The Dark Side of Hops: Brewing The Ultimate Black IPA (recipe)

Welcome, brave brewer, to the shadowy realm of the Black IPA. A place where hops and roasted malts unite in a paradoxical dance, casting spells of delicious contradiction. If you thought hoppy beers were just a summer fling, and dark beers belonged to winter’s chilly nights, prepare to have your beer goggles adjusted.

What’s This Dark Enigma?

The Black IPA, also known as Cascadian Dark Ale (because why settle for one name when you can be mysterious?), is essentially the Batman of beers. It’s dark, complex, a little brooding, and has an unexpectedly hoppy kick. Think of it as a love child between a robust stout and a sprightly IPA, proving once and for all that opposites attract.

A Brief, Totally Accurate History

Legend has it that the first Black IPA was brewed during a blackout. The brewer, having a peculiar sense of humor, decided, “If I can’t see the beer, it must be dark.” The rest, as they say, is history—a history steeped in darkness and hops, that is.

The Recipe to End All Recipes

Now, fasten your aprons, dear brewers, for we are about to concoct a brew that would make even the sternest beer judge crack a smile.

This recipe makes 5 gallons like all of the other recipes on our site.  Cheers


  • Malts: 10 lbs Pale Malt (for that rich, silky base), 1 lb Carafa III (for the deepest, soul-searching darkness), 0.75 lb Crystal Malt (because every hero needs a touch of sweetness).
  • Hops: 2 oz Citra (because who doesn’t love Citra?), 2 oz Simcoe (for that mysterious, woodsy charm), 1 oz Amarillo (flowers, citrus, and everything nice).
  • Yeast: American Ale Yeast (trust me, it’s got the right attitude).
  • Extras: 1 oz Love, 2 oz Patience, a dash of Irreverence.

Brewing Instructions:

  1. Mash those malts like a rock star at 152°F for 60 epic minutes. It’s like a spa day, but for grain.
  2. Boil Time! Introduce 1 oz Citra and 1 oz Simcoe at 60 minutes for a bitter base. Add 0.5 oz of each at 15 minutes for flavor, and the rest at flameout for that aromatic grand finale. The Amarillo? That’s your encore—dry hop with it like you’re dropping the mic.
  3. Cool, pitch your yeast, and ferment at room temperature. Yes, waiting is the hardest part. No, staring at it won’t make it ferment faster.
  4. Once fermentation is complete, package it up. Keg it, bottle it, send it via carrier pigeon if you must. Just make sure you save some for yourself.
  5. ABV should land around 6.5% – the perfect balance to walk the line between respectability and mischief. And IBUs? Around 70, because what’s life without a little bitterness?

Frequently Brewed Questions 
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  • Q: My Black IPA came out more Fifty Shades of Grey than pitch black. What gives?

A: Fear not. The darkness is within. Also, check your malt selection next time.

  • Q: Can I drink this for breakfast?

A: Absolutely. It’s like coffee, but with more personality and a slightly higher ABV.

  • Q: Will brewing a Black IPA make me more attractive?

A: According to absolutely unscientific data, yes. Yes, it will.

  • Q: Is it okay to name my Black IPA?

A: It’s not just okay; it’s encouraged. How else will it know you love it?

There you have it, fellow brewers. A guide to concocting the most bewitchingly delicious Black IPA. Remember, brewing is like life—filled with mystery, a little bit of bitterness, and a whole lot of fun.

Cheers to the adventures that await in the dark!

P.S. If you are into brewing your own beer be sure to take advantage of my limited-time offer to get your hands on the recipes to my top 5 best-selling beers from my brewpub. Sign up is on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on a smart device. Enjoy!

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