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Old 03-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #1
MagicSmoker
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Default Proposed India Black Ale aka Black IPA

This will be my 6th batch (and first real attempt at BIAB - the previous two attempts were a real comedy of errors... ) so keep that in mind if the recipe I am proposing herein seems a little off or whatever.

A local brewpub (Tampa Bay Brewing Company) just released a Black IPA (aka CDA, IBA, etc...) using "Midnight Wheat" in its grain bill that is pretty tasty, and that inspired me to track down other examples of this interesting style. So far I've only found Widmer Bro's Pitch Black, which I didn't much like as it had too much roasted malt notes, like a stout - nothing wrong with stouts, just not what I was looking for here.

I have also just recently tried a couple of beers with the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand... I can't quite imagine whether or not I am setting myself up for a real train wreck here, hence this post

Aiming for an approximate volume into the fermenter of 4.5gal (because I use a 7gal. turkey fryer for BIAB), here's my recipe:

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 6.30 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.30 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 4.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.13 gal
Estimated OG: 1.066 SG
Estimated Color: 42.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 84.7 IBUs
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
10 lbs Pale Ale Malt, Pearl (2 Row) (2.6 SRM) 81.6 %
1 lbs Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM) 8.2 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) 6.1 %
8.0 oz Rye - 4L (4.0 SRM) 4.1 % <- changed from Crystal 120L

1.00 oz Magnum [13.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min 48.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min 27.2 IBUs
2.00 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.50 %] - Aroma Steep 45 min ? IBUs <- changed from 5min. addition of 1oz.
2.00 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.50 %] - Dry Hop 3 Days 0.0 IBUs <- increased from 1oz.

2.0 pkg British Ale (White Labs #WLP005)

Process Notes
--------------
Mash at 152F
Ferment at 70F for 10 days
Carb to 2.3 volumes with corn sugar and bottle condition for 7 days minimum.

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Last edited by MagicSmoker; 03-19-2013 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Recipe update
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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I love Nelson Sauvin hops and I use them in my CDA which is one of my best recipes, but I only use a about .5-.75 oz around flameout and the rest of the hop bill is more traditional American. I think it adds a little subtle sumpin' but I'm not sure what you'd get with it dominating the hop bill. Might be delicious, might be not so much...brew it a nd let us know!

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"I cant handle that buddy.. it tastes like Moose Piss", (IPA) - side note.. ive never had moose piss, but im sure it doesnt taste like IPA or I would have a moose.
Bottled: Grizzly Saison, Grizzly Brett, Session Pale, Colorado Cream Ale, Cranberry Apfelwein
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFB View Post
I love Nelson Sauvin hops and I use them in my CDA which is one of my best recipes, but I only use a about .5-.75 oz around flameout and the rest of the hop bill is more traditional American. I think it adds a little subtle sumpin' but I'm not sure what you'd get with it dominating the hop bill. Might be delicious, might be not so much...brew it a nd let us know!
Yeah, I'm a little worried that this might be a bit much Nelson Sauvin. I'm still in the learning phase, however, and trying to keep the hop bill really simple so I can get a better feel for the character of each variety (a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale clone, which only uses Centennial, impressed the importance of this to me).

I'll definitely check out your CDA (IBA, Black IPA, ABA, whatever it's called!).
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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I modified the original recipe slightly and brewed it on Sunday. I sure hope the use of RO water (with some minor salt additions ala the basic water chemistry primer thread) solves the soapy/astringent flavor problem I've had with all of my beers thus far...

The process I used was BIAB with sparging because I have a 7gal. turkey fryer as my mash/brew kettle and I knew that wasn't going to cut the proverbial mustard with over 12# of grain. So I mashed with 5gal. of water for 75 minutes then "dunk sparged" the grain bag in another pot with 2gal of water at 170F. I combined the two for a preboil volume of 5.8gal. at 1.048. After boiling for 1 hour, doing the whirlpool addition of 2oz Nelson Sauvin then cooling to pitching temp I was down to 4.5 gal. and my gravity was a bit high so I added some water to bring the volume up to 4.75 and the gravity down to 1.064, which was a touch low, but close enough. I pitched two vials of WLP005 because I wanted to use a more flocculent yeast, and don't mind a little bit of esters from the British strains (also, Nelson Sauvin is pretty fruity itself).

I use a modified Pepsi display cooler for fermentation and have it set to 19.5C (67F). The airlock is rocking now. I have so far always allowed fermentation to run 2 weeks and don't bother with a secondary after using one on my first batch - it just seems like more work and a good chance to oxidize the beer. I will be dry hopping when there are 3 days left to bottle, and I plan on just tossing the pellets directly into the bucket.

When I rack to the bottling bucket I will use this cool stainless steel strainer I got from Arbor Fabricating. It's supposed to be used for holding your hops during the boil, but I figure it can just as well serve to filter trub and hops from the fermenter during racking. We shall see...

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Old 04-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #5
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I just cracked open the first beer from this batch and I am breathing a huge sigh of relief: it actually tastes pretty good! Now this beer is still pretty young by the standards of most here - it only spent 10 days fermenting and another 7 days conditioning in the bottle - but I was impatient because my previous 5 batches have been disappointing to varying degrees, and if this one proved to be similarly afflicted then I wanted to find out sooner rather than later.

So, I'm no BJCP judge, but I'll give my best shot on trying to describe it...

A: obviously pretty dark; black with brown notes, rather than red. Moderate head that dissipates within a few minutes. Slight lacing.

S: Despite using a crapload of Nelson Sauvin, the aroma is not overpowering, but it is distinctly present, and distinctly Nelson Sauvin (hard for me to describe, but easy for me to recognize). Very similar to Widmer Bro's Nelson Imperial IPA.

T: The Briess Midnight Wheat contributes just a hint of toastiness. Precisely the right amount, I feel. I could do with a bit more "maltiness" in general, but that might be my love of ESB's poking through. The bitterness is a bit low for an IPA but it is very clean and unobtrusive. I'll probably kick up the amount of Magnum used for bittering next go-around.

O: Very drinkable! I more or less polished this one off while writing this and believe me, I am the hardest critic I know about my own beers! It's more on the session end of the IPA scale, rather than the imperial end, but that's fine with me.

Finally, it appears that switching to RO water has solved the astringency and soapiness issues that have plagued my previous beers. This really has made a huge difference! Thanks to HBT (and my LHBS, Southern Brewing) for pointing me in the right direction (even if it did take me a few dumpers to get going that way... )

black-ipa_1.jpg  
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:07 AM   #6
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Awesome! Congratulations on the fine brew. Isolating and correcting flaws is one of the most difficult parts of this endeavour.

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Originally Posted by Mirilis View Post
"I cant handle that buddy.. it tastes like Moose Piss", (IPA) - side note.. ive never had moose piss, but im sure it doesnt taste like IPA or I would have a moose.
Bottled: Grizzly Saison, Grizzly Brett, Session Pale, Colorado Cream Ale, Cranberry Apfelwein
Primary: -37* Blue Balls Baltic Porter, Bad Dog Brown, Bohemian Pilsner
Secondary: Rarely!!!
Future: Cognitive Dissonance Cascadian Dark Ale
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Old 04-04-2013, 02:42 AM   #7
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I think my next beer will be a black IPA. Have you ever had 21st Amendments Back in Black? It's one of my favorite beers. Thanks for giving me some inspiration!

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Old 04-04-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the comments! Yes, finding out about the water was difficult, mainly because I tried bottled spring water on a couple of batches with no effect. Turns out the spring water is also alkaline and with just as much total dissolved solids as our tap water!? So, tannin extraction and saponification in spades with either water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnagel View Post
I think my next beer will be a black IPA. Have you ever had 21st Amendments Back in Black? It's one of my favorite beers. Thanks for giving me some inspiration!
I can't get 21st Amendment here, but taking a look at the description of Back In Black on their website sure makes it sound tasty. One thing I've heard, but haven't yet tried myself, is that debittered black is supposed to be more stout-like than midnight wheat. So, I see an experiment in my future comparing midnight wheat, debittered black and carafa II special in an otherwise same black IPA recipe.

Three black IPAs that I can get here and which I like a lot are Peak Organic's "Hop Noir" (current favorite), Heavy Seas' "Black Cannon", and Brew Dog's "Dogzilla".
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