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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: mxstar21 on May 16, 2011, 09:46:50 AM

Title: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: mxstar21 on May 16, 2011, 09:46:50 AM
I am new to the AHA, but I use Beersmith when designing beers, and I try to fit the guidelines.  I know the Black IPA is new, but what category do you enter it in?  Thanks!
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: gordonstrong on May 16, 2011, 10:48:23 AM
Category 23, Specialty Beer
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: beersk on May 16, 2011, 03:14:12 PM
I made my own category, American Black Ale. 
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: dmtaylor on May 17, 2011, 02:33:16 AM
It's usually either an American Stout or a Robust Porter.  Don't believe me?  Read the guidelines.  It should fit just fine into one or the other.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: bluesman on May 17, 2011, 02:37:20 AM
It's usually either an American Stout or a Robust Porter.  Don't believe me?  Read the guidelines.  It should fit just fine into one or the other.

I judged a comp over the weekend where I was judging an ABA that was entered in Cat 23 and I would have scored it fairly well in 13E. It took 1st in 23 as David Houseman and I gave it a nod in mini BOS.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: hoser on May 17, 2011, 02:55:11 AM
It's usually either an American Stout or a Robust Porter.  Don't believe me?  Read the guidelines.  It should fit just fine into one or the other.

That may or may not be the case, but there is a DISTINCT difference between a stout, porter, and black IPA.  Don't believe me, taste them side by side.  Its not that the beers are hoppy or bitter, it is how you use the hops.  I have a RIS, robust porter, american stout, and black IPA on tap.  Flavor and aroma wise, they are all distinctly different!  Don't give me that BS that based on the style guidelines that a black IPA fits into an amerincan stout or porter, etc.  Stouts and porters are roast and malt forward, whereas a black IPA or whatever you want to call it is hop forward with some subtle roastiness. Don't believe me, read the Brewers Association guidelines.  We could go round and round about where a black IPA fits, there are also lots of other categories of beers that can fit into category A or B, but have there own category C.  I don't understand why everyone has such animosity towards black IPA being a style?  Seriously?  Is it that big of a deal?  Some people treat it as thought the decision is life or death or would create world peace! RDWHAHB people!!!!
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: johnf on May 17, 2011, 03:35:04 AM
I don't see why it is such a big deal to formally recognize it as a style for competition, like, today. Greg Noonan made one almost 20 years ago. I had one recently in Japan that has been made for almost 10 years. Someone makes one 5 months ago in Oregon and all of a sudden everything needs to change immediately?
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: The Professor on May 17, 2011, 04:33:05 AM
...That may or may not be the case, but there is a DISTINCT difference between a stout, porter, and black IPA.  Don't believe me, taste them side by side...
<snip> 
Some people treat it as thought the decision is life or death or would create world peace! RDWHAHB people!!!!

It's all up to individual interpretation...different brewers make various beers in different ways, so the differences one would detect in a comparison tasting would depend on who made the beers.  One man's Porter can indeed be another's Stout and vice-verse...and  black IPA can absolutely  fall into either category (or into others as well...I mean, dark, hoppy ale is nothing new). Nothing's carved in stone. 
When entering into competition, best thing to do is just  put it where it best fits according to the competition guidelines, regardless of what you actually call the beer.  I think Dave's advice is right on the money, as is Gordon's suggestion.
Really, a stylistic labels is artificial and largely meaningless in the big picture.  Far too much emphasis is placed on it these days.

So yes...as far as RDWHAHB goes, I say... "Amen!" 

Anyway, I agree with  Lew Bryson, who has suggested:
"Make beer with style, not to style."
Sounds like sage advice to me.  ;D (and damn....I wish I'd come up with that...it bespeaks my philosophy so precisely!!!)
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: tubercle on May 17, 2011, 04:35:23 AM
Didn't we just go through this Porter/Stout thing?
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: Pinski on May 17, 2011, 05:28:41 AM
I think it's an interesting topic and in some cases a very tasty, forgive me folks "style"of ale.  And I suppose that's the point, that currently there seems to be a lot of interest in this kind of beer, like it or not.  To me it just isn't like the porters or stouts that I appreciate, but then I'm not a judge so take that for what its worth.  Seems to me that Beersk is on the right track for what could be an acceptable classification. I like American Black Ale but I still think Dark is a more accurate description of the interpretations that I have tried and enjoyed.  American Dark Ale, that's not so bad. Fire away.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: mxstar21 on May 17, 2011, 06:05:01 AM
Thanks for the info.  I can't find any commercial black IPA's here in Hawaii, only when get back to the mainland, so it kinda makes it hard to compare things.  I like the different advice though.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 17, 2011, 06:29:09 AM
They are everywhere around here.  I met a friend out and had one tonight.  It was distinctly different from a stout or a porter, lighter bodied, less roast, more hop forward.  They are easy drinkers as long as the roast is restrained, the roast would clash for me with the typical level of hops they usually have.  If the ones I've had around here were entered as stouts or porters they would max out around a 30 for being out of style.

I haven't tasted yours, but if it's like the ones I've had around here I would enter it in 23.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 17, 2011, 10:48:53 AM
I am new to the AHA, but I use Beersmith when designing beers, and I try to fit the guidelines.  I know the Black IPA is new, but what category do you enter it in?  Thanks!

Category 23. Declare your base style as 14B or 14C depending on strength and hop intensity.

Currently, it's a fairly popular specialty style, so for "special ingredients" just describe it as a "Black IPA" and most judges should know what you're talking about.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 17, 2011, 11:07:29 AM
It's usually either an American Stout or a Robust Porter.  Don't believe me?  Read the guidelines.  It should fit just fine into one or the other.

With a "Black IPA" the hops are more prominent, the body is thinner and the malt is much more subdued. The idea is that if you close your eyes, you wouldn't know a Black IPA from a regular AIPA except perhaps for a hint of Carafa.

Here's how the 2011 Brewers Assocation/GABF Style Guidelines define it:

Code: [Select]
American-Style Black Ale
American-style Black Ale is perceived to have medium high to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol
content, balanced with a medium body. Fruity, floral and herbal character from hops of all origins may contribute character. The
style is further characterized by a moderate degree of caramel malt character and dark roasted malt flavor and aroma. High
astringency and high degree of burnt roast malt character should be absent.

Original Gravity (ºPlato) 1.056-1.075 (14-18.2 ºPlato) ● Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato) 1.012-1.018 (3-4.5 ºPlato) ●
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5-6% (6 -7.5%) ● Bitterness (IBU) 50-70 ● Color SRM (EBC) 35+ (70+ EBC)

So, enter something like Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous as an American Stout (e.g., North Coast Old 38) and you'll get massacred.

That said, some brewers do push their Black IPA into stout or porter territory. Generally, these versions don't work so well, because of the clash between hop and grain bitterness.

"Classic Commercial Examples" of the style might include Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous, Southern Tier Iniquity and Deschutes Black Toque, as well as lots of seasonals and one-offs. This year's Sam Adams Longshot 12-pack (fittingly called "Category 23") has a decent Black IPA in it.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: bluesman on May 17, 2011, 11:39:20 AM
With a "Black IPA" the hops are more prominent, the body is thinner and the malt is much more subdued. The idea is that if you close your eyes, you wouldn't know a Black IPA from a regular AIPA except perhaps for a hint of Carafa.

It's simply Black AIPA. Take the profile of an AIPA and darken it with carafa or Sinemar. It's that simple.  :)
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 12:51:18 PM
They are everywhere around here.  I met a friend out and had one tonight. 
Was this one of those "Cascadian Take Over the World" meetings?  I think the FBI needs to start watching you people...
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: tumarkin on May 17, 2011, 12:54:34 PM
They are everywhere around here.  I met a friend out and had one tonight. 
Was this one of those "Cascadian Take Over the World" meetings?  I think the FBI needs to start watching you people...
there's a relatively new brew club in the Tampa area called Special Hoperations..... I think they're on it :D
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: dmtaylor on May 17, 2011, 02:30:02 PM
I think I'm going to invent a new style.  It is called Purple IPA.  It tastes just like a real IPA except that it is purple from the addition of red and blue food coloring.  It will be all the rage amongst fans of purple beers!

 :P   ;)
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: gmac on May 17, 2011, 02:35:23 PM
I'm doing a Pale American Black IPA today.  Considering going really radical and putting a British twist on it...
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: Kit B on May 17, 2011, 02:36:50 PM
I think I'm going to invent a new style.  It is called Purple IPA.  It tastes just like a real IPA except that it is purple from the addition of red and blue food coloring.  It will be all the rage amongst fans of purple beers!

 :P   ;)

Market it to the folks here, in Minneapolis.
The Vikings fans would make it all the rage.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: hoser on May 17, 2011, 02:49:30 PM
I think I'm going to invent a new style.  It is called Purple IPA.  It tastes just like a real IPA except that it is purple from the addition of red and blue food coloring.  It will be all the rage amongst fans of purple beers!

 :P   ;)

Thank You!  You disproved your own argument and proved mine by saying that they taste more like an IPA and not a stout or porter!  There should be a hint of roast in a black IPA, Cascadian Dark, American Black/Dark Ale, whatever you want to call it.  Generally from Carafa or debittered black malts.  I hate the sinamar addition because it is only a color addition and not really a flavor addition. 

Per the Brewers Association guidelines:

American-Style Black Ale
American-style Black Ale is perceived to have medium high to high hop bitterness, flavor and aroma with medium-high alcohol
content, balanced with a medium body. Fruity, floral and herbal character from hops of all origins may contribute character. The
style is further characterized by a moderate degree of caramel malt character and dark roasted malt flavor and aroma. High
astringency and high degree of burnt roast malt character should be absent. (i.e. stout or porter)
Original Gravity (ºPlato) 1.056-1.075 (14-18.2 ºPlato) ● Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (ºPlato) 1.012-1.018 (3-4.5 ºPlato) ●
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 5-6% (6 -7.5%) ● Bitterness (IBU) 50-70 ● Color SRM (EBC) 35+ (70+ EBC)

Was there this much of an uproar when people began brewing american brown ales? Why don't we just call hoppy Belgian beers tripels?  It is ok to have subtle differences in beers define a style.  Look at plant or animal species classifications, some species are only seperated by one gene that is different, but we don't try to lump them into the same category of species do we? No because they have subtle differences that make them unique.

The quote above was best;
Brew with style, not to style.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: denny on May 17, 2011, 03:24:13 PM
I'm gonna brew a pale stout!
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: Hokerer on May 17, 2011, 03:28:48 PM
I'm gonna brew a pale stout!

how 'bout a Helles Dunkel
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: hoser on May 17, 2011, 03:35:13 PM
I'm gonna brew a pale stout!

Too late Denny, Stone already beat you to it! Ha! I love those guys when April Fool's Day rolls around!

http://www.stonebrew.com/luciferin/
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: Tim McManus on May 17, 2011, 04:20:59 PM
Reviewing the 2008 BJCP style guide has brought this conversation into more focus for me.

Without knowing the process that created these beer styles, it seems that they are categorized historically and geographically first (hence the German, Irish, British, American, Belgian titles to categories).  This takes care of a good amount of beer styles and makes categorizing them fairly easy.  However, attempts were made to accommodate more modern styles by putting them into categories of similar beer attributes (lagers, stouts, porters, "hybrid", pale, etc.).

Part of the problem, IMHO, in categorizing this beer is that it inherits historical traits from one category and style traits from another.  It straddles the fence between both categories and is therefore difficult to describe and categorize.

Rather than constrain the category because of confusion between it's historical and style traits, a new style should be created that accommodated both aspects of the beer together.  I would call it an 10D American (Dark) Black Ale.  It would accommodate the additional roastiness of stouts and porters and also the use of American hops for bittering and aroma/flavor.  (10C - American Brown Ale is just short by describing, "The dark malt character is more robust than other brown ales, yet stops short of being overly porter-like.")  It might also cause the American Stout style to be absorbed into it.  The American Ale category looks like it was created to capture all of the American interpretation of certain historical styles.  It conveniently captures these styles and leaves room for other American interpretations of classic styles or styles that are uniquely American (as is the case with this nebulous style).

So in the scheme of the larger debate, I don't think the style should be referred to as a Black IPA.  It doesn't make sense.  I think a new subcategory called 10D - American Black Ale, where dark, hoppy, American-style beers can live, compete, and frolic happily.

But for now, Category 23 would be the best fit, IMHO.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 17, 2011, 04:30:30 PM
They are everywhere around here.  I met a friend out and had one tonight. 
Was this one of those "Cascadian Take Over the World" meetings?  I think the FBI needs to start watching you people...
We don't talk about it.  All I can say is he is from Portland, and has been working as a consultant for CBA for a couple of years.

I've said too much . . .
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 17, 2011, 04:31:34 PM
I think I'm going to invent a new style.  It is called Purple IPA.  It tastes just like a real IPA except that it is purple from the addition of red and blue food coloring.  It will be all the rage amongst fans of purple beers!

 :P   ;)

If it had a nice purple color I would drink it.  I like purple.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: bluesman on May 17, 2011, 04:42:40 PM
They are everywhere around here.  I met a friend out and had one tonight. 
Was this one of those "Cascadian Take Over the World" meetings?  I think the FBI needs to start watching you people...
We don't talk about it.  All I can say is he is from Portland, and has been working as a consultant for CBA for a couple of years.

I've said too much . . .

It's nice to have dreams...and I hate to burst your bubble.  ;D

http://www.alestreetnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=435:black-and-bitter--true-origins-of-black-ipa&catid=17:beer-stylestasting-panel&Itemid=32
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: dmtaylor on May 18, 2011, 11:23:06 AM
Thank You!  You disproved your own argument and proved mine by saying that they taste more like an IPA and not a stout or porter!

Oh, yes, that's exactly what I've done.   ::)
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: alikocho on May 18, 2011, 06:22:02 PM
I'm gonna brew a pale stout!

This one's being kicked around by a few brewer's in Bristol. We're calling it "Project Moby."
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 19, 2011, 09:17:46 PM
I'm gonna brew a pale stout!

In England in the 18th century, there were such beasties. These days, we'd call them barleywines or old ales.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 19, 2011, 09:22:04 PM
Rather than constrain the category because of confusion between it's historical and style traits, a new style should be created that accommodated both aspects of the beer together.  I would call it an 10D American (Dark) Black Ale.

I'd personally like to see a sub-category for Specialty IPA, which covers Black, Rye and Belgian-American style AIPA/DIPA, as well as possibly "Imperial Amber" and "Imperial Brown" ales.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: denny on May 19, 2011, 09:24:16 PM
I'd personally like to see a sub-category for Specialty IPA, which covers Black, Rye and Belgian-American style AIPA/DIPA, as well as possibly "Imperial Amber" and "Imperial Brown" ales.

That's a good idea, Thomas.
Title: Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 19, 2011, 09:25:06 PM
I think I'm going to invent a new style.  It is called Purple IPA.  It tastes just like a real IPA except that it is purple from the addition of red and blue food coloring.  It will be all the rage amongst fans of purple beers!

There's already "Imperial Red Ale", so why not? If it takes off, perhaps in a few years the BJCP will have an entirely new category for colored IPA!