8.10.2010

Yeast and building the recipe for my Black IPA...

Can't brew if you don't have any yeast. Right now I'm all out of the packaged yeast. No dry or liquid. So, I'll be reusing the yeast cake from the Ale that I brewed over the weekend.

I think we'll go with the same recipe, but, I'll add some darker steeping grains to change the appearance and the taste. Let me get out the stuff I have.
  • Roasted Barley
  • Chocolate
  • Belgian De-Bittered Black Malt
  • Belgian Special B
Ok, roasted barley and the Belgian de-bittered black malt specialty grains might work here. Neither of them add sweetness. The base malt already provides a light malty backdrop. Combined with the dark steeping grains the base malt should bring out the flavors of the dark grains. Since these specialty malts have been de-bittered there shouldn't be astringency competing with the bittering hops already present in the recipe. It shouldn't taste like a hoppy porter or stout rather a smooth dark beer more complex than a pale ale or an IPA.

I could use the Chocolate malt since I believe it is de-bittered as well, but, I'm not sure how the chocolate flavor would play with the hops. It might compete rather than complement. If I do use it, only a few ounces would be needed to provide a hint of chocolate, something distinctive and hard to pin down.

Belgian Special-B would add more intense dark dried fruit flavors. I don't want to change the flavor that much. Of course it probably depends how much is used.

For those of you who don't make your own recipes yet, my hope is that by explaining my process you'll find a way to build your own recipes. I like to use basic recipes as a foundation. In this case its an extract ale recipe containing pilsen malt extract, some caramel steeping grains, bittering hops, finishing hops and relatively clean yeast. Then you start adding and taking away things to build your beer.

In summary, I started with a lightly hopped American Ale and added some de-bittered dark specialty grains. This should change the color of the beer without changing the flavors in a negative way. Hopefully I've added smooth roasty dark flavors to this beer. I'm being careful not to change the basic sweetness provided by the malt by adding any other caramel or dark fruit flavors. We can save that for the imperial version ;-)

I use BeerSmith (Amazon referral) to estimate alcohol by volume, international bitterness units and color which means less practice batches ;-)

3 comments:

Velky Al said...

I brewed a Black IPA at the weekend, though I replaced the C-hops with British hops, Admiral and Goldings, as an experiment to see if Black IPA as a style is really just porter with the wrong hops and too many of them.

Adam said...

I hope you wrote about it. I'll jump over there in a minute.

Yeah, I don't know what a Black IPA is, but, I'm trying to brew something tasty and maybe prove a point to some relatives who think dark beer is "heavy".

Thanks for stopping by Velky Al.

Velky Al said...

I will be writing about it today.