averages or tradition. As pointed out by MaltLiker, checking the manufacturer specs is always wise. I've seen roast malts as light as 300 lov and as dark as 650.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline BannonB

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Re: Beer color doesn't match my rig
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2015, 01:36:17 PM »
Hey all:

Thanks for the comments.  I feel pretty confident that the grains are as represented (for the most part). 

I use a color card printed on clear plastic which you can place against a white background.  When you pour 1-2" samples into a clear glass, you can compare to the color on the chart.  I am always 4 points high.

I suspect that since I am using a RIMS setup, that my water heating element is possibly scorching or adding caramelization to the wort.

The real question is still:  Can Beersmith add a feature to allow me to tune my rig so that I can get expected results?


Offline brewfun

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Re: Beer color doesn't match my rig
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2015, 07:13:35 AM »
When you pour 1-2" samples into a clear glass, you can compare to the color on the chart.  I am always 4 points high.

So, you're looking through the cylinder of the glass? That is significantly more than the 1 cm of depth needed for accurate SRM levels. Your color will always be deeper that way.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.