Did everybody decide we were going to start calling these beers black IPAs? I know there were a few different names for the India pale ale with a bit of the dark roast backbone. Cascadian Dark Ale and India Black Ale were the other names that I know. There may be a few more. Anyway, the BJCP is, or at least close to, naming these beers as black IPAs officially. If they say so, then we all should fall in line, right?
To be honest, I am not in love with the style. If you follow us on Twitter, we got into a discussion about how dark roasted malts and strong hops don’t really mesh all that well. Just because that’s true, it doesn’t mean that the style needs to be avoided. Rather, I think you can pull off a good example of the style with some grains to get the color but are restrained in their roastiness.
The way I see it – a Black IPA should have more to do with a black lager than a stout. If you catch my drift, follow my recipe and I think you will be able to crack the case of how to make this style right.
Try this Black IPA Recipe:
Boil size: 7.0 gallons
Final batch size: 5.5 gallons
Volume for fermentation: 5.25 gallons
12.0 lbs. American 2 Row Malt
1.5 lbs Caramel Malt 60°L
1 lbs Blackprinz Malt from Briess or some kind of debittered black malt 500°L
1 oz Nugget hops 13% AA – boiled for 60 minutes
0.5 oz Centennial hops 10% AA – boiled 15 minutes
0.5 oz Amarillo hops 8.5 %AA – boiled 1 minutes
0.5 oz Amarillo hops 8.5 %AA – dry hopping
Yeast: White Labs WLP001 California Ale
Mash your grains for 60 minutes at 150°F. Run off enough wort for a 7 gallon boil and boil it for 60 minutes. Add the hops when you are supposed to add them. See the times above. Cool to room temperature and rack the wort to a fermentation vessel and pitch your yeast. Ferment at 72°F for at least two weeks. Rack to a secondary vessel and add your last half ounce of hops. Bottle or rack after 3 days.
Original Gravity: 1.068
Final Gravity: 1.014
Color: 28.97 °SRM
Bitterness: 63.5 IBUs
Alcohol % of volume: 7.1 %
The key is to ferment it cleanly enough so the resiny, dank hops come through and the roastiness in the background. I think with some refined malt flavor, this style can break through the specialty label and become more common.