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I recently brewed a beer with 70% pilsner malt, 28% light munich malt, and 2% chocolate malt. I used RO water, a 1 hour rest at 156 deg, and fly sparged. I had no means to check PH.

Beersmith calculated the color at sub 9 SRM, but the inital wort seems darker.

What did I do wrong? or is it too soon to tell?

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Are you viewing it in the carboy? That always makes it look darker than it really is. – Graham Jan 21 '14 at 15:38
yes, but even the color in the transfer tubing seemed darker than it should be. – Reed Jan 21 '14 at 15:55
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Too soon. Don't sweat it. I bet it will lighten up as it ferments and yeast and trub drop.

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I was brewing a Pale Ale. When I was putting it in a carboy, it had red-brown color. After 3 weeks it became pale.

So, it will become lighter with time. Just let your yeast do the job.

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With the grain percentages you listed, I wouldn't be surprised if it's darker than 9 SRM. Adding 2-4% roasted malt is a common technique for giving Red Ales their deep red hue. Color is also notoriously difficult to predict accurately and can vary depending on caramelization in the boil, the batch of malt, tannin extraction during sparging, and even hops. Don't worry about this batch--it may turn out fine--and maybe nix the chocolate malt next time if it's darker than you like. For more on color, check out Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels

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