Friday, August 26, 2011

Psycho Dark and Bitter

I brewed another batch of beer last night. I call this recipe Psychotically Dark and Bitter IDA (follow the link to see the recipe). It is another batch of beer designed to use up Mr. Beer ingredients that were given to me (ie free!) last year at GABF.

Of course, India Dark Ale (IDA) is what I like to call the Black IPA / Cascadian Dark Ale / American-Style India Black Ale / whatever-else-people-call-it. I just hate the Cascadian Dark Ale name simply because it implies that is a regional beer style exclusively created in and for the Pacific Northwest. I like (and have used) the name "Black IPA", but calling a beer "Black" and "Pale Ale" just seems too oxymoronish. I like "American-Style India Black Ale", but it seems a bit long for the name of a style. Here are some of the articles in this blog in which I have mentioned the style: "Black IPA / IDA", "Cascadian Dark Ale", "Stone Soup IDA".

Regardless of what you call it, the IDA style is one of my favorites. Whenever there is one on tap at the bar or restaurant or brewery or whatever, I am automatically going to have at least one. My favorite (of course) is SheppyBrew's Stone Soup IDA. I keep telling myself I need to brew Stone Soup again, but so far, for various reasons, it just has not happened. So, when I looked at the box of Mr. Beer ingredients in my basement and saw the Creamy Brown UME, I realized that an IDA is what I had to make.

The brew day (actually brew hour is closer to accurate) went fine. I did a 15 minute boil and added a ridiculous amount of hops in a large hop bag with 10 minutes left in the boil. Just as a side note, Mr. Beer's  Creamy Brown UME is a great extract. It is very black and has a bunch of chocolate malt flavor without having that real roasty / burnt stout flavor (yes, I tasted it last night).

I cooled in an ice bath to around 70 degrees and decided to pitch. Overnight, it cooled in the fermentation cooler to around 65 degrees. Usually, I try to pitch at 65 or less, but last night I figured RDWHAHB and just went with it. This morning, I looked at the wort and saw signs of activity. By the evening, yeasties were going crazy in the fermentor.

My OG ended up a little high (1.068 instead of 1.064), but that is fine. Better higher than expected than lower. I have not decided, yet, but I may dry-hop this beer as well.

I can't wait to try this beer.

boiling away

about half the hops I put in this beer

Bewitched Red Ale

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