Recommendation: Aim for 20% to 40% of the total IBUs from late hop additions.
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The black IPA (aka Cascadian dark ale) style combines the hoppy character of an IPA with a black appearance. This is not simply a hoppy porter or stout. A small amount of roasted character is okay, but care should be taken to avoid too much roasted, burned, or astringent flavor.
A key ingredient that distinguishes this beer style from other IPAs is the use of debittered black malt. This malt is made by removing the husk before the roasting process. Examples of debittered black malt include Weyermann's Carafa (in versions I, II, or III for progressively darker malts) and Briess Blackprinz malt. Some commercial examples may use Weyermann's Sinamar extract made from Carafa malt, but this product is usually not available to homebrewers.
The amount of debittered black malt in a black IPA is usually about 5 to 7% by weight (Steele, 2012). Crystal malt is also a common ingredient at about about 5 to 10% of the grist. Small amounts of other roasted malts can be used, but these should be restrained to keep the roasted character to a minimum. A few of the reviewed recipes called for small amounts of wheat malt or flaked oats.
This style can range in strength: session (about 1.050 OG), standard, and double (OG > 1.080; Zainasheff, 2014). The recommended mash is 15 to 120 minues at 148 to 153 degrees F (Steele, 2012). A dry finish is desirable, with a final gravity of 1.010 to 1.018. The use of black specialty malts will produce a lower mash pH, which might need to be addressed through the adjustment of water chemistry.
The hops for this specialty IPA should have an American hop character: citrus, pine, and/or resin. Examples include Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Columbus, Citra, Simcoe, and Amarillo. The hop additions should include late additions and dry hopping to emphasize hop flavor and aroma. In brief, the desired hop character is similar to an American IPA.
The yeast for this style is usually a neutral American ale strain. Some British yeast strains are also acceptable.
Jackson, G. (2012, October). IPA 2.0: The continued evolution of IPA. BYO magazine, 36 - 45.
Martin, M. (2010, July-August). Birth of a new style: Cascadian dark ale. BYO magazine, 24 - 31.
Steele, M. (2012). IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes, and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, Brewer's Publications, 223 to 225.
Zainasheff, J. (2014). Specialty IPAs: Black, red, white, and Belgian IPAs. BYO magazine, 21 - 25.
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