Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pale Ale

According to the BJCP, an American Pale Ale can have an SRM anywhere from 5-14.

This beer is a 5 SRM:

and these are almost 13:

My APA is somewhere in between at 10:

SRM stands for standard reference method, and is a measure of the darkness of beer.  One would measure an SRM using a spectrophotometer.  If you are interested on reading up on SRM, go to the wikipedia entry on it.  I actually do not own a spectrophotometer, so when I tell you the beers above are a certain SRM, I am trusting my brewing software which has calculated my SRM and the lovibond values that are listed on the grains and extracts that I buy from my local home brew shops. Chances are decent that when I post my SRM's, I am posting them with incorrect values, but the actual numeric color value is not something I care too much about. 

But, trust me.  There is a wide range between an SRM of 5 and one of 14.  If you want, take a look at the 5 on this chart and then compare that to the 14:

I stole this chart from The Screwy Brewer (who probably stole it from somewhere)

One thing I hear from time to time is "I don't like dark beers".  It bugs me when I hear someone say that.  You see, "dark" is not a flavor, and there is quite a difference between the taste of different dark-colored styles.  A Russian Imperial Stout is much different than a Black IPA, for example.  Both taste much different from a dark dopple-bock.  My wife used to say "I don't like dark beers" sometimes, although she is starting to learn that "dark" is not a flavor and has started substituting "coffee flavored" for the word "dark".  "Coffee flavored" is a much better flavor description than "dark".

It is interesting to me how many people who have tasted Stouticus American Stout (which is a dark beer) told me that they don't usually like "dark beers", but really did like Stouticus.

It seems to me that lots of the people who say they don't like "dark" beers also don't like hoppy beers. I sort of expect that if these people were to come out of their little American-light-lager mind-sets and try a few dark and/or hoppy beers they would start to come to realize that they like some dark and/or hoppy beers. But, generally, people are set in their ways.

Anyway, those of you who discriminate against beers of a certain color, please stop. Every beer deserves a chance, and color really doesn't mean as much as you think.


  1. I feel the same way about chocolate...

    And, what?! You don't own a spectrophotometer?! This situation needs to be remedied. Tout de suite.

  2. I'm not sure what you are referring to when you say that you feel the same way about chocolate. Do you know someone who discriminates against chocolate because of its color?

    I'm not going to buy myself a spectrophotometer. Now you know what to get me for my 80th birthday.