Brewing and reviewing since 2012.
Ah, the Black IPA. A controversial beer, judging from this thread on my review of Slumbrew Naked Hopularity. Though I will agree with Stephen that the words “black” and “pale” are rather contradictory, I still tend to think that Black IPA is an appropriate name for the style of this beer, a beer that over the summer became one of my favorites. And for the first time, my own beer was what got me started on this style. Here’s what I brewed with:
5.5 lb 2-Row
.5 lb Chocolate (350L)
.5 lb 60L Caramel
.25 Black Patent
.75 oz Columbus at 60 min.
.4 oz Willamette at 15 min.
.4 oz Willamette at 5 min.
.4 oz Willamette dry hop for 3-4 days
Obviously my starting gravity was way off yet again, a problem that has plagued multiple brews of mine. I’ve started to just chalk it up to poor BIAB efficiency, and have adjusted the recipes in development to be closer to what I have been hitting on average, which usually just results in me buying an extra pound of grain. I’m hoping that my insulation technique will help fix this problem, but I’m not holding out much hope until I can finally move to a full system with a proper homebrewing mash tun.
So, how did the beer turn out? Well, its definitely got the roasty characteristics of a black IPA, which I really should have seen coming using both chocolate and black patent malts. I wasn’t entirely sure how much of those to use, and had spare grain from another brew, so I ended up going overboard with it. I think I may have over carbonated a bit (or this one has just been in the bottle too long), because when pouring there is a very thick, bubbly, deep tan head. On the nose, the burnt crispness is really all you can smell. However, the taste is where the hops were able to overcome the grain. It’s got the typical citrus bitterness, which is definitely an interesting mix with the burnt taste given off by the grain. The aftertaste is again dominated by the roastiness of the malt, and lingers for awhile before fading back to grapefruit and orange. I really enjoyed this one, though do think that I should tone down the use of the darker malts for the next time around. It’s about time to start brewing stouts, but come spring I’ll be giving this Black IPA, or Cascadian Dark Ale, or American Black Ale, another shot.
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