Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Red Coat is Coming!

Black IPA, Cascadian Dark Ale, American Style India Black Ale, call it what you will, seems to be the latest fad de jour, and yes I have written about it before, and yes I am still unconvinced that it is not a porter over hopped with the wrong hops.

One of the joys though of being a homebrewer is that I can be a cynical sod AND put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. Firstly though a quick precis of the project; take a clone recipe for ASIBA, switch out the hops for British varieties, whilst keeping the malts and yeast the same, and see how porteresque this British Style ASIBA would be. Simple.

I only brew very small batches by some people's standards, usually a couple of gallons, but for this experiment I really didn't want to have a case of bottles lying around if the beer was piss awful, so I scaled the recipe to just a single gallon, or a dozen 12oz bottles when the time comes. Of the recipes in the Brew Your Own article, I plumped for the clone of Widmer's W-10 Pitch Black IPA, and choose Admiral and Goldings as my hops, deciding in the end to stick with Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast, the recipe for a single gallon was as follows:
  • 2lbs light DME
  • 6oz Caramel 10
  • 3oz Carafa II de-husked
  • 2.5oz Briess Special Roast
  • 0.4oz 10.5% AAU Admiral @ 75
  • 0.3oz 10.5% AAU Admiral @ 2
  • 1oz 4.5% Goldings @ 2
The original gravity was exactly the same as for the Widmer Clone, hitting 1.064 or 16° Plato. With regard to IBUs, the calculator I use showed that again I hit the mark by getting 65 IBUs - just an aside, the site with this IBU calculator has all manner of fun tools which I find very, very useful and heartily recommend. I brewed while Mrs Velkyal was out at rowing, just finishing cleaning up as she walked in the door and dragged me out to the shops, by the time we got back, about 4 hours later, the airlock was bubbling away happily.

I plan to bottle the beer on Sunday morning, before heading off for a shift at the Starr Hill tasting room, and sampling the collaboration Black IPA by the four brewers of the Brew Ridge Trail. If my version is at least drinkable, part of me is prepared to hate it and ditch the lot, thus the very small batch, I will enter the beer in the next homebrew competition I plan to enter, in September. Though in quite what category, I have no idea.

As for the name of my new beer? Red Coat India Black Ale, for fairly obvious reasons I am sure.


  1. Definitely want to hear about the final product.

  2. I have to admit that I am a little nervous about how this will turn out, given that all the technical details worked as expected, I just hope that the beer tastes good, regardless of the style parameters!

  3. No worries.
    Style parameters are pretty meaningless anyway.


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