Tag Archives: black IPA

Just Wingin’ It English CDA

Well this one is coming into being sort of completely by accident.  I had bought a supply of ingredients to last a couple months, mainly to save shipping.  During that time I was using DME out of one of the bags to make yeast starters.  Turns out I didn’t calculate correctly and I’ve actually been using DME from a recipe I originally intended to be an English style mild.

Yeah, I wasn’t that sure about that one in the first place, and now I’m definitely totally unsure.  Plus I’ve been experimenting with making a bit less wort in order to facilitate a complete (or near complete) boil.

Anyway, I used quite a bit of the DME I had intended for the original recipe making starters, and now I’ve got to improvise in order to use it up.  These rather strange circumstances have led me to…
Just Wingin’ It English CDA

Yeah I think there are multiple contradictions just in the title, which may be an oxymoron of sorts in and of itself.

What I’ve decided on is to make an English IPA of sorts.  However, the specialty grains (partial mash) I’ve chosen will make the SRM pretty dark.  So it’s sort of an English IPA mixed with a Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale.  Or an English CDA.  Or something.  But that’s what I’m naming it, and this is what it will contain…

**NOTE: 4 gallon batch**

  • Briess Pilsen (Extra) Light Dry Extract  2 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Pale Ale  3 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Crystal Malt 77L  0 lbs, 8 oz
    Crisp Pale Chocolate Malt  0 lbs, 3 oz
    Crisp Black Malt  0 lbs, 2 oz
    Chinook Pellets  0.5 oz @ 60 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  1 oz @ 15 mins
    Chinook Pellets 0.5 oz @ 10 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  1 oz @ 5 mins
    Bramling Cross Pellets     1 oz @ 0 mins
    Northern Brewer Pellets  2 oz @ Dry
    Wyeast Labs London Ale III

Now I have made one English-ish IPA in the past, and it came out really good.  So this recipe is hereby morphed into something somewhat English-IPA like, but with some dark specialty malts.

This will be a partial mash brew.  I haven’t quite decided on the exact mash technique, but it will be stovetop and batch sparged.

UPDATE: I wound up doing a mini-mash in a pot on the stove.  I kept the temperature at 155F by carefully monitoring and adding a little heat when needed, keeping in mind thermal inertia and adding it VERY CAREFULLY.  I only had to add heat twice, and not very much.  I was able to keep it within about 3 degrees of my target temp for one hour.  Then I used a strainer to remove the grains, just poured it all into a big strainer basically.  Then I “sparged” with 170F water by carefully rinsing the grains a couple times.  Probably not optimal technique, but it worked, as the beer came out good!


OG: 1.058     FG:  1.016     IBU: 59.2     SRM: 19.40     ABV: 5.50


  1. prepare checklist
  2. lay out ingredients and equipment
  3. bring 1.5 gallon spring water to 165 F
  4. add grains
  5. mash for 60 minutes at 155F
  6. Sparge and strain**
  7. In separate pot, pre-boil 2.5 gallons spring water
  8. when grains are finished mashing, combine wort into boiling pot with pre-heated spring water and bring to boil
  9. add bittering hops, 0.5 oz chinook at 60 minute mark
  10. add the wort chiller at 30 minutes.  make sure wort chiller is pre-filled with hot water
  11. add the DME incrementally during the last 30 minutes of the boil
  12. add 1 oz northern brewer at 15 minute mark
  13. add 1/4 tsp Irish moss powder at 15 minute mark
  14. begin sanitation procedures on spoon, thermometer, bucket, wine thief
  15. add 0.5 oz chinook at 10 minute mark
  16. add 1 oz northern brewer at 5 minute mark
  17. add 1 oz bramling cross at FO
  18. hop rest 20 minutes
  19. begin cooling with wort chiller
  20. stir occasionally with sanitized stainless spoon during hop rest and during cooling
  21. ensure bucket, wine thief, thermometer, spoon are sanitized
  22. when wort gets to about 75F, add to fermentation bucket
  23. top to 4 gallons with chilled spring water (if necessary)
  24. take OG reading with sanitized wine thief
  25. thoroughly aerate wort with sanitized stainless steel spoon
  26. ensure wort is 75F or a little less before pitching yeast
  27. pitch yeast
  28. gently stir using sanitized stainless steel spoon
  29. install sanitized bucket lid and airlock
  30. ferment in closet for 7-9 days at 67F ambient air temp.
  31. after 7-9 days, add 2 oz northern brewer for dry hopping
  32. take FG sample and bottle (after a minimum of 14 days)
  33. use 4 oz corn sugar at bottling

Actual OG: 1.052

FG: 1.012


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.

Deschutes! Let’s try one now… Hop In The Dark CDA

I’ve been loving Deschutes recently!  They’ve had a bunch of them available here locally, and I’ve liked every one I’ve tried so far.  Definitely a brewery you’ll want to try yourself when you get the chance.  From their excellent black butte porter to their lovely inversion IPA, their regular offerings are quite delicious!  I also got to try the organic green lakes amber ale recently, a very darn tasty amber!

Today I’m going to try Hop In The Dark CDA.

Appearance: Good looking. very black with a light brown head, great lacing.

Smell: Really nice, so hoppy I was blasted with hops just when I popped the top! In the glass it’s nicely hoppy too, with plenty of roasty malts too.

Taste: amazing!  Great job on this one. The roasted malts are well accented with grapefruit and floral notes, and a blasting array of perfectly proportioned hop flavors. Seriously, they hit the nail on the head with this CDA.

Body: Rich and thick, feels like a bigger beer than it is.  Roasty aftertaste is perfect for a CDA/Black IPA.

Overall: Amazing. Definitely a must try for hop lovers, CDA lovers, and even IPA lovers.

I’ve also got a Hop Henge IPA in the fridge.  I’ve had that one before, and it’s damn good!  Both Hop Henge and Hop In The Dark are good values too, at under six bucks a bomber.

Truthfully though, the next Deschutes I’m going to buy is another sixer of the green lakes amber ale.  Such a drinkable amber!


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