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Oddball Beer

Ever since I made a Cascadian Dark Ale I’ve been considering making a brown/black beer using carafa special grains to get the majority of color and creating a dark beer without the roasty character. Mostly I suppose it’s for those put off by dark beers because they are scared of them.

Another beer I’ve been considering is a form of brown IPA with possible nutty flavors from Victory in there, but I’m not sure what hops would go well since it would be 60-70 IBU’s of them, and I tend to like more late addition hops instead of a more balanced approach as far as the hop schedule goes.

Anyone come up with oddball beers?

Most European Shwartzbiers and American dark lagers use Carafa Special or similar to give color without much (or any) roastiness. It can work well, give it a try.

The hoppy nutty brown sounds like the grainbill from a Northern English Brown and the hop schedule from an American Brown. I’d be worried about the hops overwhelming the nuttiness you are trying to get. Perhaps use a more “earthy” hop, like Williamette or Fuggles?

Last winter I did a ‘Cascadian Dark Lager’ that was interesting.
BLack IPA with the smoothness of a lager. The hops came through well.
It’s not on my rotation for maybe a couple years, but it was interesting.

The idea for me is more a hoppy IPA with the darker crystal of a brown. But I like nutty brown ales, and I considered it, though I think it would get lost or clash with the hops

Personally,I’ve never really understood why people want to use dark malts strictly for color,without any real flavor contribution.I guess I just don’t see the point.You might just as well use black food coloring if color is all you want,as far as I’m concerned.And if you’re looking for toasty flavors,a tiny little bit of dark roasted malt isn’t going to hurt anything,believe me.Anyway,toasted malts or dark caramel malts can work okay with an aggressive hop bill,but it’s a fairly tricky approach to pull off well.It usually takes a lot of experimentation to get it right.In my experience,the most important thing is to give the wort a good long boil-like,at least 2 hours,if not more like 3.That’s the best way to really caramellize the malt sugars and get the most out of the hops,too.And the body you get from an extended boil will help smooth out any rough edges from lack of harmony between the malt and hops.As far as the choice of hops is concerned,I’d say that if you want a really well-balanced beer,I wouldn’t necessarily go for a hop variety with a really high AA level and/or a really aggressive character.You can do that,though;you’ll just need to give the beer at least a couple of months in the bottle to really mature.My personal hop of choice for bittering a dark beer of any kind is Northern Brewer,either American or British.They’re just really neutral and they’ll let the other flavors in the beer come out without clashing or overshadowing them.I hope I’ve given you some useful pointers.

I’d want a mild roasty character, almost more of an amber type flavor or mild brown, but very dark (obsidian). In a sorts something like a Cascadian Dark, which gave me the idea as it’s not as roasty as one might think it would be. Maybe even something like a black lager, but an ale. And I guess it’s mostly just the novelty of it. Something to surprise others with.

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