Can I add food colouring to beer?

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Rob25

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Hi all

A friend and I are brewing a golden ale, it's currently fermenting in the bucket, we're going to transfer it to bottles soon. I am hoping to make a few of them bright green as a novelty. If I added food colouring to a few of the bottles at the bottling stage, will this negatively affet the brew at all? People's thoughts would be much appreciated! Cheers
 

Drunkula

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Quite a few St. Patrick's day beers have green food colouring in them. And loads of recipes have gravy browning. Beer recipes. Seriously.
 

GerritT

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Hi all

A friend and I are brewing a golden ale, it's currently fermenting in the bucket, we're going to transfer it to bottles soon. I am hoping to make a few of them bright green as a novelty. If I added food colouring to a few of the bottles at the bottling stage, will this negatively affet the brew at all? People's thoughts would be much appreciated! Cheers
I worked as a dishwasher several decades ago and the chef added a blue liqueur to beer, it became green.

Drinkable, made it green, added some sweetness but other than that: nothing special.
 

mclaughlinj

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And loads of recipes have gravy browning
It does seem like a strange ingredient, but really only because it has the word ‘gravy’ in its name. In reality it’s just caramel (and probably some E numbers too), something brewers have been adding as a colouring for centuries. You can buy brewers caramel, but it’s likely more expensive, and is essentially the same thing. Or just make your own.
 

Northern_Brewer

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It's worth noting that although gravy browning is mostly caramel as in what British brewers have used for over a century to colour their beers - it also typically has a lot of salt, NaCl. The popular Sarson's one is about 16% salt - and also has some glucose as well.

You may be fine with that given the amounts that are typically added, but you should be aware of it.
 

matt76

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When I was in Berlin earlier this year I had a Berliner Weisse - I was asked which colouring I wanted in it, red or green? (I went green)

I like sour beers as they come anyway, but apparently this is common, I think it's raspberry (red) or woodruff (green) syrup to take the edge off the sourness.
 

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