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Black IPA

Photo: Peter Reed

Whether you call it a Cascadian Dark, a Black IPA, or an American Black Ale, this beer is a new and unique American Ale style with forward hops and some dark malt. The style is not yet recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) but it is a popular entry as a "Specialty Beer" in homebrew competitions. Here are some rough guidelines:

Original Gravity: 1.056 to 1.075
Final Gravity: 1.0012 to 1.018
ABV: 6.0 to 7.5%
Bitterness: 50 to 90 IBU
Color: 40+ SRM

This beer should smell and taste much like an American IPA, with citrusy, piney Northwest hops on the nose and the palate, along with a medium to light mouthfeel and a fairly dry finish. Unlike an IPA, however, this beer should have dark malt aromas and flavors and a very dark appearance with a creamy white or off-white head. Overall, it is a strong, hop-forward ale backed by complex dark malt flavors.

Note: The recipe below is for extract brewing a 5-gallon batch. For an all-grain alternative, substitute 7.7 pounds of pale 2-row malt (such as Golden Promise or Maris Otter) and 1.3 pounds of CaraPils malt for the pale ale LME. You can add the specialty grains to the mash, or steep them as you would for the extract version. Mash at 156°F. Sparge and lauter the mash into the kettle and bring to a boil, then proceed to step 3 below.

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