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Blackhawk Black Ale

Brewed: 06/14/2020   Kegged: 06/24/2020 blackhawk.jpg

New Belgium Brewery makes a great beer called 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, and I had seen quite a few posts of people who were going to make a clone of the beer.  This idea appealed to me and I decided to make my own black ale.  I already had my Phat & Tyred Ale recipe, which has started out as a Fat Tire clone, and I decided that instead of copying one of the existing recipes I would use the same grain bill and yeast, but simply darken it up with chocolate and black patent malt.  For hops, I decided to use columbus because I had used it a few times and really enjoyed the aroma.  The resulting beer turned out just fantastic.  There is something about 1554 that is not quite there in my beer, but I still considered Blackhawk Black one of my best.

Batch #2 was slightly different.  I cut down on the chocolate malt and instead of 4 oz Crystal 75, I used 6 oz Crystal 120.  This should give the beer a little more fruity raisin taste which may bring it closer to the 1554.  I also replaced my flavor hop of columbus with saaz to give the hop flavor a less citrusy character.  The bittering still comes mostly from columbus.

Batch #3 was an all-grain recipe.  Because of the fact that my all-grain batches have been so much lighter in color, I decided to add more dark malts to make sure it was back to a black.  I also went back to using columbus in the hop flavor. It turned out wonderful and helped the Hawk's win the 2013 Stanley Cup.

If you would like to read more about BlackHawk Black on my blog, you can follow the BlackHawk Black label.

BlackHawk Black Ale --- Batch 5

Style Belgian Specialty Ale Batch Size 6.00 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   8.23 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.058 SG Estimated FG 1.013 SG
Recipe Bitterness 29.3 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.9 %
BU : GU   0.506        
Recipe Color 27.8 SRM
Measured OG:   1.060    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   80   Measured ABV:   6.4 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 78.6 % 0.86 gal
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.1 % 0.08 gal
12.0 oz Blackprinz (500.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.4 % 0.06 gal
12.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 4 5.4 % 0.06 gal
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5 3.6 % 0.04 gal
0.250 oz Columbus [18.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 16.3 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 - -
0.750 oz Columbus [18.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 13.0 IBUs -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 9 - -
1.0 pkg Kolsch Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2565) [124.21 ml] Yeast 10 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 17.50 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.42gal, 4.12gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
I call this a Belgium Specialty Ale since it started out in the honor of 1554, but not sure that is what it is.
Make 1.5 liter starter
Pitch as close to 60 degrees as possible
Ferment 1 week under 65F followed by 1 week letting the temperature rise to where it wants to go.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.048 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (8.23 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
06/11/2020 esheppy
Picked up ingredients yesterday. Brew day Sunday.
06/14/2020 esheppy
Brew day today. Realized that I had not made starter, so I did it today. 1.060 og. Pitched at 58. Not sure if I got benefit of starter or not.
06/15/2020 esheppy
Bubbling early morning today. Tilt says 1.050 at 60 degrees. Anvil at 59.
06/16/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.029 60 degrees. Still bubbling.
06/17/2020 esheppy
Last night, I forgot to switch out the water bottle and this morning, the temperature showed 67. I was planning to let it rise after today anyway, so it is ok. Tilt says 1.017 at 66.
06/17/2020 esheppy
Last night, I forgot to switch out the water bottle and this morning, the temperature showed 67. I was planning to let it rise after today anyway, so it is ok. Tilt says 1.017 at 66.
06/18/2020 esheppy
Tilt says 1.014 at 68 degrees. Bubbling is pretty slow. I expect I'll keg as soon as one empties, but that might be awhile.
06/24/2020 esheppy
Fermentation is done and I have an empty keg. Will keg soon. Tilt says 1.014 at 69 degrees. Earlier in the week, the gravity was actually down to 1.011. Not sure why tilt thinks the gravity rose.
06/24/2020 esheppy
Kegged. FG 1.012. Yummy.
06/26/2020 esheppy
Poured a pint "sample". Nice beer. Needs more carbonation, but it is exactly how I "pictured" the taste to be. So guuud. I'm looking forward to trying with 1554.
06/28/2020 esheppy
Carbonation almost there. Delicious beer. Hit another burst of co2. Might have to try side-by-side with 1554 soon 😋
07/05/2020 esheppy
Ok. This is ready to do a side-by-side with 1554. Yummy.
07/11/2020 esheppy
Did the side-by-side with 1554. Honestly not sensing anything different. Great beer. 😋
07/19/2020 esheppy
Another taste side-by-side with 1554. Now, has a much thicker, creamer, longer lasting head than 1554. Perhaps a more smooth creamy flavor, but not sure I'd pick that up in blind triangle. Probably not. The important thing ... Yummy beer. 😋
08/11/2020 esheppy
Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs vs the Vegas Knights. Delicious beer.
08/26/2020 esheppy
Keg blew during Avalanche game. Wonderfully smooth black beer. Not a great game so far.
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