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Black Hat

The main difference with this brew from the previous (Hop++) was the addition of Carafa malt to give the black colour. It was interesting to see that this malt has no husk and doesn’t look like a grain at all. The lack of husk avoids extra tannin making into the beer. Leaving the colour to dominate.

One other change I made was using an east coast yeast because this was where the Black IPA style originated.

 

Recipe

Ingredient Quantity
Maris Otter Pale Malt 5.1Kg
Pale Crystal Malt 0.45 Kg
Carafa III Malt 0.35 Kg
Simcoe Hops 30g for 70 mins
Simcoe Hops 15g for 40 mins
Simcoe Hops 9g for 15 mins
Mosaic Hops 26g Dry hop for 4 days
Citra Hops 46g Dry hop for 4 days.
Yeast WLP008 East Coast Ale

Points of Note

  • The significant amount of dry hops appeared to have little effect. The same amount in a beer (Hop++) without the dark malt had more aroma.
  • There was a definite chocolate taste.
  • The colour was actually more dark brown than black. This visually detracted at times from the taste. Next time, I will add more Carafa malt.

Hardware Mods

As a result of the problems encountered last time, I made a couple of improvements to the hardware.

Kettle Check Valve

I fitted to the input of the Kettle from the Mash Tun a one way check valve. This prevents the Kettle contents siphoning back into the Mash Tun.

Mash Tun Output Filter

I moved the filter from the input of the Fermenter to the output of the Mash Tun. This was needed to prevent the Mash pump clogging.  I used the Fermenter filter because any crud was being filtered before reaching it.

Dead Pony Taste Test

I wanted to compare how my inspired brew compared to the original. Given the problems experienced during the brew it is no surprise that they are not the same.

First of all, the beers look different. My Little Dead Pony is significantly darker. The aroma also is noticeably different too.  I am no expert but I would almost describe my brew as being “off”. Not in a particularly bad way but just a bit odd. Brewdog’s aroma is much more hop-like whereas mine is not that reminiscent of hops.

Taste-wise, things improve somewhat. Mine is very bitter – in a good way. A nice strong after-taste lingers. But if anything, it’s probably a little too bitter. Again I still prefer Brewdog’s because I can’t help feel that there’s something wrong with my brew.