Balboa Black IPA

Balboa is my second attempt at a Black IPA (AKA Cascadian Dark Ale). It’s a relatively new style that hasn’t yet been given its own BJCP subcategory. In a nut shell, it’s a very dark colored ale with a big hop punch and a hint of roasty flavors.

This was the first beer I brewed on my 3 gallon brew-in-a-bag setup, and it was a great first brew. The name comes from the cross street nearest to my new apartment.
7.0 lb Maris Otter
.5 lb Carapils®/Carafoam®
.5 lb Carafa® TYPE III
.25 lb Crystal Malt 20°L
.10 lb Chocolate Malt

Hop Schedule
0.5 oz Summit (17.0%) - added during boil, boiled 60.0 m
0.5 oz Summit (17.0%) - added during boil, boiled 18.0 m
0.5 oz Amarillo (8.5%) - added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
1.0 oz Cluster (7.0%) - added during boil, boiled 0.0 m

Dry Hop
0.5 oz Nugget (13.0%) - added dry to primary fermenter
1.0 oz Columbus (15.0%) - added dry to primary fermenter

1.0 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale

I brewed this batch in time to submit it to the National Homebrew Competition. Last year I submitted my first Black IPA (Black Hops Cascadian Dark Ale) and scored well. So I decided to take some of the judge’s comments and incorporated them into this recipe. The biggest change I made was to add more late hops and a bigger charge of dry hops.
Balboa pours a deep, opaque black with reddish edges. The two-finger light tan head has staying power and leaves patchy lace. The aroma is bright, floral hops with hints of roasty malt. The taste is grapefruit up front, followed by a slight coffee-like roastiness, which then circles back around and finishes with a lingering citrusy bitterness. It’s medium bodied with nice, moderate carbonation.

This style is quickly becoming one of my favorites, and I’m happy to see more brewers adding it to their lineups. It’s a style all about balance—keeping the citrusy hops front-and-center and giving the drinker just a hint of stout-like roasted character. And I think Balboa does it pretty nicely.

Now let’s see what the judges think.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome label. I hope I get to try one of your brews at an upcoming SFHG meeting!