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Black Ale Recipe Critique

I tried making a black hybrid beer back in March hoping to make a black beer that tasted more like an amber. It turned out more roasty than I anticipated. This is my second go at it, but this time I decided to drop the hybrid bit (pilsner malt) and just do an ale.

This is what I have so far for a 5 gal partial mash/partial boil:

3 lbs ultralight LME (FO)
3.5 lbs 2-row
0.5 lb Midnight Wheat
0.5 lb pale chocolate
0.5 lb carafoam
0.25 lb crystal 60
0.25 lb crystal 90
0.5 oz Mt Hood @ 70 mins
0.75 oz Mt hood @ 21/7 mins
US-05

1.051/1.010
5.3% ABV
27 IBU’s
31 SRM

I don’t mind a hint of roast, but I’m not looking for a porter. My previous attempt was like a mild porter. Still good though and I greatly cherish a roasty coffeeish stout! I’m hoping the chocolate comes through nicely.

What do you expect this to taste like?

I’m splitting a 5 lb bag of 2-row between this and another brew, and considering the other pound used in this being swapped out for something like Munich or some other base grain. I’m not sure though. Suggestions?

I’ve not used Crisp pale chocolate and so am unsure if ~226g in a ~19L batch will bring out a roasty flavor or not. I’m hoping for a nice chocolate note.

The Midnight wheat is a very dark roasted malt that leaves the least amount of roast flavor, though I found out last time that it will if it a bit much is used (1.5 times what I’m considering this time, though I also used a little carafa special and dark chocolate).

I won’t cry if this comes out a little roasty as I certainly love a roasty stout, but I’m really hoping for mostly color with a flavor more like that of an amber with a chocolate note. I’m looking for a black beer that gives the impression but leaves you surprised when you try it.

Any suggestions, comments, insights, experience?

If you can find it, try Weyermann Sinamar to give color. It can make a light lager turn black without impacting the flavor.

Or you can do what I’ve done to increase color while minimizing roastiness: use the darkest debittered malt you can find, but only add it at the end of the mash.

I’m hoping to get a strong chocolate flavor with the chocolate and color with the midnight wheat, though, according to Briess, and something of what I noticed in my first attempt, over 5% will give a slight roasty flavor (“Use in larger quantities for color plus hints of smooth roasted flavor”). I’m thinking I may want just a touch of roast, but still not like a porter.

Cold steep the midnight wheat overnight and you’ll make a version of sinimar that will give you what you want.

Rookie have you done that before? I have a stout that isn’t dark enough I was thinking of steeping some midnight wheat and roasted barley (the stout needs a touch more roast flavor also) then boiling it and adding it to the keg what do you think? Sorry about hijacking your thread o.p.

No worries about a hijack. Learning something is important.

Rookie have you done that before? I have a stout that isn’t dark enough I was thinking of steeping some midnight wheat and roasted barley (the stout needs a touch more roast flavor also) then boiling it and adding it to the keg what do you think? Sorry about hijacking your thread o.p.[/quote]
Yes I have. That will work. Eight ounces of midnight wheat in a quart of water cold steeped overnight turned three gallons of blonde ale black.

Sweet thanks!

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