I made an American Brown ale that turned out very dark brown.
I opened the last couple of bottles a month or so apart after most of the batch.
The color seems to have faded to a significantly lighter shade of brown,
still in the brown ale normal range but different enough from the fresh beer to confuse me.
What can possibly cause this phenomenon?

Based on:
Title: Brown Ale

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: American Brown Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 11 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 17 liters
Boil Gravity: 1.031
Efficiency: 60% (brew house)
No Chill: 20 minute extended hop boil time

Original Gravity: 1.049
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 5.12%
IBU (tinseth): 32.19
SRM (morey): 19.59
Mash pH: 0

2.5 kg - Pilsner (87.7%)
200 g - CaraMunich II (7%)
100 g - De-Husked Caraf II (3.5%)
50 g - Melanoidin (1.8%)

5 g - Magnum, Type: Pellet, AA: 15, Use: Boil for 40 min, IBU: 20.44
5 g - Ekuanot, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.25, Use: Boil for 0 min, IBU: 11.76
25 g - Ekuanot, Type: Pellet, AA: 14.25, Use: Dry Hop for 5 days

1) Infusion, Temp: 68 C, Time: 45 min, Amount: 17 L

1 tsp - Irish moss, Time: 10 min, Type: Water Agt, Use: Boil

Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05
Starter: No
Form: Dry
Fermentation Temp: 18 C
Pitch Rate: 0.75 (M cells / ml / deg P)

CO2 Level: 2.52 Volumes

Generated by Brewer's Friend - https://www.brewersfriend.com/ Date: 2019-12-18 10:39 UTC Recipe Last Updated: 2019-09-30 16:12 UTC

  • Did you use any kind of brown sugar? Normal caramel is not colorproof in beer. Maybe post your recipe in the question.
    – chthon
    Dec 15, 2019 at 15:19
  • Didn't use any kind of sugar in the recipe Dec 18, 2019 at 8:58

1 Answer 1


I've been brewing for 10+ years so the answer I give will be based upon experience. I have often seen beer to lighten in colour to some extent and have generally attributed this to the settling of sediments and proteins from the beer during the conditioning phase. With less sediment in suspension, light can more easily pass through the liquid, making it appear lighter in colour.

  • 2
    I would add to this that beer, seen in a fermenter or a bucket, also looks darker or less transparent than when poured in a glass.
    – chthon
    Dec 18, 2019 at 16:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.