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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, I have questions concerning beer color.

So I am trying to understand how the numbers work. I understand how the formulas work, how the numbers are derived and even how they are converted.

What I am failing to see is that when I look at different charts for SRM and Lovibond, most charts have a high number set at around 70 SRM/Lovibond or 138 EBC. some are even lower. (I know of a Lovibond chart that tops at 30..)

for example,

SRM is supposed to be standard Reference Model right?

Why is it when I look at grain profiles from malt houses or other resources do I see numbers at 500+L? What SRM is that?

How do I know which chart is being used so that I know how to convert it to SRM? Should I just say that 500 = 70 SRM and leave it at that or is there a significant difference that I need to understand?


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Posts: 531
Reply with quote  #2 

Well, the color rating from the malsters is for the actual malt itself (an oversimplification to keep it short), not what the color will be when the grain is used in a beer.  Most of the *real* high numbers come from the "black malts".

As an example, in the ProMash database look at "Black Malt" from Belgium. It has an SRM rating of 600.

Now, create a new recipe in ProMash. Make it for 5 gallons. Next add "Black Malt" as the only malt, and make it 1 lbs.  Note the SRM Color obtained is 39.8 SRM (not 600 which the malt is rated at).  Now up it to 3 lbs and note the color is now rated at 84.6 SRM.  Now if I took it down to 0.25 lbs (about the amount I might add if I was looking to add some color to a beer) and the contributed SRM is 15.4.

So it's keen to note the color rating from the malster does not equate back to the actual color of the beer you brew. Most of the real dark malts are used only as specialty malts for either flavor or color, in very small amounts.

I would use the actual rating from the malster, regardless of how ridiculous the number might sound.

Hope that helps!

- Jeff

Beer Engineer

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 

Man- that so makes since! I had not even concidered the color of the grain and not the wort. Thanks!

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