Fade to Black IPA

The quest to explore new styles continues! My current IPA is almost all gone, so it’s time to brew something to replace that keg. I was getting a little bored with citrusy American IPA’s, though, so something different was called for. Why not a black IPA?

As if by magic, the latest issue of Brew Your Own had an advertisement for Briess malts including a recipe for “Fade to Black IPA.” The ad copy promised “old school hops, with a new school malt bill.” Interesting! The ingredient list (below) had all sorts of things I hadn’t tried before. It’s worth noting that “Fade to Black” is a fairly common commercial beer name, with at least a handful of IPA’s bearing the moniker. I have no idea if this recipe is intended to clone of any of those.

I followed Briess’s recipe pretty closely, with only minor tweaks on the ingredients. The most notable was switching the base malt from Briess Full Pint Brewers Malt to Great Western California Select 2-row (which I already had on hand). I also modified the hop additions a touch, but everything else stayed the same.

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Fade to Black IPA

  • 11 lbs. California Select 2-row malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 1 lb. 80°L caramel 6-row malt (Briess)
  • 1 lb. special roast malt (Briess)
  • 0.25 lb. chocolate dark 6-row malt (Briess)
  • 0.25 Midnight Wheat malt (Briess)
  • 0.5 oz. Galena hop pellets (13.8% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Chinook hop pellets (13.1% alpha), 30 minute boil
  • 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.1% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 0.25 tsp. yeast nutrient, 10 minute boil
  • California Ale Yeast (WLP001, White Labs), prepared in starter
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.1% alpha), dry hop
  • 1 oz. Chinook hop pellets (13.1% alpha), dry hop
  • 1 oz. Galena hop pellets (13.8% alpha), dry hop

Target Parameters

  • 154° mash, 60 minutes
  • 1.067 o.g., 1.016 f.g., 6.7% abv, 67 IBU, 28 SRM, 5.5 gallons into the fermenter

Procedure

  • I prepared a 1.75L starter with 175g of extra light DME, three days in advance. After two days, I decanted 0.6L to save for later. The remainder was cold crashed, decanted, and pitched at the start of fermentation. This was the second round for this yeast.
  • I mashed in with 4.5 gallons of water at 167.7°, to hit a mash temperature of 154°.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.6 gallons of water at 160°, let sit 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. Then, I added another 3.5 gallons of water at 180° to hit a mash temperature of 160°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the wort.
  • I collected 6.8 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.057, for 79% efficiency.
  • I brought the kettle to a boil and added hops and other ingredients per the schedule above.
  • After 60 minutes of boiling, I turned off the flame and chilled the wort to 78°. At this point, I transferred to the primary fermenter with aeration, and then pitched the yeast.
  • Starting gravity was 1.065, and I will be fermenting at 66°. I brewed this beer on 12 November 2016.
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