Scary Monsters Black IPA

I know that there are rules to determine style types: a given quantity of this, plus that, plus that other, with a dash of these hops, and bang, you’ve got an Elephantine Porterhouse. Or whatever.

I don’t know those rules, and I’m not so concerned about them. As much as I’m a brewer, it’s much more significant to me that I’m a drinker of beer. I love certain flavor combinations and certain mouthfeels and certain amounts of carbonation… These are the things I strive for, and I don’t usually consult textbooks in my pursuit of those.

So I don’t know exactly what Scary Monsters is, but the flavor profile, lightness of body (surprising, given the color), and the way it drinks have led me to call it a Black IPA. Maybe that’s even right.

1. It’s partial mash, so bring about two or two and a half gallons of water to about 155 degrees, and in a steeping bag, place:

  • 8 oz Crushed Caramel Malt
  • 9 oz Chocolate Malt
  • 8 oz Toasted Barley

2. Steep them in your 150-160 degree water for 40 minutes. It’s a lot of grain, so it’s a long soak.

3. After about 40 minutes, lift out your steeping bag and gently encourage as much water as possible as possible to drip into your kettle.

4. Bring your kettle to a boil, and add 6.6 pounds of Muntons Light Malt Extract.

5. Hops pack:

  • 1 oz Willamette – 60 min
  • 1 oz Cascade – 20 min
  • 1 oz Centennial – 5 min

6. Pretty sure I used Nottingham yeast, but any good ale yeast will do.

7. When primary fermentation completes, rack onto 1 oz Willamette for two weeks to dry hop.

Oh, and if your setup is prone to blow offs during primary, you might look into making a blow off tube. Scary Monsters redecorated my kitchen and I had quite a bit of cleaning to do the next morning. Like, mopping. It was intense. That beer earned its name.


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