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Ugly Stick Black IPA Recipe

Ugly Stick Sessionable Black IPA Recipe

Is this a light black IPA recipe or is it a overhopped black APA or is it a dark American brown? Who knows? One thing is for certain this recipe is smooth, bitter, and full of hop character with enough malt complexity to stay interesting without being muddled.

It’s hard to say which style category this would be boxed into. As it is a lighter beer, one could argue it would be more of a “black rye APA” due to the lower alcohol percentage and diverse malt bill.

When designing the recipe I took my standard pale ale recipe and blended it with the specialty malts often referenced in clones of Firestone Walker’s Wookie Jack. In particular, this meant blending in a bit of rye as well as using some dehusked black malt for colour without adding astringency. The rye adds a subtle spicy note to the malt profile without being overpowering. That theme is present throughout the entire grain bill. It’s there, but you need to look for it.

Don’t let the variety of malts fool you though, this is a hoppy beer through and through. With that said, I’m sticking with placing this in the black IPA category on the basis that it’s bitterness to extract ratio places it at a perceived bitterness level on par with that of an IPA. We’ll say it’s “sessionable” due to the lower alcohol percentage and call it a day.

The featured image shows the final product in a pint glass from Full Sail Brewing in Hood River Oregon where I first learned of black beers that don’t taste as dark as they look.

Ugly Stick “Sessionable” Black IPA Recipe Rev. 1

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 75 min 41.9 IBUs 31.7 SRM 1.049 1.010 5.0 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 7.75 lbs 76.78
Rye Malt 12 oz 7.43
Blackprinz 8 oz 4.95
Caramel Rye (Weyermann) 6 oz 3.72
Chocolate Malt 5 oz 3.1
Oats, Flaked 5 oz 3.1
Roasted Barley (Simpsons) 1.5 oz 0.93


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Cascade 0.66 oz 75 min First Wort Pellet 6.9
Ahtanum 0.5 oz 75 min First Wort Pellet 5.2
Willamette 0.5 oz 75 min First Wort Pellet 4.8
Ahtanum 0.33 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 5.2
Amarillo 0.33 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 8.2
Cascade 0.33 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 6.9
Willamette 0.33 oz 0 min Aroma Pellet 4.8
Ahtanum 0.66 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 5.2
Amarillo 0.66 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 8.2
Cascade 0.66 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 6.9
Willamette 0.66 oz 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 4.8


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Dry English Ale (WLP007) White Labs 78% 65°F - 70°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152.6°F 60 min
Mash Out 169°F 10 min


Step Time Temperature
Primary 10 days 65°F
Secondary 3 days 65°F
Aging 7 days 43°F


Zero minute hop additions are actually whirlpool additions using Russell's typical hop stand technique for pale ales. Essentially at "zero" the kettle is taken off the heat and allowed to stand until the naturally drops to about 85C/185F. At that time the hops are added and allowed to steep in the hot wort for 30 minutes before the wort is chilled. This allows the oils to be extracted from the hops while minimizing hop isomerization which can be very unpredictable post boil.

I brewed this with a quick turnaround in mind. Fermentation wrapped up in about 7 days. At this point dry hops were added and left at fermentation temperature for 3 days. I then crashed for 2 days and kegged.

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