I’m in the mood for IPAs, so I threw together a recipe that brings together a mix of English and American ingredients for a different take an otherwise standard IPA. I went with some English style bittering hops (Challenger), English Ale yeast to bring out some fruity esters, and little bit of Marris Otter for a biscuit-y flavor. Then leaving some big potent fruity hops (Simcoe) for aroma and a 2-row base for an a more American IPA feel.
- 8.5 lb US 2-row
- 2 lb Marris Otter
- 1 lb Crystal 60
- 0.25 lb Amber malt
- 1/4 oz Challenger @ 60, 55, 50, 45 min
- 1/2 oz Centennial @ 40, 30, 20 min
- 1 oz Simcoe @ 10 min
- 0.5 oz Simcoe @ flameout
- 1.5 oz Simcoe in whirlpool
- 1 oz Simcoe whole leaf (dry hop)
- White Laps WLP002 English Ale
// Make a 2L 1.03 gravity yeast starter 4 days before brew day on a stir plate – stir for 36 hrs or until yeast starts to flocculate, then chill for 24 hours prior to pitching (siphon off excess beer before using!). Mash in w/ 14.7 qt 156 water (1.25 qt/lb) to rest at 145F for 30 minutes. Add 4.4 qt boiling water to raise to 158F, rest for 30 min. Add 4.9 qt water to raise to 165F, rest for 20 minutes. Sparge, collect 7 gal 1.038 preboil wort. Boil 75 min, leaving around 5 .5 gal 1.059 wort. Chill to 80F, add whirlpool hops and stir for about 20 minutes so that the hops are pretty much dissolved. After whirlpooling, let it sit for another 20 minutes to let any trub settle. Brewed 3/3/13 //
UPDATE (3/8): Fermentation started within 6 hours, peaked at about 24, and was pretty much done after 72. Gave it a total of 5 days in the primary until bubbling once per ~50 s. Tons of yeast overflowed into the blow off tube, as well as settled in the bottom of the primary. Not nearly as much aroma as I thought it would have at this point, but still a nice fruity/piney nose. First taste upfront really showed presence of the English yeast. Fruity and estery. Next you get a little malty sweetness which is nice, but it’s hard to decode back to the original grain bill – I can only really taste presence of 2-row and maybe crystal 60 at this point. Fairly assertive hop taste – no alarming characteristics of the hops, very neutral in taste (not overly fruity/piney/spicy or any direction). Bitterness is appropriate per the amount of hops used, though maybe could have scaled back on the Challenger. Added the 1 oz of whole simcoe dry hops in secondary for 1 week.
After a week in the keg this came out really nice. It’s not an assertive IPA, but it’s got solid character. The nose is still very estery.. normally I’d give that a thumbs down, but it actually plays nicely with the fruity/piney simcoe aroma. The flavor is dominated primarily by hops, but there’s a little caramel/toasty sweetness that creeps in at the end. It’s hard to describe the overall hop sensation, but it’s pleasant. The “continuous” hopping characteristic is definitely resemblant of Dogfish, which is how they are known for hopping their IPA. I think next time I’ll stick to a straight infusion mash and go high around 156F – that way the malt will shine through a little more.
On a side note, I just tried Ramshead Tavern’s IPA and was totally shocked by how good it was (I’m usually not a big fan of their other stuff). It had an EXPLOSION of citrusy and delicious hop flavor, which was really smooth and not harsh by any means. I speculate that they use a huge amount of first wort hops. Next IPA, I’m gonna go really heavy – 2 to 3 ounces – on first wort hops and see what happens. Prost!