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Any insight is really appreciated as I'm quite confused. There was plenty of bubbling and fermentation appeared fine but when i opened the lid it came out very dark and flat. I know carbonation might get better after a few weeks in the bottles but I'm worried why it came out so pale. I have tasted one and it seems fine, just like a dark lager which is a shame.enter image description here

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    would you mind including your brew day process you used on this kit, and include a recipe? i suspect either it was boiled longer then needed, or it oxidized at some point.
    – jsolarski
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 20:29
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    Do you know if it was dark going into the bucket?
    – Dave
    Commented Sep 21, 2018 at 20:58
  • You mentioned that when you opened the lid to your fermenter you noticed that it was "very dark and flat". So I can't speak to the darkness as I don't know what it was like when it went in to the fermenter but unless you fermented under pressure (with a spunding valve) and kept it at the needed pressure for the temperature of your beer it will always be flat. I may be missing it entirely, but with the little information you've given us there is really no way to tell what your issues might be. Please give us some more information and perhaps we can help. Good luck & cheers!
    – K4 Nerd
    Commented Oct 3, 2018 at 22:21

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There's two issues at play here, the first is carbonation, the second is colour.

Beer always tends to look a bit darker in the fermenter, simply because there's so much of it compared to a glass. Even light coloured batches can seem overly-dark while still fermenting. Obviously here it's quite dark in the glass too.

You don't specify how you made this beer. So speaking generally: Extra colour comes from maillard reactions during the boil. If you boil for longer, this definitely occurs. One common mistake for new extract brewers is to not correctly mix-up the malt added to water before boiling, so there's a big pool of malt on the bottom of the pot. This can brown and scorch.

If this is an all-grain batch - was the batch put through the mill before yours a dark beer? Maybe it's a little extra dark malt getting into your grist by mistake?

Carbonation problems can come from a range of minor issues, here's some of the more common ones:

  • Did you add enough priming sugar?
  • Were the bottles left long enough for the carbonation to occur?
  • Were the bottles warm enough while carbonating for the yeast to work? (> 16C)
  • If you bulk primed, was the sugar/dextrose/... evenly mixed through the beer?
  • Did you wait long enough for the yeast to work before opening?
  • Was the cap on correctly?

The higher gravity the beer, generally carbonation takes longer, because the yeast has a tough time with the extra ethanol. If it's cold, the yeast works more slowly.

Do any of these sound like what might have happened?

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