Thursday, September 20, 2012

Raven Black Ale (BIPA) Recipe Finalized

Over the last year I've been tweaking my Black American Ale recipe into a very sessionable hop forward Black IPA.  Knocking off gravity points with every batch to achieve what I feel is a great balance of hop aroma against the grain bill.  Now on my 6th batch attempt with this recipe, changing only aroma hops, I feel the recipe has reached an important milestone in its development as a Lewybrewing staple recipe. Personally, I love cloning my own beers as a brewing testing of sort.

Going back to my post outlining the recipe plans, the goal was to have a well constructed Black IPA.  I didn't necessarily have an alcohol target range, I was more shooting for a beer that was very quaff-able, keeping the harsh tannins away.  Each batch slowly became a catalyst to lower the beer further into a session ale.  When this started, my working recipe was around 7%, as of today I'm sitting right at 5.0%.  

Quick Pour before fully carb'ed

Raven Black American Ale, Batch#6
Specialty Beer, Black IPA/American Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 6/14/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 75.0 %
Fermentation: My Aging Profile Taste Rating(out of 50): 44.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8.0 oz Rice Hulls (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 1 3.7 %
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 66.7 %
1 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.4 %
1 lbs Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 4 7.4 %
9.6 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.4 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 6 3.7 %
8.0 oz Carafa II (412.0 SRM) Grain 7 3.7 %
6.4 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.0 %
1.00 oz Bravo [15.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 48.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 10 22.1 IBUs
0.25 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 4.0 IBUs
1.50 oz Palisade [7.50 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Dry English Ale (White Labs #WLP007) [35.49 ml]  1.5L Starter Yeast 15 -
0.50 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.057 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.051 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.7 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 5.0 %
Bitterness: 75.0 IBUs Calories: 170.0 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 28.6 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 13 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 4.26 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 16.88 qt of water at 165.9 F 154.0 F 60 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.83gal, 3.43gal) of 168.0 F water

Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.4
Pressure/Weight: 11.69 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 11.69 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 5.00 days
Fermentation: My Aging Profile Storage Temperature: 52.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary: 14 days, 63 Degrees for 6 days.  Ramping up to 72, 2 Degrees a day on day 7.
Created with BeerSmith

The key to this recipe is the late hop bursting/aroma hopping that's achieved with massive late hopping additions.  The Citra and Amarillo give a smooth, sweet hop aroma contribution that mellows out the roasted flavors typically found in a Black IPA.  The Bravo is also becoming a personal favorite of mine for a bittering hop.  The pine bitter notes attributed by this hop works well in all hop forward beers, session styles or bigger.  It's giving my love for Chinook a run for its money.

I know I've talked multiple times about my obsession in recreating good homebrew batches to understand my system, processes and skills.  Starting with a good recipe base, tweaking to make it better not only shows my weaknesses/strengths as a brewer, but forces me to compare the batches in real time, not by notes and memory.  In the next couple of days I will get a "Tasting Session" post up on this beer.  I just poured off a quick pint to write this recipe update post. 


  1. Very nice recipe well written and arranged. If you've tried Trickster IPA I'd sure like see that one.


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