I'm back with a vengeance! I know I haven't been updating this blog very frequently, but that's because I've been too busy brewing and going through some major life transitions (finishing grad school, ending a long-term relationship, moving, and preparing for "phase II" of my plan to dominate the world of gluten-free brewing). I'll be sharing some of my general observations later this summer on my now-considerable experience in brewing with gluten-free grains (both malted and unmalted), but since it's been a while since I posted a recipe and discussed a finished beer, I thought I'd share my black IPA. It was a good first draft for this style, and for once I feel like the malt base is more solid than the hop schedule. Recipe after the jump!
Inscrutable Gaze Black IPA (3 Gallon Batch):
1.5 lbs medium crystal-malt buckwheat (homemade, from Colorado Malting Co.'s malted buckwheat)
1.25 lbs medium-roast chestnut chips (from Trail's End)
1 lb medium roast ("vienna") buckwheat (homemade)
6 oz dark-roast white quinoa (homemade, from sprouted white quinoa)
Extracts/Sugars added during boil:
1 lb brown rice syrup (60 min)
8 oz D-45 candi syrup (60 min)
8 oz D-180 candi syrup (60 min)
8 oz maltodextrin (60 min)
8 oz buckwheat honey (flame-out)
|Crystal buckwheat malt|
0.5 oz columbus, whole-leaf (mash)
0.5 oz columbus, pellets (60 min)
1 oz chinook, pellets (10 min)
1 oz simcoe, pellets (flame-out)
1 oz columbus, whole-leaf (dry hop)
|Medium-roast buckwheat malt|
0.5 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
1 tab Whirlfloc
Fermentis US-05 Dry American Ale Yeast
Commentary on Recipe Formulation:
This recipe was me throwing the kitchen sink at the concept of brewing a black IPA. Black IPAs did not exist when I discovered my gluten intolerance (or if they did, they sure weren't available in my area), so my attempt at this style comes from a purely theoretical approach. I basically looked up a bunch of different barley-based recipes, and took a shot in the dark. This was my first beer with the buckwheat malts and chestnuts, so I had no idea what kind of contributions to expect from them. The hop bill was also a shot in the dark; I was hoping for a strong piney flavor, as I'd attempted that in other IPAs and always ended up with more citrus than pine.
Evaluation of the finished beer:
|Immediately after pour|
Aroma: Light citrus, some pine, and a bit catty. Faint hint of roast.
Taste: Initially roasty, espresso-like, followed with a slightly sweet dark chocolate and a mild roast chestnut flavor. A powerful and slightly harsh bitterness follows with a hint of pine and cattiness from the hops. The punch of the bitterness subsides quickly but leaves a lingering light bitterness that blends smoothly with the roast character.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly thin and dry, almost Guinness-like, with a faint solvent character. Medium carbonation, long linger.
|~3 minutes after pouring|
The malt base would be perfect for a dry stout; the hop character feels mismatched, and is excessively bitter for the dry roasty flavor of the malt. The catty character of the hops is also a bit unpleasant; this beer would do better with a different hop profile, perhaps some brighter or fruitier hop (amarillo, citra, or horizon come to mind), or could be turned into a dry stout with some light English hopping (fuggles or goldings). However, I am in general very satisfied with the malt base of this beer. Despite its high gravity, it is nice and dry, with a smooth roast character and prominent grain flavor. Considering that my goal of late has been to focus on the malt profiles more than hops and spices, I consider this recipe a great success.