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January 20, 2019

How to Brew a Black IPA: Homebrew Beer Recipe

How to brew a black IPA - recipe

Standard IPA, Double IPA, Session IPA, Imperial IPA, Hazy IPA, Juicy IPA, Brut IPA... There are many IPA styles to choose from, and we've brewed almost all of them. But alas, one managed to slip through the cracks: the Black IPA. This style of beer, also known as a Cascadian Dark Ale, is one of our favorites. It's a wonder we haven't brewed one. Truth be told, we've been distracted by shiny new things such as the brut and juicy IPAs mentioned above. No longer. We present to you, brewed by popular demand, The Hammer Party Black IPA.

Brew Day Video

Here's a video of the brew day. Full recipe details are below.

Full Recipe 


We started with 8.1 gallons (30.7 liters) of Asheville, NC city water and made a few minor adjustments, which will be different for you depending on what kind of water you're using.

gallon markers inside of kettle

All of our kettles have gallon markers on the inside 


Here's the detailed grain bill for this recipe.

  • Pale Malt - 10lbs, 8.0 oz. (4kg 762.7g)
  • Flaked Rye - 12.8 oz. (362.9g)
  • Crystal 60 - 8.0 oz. (226.8g)
  • Crystal 120 - 8.0 oz. (226.8g)
  • Chocolate Wheat - 8.0 oz. (226.8g)
  • Carafa III - 6.4 oz. (181.4g)

all of our grains weighed out and laid out on a table

All of our grains weighed out

pouring grain into a grinder to finely crush it

We finely crush all our grain in a grinder before mashing with it


We did a single step mash at 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65C) for 60 minutes and did not sparge.

putting in grain basket

Adding in a grain basket

mashing in and stirring

Mashing in

stirring mash

It's important to stir your mash to break up any clumps 

Hops, etc

We used the following hops at the amounts and times listed during a 60-minute boil.

  • Columbus - 0.3 oz (8.5g) at 60 minutes

weighing out our first hop addition of columbus hops

Weighing out our first hop additiong

  • Centennial - 0.5 oz (14.17g) at 45 minutes
  • Centennial - 0.5 oz (14.17g) at 30 minutes
  • Cascade - 0.5 oz (14.17g) at 15 minutes
  • Whirlfloc - 1 tablet at 15 minutes
  • Cascade - 0.5 (14.17g) oz at 5 minutes

boiling wort

We added all our hops to a rolling boil, make sure not to boil too vigorously

Note, this beer will be plenty bitter enough with this hop schedule, but we think that many will think that hop aroma may be lacking. Thus, we suggest increasing the quantity of aroma hops or doing a whirlpool / hopstand.

Yeast and Fermentation

This beer was fermented with US-05 at room temperature for almost 2 weeks.

holding a pack of US-05 yeast

Holding a pack of US-05 yeast

pitched yeast on top of wort

Pitched yeast on top of wort

Note, the beer was slightly fruity. If we did this one again we'd turn down the heat some or throw it in our fermentation chamber and set it to 65F (18.3C).

Also, based on this gravity, the amount of yeast we pitched was 10% low according to manufacturer directions. And at least one popular yeast pitching calculator found online said that we significantly under-pitched. Either pitch 2 packets of dry US-05 or make a yeast starter.


  • Post boil water volume was 5.3 gallons (20.1 liters)
  • Our starting gravity was 1.061
  • Ending Gravity was 1.008
  • ABV is 6.96%

final gravity at 1.008

Final Gravity


It's a great beer. Dark, bitter, and chocolaty. Also a bit fruity. Perhaps a bit too fruity and not hoppy enough from an aroma standpoint. As mentioned above, if we do this beer again we'll increase the amount of aroma hops and lower fermentation temp a bit. That said, it's a great beer.

 drinking finished beer

"This goes down pretty easy, it doesn't taste like it's 7%."

  • Interested to know if you adjusted the water that supports a porter or IPA style? Thanks, Paul

    Posted by Paul on November 13, 2021
  • Interested to know if you adjusted the water that supports a porter or IPA style? Thanks, Paul

    Posted by Paul on November 13, 2021
  • super delicious! very easy to drink for a 6%-7% Mine had some chocolate notes more like a stout but still had the bitter ending of an ipa. really enjoyed this taste definitely one of my fall/winter recipes for the books. thanks for sharing gents & cheers from tx.

    Posted by Vince on November 24, 2020

    Posted by Roger Weber on November 23, 2020
  • Hola
    Excelente video, megustaria hacerla pero con ese nombre de las maltas no encentro me prodrian ayudar con la equivalencia
    Saludos siguan adelante

    Posted by Fernando on December 17, 2019
  • Loving your videos!!! Would you be able to send me the % of grain you used so that I can scale things? Thanks!

    Posted by Thomas on October 21, 2019
  • I love your alls channel boys!!!!! New to the art and craft. Could maybe use a little help on a 25 gal in 200 micron 20 gal basket? I follow u all. Rock on keep up the killer vids.

    Posted by Allen on July 29, 2019
  • We are bottling this fine beer, I assume we need to add sugar to the fermented beer?

    Posted by Drew on May 09, 2019
  • what hop additions would you make to make it more hoppy? I’m getting ready to make this beer with your recipe and I was curious if I should dry hop it with the cascade, if so, how much would you use, or should I add and extra 0.5 oz to the 5 and 1 minute hop additions? Thanks guys, love the channel

    Posted by CJ Payne on March 27, 2019
  • Could you possibly add the AA% of the hops you used on future recipes? The strengths seems to vary from season to season…

    Posted by Welshyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyhy on January 22, 2019
  • Thanks…but what were you targeting with your water additions, that’s the important think. Did you have a particular water profile in mind or just sulphate / chloride ratios etc. Maybe something for future videos.

    Posted by DjJ on January 21, 2019

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