Blending Beer for Black IPA

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.50.19 PMLast week, I posted an article on making extra dark beers with the intention of blending them into lighter beers for added color and perhaps flavor. This way, you could enjoy both the pale beer and a darkened version of it. In this post, I’ll give a specific example of brewing a dark beer that, when blended into an IPA, makes a black IPA.

The recipes given here are for 5.0 gallons (19 L) of the dark blending beer, but you can scale them to any volume desired. Frequently, you will only need 1 or 2 gallons (4–8 L) of the dark beer per 5.0 gallon (19-L) batch of the lighter beer. To scale these 5.0-gallon (19-L) recipes, multiply all the ingredients by your intended volume of dark beer (in gallons) divided by five (gallons). [Or divide your intended volume of dark beer (in liters) by 19 (L).] [Read more…]

Session IPA

This is part of a continuing series on IPA variants. So far, I’ve tackled black IPAs/Cascadian dark ales, Belgian IPAs, and wheat IPAs. See also the article on rye IPA, by Denny Conn. In addition, I wrote a whole series of articles on “regular” American-style IPAs, along with American pale ales and double IPAs. 



Founders All Day IPA. Not quite an IPA, but is it just a pale ale? (Also, it’s a tasty beer, so does the name matter?)

Beers with “IPA” in their name tend to sell well and commercial brewers are keen to have those three letters on their labels. One style (or substyle) of beer that has emerged recently is session IPA. A session IPA supposedly combines the hoppiness of an IPA with the lower alcohol content of a session beer. Founders Brewing’s All Day IPA was one of the first entries in this category, and continues to be one of the best-known.

When session IPAs first arrived, they tended to get one of two reactions. Beer drinkers either said, “Awesome, now I can get more hoppy goodness, and not have to stop after a couple,” or, “Hey great idea, but I liked it better when it was called pale ale.”

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Belgian IPA

This is the second article in a series on IPA variants, that started with darkish IPAs.


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The beers of Belgium have inspired many US brewers. In turn, the hoppy ales of the United States have likewise inspired some Belgian brewers to formulate hoppier beers. Urthel Hop-It and Houblon Chouffe were two of earliest and best-known Belgian IPAs. These brewers took their Belgian beers and added significantly more hops to them. American brewers also took their IPAs and started fermenting them with Belgian ale yeasts. Stone’s Cali-Belgique is one of the best-known examples of this.

If you’re interested in brewing a beer that is a hybrid between an American IPA and a Belgian beer, there are a couple things I can tell you to get you started. However, the interface between these two kinds of beer has only begun to be explored — there’s more to be learned than is certain now.

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Roswell IPA (Countertop Partial Mash)


Me at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico. My wife and I visited it on the way to the NHC in Denver, Colorado a couple years ago. Keep watching the skies! (Just don’t, you know, expect little green men to fly by in a spaceship.)

Here is a countertop partial mash adaptation of my Roswell IPA, a hoppy, American-style IPA. This recipe is formulated for mashing 4.0 lbs. (1.8 kg) of grains in a 2-gallon (~8-L) beverage cooler. There is an option for mashing 6.0 lbs. (2.7 kg) of grain in a 3-gallon (11-L) cooler. Partial mashing gives your beer more base malt aroma compared to an extract-with-steeping-grains formulation.  This particular method of partial mashing allows you achieve a high extract efficiency while being easy to clean up after. In addition, this recipe shows how you can raise the fermentability of extract wort by letting the enzymes from the partial mash wort work on some of the malt extract. 58% of the fermentables in this IPA come from the partial mash.


Roswell IPA

American IPA

by Chris Colby

Partial mash (countertop), English units



A golden-colored IPA with classic floral/citrus American hops and just enough malt to keep it from being unbalanced. This beer finishes moderately dry and exhibits a wonderful hop aroma from lots of late hops and dry hops.

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