#Brewday – Black IPA

DSC03174Its Sunday, Its Brewday plus its cold and damp outside. No luck on the snow here in Cardiff.
I’ve got some traditional Nighwish playing, starting with their 2002 album ‘Century Child’ which features the original vocalist Tarja showing how Symphonic metal should be done.
Then onto ‘Oceanborn’ and ‘Wishmaster’
With two espressos down me, I’m shaky and ready to kick things off with my recipe for a Black IPA.

Here is the recipe that I will be trying out today:-

820g Marris Otter
240g Crystal
80g Carafa III (Special\Dehusked)
3g Chinook Hops
14g Cascade Hops
American Ale Yeast (Safale US-05)

DSC03176The base malt will be the Marris Otter which so far has been my mainstay in all beers I’ve produced to date. Cystal malts will add a caramel sweetness to the brew whilst the Carafa III will add the deep colour I’m looking for, provide a roast aroma but wont give any of the bitterness associated with dark malts. allowing for the primary grains and the American hops to shine through.
Being an IPA, I’m adding plenty of American hops in the form of Chinook and Cascade.
Both sets of hops will add their own variation of citrus and pine flavours. Whilst the Cascade will provide more  floral, the Chinook will add more grapefruit.
Finally, the yeast is an American yeast that should provide a clean, crisp and well balanced finish.
So far so good, everything sounds like it should go hand in hand!

DSC03181The grains steeped in the water for an hour and produced a beautifully dark work. Plenty of sweetness at this point with a very subtle roast flavour. This is exactly what I was looking for as I didn’t want too much roast or bitterness in the final product.
After a little sparging, the pan containing the wort was put back on the hob for it’s boil and the hop addition.

Once the pan reached it’s boiling point I brought it back to a rolling boil and added all of the Chinook Hops with 60 minutes set on the clock.
The Cascade hops were separated into fifths and added in small quantities.
45 mins left/30 mins left/15 mins left/55 mins left and the last fifth whilst cooling in the ice bath.
Nothing quite like the smell of hops and grains in the morning. Full and vibranDSC03182t!
I was considering whether or not to dry hop for even more hoppiness but the final flavour from the boil is rich, bitter  and powerful. I don’t think the beer will need it at this stage.

Now that the boil is complete, all that’s left is to cool the brew down to around 20 degrees in an ice bath then the yeast can be added.
Due to being a 1 gallon batch, I’m only adding around three quarters of the yeast. If there isn’t much activity then the rest can be added the following day.
The airlock is half filled with sanitized water, a bung is attached and the demijohn is sealed ready for fermentation.

Update 1 – 18/01/2016

The yeast has worked it’s magic and a healthy Krausen has formed and is holding shape at the top of the demijohn. A little condensation has formed inside due to the variance in temperatures as a result of things getting particularly cold out there.
Good to see that even the cold can’t slow down the progress of the yeast!

Update 2 – 01/02/2016

I’ve allowed plenty of time for the brew to ferment and have now bottled everything up.
I managed 4 x 330ml and 5 x 550ml bottles. There was even plenty to put in a glass and see how it was progressing.
Firstly, the floral and hoppy aroma that came from the demijohn was amazing.
In terms of the flavour, there is a light roast flavour which has obviously come from the Carafa III but the hops have worked their magic and offered a good level of floral\bitterness.
With a couple more weeks, I look forward to giving a breakdown of the flavours in the finished product.

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