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Our bride ale – our wedding favours and the Black IPA recipe

The big day has come and only just gone which meant we got to enjoy giving our wedding guests the bride ale we created in their honour. You can read about its creation in a previous blog post: Brewing up a bride ale


We had decided a while back that we wanted our wedding day to be very personal, very casual and most of all 100% us. That meant no big white frocks, no formal traditions or rules and most importantly involving the people who are important in our lives and the things which are important in our lives. Two of those kind of come under one header as Kate and I, and our friends are all lovers of good beer and most of us brew our own beer. This made one of our first decisions quite easy, the wedding favours were bottles of home-brewed beer and the beer being served on the day and the bar which the beer was served from were both home-made.

We promised you in the previous post  that we’d share the recipe with you, so I will keep that promise and post it here, but first, just cause it’s me and I’m a beer geek – a little bit of history.

India Pale Ale – (IPA)

The beer we decided to make was a Black IPA, which as the name suggests is a bit of a weird one. A Black India Pale Ale????

India Pale Ale is a hoppy beer which roughly falls into the pale ale category. In the 18th century, pale ales were lightly hopped and very different to today’s versions, the IPA came about as a need for pale ales to be sent to civil servants and military personnel serving in the colonies arose. Unfortunately the beer was usually spoiled by the time it finished its long ocean voyage. The solution was supposedly come about when Allsopp’s brewery brewed a version of pale ale with a higher alcohol content and higher amount of hops used in the brew. The alcohol and hops helped to prevent infections in the beer and so it survived the journey. It was the now famous East India Company who then brought this beer to India and to its staff and customers in india – Hence INDIA pale ale.

So what’s with the black bit?

black ipa

A black IPA is basically a beer brewed like an IPA with similar alcohol levels and hop bitterness, but with a little bit of extra malt thrown in to add a little bit of dark malt character and colour.

For us, it was about having a little bit of fun as our guests realise they were drinking a black beer that’s called a pale ale. Incidentally, because some brewers felt that a black IPA was going against style and history, this beer is sometimes called a Cascadian Dark – named after the Cascadia region in the states where it supposedly came from.

Just to show you the difference here is a picture of one of the standard IPAs we brew and next to it our BLACK IPA.

The Recipe – Black IPA

Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 20 liters
Efficiency: 77%
Original Gravity: 15.4 °P
Final Gravity: 3.3 °P
ABV (standard): 6.5%
IBU (tinseth): 60

4.83 kg United Kingdom – Maris Otter Pale
0.37 kg German – Carafa III
5.2 kg Total

25 g Gallena 14.1% 60 min
33 g Citra 14%  10 min
30 g Citra 14% Whirlpool 10 min
30 g Amarillo 8.9%  Whirlpool 10 min
30 g Citra 14%  Dry Hop 4 days

Mash Steps
Step 1 – add 25 L and heat to 63 C hold for 10 min
Step 2 – Raise temperature to 65 C and hold for  70 min
Step 3 – Raise temperature to 73 C and hold for 5 min
Step 4 – Raise temperature to 78 C and hold for 5 min

Boil Guidelines
Top up to 25L and boil for 60 min

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