Beer Color Calculator

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This calculator automatically converts between several popular units for beer color. SRM=Standard Reference Method. EBC=European Brewery Convention. degrees Lovibond. MCU=Malt Color Units. RGB=red green blue. Enter a value in any of the text boxes and the others will immediately update showing the equivalent values in the other units.

The graphics at the bottom of the calculator display estimated colors for grains at the displayed degrees Lovibond and a glass of beer at the displayed SRM. The calculators conversion between the SRM and Lovibond text boxes is for beer not grain, so the displayed glass of beer is also at the given degrees Lovibond.

The RGB values are the same as the color displayed in the beer glass graphic. The relationship between SRM and RGB was produced from a regression model fit against the BJCP beer color guide. There are many possible RGB values that do not look like normal beer colors. When values are entered into the RGB text box the calculator will try to find the nearest RGB value that looks like beer. Nearest for this purpose is the Euclidean distance in the three dimensional RGB color-space.

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RGB (Hex)
Est. grain color Est. beer color
(°L) (SRM)


SRMEBC • Degrees Lovibond (°L) • MCURGBHexadecimal (Hex)


This calculator converts between several different units of beer color and grain color. Enter values into any field, and the other fields should automatically update.

SRM is the Standard Reference Method used in the US for directly measuring beer color. While the EBC method (European Brewery Convention) is the equivalent standard scale for measuring beer color in Europe. Both methods are very similar laboratory techniques requiring specialized equipment. These techniques both work by passing light through a small sample of beer and recording the drop in intensity due to absorbtion. SRM and EBC have an exact linear relationship such that the EBC value for a given sample is always a little less than double the SRM value.

Lovibond is an older method for measuring colors. It works by visually comparing a sample against a kit of reference colors with known values on the Lovibond scale. For measuring beer color, the Lovibond scale has mostly been replaced by the SRM and EBC methods. However, it is still commonly used for reporting the color of malt and other brewing ingredients. The degrees Lovibond for lighter colored beers is roughly the same as the SRM value, but this approximation doesn't work well for darker beers.

Malt Color Units (MCU) is an easy way for brewers to calculate the amount of color expected in a given recipe. This is especially useful for recipes that you are making for the first time. Unfortunately, the relationship between the calculated value MCU and directly measured values of color (visual inspection, SRM, and EBC) is not straightforward. There are many formulas that attmempt to provide a conversion between MCU and SRM.

This calculator also provides a conversion from SRM to red-green-blue values (RGB). This is given as a six digit hexadecimal value with two digits indicating the intensity of each color channel.


  1. Wikipedia. Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  2. Morey, Daniel. "Approximating SRM Beer Color of Homebrew Based on Recipe Formulation." Retrieved 2013-08-30.
  3. BJCP Color Guide. Retrieved 2013-08-31.