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Recipe – Black IPA


Having bought too much of the 2013 hop crops I brewed yet another IPA –  but this time with a twist. “Black IPA’s” are a relatively new style of IPA’s that have gained some popularity in the states. The idea is to brew an IPA that has all the typical characteristics ; dry body, high bitterness and a strong hop aroma but all this in a beer that is black. There should be no, or very little roast character which would clash with the hops. Usually this is achieved by using a special de-husked malt like Carafa Special which gives the colour without the typical acrid aromas of roasted malts. I did some research and a suitable percentage  according to most sources is around 4-6% of Carafa III. I erred on the side of caution because I didn’t want to end up with a “Black-ish” IPA. If 6% gives too much of roast character I’ll tune the percentage down in future recipes.

Otherwise the beer is pretty similar to my usual approach to brewing an IPA – base malt is two-row pale malt with a dash of munich malt. This time I left out the dextrose since I wanted the alcohol level to be on the low-end and the beer to have a dry body as opposed to my normal bone-dry IPA’s. The hops I chose is a duo of Cascade and Columbus together with a newer variety, Mosaic. I did an almost single hop Mosaic IPA (all but the bittering hops were Mosaic) earlier this year and I think it would complement “typical” American hops that have pine-citrus flavours. All three are added in just two doses, a long hop stand and a relatively short dry hop period of 5 days straight in the primary vessel when the beer is almost done fermenting. For the yeast I’m trying something slightly different as well – usually for normal strength IPA’s I go with the neutral high-attenuating California strains but for this beer I’m trying something that a few of the “Big boys” do – fermenting with a semi-neutral British strain, Burton union from Mangrove Jack, a dry yeast strain that I’ve been very pleased with in the past.

As has been the case this year, I’m late in writing so this beer is already carbonating under pressure.


Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds): 3,4 / 7,49
Anticipated OG: 1.052
Anticipated SRM: 21,2
Anticipated IBU: 48,8
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

85,3%  2,9kg / 6,39  lbs  – Pale Malt, Viking
8,8%   0,3kg / 0,66 lbs  – Munich malt, Weyermann
5,9%   0,2kg / 0,44 lbs – Carafa III Special, Weyermann


30,0g / 1,05 oz. Bravo (Pellet 11,70 AA) 60 minutes for 48,8 IBU

50,0g / 1,76 oz. Mosaic (Pellet 12% AA) 30 minutes hop-stand
50,0g / 1,76 oz. Columbus (Pellet 15,5% AA) 30 minutes hop-stand
50,0g / 1,76 oz. Cascade (Pellet 7% AA) 30 minute hop-stand

50,0g / 1,76 oz. Mosaic (Pellet 12% AA) Dry hop for 5 days
50,0g / 1,76 oz. Columbus (Pellet 15,5% AA) Dry hop for 5 days
50,0g / 1,76 oz. Cascade (Pellet 7% AA) Dry hop for 5 days

½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
6g / 0,14 oz Gypsum in mash


Mangrove Jack’s M79 Burton Union, Yeast Cake from Cascade Pale

23 Litre BIAB @ 65 Celsius for 60 mins (6,07Gal/149F)

P.S It seems that the Stone yeast strain is actually from Canada but the British WLP002/007 or Wyeast 1968 are often recommended as substitutes.

24/2/16 Lost my tasting notes of this one when I moved. The beer was otherwise good but the hops had started to lose their aroma – should do a re-brew with fresher hops perhaps replacing Cascade with Amarillo or a similar fruity hop. The amount of Carafa III was also a bit too much imparting a bit of roast aroma and a jet black colour. Around 3% should be enough in the future.


From → Recipes

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