Lovibond Beer Color Database

Tintometer Model F

Lovibond Tintometer Readings for Various Beers

Readings were recorded in CMY, rather than sample luminance and 2 primaries (the traditional Tintometer technique) to allow a more intuitive interpretation of the results. All measurements made with a 1 cm path length using a Lovibond Tintometer Model E.

Scroll to the bottom of this page for some history of Lovibond and the Tintometer and links to other curiosities about beer color. Also here is a PDF of a handout I used for a brief introduction to beer color measurement at the 16th IS&T/SID Color Imaging Conference prior to their pub crawl in Portland, OR.

Brews are ordered approximately from darkest to lightest.

Beer (C,M,Y)

Wild Goose Oatmeal Stout (2.0, 24.0, 73.0)
Xingu (Black Beer) (2.4, 30.0, 70.0)
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout (2.3, 21.0, 70.0)
Beamish Irish Stout (2.0, 15.0, 60.0)
Guinness Draught (2.1, 15.0, 50.0)
Middle Ages Duke (1.0, 13.0, 70.0)
Murphy's Irish Stout (1.0, 12.0, 60.0)
Belhaven Wee Heavy (0, 7.0, 72.0)
Old Peculiar (0, 9.5, 70.0)
Puterscheins 2001 Weihnachtsbock (0.0, 9.0, 70.0)
Abita Turbodog (0, 10.2, 66.0)
McEwan's Scotch Ale (0, 6.5, 50.0)
Traquair House Ale (0, 6.0, 48.0)
CB's Wee Heavier Anniversary Ale (0, 5.4, 50.0)
Gordon Highland Scotch Ale (0, 5.2, 50.0)
Wee Willy Scotchish Style Ale (0, 8.7, 40.0)
Newcastle Brown Ale (0, 5.0, 50.0)
Puterscheins Dunklesweizen (0.0, 5.0, 40.0)
Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan (0.0, 4.6, 40.0)
Sam Adams Brown Ale (0.0, 4.2, 40.0)
CB's Otter Lodge IPA (0, 3.5, 30.0)
Greased Scotsman 120/-, 2003 (0, 4.3, 27.0)
Orkney SkullSplitter Ale (0, 5.0, 26.0)
Otter Creek Alpine Ale (0, 4.3, 24.3)
Custom Brewcrafter's Spring Fever Ale (0, 4.1, 22.0)
Caledonian 80/- (0, 3.0, 20.0)
Sam Adams Octoberfest (0, 3.0, 20.0)
Long Trail Double Bag (0, 3.0, 20.0)
Victory Hop Devil IPA (0, 4.0, 19.0)
Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale (0, 3.2, 17.0)
Custom Brewcrafter's Inferno Pod Ale (0, 3.1, 17.0)
Belhaven Scottish Ale (0, 3.0, 15.0)
Custom Brewcrafter's Gargoyle IPA (0, 2.3, 15.0)
Negra Modelo (0, 3.4, 14.0)
Aachen Aaltbier, 2003 (0, 3.1, 14.0)
Broughton Merlin's Ale (0, 3.0, 14.0)
De Koninck (0, 2.9, 11.0)
Belhaven St. Andrews Ale (0, 2.7, 11.0)
Harpoon Octoberfest (0, 3.1, 10.0)
Ithaca Flower Power IPA (0, 2.7, 10.0)
Custom Brewcrafter's Raspbeery Wheat (0, 2.7, 8.0)
Erie Mad Anthony's Ale (0, 2.5, 10.3)
Unibroue Maudite (0, 2.4, 10.3)
Anchor Steam Beer (0, 2.6, 10.2)
McEwan's IPA (0, 2.5, 10.0)
Dos Equis (0, 2.5, 10.0)
Erie Railbender Ale (0, 2.5, 10.0)
Dogfish Head 90 Min. IPA (0, 2.4, 10.0)
Cooperstown Back Yard Pale Ale (0, 2.4, 10.0)
Spanish Peaks Monterey Pale Ale (0, 2.4, 9.4)
Weyerbacher Hops Infusion Ale (0, 2.3, 11.0)
Otter Creek Oktoberfest Ale (0, 2.3, 10.0)
Green's Gargoyle IPA (0, 2.3, 10.0)
Wee Beast Scottish Ale (0, 2.1, 11.0)
Saranac Octoberfest Lager (0, 2.1, 10.0)
CB's Cottage Hotel ESB (0, 2.0, 10.0)
Bass Pale Ale (0, 2.0, 10.0)
Harpoon ESB (0, 2.0, 10.0)
Pete's Wicked Red Rush (0, 2.0, 10.0)
Middle Ages ImPaled Ale (0, 2.0, 10.0)
Fat Tire Amber Ale (0, 2.2, 9.0)
Otter Creek Copper Ale (0, 2.0, 9.0)
Abita Amber (0, 2.0, 9.0)
Harpoon Ale (0, 2.0, 8.0)
Lake Placid 46'er IPA (0, 1.9, 8.0)
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (0, 2.0, 7.0)
Yuengling Lager (0, 2.0, 7.0)
Blue Point Hoptical Illusion (0, 1.9, 7.0)
Dogfish Head 60 Min. IPA (0, 1.8, 7.0)
Harpoon IPA (0, 1.6, 7.0)
Sam Adams Light (0, 1.7, 6.0)
Lazy Magnolia Indian Summer (0, 1.6, 6.0)
Sam Adams Summer Ale (0, 1.9, 5.0)
Sam Adams Pale Ale (0, 1.0, 5.0)
Eger Urbier (0, 1.6, 4.4)
Pete's Wicked Summer Brew (0, 1.4, 4.0)
Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted (0, 1.1, 4.0)
Dundee's Pale Bock (0, 1.1, 4.0)
Bodington's Pub Ale (0, 1.0, 4.0)
Pete's Strawberry Blonde (0, 1.0, 4.0)
Blue Moon Ale (0, 1.0, 3.8)
Abita Purple Haze (0, 1.0, 3.7)
Custom Brewcrafter's 19th Hole Ale (0, 1.0, 3.1)
Paulaner Premium Pils (0, 1.0, 3.0)
Reissdorf Kolsch (0, 0.9, 3.0)
Molson XXX (0, 0.8, 3.0)
Kumburak (0, 0.6, 2.8)
Cave Creek Chili Beer (0, 0.7, 2.2)
Genesee Cream Ale (0, 0.7, 2.2)
Puterscheins Hefewizen (0, 0.9, 2.1)
Augustinerbrau Munchen Helles (0, 0.7, 2.1)
Molson Ice (0, 0.9, 2.0)
Erie Presque Isle Pilsner (0, 0.9, 2.0)
Kirin Ichiban (0, 0.8, 2.0)
Heineken (0, 0.8, 2.0)
Foster's Lager (0, 0.7, 2.0)
Kirin Lager (0, 0.7, 2.0)
Tsingtao (0, 0.6, 2.0)
Sapporo (0, 0.5, 1.9)
Genesee Beer (0, 0.6, 1.5)
Otter Creek Middleberry Ale (0, 0.6, 1.4)
Tecate (0, 0.6, 1.4)
Red Stripe (0, 0.5, 1.3)
Rolling Rock (0, 0.6, 1.2)
Labatt Nordic (0, 0.4, 1.2)
Labatt Blue (0, 0.4, 1.0)
Genny Light (0, 0.4, 1.0)
Budweiser (0, 0.3, 1.0)
Bitburger (0, 0.3, 1.0)
Corona (0, 0.4, 0.9)

This database will grow occasionally, when we remember to bring the official beer science vials to our bi-annual MCSL picnics (or other similar events).


Some History...

Joseph W. Lovibond invented the tintometer, a visual colorimeter, and a system for colorimetry based on subtractive color mixing. This system was the first system of colorimetry for practical industrial applications. The cover page of Lovibond's book on the topic is included below. Beer had an important role in the development of colorimetry as illustrated in the following quote from Lovibond's book.

Evolution of the Method.

The writer was formerly a brewer, and this work had its origin in an observation that the finest flavour in beer was always associated with a colour technically called "golden amber," and that, as the flavour deteriorated, so the color assumed a reddish hue. It was these variations in tint that suggested the idea of colour standards as a reliable means of reference.

Lovibond Book Cover

Lovibond was clearly aware that he was developing an important tool for many practical appplications. The image below, also from his book, illustrates an early tintometer configuration. The following quote summarizes Lovibond's objectives.

Purpose.

The purpose of this work is to demonstrate that colour is a determinable property of matter, and to make generally known methods of colour analysis and synthesis which have proved of great practical value in establishing standards of purity in some industries.

Tintotmeter

More Fun ...


RIT Imaging Science graduate student, home-brewer, and beer-judge, Steve Viggiano has been doing some independent study work on the spectrophotometricanalysis of beer color. He's getting some interesting results and his work continues. Here is a PDF of his report for the independentstudy on some preliminary results.

Visit the Tintometer web site to learn more on the history of these instruments and on modern instruments that are still commercially available.

See a modern beer color process analyzer and learn about the BCV (Beer Control Variable).

Read a couple of interesting little on-line articles on beer color and beer color measurement.

Want to see what people think of beers of various colors? Check out ratebeer.com.

See beer in a whole new way. Check out these very cool microscopic images of various brews.

Read a little bit of weird science on relating brewing variables to beer color.

A fantastic PopSci article on how beer gets its color.