The halls of Hapa’s Brewing were ripe with the smells of Brew Day. Distinct aromas of malted barley and raw hops filled our minds with images of cold pints. The magic process that is brewing beer was in full force with an Imperial Black IPA being the final potion.
Black IPA is relatively new and is not officially recognized as a its own style. The beer shares many qualities of an IPA: big hop flavors, fruity and floral notes, and a medium body. Where the style veers from its predecessor is color and the kiss of roasted flavor from the darker malts used.
The recipe we created for this beer included 2-row American malt, crystal 60L, Carapils, and Carafa III. Carafa III is commonly used in Black IPA recipes as it adds dark color and roasted aroma with little affect to taste and body. Because this is an Imperial Black IPA, we wanted our final product to be a big beer both in alcohol content and hop flavors. To get the original gravity high enough to yield the mind numbing alcohol content worthy of the Imperial name, we added some liquid malt extract to the boil. Ample amounts of Columbus and Amarillo hops were used with dry hopping on the horizon.
The grain bill Hop addition #1
A standard 154 degree mash was used, but we chose to switch the sparging process up a bit. We normally employ a continuous sparge where water is added as wort is drained out thereby keeping the amount of water in the mash tun consistent. For this brew we used a batch sparge whereby all the water used in the mash is extracted, additional water is added, the mash is stirred, wort recirculated for a second time, and the lautering process is resumed until enough wort has been collected. The hope was to get a more efficient extraction.
The mash: 154 degrees for one hour Lautering the wort
Batch sparging: adding additional water Re-recirculating wort
After the wort was collected it went onto the flame. Once the hot break formed and a good boil begun, the wort was removed from the heat and the malt extract was added. The wort was brought to a boil once again and the first addition of hops was added. Hops were again added at 30 and 50 minutes into the boil. The goal for this beer is 80 IBUs and 8-10% ABV.
The wort was cooled using an immersion chiller and a high gravity yeast added. This beer will be allow to ferment longer than a typical ale to allowed the yeast to convert all the extra sugars to alcohol.
Malt extract addition High gravity now for rocket fuel later