Black IPA

Time for another homebrew.  Gonna make a black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, as some insist on calling it.  The debate about naming such beers is not particularly interesting to me, but some consider it to be the end-all of all dark, hoppy beers.  Meh.

Either way, this beer will be dark and very hoppy, with lots of late and dry hops additions.

The day before, it’s time for yeast.  Wyeast 1056 American Ale.  In the morning I did up the smack pack, left it on the counter at about 68F.  Around noon it was well puffy and ready to go.  I boiled about 1.5 quarts of spring water, then added 3/4 cup of DME, boiled ten minutes, cooled, and added to my sanitized Erlenmeyer flask.  Also sanitized the scissors and package, then added yeast.  I aerated well and have been aerating every few hours.  I’ve got a sanitized airlock on top, but I’ve allowed fresh oxygen to get in every few hours.  It’s krausening well on the stir plate already.

Here’s what’s going into the beer…

  • Briess Golden Light Liquid Extract  6.625 lb
  • Briess Pale Ale Malt  2.5 lb
  • Weyermann De-Husked Carafa II  1 lb
  • Aromatic  0.75 lb
  • Crisp Crystal Malt 60L  0.625 lb
  • De-Bittered Black  0.25 lb
  • Nugget Pellets      1 oz @ 60 mins
  • Columbus Pellets   1 oz @ 15 mins
  • Columbus Pellets  0.5 oz @ 10 mins
  • Columbus Pellets  0.5 oz @ 5 mins
  • Glacier Pellets      0.5 oz @ 1 mins
  • Tettnang, German Pellets  0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Glacier Pellets     0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Nugget Pellets      0.5 oz @ Dry
  • Columbus Pellets  1 oz @ Dry
  • Wyeast Labs American Ale – 1056


OG: 1.078   FG: 1.020  IBU: 67.6   SRM: 41.62  ABV: 7.60

Procedure to be added before brewing… I’m thinking of trying a mostly full boil on this one, but splitting it between two boil pots.  I can’t do the entire volume in one pot, but I sure can in two…  Considering.  Planning on editing this tomorrow morning with my final decisions on all aspects of the procedure!

More to come on this one…

**next day**

A couple things I’m doing on this one…

I’m using five pounds of grain, so it’s going to be a partial mash.  I’ll use about 2 quarts of water per pound.  I’ll be using about five grain bags.

Also, I’m going to try to boil most of my wort, and use a minimal amount of top off water.  It may be necessary to use two boil pots for this, we’ll see.  After the partial mash, I will see how much the big boil pot is full and make the decision then.

OK it’s morning and I’m about to get started, so I better get my procedure down first!  Here goes…

  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 2.5 gallons spring water to 160 F
  4. add grains (use four or five mesh bags)
  5. steep for 60 minutes at 155F
  6. In separate pot, pre-boil 1.5 gallons spring water
  7. when grains are finished steeping, remove grain bags, gently rinse with hot water
  8. add pre-boiled water and bring entire pot (or two pots, if necessary) to a boil for one hour.
  9. add bittering hops, using hop bag, 1 oz nugget
  10. During boil, added wort chiller, dried malt extract
  11. at 25 minutes, add one ounce colombus hops
  12. 20 minutes begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, etc
  13. 20 minutes add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder
  14. 10 minutes add 0.5 oz columbus hops
  15. 5 minutes add 0.5 oz columbus hops
  16. 1 minute add 0.5 oz glacier hops
  17. while wort is cooling, add 1 gallon chilled spring water to sanitized primary fermenting bucket, allowing it to fall into bucket to increase aeration
  18. when wort gets to about 70F, add to fermentation bucket 
  19. top to 5 gallons with chilled spring water
  20. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  21. take OG reading using sanitized wine thief
  22. ensure wort is 70F or a little less before pitching yeast
  23. pitch yeast
  24. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  25. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  26. ferment in closet for 7-10 days at 68F ambient air temp.
  27. add dry hops, 1 oz columbus, 0.5 oz each of glacier, nugget, tettnang
  28. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 16 days in primary)
  29. use 5 oz corn sugar at bottling

OG was only 1.062.  Not sure what was up there, but not too worried about it.

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  • alcaponejunior  On June 11, 2012 at 4:37 am

    This one was bubbling within about five hours of pitching the yeast. That makes me think my starter procedures are working!

    The plan at this point is to add the 2.5oz of dry hops on the 16th, and bottle on the 25th or 26th (as long as the gravity is where I expect it to be).

  • alcaponejunior  On June 14, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    OK. Dropped in the dry hops today. Plan to do eight days of dry hops, then bottle (as long as gravity is where I expect it to be). I sanitized a muslin grain bag and put the hops in there, then carefully just cracked the lid, dropped them in, and closed it back up.

    I tossed about an extra ounce of cascade in there, just to be safe. 🙂

    I love dry hopped beers! Besides that, my heavily hopped beers have been my bigger successes!

  • alcaponejunior  On June 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Just tossed in an extra ounce or so of dry hops, chinook. Plan to bottle saturday (day 16) as long as gravity is on the money. We’ll see what happens!

  • alcaponejunior  On June 18, 2012 at 10:29 am

    LOL this one will have six types of dry hops…

    1 oz columbus, 0.5 oz each of glacier, nugget, tettnang, 1 oz cascade, 1 oz chinook!

    Might have overdone it a bit but there’s only one way to find out!

  • alcaponejunior  On June 20, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Took a gravity reading and sample today. SG = 1.016, which is basically right where I expect it to be. Plan to bottle in the next two or three days.

    Sample was looking, smelling, and tasting good! Nice and black, pretty clear, awesome aroma, tasted very nice. I think this one is going to come out great!

  • alcaponejunior  On June 29, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Checked a sample bottle today. It’s already friggin’ daaaaaamn good. Carbonation is already plentiful and I could probably drink them starting today. However, I’ll be unable to drink them for the next week, so they will certainly be about friggin’ perfect when they go into the fridge for general consumption!

  • alcaponejunior  On July 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    OK a week has gone by and I’m trying this one after two+ weeks in the bottle. It’s not what I expected, but it’s pretty friggin’ good!

    I’m finding that the aroma when I opened the fermenter after dry hopping doesn’t really match the aroma in the glass (at least not in my mind’s expectation). when I opened the fermenter for the transfer to a bottling carboy, I almost choked on the hops. In the glass, the hops are not so pronounced. It smells almost like a porter, not as IPA-like as I expected. The dark malts seem to have come through far more than I expected. The aroma is more subdued than I though it would be.

    Taste wise it’s also quite porter like, although the hops are more noticeable in the flavor. But still, it’s not what I expected. It’s still quite delicious though! I’m very pleased with how this one came out.

    Mouthfeel is quite good, it’s thick, rich, and has an almost chewy texture. A mixture of a typical porter feel and a typical wheat beer feel is my description of the mouthfeel. That probably sounds odd, but that’s what it seems like to me.

    Overall it’s far more mellow and soft than I expected. Notes taken, next batch of this type will see where this style goes!

    I think I may have stumbled onto the Cascadian Dark Ale side of the Black IPA genre of beers. LOL!

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