Black Double IPA Recipe

by Karl S | Updated: November 11, 2021

Hey, I’m Trent Musho, and this is the bru sho and it’s spooky season. My favorite time of the year. In fact, my birthday is the day before Halloween. So it’s always had a special spot in my heart.

The holiday is filled with monsters wishes and ghouls. And while obviously none of that’s real, it’s still fun to get into the spirit and what better way than to brew up an extra spooky beer to celebrate my birthday and Halloween.

So my idea was to make a witch’s brew, inspired black IPA, but not just a regular IPA, a double IPA. Something that looks one way, but tastes completely different. It’s got a bit of mystery to it.

On the outside, it’s a deep, dark black, much like a stout or porter, but when you get close enough, you’re hit with those strong piney citrus aromas. And the taste is up front slightly roasty than immediately followed by an intense hop flavor and bitterness.

And in the end, hitting at almost 9%, this is one potent potion to make sure your Halloween bash is a fun one.

Being a big fan of IPA’s. I always wanted to make a black IPA for my birthday. And finally, I got around to it in a big way. I really found this to be one of the greatest beers I’ve made in a long time. It hits all the right notes for the style, and I think you’ll enjoy it too.

So with that, let’s conjure up this great recipe and I’ll show you how to make it.

For this recipe, we’re making a five gallon batch using the brew in a bag method. As always. I have the recipe and products I used in the description.

Also, I wanted to give a big shout out and thanks to Northern brewer, which supplied all the ingredients used in this video. They have a huge array of supplies as well as equipment. So be sure to check them out. If you’re in the mood to brew this batch up.

To start I heat up six gallons of distilled water to about 156 degrees, to that water I’m adding in some water adjustments to improve the flavor. And here’s the water profile I’m aiming for.

I’m going for a somewhat typical IPA recipe, water profile, that’s higher and sulfates to accentuate that sharp hop bitterness and cripsness.

Once it’s heated up, I add in the grain bag and then the grains. For that, I’m using 77% maris otter, for a good ready backbone to the beer. Any good pale malt would work. 10% Munich malt for added complexity and depth.

And for that deep color, I desire, I have 4% carafa III dehusked and 2% roasted barley. They’re both going to add the color, but the craftcarafa II is de-husked, which means that it will only add color and minimal roasted flavor notes.

Whereas the roasted barley wide, both color and a touch, a burnt roasted flavor, much like any good witches brew would have. The remaining 7% will be corn sugar, or dextrose to boost the alcohol and help try this out.

I plan to mash it about 148 degrees for 45 minutes to get as much fermentable sugars as I can and reach a higher alcohol percentage. Just add the grains in and mix only turning on the heat at the temp drops too much.

After 45 minutes, I pull the grains and with the grain bag rusting on top of a wire rack, I then sparge or rinse the grains with a gallon and a half warm water.

This will help rinse those sugars and raise the total volume up to my desired pre boil level. Then I bring the wort to a boil for 45 minutes

At the top of the 45 minutes, I had the first hop in this double IPA, two ounces of Magnum for a big hop bitterness punch. Then at the 15 minute mark, it’s time to add the special ingredient of the day to really bring even more bitterness to the brew.

I’m using the potent powers of hop extract. This cascades CO2 extracted goo what not only give bitterness, it also adds some much needed depth to the hop canvas.

Cascade is one of my all-time favorite hops and a classic that goes great in any IPA. I found that heating some water up and dipping the syringe in, helps loosen up the extract so I can easily squirt it into the kettle.

Next on the hop schedule with 10 minutes left, I’ll reinforce the cascade with more cascade. This time, in hop pellet form, a half ounce. And the last few minutes of the boil, I add in the sugar to dissolve about one pound for this recipe.

Lastly, at the end of the 45 minutes, I turn off the boil and cool down to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. At which point I add in the final hop, a half ounce of cryo Citra. This way, add those citrus notes and play nicely with the cascade and adding it in the Whirlpool will extract, mainly hop aroma and flavor, and not as much bitterness, cause I’m pretty sure we got that covered.

In the end, this we’ll have about 85 IBUs. After whirl pooling for about 10 minutes, I cool it down and transfer into a fermenter. I also take an original gravity reading and get 1.074. And for that I’ll need a strong yeast.

I’m using white labs, WLP090 also known as San Diego super yeast. A common yeast strain for double IPA’s and should have no problems taking care of this brew. I made a starter the night before to build up the yeast count to avoid off flavors, and then pitch it in. I’ll ferment this around 67 degrees for one week.

But before the week’s over, after about four days of fermentation, I decided to dry hop this. I mean, this is a double IPA after all. So I dropped in half ounce, each of cascade and cryo-citra hops and quickly closed back up the fermenter until it was done.

At the end of the week, I took a final gravity reading, which was at 1.009, which means this comes in at about eight and a half percent ABV we officially have beer.

So without any delay, I transferred into the keg and set the pressure. I was extremely excited to start trying this one.

Okay. So this is going to sound really weird, but I know I brewed five gallons of beer, but when I went to check on the keg, it only seems to be like a gallon left. I checked all the connections and everything seems to be working fine, but I’m just a little confused. I’m not really sure where things could have gone wrong.

I mean, I’m not wanting to really believe in ghosts and goals, but, um, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the season, but it feels like something supernatural is going on. Did you hear that?

Okay, clearly something’s going on? So I’m going to set up some cameras and I’m going to watch from over here on my computer and we’ll see if we can catch something in act. Okay, here we go. The cameras are set and now we just wait.

Whoa, what was that? What is that? Is that real? Okay. I’m going to check this out.

Oh my God I see it. It’s just like drinking my beer!