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Hop Maddness - Cascadian Dark Ale

I’ve been working on a recipe for a Cascadian Dark Ale. I want this to be fairly traditional in terms of the style, but I would prefer that the specific tastes were complex (Borderline Bizarre).

Below is the current recipe I have worked up but I am still making changes to it as I go so I would appreciate some feedback before brew day.

Hop Madness Cascadian Dark Ale -

Specialty Grains:
0.125 lbs Flaked Barley
0.075 lbs Belgian Special B
0.2 lbs Weyerman Dehusked Carafa II
0.1 lbs English Extra Dark Crystal
0.1 lbs Belgian Debittered Black
0.1 lbs English Chocolate Malt
0.1 lbs Fawcett Pale Chocolate
0.25 lbs Belgian Caramunich
0.25 lbs Belgian Caravienne
0.2 lbs Briess Caramel 80L
0.2 lbs Briess Caramel 40L

Fermentables:
1 lb Munton’s Extra Light DME
3.15 lbs Rye Malt Syrup
0.1 lbs Honey
3 Teaspoons Maltodextrine (5% Fermentable)
4 Teaspoons Lactose (5% Fermentable)
6 lbs Golden Malt Syrup (Half as Late Addition)
Hops (4.75 oz Total):

Bittering (1 oz):
0.25 oz Columbus 14.0-16.0% Leaf (60 Minutes)
0.25 oz Chinook 11.0-13.0% Leaf (60 Minutes)
0.25 oz Sorachi Ace 10.0-16.0% Leaf (70 Minutes)
0.25 oz Centennial 9.0-12.0% Leaf (70 Minutes)

Flavor (0.75 oz):
0.25 oz Cascade 4.5-7.0% Pellets (20 Minutes)
0.25 oz Cluster 5.5-8.0% Leaf (15 Minutes)
0.25 oz Cascade 4.5-7.0% Pellets (10 Minutes)

Aroma (1.5 oz):
0.5 oz Sorachi Ace 10.0-16.0% Leaf (5 Minutes)
0.5 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (5 Minutes)
0.5 oz German Select 3.0-6.5% Pellets (0 Minutes)

Flavorings (Add to Secondary Fermentation):
Dry Hop (1.5 oz):
0.25 oz German Select 3.0-6.5% Pellets (Days 1-7)
0.25 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (Days 1-7)
0.5 oz Cascade 10.0-16.0% Leaf (Days 8-14)
0.25 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (Days 15-21)
0.25 oz Sorachi Ace 10.0-16.0% Leaf (Days 15-21)

Yeast:
WYEAST 1318 London Ale III

Cheers!

Dude, you’ll spend at least an hour just weighing stuff out! Most complicated recipe I’ve ever seen - are you cleaning out the cupboard? :wink:

I agree!
Simplify it…It shouldn’t need to be that complicated. Unless you’re using up leftover grain, there’s no need for such a complicated grain bill.

Of course, that’s not to say that if you elect to proceed with what you’re proposing to make the results won’t be good; On the contrary, it could turn out pretty amazing (though maybe a bit hard to reproduce for subsequent batches).

I would also say don’t give a single though to staying “traditional” … CDA has no tradition! :mrgreen:

It’s a combination of cupboard cleaning and the fact that i want to make a few different batches with slight variations on the hops additions and grain bill. It will probably take me many iterations before i get it the way I imagine it.

for a black ipa you want the hops to POP. with a grain-bill that lengthy/complicated you’re risking lots of clashing flavors. also its gonna be hard to tweak the recipe when you cant pinpoint what flavor you’re tasting

brew it up. since i started making recipes ive found simplicity is the easiest way to learn

I feel like most of the specialty grains would blend together in the background, rather than competing with one another. The way i see it is a blend of caramel malts, 2 mild chocolate malts, some additional dark malt for color, and some added mouth feel from the barley.

Regardless, don’t you think such an intense hop schedule would overpower the main malt flavors anyway?

[quote=“robbop88”]
Regardless, don’t you think such an intense hop schedule would overpower the main malt flavors anyway?[/quote]

i dont think so. i brewed a black ipa with only base malt, carafa II, and some crystal and i think it got in the way of the hops. the more flavor you have going on in the ‘background’ the more that hops have to compete. and IME 4.75 oz of hops in a 5gal batch isn’t a lot for a black ipa

to each his own. brew it up. you never know till you try i suppose

You make a good point. In my defense, the pro series black ipa kit has the same amount of hops. I picked some very powerful varieties for bittering and aroma.

I have been through hop maddness before. :lol:
I found out that a ton of varieties mixed together makes for a muddy hop impression, at least to me, and I now much prefer to be able to discern certain varieties.

For example, I might bitter with one variety, say Columbus.
then taking your addition times: Hit it with a mix of Sorachi, Cent and Cascade at 20, 15, 10,5,0
and definitely more than .25 oz each time. I might typically do at least an ounce at each late addition, and a couple at flameout. And an ounce each for dry hop.

That is what I would do anyway.
But part of brewing is doing your own thing, and experimenting. Have fun!

Take 2:

Cascadian Dark Ale -

Specialty Grains:
0.2 lbs Flaked Barley
0.2 lbs Weyerman Dehusked Carafa II
0.1 lbs Belgian Debittered Black
0.1 lbs English Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs Belgian Caramunich
0.5 lbs Belgian Caravienne

Fermentables:
1 lb Munton’s Extra Light DME
3.15 lbs Rye Malt Syrup
0.1 lbs Honey
3 Teaspoons Maltodextrine (5% Fermentable)
4 Teaspoons Lactose (5% Fermentable)
6 lbs Golden Malt Syrup (Half as Late Addition)

Hops (7.5 oz Total):

Bittering (1 oz):
1 oz Columbus 14.0-16.0% Leaf (70 Minutes)

Flavor (2 oz):
1 oz Centennial 9.0-12.0% Leaf (20 Minutes)
1 oz Cascade 4.5-7.0% Pellets (15 Minutes)

Aroma (3 oz):
1 oz German Select 3.0-6.5% Pellets (10 Minutes)
1 oz Sorachi Ace 10.0-16.0% Leaf (5 Minutes)
1 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (0 Minutes)

Dry Hop (1.5 oz):
1 oz Chinook 11.0-13.0% Leaf (Days 8-14)
0.5 oz Cluster (Days 15-21)

Yeast:
WYEAST 1318 London Ale III

That’s one of the most confused, muddled recipes I’ve ever seen. Sit down and read through it, imagining the flavor contribution of each ingredient and asking yourself why you’re using it.

I just added a cup of Cocoa nibs to mine in secondary last night. Tradition in the making :mrgreen:

In all honesty, take a look at NB’s crack at it.

Gonna second what Denny said on this one. I’ve made some more complicated recipes over the last year of brewing and I didn’t always like what I got. I’ve begun to simplify my recipes and I’m now making some of the best beer I’ve made. A lot of grains mixed together will blend each other out. And there is something to be said for a good mix of hops, but be sure they actually mix well together. I love Simcoe and Cascade separately. I made an IPA with them together… YUK!

Having said all that, brewing is about experimenting and having fun. At least to me it is. So I say f-it! Go for it. Maybe you’ll love it. Just go into it knowing it may be terrible and with a recipe like that, it will be very difficult to pinpoint what to tweak next time.

The biggest problem I’m facing at the moment is what to do with a freezer full of hops when I don’t have more than 1 ounce of any particular variety.

This may be a pain in the ass, but what I would do with small amounts of a bunch of hops is make a few small SMASH beers. Maybe 1-2 gallons each. Or maybe make up a simple grain bill (2-Row and some Crystal) and make a few batches of the same beer, but using a different blend of hops in each batch. Just a thought.

that’s a great idea!

Cascadian Dark Ale -
Specialty Grains:

0.1 lbs Flaked Barley
0.2 lbs Weyerman Dehusked Carafa II
0.1 lbs English Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs Belgian Caramunich
0.4 lbs Belgian Caravienne

Fermentables:
1 lb Munton’s Extra Light DME
3.15 lbs Rye Malt Syrup
6 lbs Golden Malt Syrup

Hops (4 oz Total):

Bittering (1 oz):
1 oz Columbus 14.0-16.0% Leaf (60 Minutes)

Flavor (2 oz):
1 oz Centennial 9.0-12.0% Leaf (20 Minutes)

Aroma (3 oz):
1 oz Sorachi Ace 10.0-16.0% Leaf (10 Minutes)
0.5 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (0 Minutes)

Flavorings (Add to Secondary Fermentation):
Dry Hop (0.5 oz):
0.5 oz UK Brambling Cross 5.0-7.0% Pellets (Day 7 in primary)

Yeast:
WYEAST 1318 London Ale III

Just my opinions, take with grains of salt…

  1. there is no point in steeping flaked barley - it needs to be mashed.

  2. That isn’t nearly enough dark malt - don’t shoot for amber/brown, shoot for black. I use 1-1.5 lbs of Carafa Special II and it looks/tastes great. I have had more “brown” versions and they taste weird.

  3. Stick with dehusked dark malts like Carafa Special. UK chocolate malt is too roasty.

  4. Stick to US/NZ IPA-friendly hop varieties - this is not a good place for brambling cross

  5. Use at least 4-6 oz of hops from 10 min to flameout

  6. Use an American yeast strain

  7. Dry hop with at least 1 oz of IPA-friendly hops

So I brewed this today and I think it’s going to be great. I ended up going with the same grain bill as the Lakefront IBA Extract recipe. I found more cascade in my freezer when I was looking for hops so I was able to use the same hops varieties and schedule also from that recipe; the major change I made was I dropped half an ounce of Sorachi Ace in at flame out and will add the other half oz to my dry hop instead of Centennial. I also added half a pound of Extra Light DME that I had laying around. I stuck with the London Ale yeast because I already made the starter. What makes you prefer American ale strains?

As for the flaked barley, this brings up an interesting point. I’ve read that adding some base malt to your steep supposedly adds back some of the enzymes that are lost when making extract syrup. Has anyone heard of this?

I could be misremembering and perhaps they were indeed talking about a partial mash.

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