Recipe: To Cascadia! American Black Ale

This old-school Cascadian dark ale embraces piney Chinook hops in Sasquatchian proportions. Don’t worry about the IBUs—this should end up relatively balanced, with enough malt and hop flavors and aroma to provide depth for the bitterness.

Annie Johnson Nov 26, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: To Cascadia! American Black Ale Primary Image

Photo: Joe Stange

For more on tackling this style with partial-mash and extract brewing, see No Rests for the Wicked: American Black Ale, Extracted.


Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.070
FG: 1.017
IBUs: 100+
ABV: 7.2%

8 lb (3.6 kg) Briess Golden Light dry malt extract (DME)
1 lb (454 g) Briess Munich DME
12 oz (340 g) crystal 10L
8 oz (227 g) Weyermann Carafa Special I
4 oz (113 g) chocolate malt
4 oz (113 g) Briess Midnight Wheat

1.25 oz (35 g) Chinook at 60 minutes [48 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Chinook at 20 minutes [47 IBUs]
1 tablet Whirlfloc at 20 minutes
1 tsp (5 ml) yeast nutrient at 10 minutes
2 oz (57 g) Chinook at 5 minutes [15 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Chinook at whirlpool [23 IBUs]
2 oz (57 g) Chinook at dry hop

Fermentis SafAle US-05 or similar

Mill the grains and place them in a mesh grain bag. Steep in 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of 152°F (67°C) water for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 168°F (76°C). Remove the bag, rinse the grains, and add 5 more gallons (19 liters) of water to your kettle, then bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the DME in batches, being careful not to scorch. Return the heat and achieve a rolling boil. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops, Whirlfloc, and yeast nutrient according to the schedule. After the boil, stir to create a vortex, add whirlpool hops, and allow 20 minutes to settle. Chill the wort to 64°F (18°C), aerate well, and pitch the yeast. Add dry hops on day 5 or 6 of fermentation. When final gravity is reached, package and carbonate.

Annie Johnson is an experienced R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year honors.