Thursday, May 10, 2012

Raven Black Ale revisted

I have a love/hate relationship with Black IPA's which I understand are now called American Black Ales?  Most commercial examples are missing something.  They are to close to a hoppy porter with the roasted grains fighting for dominance over the hops.  However, when the right Black IPA comes along it is a perfect marriage of dark malt complexity and clean flavors.  I've only had 4 commercial examples that fall close to perfect.

Stone Brewing Company:  NHC Beer that was given away in San Diego.

Coronado Brewing Company:  Black IPA Test batch (pub only)

Clown Shoes:  Hoppy Feet 1.5

Firestone Walker:  Wookey Jack

Last year I brewed Raven, a big, black, rye IPA that I didn't turn out the way I wanted.  I tried to push the limits of the Pacific Ale yeast (WLP041) by raising the fermentation temperatures to speed up the fermentation.  (If you have used Pacific Ale before you know what I mean about it fermenting SLOW.) This stupid idea stalled the yeast and I finished at 1.033.  The taste was on the right track but ended up being a syrupy mess.  

With an open brew day this coming Saturday I pulled up Beersmith and starting working on the tweaks needed to rebrew this beer.  Normally I would just rename the beer, but I like the "Raven" name so it's staying put.  The recipe is loosely based on my Old Glory recipe (Tasting Notes).   A traditional Northwest Style IPA that has been a big hit with my non-IPA drinking friends.  

I really want to keep the roasted barley flavors in check and maximize the whirlpool hop additions that I love.  I also love using rye malt anytime I can in Pales and IPA's.  Even though on this beer it checks in at only 7% of the grain bill.  I find that rye malt adds a body that high hopped IPA's and Pales sometimes lack. 

Rye Malt for added body and flavor

The Carafa II is just for the high levels of SRM it adds.  Being dehusked it will not add much flavor.  I felt that the beer needed a little bit of roast, choosing Black Patient Malt for a little punch.

I think this base beer has a good chance for being good, understanding it will need some minor tweaks overtime to be great.  But you have to start someplace right?

Raven #2
American IPA


Type: All Grain
Date: 5/12/2012
Batch Size: 6.00 gal
Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.87 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My Equipment
Taste Rating(out of 50): 35.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00
Taste Notes:
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.0 oz Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 3.70 %
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 66.67 %
1 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 7.41 %
1 lbs Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 7.41 %
9.6 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 4.44 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3.70 %
8.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 3.70 %
6.4 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 2.96 %
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (60 min) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.00 oz Bravo [15.50 %] (60 min) Hops 44.5 IBU
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops -
0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (10 min) Hops 3.6 IBU
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] (0 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
2.00 oz Red Oak Honeycomb (Primary 24.0 hours) Misc
1 Pkgs California Ale (White Labs #WLP001) [Starter 35 ml] Yeast-Ale
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.055 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.017 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.77 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.95 %
Bitterness: 68.3 IBU Calories: 248 cal/pint
Est Color: 28.6 SRM Color:
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body Total Grain Weight: 13.50 lb
Sparge Water: 4.27 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH
Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Saccharification Add 16.88 qt of water and heat to 152.0 F over 15 min 152.0 F
10 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Kegged (Forced CO2) Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 21.6 PSI Carbonation Used: -
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 60.0 F Age for: 14.0 days
Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Started off a little lower than my normal fermentation policy.  I was at 61 degrees.  The wort temp leveled off at 64 degrees.  This was kept for 9 days and then free rise to 71 for 2 days. 
Created with BeerSmith


Old Glory Base Recipe turned black. The 1.00 oz of Cascade and .50 of the columbus was in the HopRocket. Soaked for 24 hours (honeycomb Red oak) in the carboy after fermentation was started (day 2). The yeast was the 2th gen. The rice hulls are for the hop rocket to minimize clogging.

Review of this batch.

Tasting Session.  

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