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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. We present to you, brewed by popular demand, The Hammer Party Black IPA.

BLACK IPA RECIPE KIT

We were so happy with how this beer turned out that we created our first recipe kit. The recipe kit makes brewing this beer at home simple. Follow along with the steps in this article and enjoy an amazing beer in a few weeks.

Click here to buy our ingredient kit

BLACK IPA RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 11 pounds Marris Otter
  • 1 pound chocolate wheat malt
  • 1 pound flaked rye
  • 8 ounces crystal 120
  • 8 ounces crystal 60
  • 8 ounces Caraffa III
all of our grains weighed out and laid out on a table

    All of the grains in the recipe kit come double crushed

    HOW TO MAKE BLACK IPA BEER

    • Make sure the ball valve on the kettle is closed before adding water
    • Add 7.66 gallons of water to the brewing kettle if brewing on the 120v system OR Add 8.31 gallons of water to the brewing kettle if brewing on the 240v system
    • Add the grain basket to the kettle
    putting in grain basket
    • Put the lid on the kettle (this helps speed up the heating process)
    • Set the controller to 149F 
    • Once the water is at 149F remove the lid
    • Slowly add the grains to the grain basket in the kettle.

    stirring mash

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

     Attach the Hoses

    • Attach a hose from the output of the kettle to the input of the pump
    • Attach a 2nd hose from the output of the pump to the spray valve on the lid of the kettle. The output of the pump has the ball valve attached to it.
    • In order to purge the air out of the lines simply disconnect the hose from the spray valve and hold the hose so it is pointing at the grains in the basket. Then open the ball valve on the kettle and press the pump button on the controller to turn on the pump. Once the air is out of the lines and wort is flowing freely turn off the pump,  reattach the hose to the spray valve and turn the pump back on. This sounds like a lot of steps but it only takes a few seconds.

    Mash

    • Set a 60 minute timer on the phone. Let the wort recirculate for 60 minutes and the controller will maintain the mash temperature of 149F. 
    • Optional: Once the 60 minute mash is finished set the controller to 170F for a mash out. Continue to recirculate for another 10 minutes once the kettle is at 170F.
    • Once the 60 minute mash or the optional mashout is complete remove the grain basket. Lift the grain basket and set it on the 3 hooks. A pully or a friend makes lifting the grain basket easier.
    • Let the sweet wort from the grain basket drip into the kettle for about 5-10 minutes. Use a plate or lid to a sauce pan to press down on the grains to extract more liquid from the grains. This also speeds up the draining process.
    • At this time either remove the hoses or leave them connected.  If removing the hoses use a clean brewing bucket to keep from making a mess when disconnecting the hoses. The wort can be saved and added back the kettle or poured  down a drain. Heat tolerant gloves are highly recommended as the hoses and fittings will be hot. The hoses can also be left attached - just move onto the next step.
    Boil
    • Switch the controller to manual mode and set it to 100% of power. For detailed directions on switching the controller to manual mode click here
    • Add the hop basket to the kettle. Make sure the hops basket is not sitting on the heating element.
    • If brewing with the 120v system place the lid on the kettle. The hop basket creates a gap which allows the steam to escape. The lid is necessary on the 120v system to create a vigorous boil. Keep the controller at 100% of power for the entire boil.
    • If brewing on the 240v system leave the lid off during the boil. Set the controller to 100% of power and once it is at a boil drop the percent down to around 55%. Adjust the % of power for boil preference. 
    • Once the kettle is up to a boil start a 60 minute timer (phones work great)

    Hop Additions

    • With 60 minutes left in the boil 
      • Add 1 ounce Columbus to the hop basket
      • Add 0.5 ounce Cascade to the hop basket
    • With 30 minutes left in the boil add 1 ounce Centennial to the hop basket
    • With 15 minutes left in the boil 
      • Add 0.5 ounce Cascade to the hop basket
      • Whirlfloc tablet to the kettle
    boiling wort

    Hops added to the hop basket

    Hoses and Chilling

    • When the 60 minute boil is finished press the heat button on the controller to turn off the heat.
    • Attach one end of the garden hose to the water source and attach the other end to water IN on the plate chiller.
    • Attach a 2nd hose to the water OUT on the plate chiller and run it down the drain or to a garden. (this is clean waste water)
    • First Brewing Hose: Attach one end of this hose to the ball valve on the kettle and the other end to the pump IN on the pump.
    • 2nd Brewing Hose: Attach one end of this hose to the pump OUT on the pump and attach the other end to wort IN on the plate chiller.  (The pump out has the ball valve attached to it)
    •  3rd Brewing Hose: Attach one end of the hose to wort OUT on the plate chiller and insert the other end of the hose into the kettle. Use the clamp to hold the hose in the kettle. 
    • Turn on the cooling water and check for leaks. If any water is leaking tighten up the garden hose connections on the plate chiller.
    • Turn on the pump. This will recirculate the hot wort through the plate chiller 
    • Once the entire brewing kettle is chilled down to around 65-67F turn off the cooling water.
    • Press the pump button on the controller to turn off the pump. Unclamp the hose and move it from the kettle to the fermenter.
    • Once the hose is securely inside the fermenter press the pump button to turn the pump back on. This will transfer the cooled wort from the kettle into the fermenter. 
    • Once the kettle is almost empty tip the kettle towards the front in order to get all of the sweet wort into the fermenter. 

    Yeast and Fermentation

    • Sprinkle 1 packet of US05 yeast on top of wort in the fermenter. Ferment  at room temperature (65-72) for 2 weeks.

    holding a pack of US-05 yeast

    Holding a pack of US-05 yeast

    pitched yeast on top of wort

    Sprinkle yeast on top of wort

    Benchmarks

    • Starting gravity 1.056
    • Final Gravity 1.008
    • ABV  6.30% 

    final gravity at 1.008

    Final Gravity

    Tasting

    It's a great beer. Dark, bitter, and chocolaty.

     drinking finished beer

    "This goes down pretty easy, it doesn't taste like it's 6+%."

    Brew Day Video

    Here's a video of the brew day. Note this recipe is slightly different than the recipe kit. We adjusted a few things from the original video recipe to make the recipe kit better.

    • 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
    • I BREWED THIS RECIPE WITH GREAT SUCCESS, BUT I HAVE NO idea IF I MATCHED YOUR RECIPE TASTE, FOR VERY LITTLE HOP ACCENT NOTED AND MY BREW WAS VERY SWEET WITH SOME BODY. nOT SO FRUITY, BUT REALLY delicious. mORE LIKE A STOUT THEN ipa. nICE REIPE. tHANKS!!!

      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
      Gracias
      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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