November 2, 2013

I Pee, Eh? - Black IPA Recipe

This IPA will be my first IPA to brew; it's probably shocking that I've brewed for a little over four years and I've never brewed an IPA. I'm not a huge fan of IPAs but I've come around and enjoy the occasional IPA. I have mixed thoughts about the whole black IPA style and not just because the name is an oxymoron. I think a lot of people have mixed thoughts about them. Sometimes you find black IPAs that are basically your typical west coast IPA plus some color. Sometimes you find black IPAs that are basically the old American stout or American porter style (which were hoppy versions of their English counterparts) with even more hops. On rare occasion you find those disasters that are so loaded with roasted malts that it's bitter and acrid. Unpleasant.

My preference is for the black IPAs that lean towards the American stout or porter style, with some noticeable dark roast character (e.g. chocolate, coffee, caramel, dark stonefruits). So this recipe is in that same vein. It adopts heavily from Odell's Mountain Standard Double Black IPA, which features a lot of chinook and cascade character. I'm also tossing in a little Belma to add an edge of melon and grassy to the hop profile. It's a fairly simple recipe. Three hops, four grains and the hops are assorted into five additions. No hopback, no hop stand, no mash hops. First wort hops, 60, 15, 0 and dry hop. It's probably under-hopped for most homebrewers but it should be within my drinking preference.

Let's talk about the name quickly. Many, if not most, of my beer names come from the show How I Met Your Mother and this one takes a couple of jokes on the show and puts them together. One of the characters, Robin, is Canadian and the other characters make jokes about how Canadians say "eh?" a lot and they are scared of the dark. What happens when you get really scared? You piss your pants. So put that all together with a black beer and you get I Pee, Eh? pronounced like IPA. Corny? Dumb? Yeah but it's not my worst. Anyway, sorry to my Canadian readers. I know you aren't really scared of the dark. Let's get into the recipe.

I Pee, Eh? Black IPA Recipe

Batch size: 2.5 gallons
ABV: 6.5%
SRM: 31
IBU: 63.6
Est. OG: 1.063
Est. FG: 1.014
Est. Efficiency: 72%

The Grain

5lb. 4oz. US 2 Row (2 SRM) 86.5%
8oz. Crystal 80 (80 SRM) 8.3%
3oz. Carafa III (525 SRM) 3.1%
2oz. Chocolate malt (450 SRM) 2.1%

The Water

1.9 gallons of mash water at 165F
2.0 gallons of sparge water at 180F

Mash Water

1.5g Epsom salt
0.6g baking soda
0.6g calcium chloride
0.6g chalk
0.2ml lactic acid

Sparge Water

1.6g epsom salt
0.6g calcium chloride
1.1ml lactic acid

The Mash

75 minute mash at 150F
Capture 2.9g pre-boil wort

The Boil

FWH 0.30oz. Belma (12.1%) 26.4 IBU
60 min 0.20oz. Belma (12.1%) 16 IBU
15 min 0.12oz. Belma (12.1%) 4.6 IBU
15 min 0.25oz. Cascade (5.5%) 5 IBU
15 min 0.25oz. Chinook (13%) 11.7 IBU
10 min 0.5 tsp Irish moss
0 min 0.25oz. Belma (12.1%) 0 IBU
0 min 0.25oz. Cascade (5.5%) 0 IBU
0 min 0.25oz. Chinook (13%) 0 IBU

The Fermentation

1 packet S-04
Fermented at 62F until FG reached
Cold crash for three days
Transfer to bottling bucket
Dry hop with 0.5oz. Cascade and 0.5oz. Chinook for three days
Bottle to 2.3 volumes

Brewday Notes

1.050 OG 2.4 gallons -- 55% efficiency
Back to bad efficiency...had some issues with the mash and sparge which likely contributed to those problems. Will be light on the ABV but seems to have good flavor and aroma.

In a hurry when bottling, did not grab a gravity reading. Ended up dry hopping for five days. 

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