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Mildest dark grain for IPA

Which dark grain gives the best color to a black IPA with the least roastiness?

I love CDA’s but wanted to build an IPA that was very hoppy but just an IPA that was black. I found Midnight Wheat and it was perfect. It has mostly color but just a slight hint of roast. I thought I would tweak this again in the future but friends tell me it’s my best (not to me). I was also thinking of using Crystal 150 in place of 120 but I think I’d leave it be.
A fellow brewer did something very similar on his own and we shared our experiences and both were great and though the grain bill and hops were pretty different, the end result was the same as he used Midnight Wheat as well.
Here’s my reicpe:

Boil Size: 8.19 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.77 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.05 gal
Estimated OG: 1.067 SG
Estimated Color: 30.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 91.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 78.6 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.1 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.1 %
8.0 oz Midnight Wheat (550.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.6 %
8.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.6 %
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 36.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 7 8.5 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 20.0 min Hop 8 11.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 9 16.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 5.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 6.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 2.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 3.7 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) Yeast 14 -
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [12.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: BIAB, Medium Body
Total Grain Weight: 14 lbs

Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Saccharification Add 36.86 qt of water at 159.5 F 152.1 F 75 min
Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 7 min 168.0 F 10 min

This ^^^. Midnight wheat is the way to go for a CDA.

Well, my recipe doesn’t really fit the standard CDA. I actually wanted the oposite…an IPA without the roasted, coffee flavors. I brew lots of Black IPAs/CDA’s and love them all but this is pretty much just a standard IPA that is black except for the very slight roasted flavor…very subtle.

Here’s what Briess says about MW:
Subtle, smooth, no bitter, astringent, dry flavors or aftertaste, starts slightly sweet, hints of roasted flavor,
finishes exceptionally clean Bitterless black malt that can be used in any recipe calling for debittered black malt.

Midnight Wheat Malt is the smoothest source of black color of any malt available.

‘Carafa special III’ works well. I’d throw your dark malts into the sparge - that way you extract the color and less of the roastiness

You can also use Sinamar to give it a black color and I think, no bittering at all. ... &sprache=2

Midnight wheat is pretty neutral. Carafa special is huskless and therefore less “roasty”. Or you can try the technique of cold steeping your roast grain and adding this to the mash, or adding your dark malt at the end of the mash so it doesn’t sit in there long. These are methods to reduce the roast character while extracting color. Personally I find that I want just a little roast character. Otherwise, why bother?

That’s good to know, my LHBS doesn’t carry sinamar so I bought some midnight wheat to make a bit of my own. I cold steeped 8 ozs. in a quart of water over night. The next day I racked a gallon of an IPA that I made two weeks before into a seperate carboy with the midnight wheat juice. As soon as the batch is carbed I’ll see how it turned out.

Hopefully you briefly boiled the cold-steeped extract? Grain can carry lactobacillus.

I plan to do the same to a batch of lemon-rosemary blonde ale that I brewed last week, but with roast barley instead of the midnight wheat.

The Briess rep. at the NHC gave me a small sample of Blackprinz to try out. He said that it provides the color without any roast flavors. The kernels look more like Midnite wheat than Carafa III. Maybe It’s just a name thing.

got some of that from him too! Haven’t tried it yet…maybe its IBA time.

Just a thought, but could I skip the boil and use the cold-steeped extract in a black lambic type of beer?

BlackPrinz was my second choice to Midnight. I’d like to know how it turns out.

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