New recipe posted over on the right! I’ve been reading a lot about Black IPA’s, and when Ed got the Widmer Brothers new W’10 Pitch Black IPA, it cemented the idea of needing to brew one of these myself, just to see if I could. Interesting beer. Dark as night with only a slight flavor of dark malts, yet a significant presence of Cascade hops.I had some free time Friday night, so I decided to come up with the recipe and give this style a shot.

In making a black hoppy ale, I thought it best to take the pound of black malt and add it with 10 minutes left in the mash, so it would extract color, but little of the roasted flavor and aroma. After that addition, I stirred vigorously and waited 10 minutes before vorlauf and draining. The wort was more of a dark brown, so once I collected the first runnings, I ran downstairs and crushed a pound of Carafa III and threw that in the mash tun while the sparge water was doing its thing. After another 10 minutes, I drained that and got the color I wanted. I added an ounce of Cascade (first wort hop) and put it on the flame. Once I hit boil, I added an ounce of Columbus for bittering, and two 2 ounce additions of Cascade at 10 and 5 minutes (in hop bags, so I could squeeze the wort out after chilling with my sanitized brew gloves).My friend Jason came by for a little while to borrow some hops and have a couple of beers while we watched the boil, so that made the time fly. After the boil and cooling, I pitched two packs of Pacman yeast (in waiting until the night before brewing to decide what to brew, I didn’t have time for a starter, and I thought this would be a great yeast for this beer). I hit my numbers wonderfully, and here’s what the hydrometer sample looked like. It tasted very hoppy, and I couldn’t detect and of the flavor that all that dark malt would normally impart.

Two days into fermentation, the violent display of yeast activity is starting to slow, and I think this one will ferment out very quickly. I’ll take gravity reading after a week and then put it in the cool basement to clear up a bit. I want to get this one on gas quickly so it can be enjoyed fresh, and all that Cascade aroma is there. I’m optimistic that it will be a very successful brew.

The Early Spring Wheat is on tap now and it is tasty! Another week and it should be perfect. I also bottled the second batch of stout. It smelled and tasted great, and I’m again very excited for it to be ready!