I have a lot of recipes I’ve developed for Crooked Run, and I can’t resist making up new ones all the time. One of these was my Halloween IPA, Hellfire. I premiered this beer last Thursday and it sold faster than any other beer I have put on tap over the weekend. The feedback was absolutely fantastic: IPA fans LOVED this beer.
I really pride myself on recipe formulation. As a homebrewer, I’ve brewed hundreds of different batches of beer. You can read about ingredients but until you have used them, you won’t know how to fit them together properly. I don’t know every style and malt inside and out, but I do know some pretty well.
Hellfire represented something pretty special and unique, and on this post I wanted to let people know what goes into a Crooked Run ale. Let me break it down bit by bit.
Hellfire Black IPA: A jet black IPA with a complex hop aroma and smooth malt profile. Dark, but not roasty, with a massive Mosaic hop flavor.
60% U.S. two row malt: American two row barley is very neutral, letting the specialty grains and hops take center stage.
20% Vienna malt: I wanted Hellfire to be more than just a black colored IPA. I use Vienna malt in any beer that I want to add an increased malt backbone to. Unlike caramel malt, Vienna will not add as much unfermentable sugar, and will keep the beer dry. I also use Vienna in my dark saison and American pale ale. It is one of my favorite malts.
7.5% Caramel 15 malt: An IPA needs a hefty dose of light caramel malt to give it some backbone to hold up the bitterness.
7.5% table sugar: My house yeast is Wyeast 1968, which has a very low level of attenuation. In order to make a nice, crisp IPA I need to use a fair amount of sugar to dry the beer out.
5% Carafa special III: I use Carafa, which is a German de-husked roasted barley, to add dark color and a small hint of smooth roastiness. Normal roasted malts add astringency, but since Carafa has no husk, it is very smooth. This is very important for a black IPA.
Cascade and Mosaic hops: I used a large amount of these hops in Hellfire. Cascade is a classic American hop, and Mosaic is a new variety that was released last year and has quickly become one of the most in-demand hops on the market. It has a lot of fruit flavor, especially peach and melon. I wanted this beer to be very unique, so I used a massive amount of Mosaic hops in the dry hop stage.
English ale yeast: I use the same yeast strain as Fuller’s brewery in London for all my American and English beers. Wyeast 1968 leaves a full malt profile, drops crystal clear, and has a bit more flavor than American ale yeast.
So that is what went into this beer. I put an equal amount of time and thought into every beer I make. I am committed to offering well-crafted beers that are good examples of their respective styles. I can’t wait to show you all the rest of the beers I have in store!