From the HBD Archive
From: smithey@rmtc.Central.Sun.COM (Brian Smithey)
Subject: Fred Eckhardt's beer color values
Date: 1992-03-18 15:39:56 GMT

In hbd #846, Jim Griggers <brew@devine.ColumbiaSC.NCR.COM> expresses
his confusion over Fred Eckhardt's 1-10 color scale and the tables
relating it to SRM.

I've noticed this too, and tend to believe that Fred assigned his
color "values" in a very isolated, subjective fashion, and tacked
on the value <--> SRM conversion tables as an afterthought. Note
that there are very few beers in the book that have actual SRM values
listed with the color value; my feeling is that where SRM values
are published, they are from information furnished by the brewery.
I tend to give those figures much more weight than Fred's color.

On a similar subject, I'm working up a recipe for a microbrewery
style (I)PA, and compared the profiles of several beers to get an
idea of gravity, bitterness, and color. I looked at SN Pale Ale
and Celebration Ale, Red Tail Ale, Anchor Liberty Ale, and Red
Hook Winterhook. None of these listed SRM, but the all had color
values in the 4.5 - 6.5 range (sorry, I don't have the book handy).
Although I've never compared these beers side-by-side, I do have
quite a bit of experience with all of them :-), and feel pretty
safe in saying that the SNPA is substantially lighter in color than
all but the Red Tail. Looking at Fred's numbers he had the SNPA
right up there with the darkest of the bunch -- I think he gave
it the same value as the Celebration Ale!

My advice is to look at several examples of a style, get a rough
idea, and if SRM is also given, give that value much more weight.
Also, as always, keep good notes -- write down your computed/expected
SRM value, and when the beer is finished, write down a description
of the color, maybe some similar commercial examples. Your notes
will eventually become more valuable than Eckhardt's book.

- --
Brian Smithey / Sun Microsystems / Colorado Springs, CO

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