Author Topic: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)  (Read 781 times)

Offline guitalele81

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American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:53:37 AM »
Hello Everyone!  :D

I am planning on brewing my first American Black Ale this weekend and have formulated the following recipe. I'm looking to make something in the realm of Hill Farmstead's James. Can anyone who has brewed this style give any tips on water treatment? I use distilled water and treat with CaCl and Gypsum (adding acid malt for pale beers), but I drop the acid malt and gypsum for dark beers. However, since this style needs to also have a firm bitterness, I'm not sure how to treat the water. Would a profile for a stout / porter in the mash and then add more gypsum in the kettle work? Thanks for any water recommendations, and any other tips!

HOME BREW RECIPE (3 gallons):
Title: American Black Ale

Brew Method: All Grain
Style Name: American IPA
Boil Time: 90 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3.75 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.049
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.062
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV (standard): 6.46%
IBU (tinseth): 113.45
SRM (morey): 37.55

FERMENTABLES:
6.3 lb - American - Pale 2-Row (87%)
5 oz - American - Midnight Wheat Malt (4.3%)
5 oz - German - De-Husked Caraf III (4.3%)
2 oz - Flaked Oats (1.7%)
3 oz - American - Carapils (Dextrine Malt) (2.6%)

HOPS:
0.6 oz - Warrior, Type: Pellet, AA: 16, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 61.24
0.5 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 31.13
0.5 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 21.08
0.5 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Boil for 0 min
0.5 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Boil for 0 min
1 oz - Simcoe, Type: Pellet, AA: 12.7, Use: Dry Hop for 4 days
1 oz - Amarillo, Type: Pellet, AA: 8.6, Use: Dry Hop for 4 days
1 oz - Citra, Type: Pellet, AA: 11, Use: Dry Hop for 4 days

MASH GUIDELINES:
1) Infusion, Temp: 150 F, Time: 60 min
Starting Mash Thickness: 1.25 qt/lb

YEAST:
White Labs - Dry English Ale Yeast WLP007
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (custom): 80%
Flocculation: Med-High
Optimum Temp: 65 - 70 F
Fermentation Temp: 68 F


Generated by Brewer's Friend - http://www.brewersfriend.com/
Date: 2013-09-30 17:44 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2013-09-27 18:14 UTC




Online morticaixavier

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 11:35:20 AM »
Well, you could skip the CaCl, and add the all but 50ppm calcium worth gypsum to the kettle to avoid issues with mash pH. The mash likes that much calcium for it's own purposes.

I have not had the James but this looks like a pretty bitter beer to me. A high sulfate level (300ppm +) will give you a crisp bitterness and perception of dryness that will emphasis some of those hops for you. If you could cold steep the dark grains or add them at the end of the mash to reduce burnt roastness (although I LIKE a little roastiness so I don't do this)
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 01:41:35 PM »
Be careful with the sulfate level if the beer will have much roastiness.  That is its own form of dryness and a high level of sulfate may be too much...leaving you with an overly dry beer.  300 ppm may be too much, but I haven't tried it and can't offer much help beyond the caution above.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 01:45:58 PM »
Be careful with the sulfate level if the beer will have much roastiness.  That is its own form of dryness and a high level of sulfate may be too much...leaving you with an overly dry beer.  300 ppm may be too much, but I haven't tried it and can't offer much help beyond the caution above.

Ahh that actually makes a lot of sense martin
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 03:38:45 PM »
there are some guidelines for Hill Farmstead beers in the latest BYO, along with some general water comments. I would try to get the main mash in range, and cold steep the roast malts and add at sparge. It also seems that Sean Hill favors Cl over SO4.
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Offline duboman

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 03:38:59 PM »
Having done this recently I agree with Mort and Martin, I would keep the sulfate level around 150ppm or it will be too dry and crisp, although your addition of oats may make a difference, not sure as the black IPA I made doesn't use them. The silky mouthfeel they provide an offset to the higher sulfate level, just not sure
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 03:53:07 PM »
I cold steeped the roast malts for my last Black IPA and used ~ 85ppm each Cl and SO4.  I think I might leave it as is on the next one.  The dark malts definitely contributed some dryness. This was one where I was glad I backed off the 300ppm SO4 (like I enjoy for standard IPAs).   
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Offline wingnut

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 04:50:29 PM »
+1 on the lower sulfate.  I target 120 to 150, and sprinkle the black malt on the mash at the end of mashing.  I batch sparge so the effect is that there is a little bit of extraction on the first batch, and then I dump in water for the second batch sparge and wait 10 minutes and drain.   I get a good amount of roastyness without so much acrid sensations with only about 10 to 12 minutes of contact time.

For what is is worth, I find I like this style with a more balanced sulfate to carbonate ratio than most hoppy beers.  I think that is because much of the balance of the flavor comes from the malt.  This beer is more about getting the malt and hops  to play together then have one or the other be the showcase.  Most hoppy beers are about the hops, but the black IPAs I enjoy tend to change flavor as you swallow... sweet start, followed by a hoppy blast that tails off into a roasty finish...

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Offline guitalele81

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Re: American Black Ale Recipe (water profile?)
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2013, 07:30:56 AM »
Wow thank you everyone! I really appreciate all the replies. I would like the mash all the grains (for the sake of simplicity and to see which method I prefer) in this first batch, so running my adjustments through Brewer's Friend's water calculator I get (for 5 gallons of distilled water): 1.25 tsp gypsum, 1 tsp CaCl. That gives me a predicted mash pH of 5.49 and an SO4 ppm of 147. It leans toward "Little Bitter". Sound good?

Thanks again  :)