Experimenting with a recipe for a Scottish ale, from extract. On brew day, my color was just a little lighter than I anticipated. The color darkened slightly during a very active fermentation. (It blew the air lock once.) As fermentation slowed, and even more now that it's in my secondary, the color is considerably darker. Is it normal for the brew to darken significantly during or after fermentation?

Steeping grains:

  • 1 lb medium crystal (60L)
  • .5 lb "crisp brown"
  • .375 lb pale chocolate
  • .125 lb peated malt


  • 7 lb Light DME
  • 1.5 lb light brown sugar


  • 1.5 ounces East Kent Goldings (5.8) - 60 minutes
  • .5 ounces Fuggles (4.2) - 10 minutes

Yeast: Wyeast Scottish Ale #1728 (two smack packs)


  • 1
    the light color you saw at brewday, was that before or after you pitched the yeast?
    – mdma
    Sep 21, 2013 at 2:11
  • is this darker in a glass, darker in a raking tube or darker in the fermenter?
    – dax
    Sep 21, 2013 at 13:17
  • Beer in a carboy also looks a tad darker than it will in the glass, so keep that in mind as well.
    – GHP
    Sep 24, 2013 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


Particulates are dropping out. When they are in suspension, they make the wort appear lighter. As they drop out, the beer takes on its normal color.

  • I've heard different yeast strains can affect beer color as well to some degree, but I don't know specifics.
    – mdma
    Sep 21, 2013 at 17:43
  • I think only because some are less flocculant and will take longer to drop. But I've never used a yeast that actually changed a beer's color other than that, and I can't think of how they could.
    – Denny Conn
    Sep 21, 2013 at 18:00
  • I agree - it was just a passing comment about something I vaguely remember reading, someone said that different yeast strains affect flavor, gravity and color. Your answer nails it - particulates are the main cause.
    – mdma
    Sep 21, 2013 at 19:12
  • Could the particulates dropping out cause a BIG difference in color? I was hoping for an SRM (morey) of around 19, but looks closer to a 35 (based on my extremely limited experience.)
    – NDthunder
    Sep 22, 2013 at 20:51
  • Yes, it can make a big difference.
    – Denny Conn
    Sep 22, 2013 at 20:59

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