As I thought it might be, it turns out blogging is tough to keep up with. What passes for summer around here gets busy, and not only doesn’t leave as much time for blogging, but as much time for brewing as I’d like. For the third summer in a row now, I found time to make a CDA/IBA though.
In general, I’m not much of a fan of hoppy beers. Most of my brews fall on the balanced or malty side. And I live in the Northwest, where many people drink nothing but IPA. But for reasons I don’t understand, if you add a bit of blacks malts to an IPA and darken it up, I suddenly love it. The original recipe I started playing with was loosely based on Firestone Walker’s Union Jack, with the addition of some Carafa Special (debittered black malt) and a random assortment of leftover hops I cleaned out of the freezer. This year’s addition replaces a portion of the Carafa with some pale chocolate, and the hops are a different edition of “whatever’s in the freezer”. Plus a little bit of newcomer Calypso that I picked up on a whim from my local home brew shop. Another twist this round was trying a technique recommended by Gorden Strong of withholding the dark malts from the mash until it’s time to recirc/sparge. There’s no starch left in them to convert to sugar, so they only need a few minutes to pick up color and flavor. Reducing the contact time with the hot water should result in smoother flavors.
India Black Ale Recipe (#82.11)
Batch Size: 6 gal
SRM: 23 SRM
Boil Time: 90 min
73.4% - 10 lbs GW Pale Ale Malt
11% - 1.5 lbs Munich
3.7% - 8 oz Carapils
3.7% - 8 oz Crystal 60
3.7% - 8 oz Carafa Special II
2.8% - 6 oz Acid Malt
1.8% - 4 oz Pale Chocolate Malt
1.2 oz (12.2% AA) Magnum @ 60 min
1 oz (4.6% AA) Cascade @ 10 min
1 oz (3.3% AA) Crystal @ 10 min
1 oz (4.6% AA) Cascade @ 1 min
1 oz (3.3% AA) Crystal @ 1 min
.5 oz (12.8%) Calypso @ 1 min
.5 oz (10.9% AA) Zythos @ 1 min
15 min hot whirlpool
.8 oz Citra @ dry hop
.6 oz Zythos @ dry hop
.5 oz Cascase @ dry hop
.5 oz Centennial @ dry hop
Notthingham slurry from 100% Wheat beer
Calcium Chloride - 2g mash, 2g boil
Calcium Sulfate - 1g mash, 1g boil
60 min @ 151F
Brew Day Notes
Added dark grains separately at the end of the mash when I started recirculating.
Mash measured 5.32 ph (before dark grains).
15 min hot whirlpool after flame out and before chilling.
Overall I’m again happy with this moving target of a recipe. It has a nice punch of both hops and roasty-ness, while maintaining a dry drinkability. However, this particular batch has a strong ripe pear flavor that I’m attributing to the Calypso hop addition that I’m not caring for and is detracting from the rest.