Now that I’ve gone black, I may never go back … to regular IPA, that is. I liked the Black IPA I just brewed so much that I’m brewing it again right away. I’m tweaking it ever so slightly, however. I’m going to dry-hop with Amarillo instead of Citra to see what effect that has on the final product.
My brew day kicked off smoothly. I dropped my daughter off at school, rushed home and threw the kettle on, so to speak. The 75 minute boil started out fine and then … well, let’s just say, it didn’t finish perfectly.
My specialty grains steeped at 150°F for half an hour, turning the water a lovely deep brown color. Alas, that color may have led to my eventual error. But first, an ounce of Warrior hops went in at 75 minutes. Smelling them reminded me of my prior version of this and I got excited all over again. This was going to be as good as the last. I was going to perfect this beer and be a Black IPA-drinking fool. This might even become my year-round beer. “I got this,” I thought. “This is going to be a smooth brew day producing a smooth brew.” And that was my problem – I relaxed.
The Irish moss was due at 30 minutes. And so it was that at 45 minutes into my boil I finally realized that I’d never added my extract. Seven pounds of liquid malt and a pound of DME were sitting on a shelf in my basement just waiting to be added to the pot. And what was I doing? Fantasizing about what a great brewer I’d become, dreaming of going all-malt, opening my own brewery…. And all the while I hadn’t even added the most significant ingredient to the mix. I basically was trying to make a beer without mashing in....