Adding color to an IPA "style" beer

I'm working on a recipe and I want to achieve a copperish, reddish color.  I'm wantig to avoid using crystal malts because I generally dont care for that flavor in my hoppy beers, certianly not when its over done.

I've been reading and thinking about throwing in some Carafa III or possibly some debittered black malt at the end of the mash, just prior to vorlauf.  Small amounts obviously; keeping it well under 2% of the grist.

Any comments or preferences from your experiences?

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Comments

Well first of all I should

Well first of all I should say that if I am making an American IPA I would be trying to keep it as light as possible. I have one on tap right now that is pils color which is what I was shooting for. If however, I want to color a beer my general go to is Carafa II, in your case very small quanitites and I would tend to add it during recirculation although at really low levels you won't taste it anyway. I completely agree with your comment about crystal malt in hoppy beers, the hops and the sweetness tend to clash. Back in the day (like 25 years ago) almost all the homebrewed and commerical IPA's had quite a bit of crystal in the grist (like Celebration ale for instance) and I really like the more modern formulations much better (but of course YMMV). By the way Dogfish Head IPA uses a bit of brown malt which colors the beer and adds a certain dryness (and it works great, I have done it).

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Thanks for the info.  Most of

Randy Grogan's picture

Thanks for the info.  Most of my IPA's are fairly light.  I'm just wanting that beautiful darker color somewhere around ~12-14 SRM but with minimal to no flavor impact.

I think I'll run with Carafa III and see what I see!  I'll update this post with my experience and feedback.  Probably wont have that info until around 5/20/2018.

I'd welcome any other feedback!

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UPDATE:

Randy Grogan's picture

UPDATE:

Using Carafa III did exactly what I had hoped.  I got great color with zero crystal malt and minimal to no flavor impact.  I will say that my beer turned out a little darker than intended but is still has a great deep copperish/reddish color.  The proportion I used was 1.3% of the grist bill for a calculated (Beersmith) SRM of 13.6.  I think I may dial it back closer to 1% next time I brew this one for a tad lighter ~12 SRM calculated color.

Still, prety sold on the use of Carafa III for adding color!

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