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Old 09-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
dangloverenator
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Default Black IPA Grain Bill?

Hey all!

Hoping to brew a Black IPA tomorrow, pretty much decided on the hops (Willamette for bittering, Nelson Sauvin for aroma) and yeast (US-05 for a nice clean ferm) but I'm still undecided on the malts. I have a large amount of low colour Maris Otter, so I think that will be the base malt, but how should I "blacken" it? Chocolate, Roast Barley or both? Should I mix in some pilsener, or would that just overcomplicate it?

Any thoughts are appreciated!

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Old 09-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangloverenator
Hey all!

Hoping to brew a Black IPA tomorrow, pretty much decided on the hops (Willamette for bittering, Nelson Sauvin for aroma) and yeast (US-05 for a nice clean ferm) but I'm still undecided on the malts. I have a large amount of low colour Maris Otter, so I think that will be the base malt, but how should I "blacken" it? Chocolate, Roast Barley or both? Should I mix in some pilsener, or would that just overcomplicate it?

Any thoughts are appreciated!
Hey there dangloverenator, I just did a black IPA and it turned out great! Here's my grain bill for it

image-1252686162.jpg

I used all different hops. One of my new favorite brews. Good luck on the brew!
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Old 09-07-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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You want the dark color and rich flavor without the harsh acrid roasty flavors of most dark malts. Most recipes I've seen black IPA use "special" dehusked dark malts that add the color and flavor without the bitterness of typical dark roasted malts. Also, you don't need much to make the batch black. Even 8 oz in a 5 gallon batch will do it. Check some established recipes from BYO, Zymurgy, Northern Brewer, etc for examples.

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Old 09-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
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I don't know why you would choose to use special roast and carafa II together in a IBA. Brewers typically use carafa malts to get color without roastiness, yet you then used SR with has 50L worth of roasty/coffee flavor. Otherwise why not just use roast barley etc and skip the carafa?



As to the OPs question, you can make a great IBA by milling the chocolate or roast separately and adding it at the very end of the mash. That will restrain the roastiness somewhat. Many brewers use the carafa malts (carafa I, II, III) to get color without much coffee/chocolate flavor. "Midnight wheat" is used similarly. Carafa II is my grain of choice in my IBA because I want a dark colored beer that doesn't taste like a hoppy stout. I added the carafa at the end of the mash. My bill is 70% base, 12% munich, 10% C40 and 8% carafa II. Good luck! It's a fun beer to brew and drink.

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Old 09-07-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HomebrewMTB View Post
You want the dark color and rich flavor without the harsh acrid roasty flavors of most dark malts. Most recipes I've seen black IPA use "special" dehusked dark malts that add the color and flavor without the bitterness of typical dark roasted malts. Also, you don't need much to make the batch black. Even 8 oz in a 5 gallon batch will do it. Check some established recipes from BYO, Zymurgy, Northern Brewer, etc for examples.
Thanks, yeah that's what I was thinking - think I'll avoid the roasted barley for this reason. Am I right in thinking that chocolate malt is de-husked? Or should I head to my LHBS and pick up some sort of carafa malt? I've also got some Munich that I could add in conjunction with a small amount of chocolate. How would that work?
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek
I don't know why you would choose to use special roast and carafa II together in a IBA. Brewers typically use carafa malts to get color without roastiness, yet you then used SR with has 50L worth of roasty/coffee flavor. Otherwise why not just use roast barley etc and skip the carafa?.
It was my first time brewing a BIPA. I was told this was a good recipe So I tried it and it turned out great! I was told it had both so that it had a real opaque black, Alittle roasted flavor and using All the grains have to offer as far getting good alcohol content. They figured and I do as well that making a black IPA isn't just about taking an IPA and adding "food coloring" it's about making a unique beer with different flavors.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:47 PM   #7
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They figured and I do as well that making a black IPA isn't just about taking an IPA and adding "food coloring" it's about making a unique beer with different flavors.
Agreed. Carafa isn't food coloring. It contributes roastiness, albiet restrained roastiness, to the final beer. Examples of India Black Ales run from almost no perceptible roastiness to Russian Imperial Stout style roastiness.

It's all a matter of preference. I like my IBAs with as little roast character as possible so the hops and other malty flavors can shine too -- but there's going to be a roast component as long as you aren't using food coloring. Having said all that, I still don't understand the objective of the special roast/carafa combination.
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Old 09-07-2012, 06:58 PM   #8
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Agree with all of the above, however for this beer I want to let the Nelson hops shine through, because they're one of my favourite varieties and I think they would work well in a BIPA/IBA/CDA. Just to throw it out there, what do people think about the possibility of adding wheat to give it some dunkel-like flavours? Worth a shot?

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Old 09-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeergeek

Agreed. Carafa isn't food coloring. It contributes roastiness, albiet restrained roastiness, to the final beer. Examples of India Black Ales run from almost no perceptible roastiness to Russian Imperial Stout style roastiness.

It's all a matter of preference. I like my IBAs with as little roast character as possible so the hops and other malty flavors can shine too -- but there's going to be a roast component as long as you aren't using food coloring. Having said all that, I still don't understand the objective of the special roast/carafa combination.
I can definitely appreciate a strait hop blast beer with little competition from coffee flavors. It is a preference thing, though I like both styles now. Like I said I was just going off a recipe that I was given.

As far as the combo,they may seem unnecessary but all grains have different things to offer. Each adds something to the beer. Though some may seem small to insignificant when put with another they can still contribute to a great brew! It's all about experimenting and having fun with the process! I think I will try a less roasted IBA a few brews from now
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:25 PM   #10
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Based on what I've actually got at home, and all your awesome comments, I'm now thinking something along these lines...

75% Low Colour Maris Otter
15% Wheat Malt (to hopefully make up the body that LC Maris Otter lacks)
5% Crystal (in the UK, crystal malt is just "Crystal," we don't tend to have the different grades, but IIRC it's about equivalent to Crystal 60)
5% Chocolate Malt (haven't got my recipe software to hand, but depending on the colour, this may be adjusted up or down)

Thoughts? EDIT: My biggest concern with this is that the wheat would compete with the hops, but if I use a neutral yeast like US-05, this shouldn't be a problem right?

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