Black Mamba the Fourth – A Black IPA

Back before I moved to the farm I grew Cascade hops on the side of my house in the city. Every year I had a tradition of brewing a fresh hop black IPA. These Black Mamba series of beers were my annual celebration of my small hop garden. Now that my redvine hops are established I figured it was time to restart tradition…sort of. Hop picking time last fall was insane, so doing a fresh hop beer was out of the question. But I did dry down a huge amount of the redvines, and using these, I’ve resurrected this brew.

Overall this is a straight-forward black IPA recipe. 7.1% ABV, 70 IBU, made with a mix of golden promise, rye, carafa special III, and victory malt. Bittered with CTZ, with 50 g of redvines added 15 min before the end of the boil, 50 g in a 30 min hopstand, and 100 g as a dryhop. All-in-all a simple IPA, but with one error made – I forgot to let the wort cool to 75C before starting the hopstand, so my 70 IBU beer is quite a bit higher than that. None-the-less, this is a good renewal of this tradition, and I hope to do a fresh version this fall.

Recipe – Black Mamba the IV, Black IPA


  • OG:1.066
  • FG: 1.012
  • ABV: 7.1%
  • IBU: 70 (est)
  • SRM: 40
WaterSufficient for 23L finished beer
Golden Promise Malt4 kgMalt
Rye Malt1.5 kgMalt
Carafa Special III350 gMalt
Victory Malt150 gMalt
CTZ hops (14.3%)35 g/55 IBU60 min boil
Redvine hops, homegrown50 g/13 IBU (est)15 min boil
Redvine hops, homegrown50 g/3 IBU (est)30 min hop stand @ 75C
Redvine hops, homegrown100 g3 day dry hop
US-05 Yeast20 g


  1. Adjust water sulfate:chloride ratio to 250:50 mg/L.
  2. Mash at 63C for 75 min.
  3. Mash-out at 76C for 10 min and sparge.
  4. Boil for 60 min, adding hops at the indicated times.
  5. After the boil, chill to 75C, add hop stand addition, and hold for 30 min.
  6. Chill and pitch yeast.
  7. On day 11 of the fermentation add the dry hop addition.
  8. Keg on day 14.

Tasting Notes: Black Mamba the IV Black IPA

black IPA in a glass, on a wooden railing, out-of-focus trees in the background.

Appearance: Dark black, with a course tan coloured head. This head is rocky and lasts until the pint is consumed.

Aroma: Intense citrus and pine.

Flavour: When I first started serving this beer the hop bitterness was intense, course, and somewhat vegital – likely due to my mistake of operating the hop stand at near-boiling temperatures, which likely added an additional 15 IBU. This has faded over the past ~1.5 months, and while still intense, is now pleasant instead of challenging. Following the bitterness is the characteristic cherry/berry and pine notes of redvine hops. The aftertaste is a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Not as dry as was planned, with the intense hop levels providing a thicker, almost oily, finish.

Overall: Not my best Black Mamba brew, but not the worst either. Due to my mess-up with the hop stand it is overly bitter and slightly vegetal. But that character has faded with time, leaving room for the unique flavour of the redvines to shine through.

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