If you brew with malt extracts then you probably already know that it can be challenging to brew a lighter colored beer. Everything you brew seems to come out darker than it should be.
The reason for the darkening is kettle caramelization. The action of boiling your wort for an hour causes some of the extract to caramelize thus darkening the wort.
The good news is there is a simple solution that will help you reduce the amount of kettle caramelization. It’s called Late Extract Addition. Instead of adding all of your malt extract at the beginning of your boil, you should add one quarter to one third of your extract at the beginning of the boil. This is approximate. It does not have to be exact. Conduct your boil as you normally would. Then with 10 minutes left in the boil, remove your kettle from the heat and add the rest of your extract. Make sure all the extract is thoroughly dissolved before you return the kettle to the heat. You will find that your wort will come out much lighter in color this way.
One side effect of doing Late Extract Additions is increased hop utilization. The less dense your wort is, the better your hops are utilized. This can be good and bad. In my experience when I am brewing with malt extracts in a small kettle I liked getting more bitterness and hop flavor and aroma with the late extract additions. However if you are trying to brew a beer with little hop character you may want to add less hops if you are doing a late extract addition.
Try late extract additions. They are a great option to have in your brewing tool belt. Cheers!