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Trying my hand at the Black IPA

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ViperMan

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So after trying Black Cannon and really enjoying it, and then doing a lot of reading on the Black IPA style, and then trying a Back in Black, which I didn't enjoy as much, I'm very interested in trying out this style.

I read some really neat stuff about the debates regarding the origin, the first source, and even the back-and-forth on exactly what the profile of a Black IPA should be. And yes, I prefer the name "Black IPA".

I decided to go with a medium-to-full body beer using a US base malt. I was going to use Blackprinz malt as that what Black Cannon uses, but I'd have to get it from Northern Brewer and their shipping prices are insulting... So I'm using Carafa III instead, with a pinch of chocolate to round out the color and add some of those deep flavors. However I took to heart the ABA's guideline to avoid the strong roasted flavors, but also liked the advice from The Brew Guys to make the beer more than just a "dark-colored IPA".

So here's the recipe:
5.25 Gallon Batch (All Grain)
Brewhouse Efficiency 80%
90-minute Boil

7.75 lb US 2-Row
1.5 lb Crystal 40L
1 lb Carafa III
.5 lb Dextrine
.5 lb Toasted Malt (350-degrees for 10-15 minutes)
.25 lb Chocolate (Belg)

.7 oz Columbus - 60 minutes
1 oz Amarillo - 15 minutes
.5 oz Citra - 15 minutes

WLP001

1 oz Amarillo - Dry Hop
1 oz Columbus - Dry Hop

I leave out the dark malts in the mash. I usually do a quick protein rest at about 140 for 30 minutes, then up to 156 for another 30 minutes. I add the dark malts in with the second batch sparge-water, let sit for another 30 minutes at 150'ish, then drain.

I think the toasted malt will really add that "Hey this is different" flavor, while the crystal 40 will help establish some middle-ground between the light and dark malts. There was no debate on using Amarillo - it's one of my favorite hops - but I wanted some Citra to top off that "different" taste.

I'm naming it "0.0" (said as "zero zero") after the lawless, dangerous sectors of space in the MMORPG "EVE Online" - a game I've been playing now for three years. I'm going to try to get them to make the beer a collector's item in the game. :)

Lemme know what you think!

 

Jayhem

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What is the OG and IBU's?

When I made my black IPA it was OG 1.074 and 80 IBU's. It did not taste bitter enough because the toasted malt flavors overpowered it. Next time I would shoot for 100 IBU's.

Also I used 6 oz of hops in the boil, 2 for dry hop and still didn't have enough aroma/flavor.

Basically when you do a black IPA you have to up the hopping rates or it will just taste like a bitter porter.

Carafa III is basically the same as Blackprinz.
 
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ViperMan

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OG is 1.069 and IBU's currently read 60. I recently brewed an English IPA that I added some toasted malt to and I did feel that at my last tasting, the 1.25oz of hops in just one gallon of beer really didn't seem to shine through...

I've got some spare hops at home - I'll see if I can bolster the IBU's just a little bit. I felt like Black Cannon had a real nice balance of hop & malt, whereas Back in Black was definitely stronger on the hop side. I'm not a huge hop-head myself (which is why tackling this style is so unique for me!) so I'm definitely interested in finding that balance.
 

BigBug

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With all of the crystal and dextrin you are adding I think your beer may come out a little heavier than you intend. I would dial back the crystal to 1oz and leave out the dextrin.

Also MORE HOPS IN THE BOIL!! it's an IPA go crazy! I've heard that the dark malts can mask the hops so extra are needed to make sure they come through.
 
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Definitely more hops in the boil, throw a bunch in during the last 5 minutes. The roasted/toasted/malty characteristics of your grain bill will cover a bunch of your hop flavor and aroma. It seems like a zillion ways to make a Black IPA- good luck!
 

Beer-lord

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You definitely need to add more hops. I also like first wort hoppings in black ipa's as I think it's a bit smoother and helps throttle back a bit of the bitterness from the carafa and toasted malts.
 

jtejedor

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Yeah I would leave out the dextrose. I just did a black ipa and even used candi syrup but my mash temp was a bit high so combined with the crystal and dark malts it had just a bit too much body. I usually just do a single batch sparge and if I had to do it again I would probably do 150-151 tops.
 

Cyclman

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I am currently drinking my ADA (American Dark Ale, sorry I just feel wierd calling a dark beer a pale ale, regardless of what the primary malt is), and I added 7 oz of hops, 4 during the boil, the rest at first wort and as dry hops.

Believe it or not, it isn't all that bitter. I could have increased the hops by 25% easily.

Damn, even though I would add more hops next time, it is AWESOME.
 
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ViperMan

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Well I already had my grain ordered and combined when I posted this, so the dextrine stayed. I did mash it a bit cooler than I had planned though, courtesy of a crap-ass meat thermometer that a buddy swore by...

I did add more hops (had some stash left sitting around.) I also had a lot more boil-off and my numbers went a bit crazy, and now Beersmith tells me that I have an IBU rating of.... 102.5. :smile:

I took a taste of the final wort and WOW is it ever bitter... I also added some Citra to the dry-hop, so we'll just see how this baby comes out... It might be too much for my tastes, but we'll see.
 
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ViperMan

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By the way - this brew is long-since bottled and tasted - it's pretty damn good! The citra aroma is really nice though a little subdued to be honest, and even though I did substantially bump up the hops, it's still not as bitter as other Black IPA's that I've tried. (Though frankly I'm not a huge hop-head, so it's just-right by my book.)

I'm very very pleased with it, and I'm now convinced that every beer could benefit from some toasted grains... :)
 
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