Brew day – Black Mamba Rye IPA

One week after the Iron Brewer Challenge it is time for another brew-day – this time without weird adjuncts. On today’s menu is the Black Mamba Rye IPA – a bold, strong black IPA featuring a hefty dose of rye malt and the crispness that brings to a beer. In addition, todays brew sees the end of the Cascade hops (about 1oz) that I grew last summer. Indeed, this beer is a celebration of Cascade – other than a bit of Warrior for bittering & a touch of a late addition, all of the hop flavour and aroma will be from Cascade.

This recipe is largely one of my creation and is meant to be simple – the classical Black IPA grains of Victory malt (or Special malt; I have victory on-hand), dehusked dark malt (Carafa Special II), mixed with a 2.5:1 mix of pale malt and rye; typical of many rye-based beers.  The mash is low-and-slow, to give a dry-finishing beer. With the rye this may lead to a too-dry finish, but I have taken two steps to balance that out – I hope.  The first is relying on cascade as a hop – it should give a spicy/citrusy character that will provide a balancing fruitness to the beer.  I am then accentuating that using the legendary Conan yeast, which should provide some additional fruity esters – notably apricot – to further balance the crispness of the rye and the highly fermentable wort.

Recipe & brew-day notes below the fold


The Recipe:

Black Mamba IPA
American IPA (Black)
Type: All Grain Date: 30 Mar 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l Boil Size: 30.27 l
Boil Time: 75 min End of Boil Volume 23.40 l
Ingredients
Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
0.25 kg Rice Hulls (Briess) (0.0 SRM) Adjunct 1 3.4 %
4.60 kg Canadian 2 Row Pale Malt (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 62.1 %
1.81 kg Rye Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 24.5 %
0.45 kg Carafa II (Weyermann) (415.0 SRM) Grain 4 6.1 %
0.28 kg Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.8 %
26.00 g Warrior [17.70 %] – First Wort 75.0 min Hop 6 56.7 IBUs
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7
28.00 g Cascade – Garden Grown  – Boil 2.0 min Hop 8 1.4 IBUs
7.00 g Warrior [15.00 %] – Boil 2.0 min Hop 9 1.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Conan (Heady Topper/Alchemist Brewery) Yeast, from bank. Yeast 10
28.00 g Cascade [5.50 %] – Dry Hop 3.0 Days Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.074 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.059 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.009 SG Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.6 %
Bitterness: 59.0 IBUs Est Color: 29.6 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 7.40 kg
Sparge Water: 18.38 l Grain Temperature: 18.0 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C Tun Temperature: 18.0 C
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 19.55 l of water at 72.4 C 64.4 C 75 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (3.12l, 15.26l) of 75.6 C water
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Created with BeerSmith

Brew-day Notes:

  1. Mashed in dead-on 65C. Because its a cooler day I wrapped a hammock and jacket around my MLT to keep the heat in. Temperature cooled less than half a degree over this time, despite the below-freezing weather! Conversion tested as complete at the 1 hour mark, but I mashed an additional 15 minutes to ensure a highly fermentable wort.
  2. Added ~5L of water at boiling to mash-out, then collected the first batch sparge.  This was followed by a second 13L batch sparge at 75C.  Pre-boil gravity was 1.053; slightly lower than the expected 1.055, but I also appear to have an extra litre of wort or so, perhaps accounting for the difference.
  3. All pellet hop additions were done using my new hop-spider, but the whole hops were added directly into the copper.
  4. I ended up missing my OG by quite a bit – I only got 1.059 where I was expecting something around 1.070. I suspect it may have been the rye – its kernels are smaller than barley, so it may have crushed poorly. This means this beer may taste more bitter than planned, although it should still be well within style.
I think the lessor here is next time mill the rye separately; it may need a double milling; or even an adjustment to the mill gap, to get a proper mill.

9 thoughts on “Brew day – Black Mamba Rye IPA

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  • April 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm
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    I got 80% attenuation, which seems to be pretty typical for conan unless people are using a super-low mash temp &/or sugar.

    Reply
  • April 19, 2014 at 1:10 pm
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    I mill my rye twice. Once by itself, then I toss it in with the rest of the grains to be milled. My efficiency doesn't change much when I do this (even @ 40% rye). Did Conan attenuate fully for you? I only hit about 75% ADT with my Pale Wheat. Not bad, but I was expecting more of a monster…

    Reply
  • April 8, 2014 at 5:28 pm
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    I haven't used much rye but for my last brew (40% rye and wheat Brett beer) we did set the rollers a bit tighter for the wheat and rye, and hit our expected OG dead on. However, we were on the brink of a stuck sparge (even though we used rice hulls) so I'll probably deal with the hit on gravity and mill normally if I'm not using rye in a BIAB batch.

    Reply
  • April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am
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    Cool! In your experience, does rye need a smaller roller gap? I'm still a little lost as to why my OG was so much lower than expected. The only other thing I can think of is that I may have mis-measured my grain. I can only measure a few kg at a time, so it is perfectly conceivable that I mis-measured the base malt…

    Reply
  • April 1, 2014 at 1:51 am
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    I can assert that Conan plays nice with rye: my first brew with it was a red rye pale ale. Between the yeast and the rye you'll probably get incredible head retention!

    Reply

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