Big IPA Recipe (1 lb of Hops) cover

Big IPA Recipe (1 lb of Hops)

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With a couple exceptions I have always been a bit underwhelmed by the quality of my hoppy beers. They are generally solid, but they never taste quite as bright, clean, fresh as the top shelf commercial IPAs (and double IPAs). With hop prices back down close to their "pre-crisis" levels, I though it was time to give another shot at brewing a really hop forward beer.
Originally posted February 12, 2010
The Mad Fermentationist
CC BY-NC-SA 3.0





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Big IPA Recipe (1 lb of Hops)

With a couple exceptions I have always been a bit underwhelmed by the quality of my hoppy beers. They are generally solid, but they never taste quite as bright, clean, fresh as the top shelf commercial IPAs (and double IPAs). With hop prices back down close to their "pre-crisis" levels, I though it was time to give another shot at brewing a really hop forward beer.

The malt-bill is loosely based on Russian River's Pliny the Elder, with a gravity walking the line between IPA and Double IPA at 1.071. I want a base beer that will be nice and dry to accent the hop bitterness and flavor (too much crystal in a big IPA and it tastes like a barleywine to me).

I used a good ol' American pale malt, which has a neutral, less malty flavor than the English Marris Otter I tend to use for ales. On top of the pale malt I added some carapils for head retention and body and a touch of crystal 40 (since I had a bit left over from another batch).

For added dryness I added .75 lbs of clear candi sugar to the kettle during the sparge, normally I would've just used table sugar, but I had the candi sugar left over from my white sugar experiment.

As a side note, I recently heard an Interview with Vinnie (the owner/brewer at Russian River) where he indicated that he originally added the combination of carapils and sugar (which work against each other in terms of body) to boost the gravity when his mash tun couldn't handle just doing a beer with more basemalt (but he likes the results so much he has kept on doing it even now when he could just add more basemalt).

I added 5 g of gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) to the strike/sparge water, which assuming my water report is accurate, brought it close to 150 ppm sulfate, which I have found to be a good level to accentuate hop bitterness without making the beer taste minerally. The calcium in gypsum also helps to keep the mash pH in check for such a pale beer with minimal specialty malts.

One of the biggest things I am working on in this batch is keeping oxidation to a minimum, now that I have a kegging system this should be a bit easier. I left the blowoff tube on until I transferred to the keg for secondary (no samples) to ensure that no oxygen gets into the fermenter. I flushed the keg with CO2 twice before I transfer the beer into it for dry hopping, I even flushed the auto-siphon with CO2 to make sure it doesn't add any oxygen to the situation.

I used all pellet hops in the boil to reduce the wort lost to the huge quantity of hops. I went with Columbus for bittering with a mix of Amarillo and Simcoe after that. Nothing terribly ground breaking, but it seems like just about ever great IPA out there uses Amarillo and/or Simcoe (see the bottom of the post). I added the flameout additions in stages over the first few minutes post-boil, adding some after the beer had a chance to cool slightly. The faster you can cool the wort after adding hops the fewer of those precious volatile hop aromatics will be lost.

I used the same three hop combo from the boil for dry hopping as well. I transferred the beer to the a keg after primary fermentation was complete along with 3 oz of whole hops in a mesh bag (whole hops are easier to deal with at this stage and don't give a grassy/vegetal flavor like pellets can with extended exposure).

The beer will sit on these hops for 10-14 days at room temperature (since the hop oils are more soluble at those temps). After that I am going to open up the keg and remove the spent hops, replacing them with an identical second dose of hops that will sit in the beer as it force carbonates. This second dose of hops will stay in the keg allowing for a full, bright hop aroma that is fresher than if I had to wait 2 weeks for natural bottle conditioning post-dry hopping.

Hopefully the tweaks to my recipe and technique this time around will result in the hoppy beer I've been dreaming of.

DIPA Bomb

DIPA Bomb

Recipe Specifics (All-Grain)

----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.50

Total Grain (Lbs): 15.07

Anticipated OG: 1.071

Anticipated SRM: 4.7

Anticipated IBU: 171.3

Brewhouse Efficiency: 69 %

Wort Boil Time: 100 min

Grain/Sugar

------------

89.6% 13.50 lbs. American Pale Malt

5.0% 0.75 lbs. Clear Candi Sugar Rocks

5.0% 0.75 lbs. Cara-Pils Dextrine Malt

0.5% 0.07 lbs. Crystal 40L

Hops

------

3.00 oz. Columbus (Pellet 11.00% AA) @ 90 min.

1.00 oz. Columbus (Pellet 11.00% AA) @ 45 min.

1.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet 12.40% AA) @ 30 min.

3.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet 8.60% AA) @ 0 min.

2.00 oz. Simcoe (Pellet 12.40% AA) @ 0 min.

1st Dry Hop

1.00 oz. Columbus (Whole 11.00% AA)

1.00 oz. Amarillo (Whole 8.60% AA)

1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole 12.70% AA)

2nd Dry Hop

1.00 oz. Columbus (Whole 11.00% AA)

1.00 oz. Amarillo (Whole 8.60% AA)

1.00 oz. Simcoe (Whole 12.70% AA)

Extras

-------

1.00 Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.(boil)

0.50 Tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 Min.(boil)

Yeast

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WYeast 1056 American Ale/Chico

Water Profile

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Profile: Washington DC + 5 g gypsum

Mash Schedule

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Sacch Rest 60 min @ 152

Notes

Brewed 1/30/10

Made a 1 qrt starter the night before. Yeast was fresh , manufactured about a month earlier.

5 g of gypsum added total, 2 to mash, 3 to sparge

Candi sugar added to the kettle while the wort drained to give it time to dissolve.

Did a fly sparge until the last 1.5 gallons, then did a modified batch sparge stir/vorlauf/drain.

Collected 7.75 gallons of 1.056 wort.

Added 1 oz of Amarillos at flame out, 1 oz each Amarillo/Simcoe right after I started the chiller, and 1 oz of each again 1 minute later.

Cooled to 66, strained, let sit for ~10 minutes to settle before transferring to carboy. Gave 60 seconds of pure O2 and pitched the yeast starter (at full krausen). Still plenty of hop/trub in solution. Left at ~62 ambient.

Strong fermentation after 12 hours. Surprisingly no blow-off needed.

2/5/10 Fermentation looks about finished, beer is moderately clear.

2/6/10 Transferred into a keg with the first 3 oz of dry hops. The gas poppet seemed to be leaking at first, but adding more CO2 seemed to do the tick getting it to seal.

2/15/10 Moved keg to fridge at 40 degrees to help it drop a bit clearer before the second dose of hops is added.

2/16/10 Pulled the dry hops, added the 3 oz of keg hops. Sealed it back up, flushed twice with CO2, and left it to carb at 11 PSI.

2/18/10 Pulled a sample to get rid of some of the yeast and take a gravity reading. Down to 1.010 (86% AA, 8.1% ABV), nice lingering bitterness and a huge hop aroma despite the minimal carbonation.

3/04/10 1st tasting, turned out very well. Big hop aroma and plenty of bitterness, all the work on this one was well worth it.

Hopping schedule info for great commercial hop bombs, a great place to start if you are looking to clone one of these beers or just try a new hop combination: link.