Author Topic: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?  (Read 3739 times)

Offline mxstar21

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How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:46:50 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!

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2011, 03:48:23 AM »
Category 23, Specialty Beer
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline beersk

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2011, 08:14:12 AM »
I made my own category, American Black Ale. 
Watch out for those Cross Dressing Amateurs!

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2011, 07:33:16 PM »
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.
Dave

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Offline bluesman

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2011, 07:37:20 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 08:31:48 PM by bluesman »
Ron Price

Offline hoser

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2011, 07:55:11 PM »
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!!!!

Offline johnf

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2011, 08:35:04 PM »
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?

Offline The Professor

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2011, 09:33:05 PM »
...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!!!)
AL
New Brunswick, NJ
[499.6, 101.2] Apparent Rennerian
Homebrewer since July 1971

Offline tubercle

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2011, 09:35:23 PM »
Didn't we just go through this Porter/Stout thing?
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Offline Pinski

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2011, 10:28:41 PM »
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.
Thank you BEER!

Offline mxstar21

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2011, 11:05:01 PM »
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.

Online tschmidlin

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2011, 11:29:09 PM »
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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 03:48:53 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.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 04:07:29 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.

Offline bluesman

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Re: How to classify a Black IPA for AHA competition?
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 04:39:20 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.  :)
Ron Price