Category Archives: IPA

3×3 Super Session IPA

Testing the limits of first wort hopping in a low gravity IPA. 3oz at first wort, 3oz at whirlpool, and 3oz dry hop. Second batch on the new Grainfather system.

  • 7.5 Golden Promise
  • 0.3 Carapils
  • 0.3 Amber malt
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (FWH)
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (whirlpool)
  • 3oz each Amarillo Simcoe and Citra (dry hop)
  • WLP001 (no starter).

Mash-in 1.75qt/lb At 154 for 40 minutes. Mash out at 168 for 5 min. Spargw to collect 6 gallons wort.’boil 60, collect 5.75 gal 1040 wort 86F. Chill overnight in fridge. Got down to 56F overnight, took out of the fridge, oxygenated and pitched yeast. Brewed 8/31/16.

9/5/16:  Fermentation was quick, finished within a few days. Sharp hop taste, gravity at 1013. Added dry hops, shook once a day for the next few days to mix it up. Tons of airlock activity after each shake.

9/8/16:  Moved to the fridge after 3 days dry hopping. Gravity at 1012.

9/10/16: Interesting flavors. The fermentation character seems peachy, and the hops still have a piney kind of impression. Good amount of body. Kegged, tasting notes soon.


Leave a comment

Filed under Hoppy, IPA, Pale Ale

El Dorado SMASH Tasting

This recipe used 8oz of El Dorado hops; it was my first time using them – they’re super interesting and juicy!


Aroma: All hops – lemon, berries, peach, hint of pine.

Appearance: Pale yellow, cloudy. Medium density white head that leaves excellent lacing.

Mouthfeel: Light, ever so slightly acidic, and refreshing on the palette. Minimal lingering bitterness in the finish despite the level of hopping.

Flavor: All hops again, peach-y citrus all the way. When the beer was young, I thought it had undertones of grape, maybe even plum. These faded after while to only the brighter peach and lemon.

Overall: El Dorado is awesome. A very unique hop that I would compare to a blend of Chinook and Citra – it has the tropical flavors but with some piney sub-flavors. The bright peach and lemon is unlike anything I’ve used. I will for sure be using it in APAs and IPAs to come, maybe even an interesting Saison. Going with all 2-row is the base was a safe bet to really get a feel for the hop in question, but adding a bit of color and body to the beer via dark Munich or a pinch of specialty malts would help to provide a bit more balance; I tried blended 2/3 this and 1/3 of an English Bitter and that worked really well together.

Leave a comment

Filed under Blonde, Hoppy, IPA, SMASH, Summer, Tasting

Hopped Up Rye

Rye malt has been on my “to brew” list for a long time. I rarely put it in recipes, partly because I just don’t have a great handle on how to use it. I like beers with rye, but I can’t say that I really seek it out like I would a sour or IPA. I’m still on a hoppy beer kick, so I did a little research on hoppy rye ales and and based this recipe off of “Denny’s Rye IPA” recipe. There’s a remark in the thread about not recommending using English yeast, but that’s just ridiculous. Brewed 4/27/16.

  • 11.3 lb 2-row Pale malt
  • 3 lb Rye malt
  • 0.9 lb Carared
  • 0.6 lb Cararye
  • 0.2 lb Chocolatre
  • 0.5 oz Mt Hood hops FWH
  • 1 oz Columbus 60 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Mt Hood 30 minutes
  • Yeast cake from Galaxy Pale Ale

// Mash-in 1.75 qt/lb (7 gal) at 154 for 35 minutes. Pull grain bag, dunk in 3 gallons of water to pseudo sparge. Collect around 8.5 gallons 1044 wort. Boil 90 minutes, collect around 6 gallons 1054 wort. Chill to 75, rack directly onto cake from galaxy pale. //

3 tsp gypsum to mash.

4/29/16:  Fermentation was quick.  Good amount of rye flavor and resiny hops, a little yeast character in the finish. Tastes slightly thin. Gravity at 1014. Added 1 oz columbus dry hops. and moved to refrigerator. Kegged 48 hours later.

5/27/16:  After some conditioning wound up being a pretty solid beer! Tasting notes.


Leave a comment

Filed under All-grain, Hoppy, IPA, Rye

El Dorado SMASH

My LHBS had a deal going on: 1/2 lb El Dorado hops for $11! That’s a sick deal – $1.38/oz for a hop that normally goes for $2.50/oz. So I picked up a pack and made a recipe to really showcase it; huge late hopping.

  • 15 lb US 2-row
  • 0.5 oz El Dorado 60 min
  • 1 oz El Dorado 15 min
  • 1.5 oz El Dorado 10 min
  • 1.5 oz El Dorado 8 min
  • 2 oz El Dorado 6 min
  • 1.5 oz El Dorado dry hop

// Mash-in 1.8 qt/lb for 60 minutes, sparge w/ 3.5 gal 170F water to collect 8 gal 1042 wort. Boil 60 minutes, let hops stand for 25 minutes. Chill to 80F, collect 5 gallons of 1058 wort. Lost about a gallon to hop trub. Racked directly onto cake from the Peach cider. Good fermentation a few hours later. Brewed 5/20/16. //

5/22/16:  Fermentation started to slow down, added dry hops loose to fermentor.

5/25/16:  Gravity at 1011. Crazy hop flavor. Tons of citrus, but it’s kind of lemon-like with some subtle grape, dark fruit that weirdly reminds me of crystal malt. Moved to fridge to crash cool.

5/26/16: Kegged. Tasting notes to come.

Leave a comment

Filed under All-grain, Blonde, Experimental, Hoppy, IPA, SMASH, Summer

Tropical Session IPA

I had some leftover English yeast that I wanted to utilize rather than dumping like I always do, so I threw together this recipe for a small batch of a low-gravity IPA with a cluster of different hops. Most of the time with an IPA I’m trying to learn about a hop, or keep the number of variations limited. For this I was hoping to do the opposite; create a bouquet of hop flavors that will hopefully be presented as a cohesive package.

  • 7 lb US 2-row Pale
  • 0.4 lb Amber malt
  • 0.2 lb Carapils
  • 0.75 oz Galena FWH
  • 0.5 oz each Amarillo, Centennial, Galaxy and Simcoe @ 10 min (pellet)
  • 0.5 oz each Amarillo, Centennial, Galaxy and Simcoe dry hop (pellet)
  • London Ale III saved from previous batch

IMG_0650// Mash-in 1.33 qt/lb. Mash was at 5.4 pH, used 0.1 lb acid malt to bring down to 5.3. Rest at 150 for 40 minutes, raise to 168 for mash out. Sparge to collect around 3 gallons. Boil 60 minutes, add ice and top-up water to hit 3.5 gallons 1.052 wort. Added 0.5 gallons filtered water to bring it 10 around 1045. Let sit for 4 hours, which brought the tempt to around 85F. The wort looked really strange in the kettle at this point – almost looked like the proteins started to coagulate, then stopped and remained suspended the wort like giant puffy clouds in a very clear wort otherwise. It was so weird that I had to document it. I did use a full whirlflock tablet rather than 1/2 like i normally do in a 3 gal batch, so maybe that had something to do with it. The hop silt trub still sunk nicely to the bottom of the kettle, thankfully. Poured wort directly onto yeast cake. No oxygenation. Brewed 12/30/15. //

// Water: 1.25 tsp gypsum in mash. //

1/1/16:  In 2 days gravity is down to 1012 – super quick fermentation since I used such a massive quantity of yeast and the OG was a little lower. Huge krausen throughout. Beautiful tropical fruit hop flavors that have a nice zing without being overly bitter. Added dry hops directly into carboy and gave it a good swirl.

1/2/15:  Moved to fridge to start crash cooling.


It’d been a while since I had a hop-forward beer on tap and this definitely hit the spot. The hop levels were appropriate – very clean and smooth hop flavor with minimal harshness, with the carbonation really adding an exclamation point to each sip. It was a nice mix of hops, without any one in particular jumping out. If anything, the Galena served as a strong earthy base with some the fruity, tropical flavors riding on top. The end beer was a bit cloudy – i might have just not given it long enough in the primary before crash cooling. No picture, unfortunately; the keg was kicked quickly during a party :O


Filed under All-grain, Hoppy, IPA, Pale Ale, Session, Small Batch

Late Hop IPA

IMG_0670I’ve been wanting to make an IPA lately but nothing seemed to peak my interest in terms of a recipe. Super aggressive IPAs can be good, but I hate when the bitterness is so harsh and intense that the beer becomes a chore to get through. Then, I can across this recipe on The Mad Fermentationist blog, which was originally a session IPA but it sounded great as a normal strength beer as well. So, I scaled it up to 10 gallons and changed around the hops slightly for a little more IBU but kept the hopping regimen most the same – only late hops with a blend of Simcoe, Amarillo, and Columbus. I like all three of these hop varieties but have never used them in this combination before. At 72% eff. this should be 45 IBU, 1053 OG and 6 SRM.

  • 14.5 lb Vienna malt (Weyermann)
  • 4.5 lb Pale malt (Dingemans)
  • 1 lb Caravienna (Dingemans)
  • 1 oz Simcoe, 0.5 oz Columbus (15 min)
  • 1.5 oz Amarillo, 0.5 oz Columbus (10 min)
  • 1.5 oz Simcoe, 1 oz Amarillo, 0.5 oz Columbus (5 min)
  • 1.5 oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Columbus (flameout)
  • 1 oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Columbus (keg-hop)
  • WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast
  • WLP060 American Yeast Blend

// Mash-in 1.4 qt/lb, 153 for 50 min, 168 for 10 min. Sparge w/ 8.75 gal to collect ~13.5 gal 1.042  wort. Boil 90 minutes. Add flameout hops at 170F, let stand for 25 minutes. Chill to 66F, 45 seconds pure O2 in each. Pitch decanted 1L of 550, 1.5L 060 starters in to each carboy. Collected 10 gal 1053 wort. //

Water profile: 154 ppm sulfate, 39 ppm chloride, 95 ppm calcium.  2 tsp gypsum, 0.6 tsp CaCl2 in mash. 2.25 tsp gypsum, 0.75 CaCl2 in batch sparge.

UPDATE (1/4/15): Quick fermentation in both carboys – the American yeast seemed to tap out first, with the Belgian still with a thick yeast layer on top. Took a sample of the American: down to 1016 gravity.  Great hop aroma – a blend of citrus, pine, and some herbal notes too. Excellent hop character – clean and juicy hop flavor up front, toasty malts (a tad sweet, but not overbearing) to follow, with a slight tangy bitterness in the finish. Still pretty cloudy so there is a slight yeast ester, but this should fade. Gave the carboy a gentle swirl for a about 30 seconds to help the yeast finish out. Once this gets down 1014 it’ll be ready for crash cooling. Really excited for the final product on this one.

UPDATE ( 1/7/15): Moved the American batch over to the freezer to crash down to 38F. Belgian batch at 1014 and tasting great. The hops are a bit more subdued compared to the American (less of a bite), and the fruity esters are very prevalent. As soon as one of my carboys frees up, i’m going to transfer this and add some french oak chips.

UPDATE (1/9/15): Racked the Belgian over to a carboy on top of 1.25 oz french oak chips (loose) that were steamed for 15 minutes.

UPDATE (1/26/15): Tasted the Belgian. Interesting aroma – an interesting  lemon/grapefruit note and some classic Belgian esters with a hint of malt. Not much oak in the aroma. Flavor-wise this has really improved. The oak flavor works surprisingly well and seems to balance out the bright, juicy, and slightly tangy hop flavors.


American w/ Dry Hops:  This beer was exploding with hop flavor. Smooth, juicy, fresh hop flavor. The malts were well hidden underneath it all, but I felt that was OK in the end. It’s hard to describe the combined sensation of hop flavor – it blends together to create a benign hoppy package. Fruity, but not absurdly citrusy, floral with a very slightly more darker, woodsy, almost smoky character which probably comes from the Columbus. There’s not much aggressive bitterness (since all the hops were late additions), but I wonder how a little extra bite would balance with the flavor from the dry-hops.  The beer remained really cloudy even after being in the keg for two months, so I think a protein rest may be in order with that much Vienna malt.

Belgian w/ Oak: This one was interesting. I left it on the oak for about 2 months and the hop flavors took an interesting turn. It developed a very bright citrus flavor, very grapefruit-like with some lemon, but doesn’t really taste like hops. The oak is a little muted but it’s an interesting combo with the citrus flavors. The malts are light but their presence is there – most people who tasted this thought it was brewed with honey, which i think was from the malt and oak combination. I’m starting to think that oak really works best with beers that have more color and bolder flavor (caramel, roast, chocolate) – it just blends better with the kind of smoky, woody flavor of the oak. This is essentially an oaked blonde beer, which I don’t I’ve ever had before. The belgian yeast also added an interesting layer to things. As you can tell, this was an extremely complex beer. Bright citrus, light malts, and oak is a little different, but I like it.


Leave a comment

Filed under Belgian, Hoppy, IPA

Pale ‘n Hoppy – Session English IPA

pale_hoppy_far2There’s a style of beer served in the UK that I’ve been searching for for quite some time. It’s cask conditioned, pale in color, low in alcohol (less than 4%), and modestly hopped with American style citrus hops. There was usually at least one of these beers on tap at each pub alongside the traditional bitters, milds, and porters.  I can’t find an official name for the style, other than “pale ‘n hoppy”, so that’s what this recipe’s called. The target beer is a quaint and refreshing hoppy ale that is light but doesn’t seem thin or dry. One concern with beers that have low starting gravities is that the yeast will over-attenuate and really thin the beer out. To combat this, I added 5% Carapils to the grist and mashed high to retain some body. For the hops I went with Citra for its classic over-the-top tropical fruit flavors, but balanced with some Cluster hops for a slightly herbal/floral component – a more “proper” English feel, in my opinion. All this plus cask conditioning served on a hand pump should make for a delightful outdoor session beer.

  • 14.25 lb English Mild malt
  • 0.75 lb Carapils malt
  • 1 oz each Citra and Cluster hops (first wort)
  • 1 oz each Citra and Cluster hops (10 min)
  • WYeast London ESB

// Mash-in 1.5 qt/lb at 154 for 50 min, raise to 168 and sparge w/ 9.5 gal 168 water. Collect 12.5 gal 1.034 wort. Boil 60 min, collect 10.5 gal 1.04 wort. Chill to 80, pitch a 2L starter split between two carboys (eyeballed), and ferment at 68F. Brewed 8/14/14. //

UPDATE (8/17/14): The carboys started to drop clear, so I took a sample. Gravities around 1.020 and 1.022. Tastes just a bit under attenuated and sweet, but the overall flavors are excellent – nice pleasant floral and citrus hoppy aromas / flavors and a clean pale English malt base. Very smooth bitterness. I gave both carboys a good shake to help rouse the yeast and finish out a little more; ideally i’d like to get this down to around 1.013 or 1.014 at the highest to avoid leaving it too sweet. It’s off to a great start, though!

UPDATE (8/20/14): Fermentation picked up nicely after shaking the carboys. Gravity dropped to around 1.014, so I racked one to the cask, and let the other sit for two more days to finish out a little more before force carb-ing. The clarity of this beer is seriously amazing – the description from Wyeast does note that it has very high flocculation and is very good for cask conditioning.. they weren’t kidding! Probably the clearest beer I’ve seen coming out of the primary.  Now that the beer has finished fermenting, it does have a slight sharpness / tangy-ness from the hops, but it’s not overbearing. Hopefully this will mellow out a little over the next week before we tap; all of the other flavors are spot on. Added 1/2 cluster and 1/2 oz citra whole leaf hops to the non-cask keg.


KEG 1/2:  This is 100% going on my Summer to-brew list. I really wouldn’t change anything about this recipe – the level of citrus hop character is fresh and spritsy, the level of body is light and refreshing without seeming thin/bland, subtle but important yeast character that plays well with the hops, and the carbonation is the bow on top of a tasty little package. After the dry hops had some time to soak in the keg, the hop flavor was perfect. I had a pint of this after mowing the grass one day in 90F weather, and man, did this hit the spot! The lower alcohol makes it even more drinkable – very easy to put back a few of these on a hot Saturday afternoon.

CASK 1/2:  Very well balanced and sessionable. The malt flavors and overall body were much more pronounced than the keg beer (the higher serving temperature probably helped), but was quite smooth.  The hop flavors are present, but I think it could really benefit from some dry hops seeing how the other half of the batch turned out.  Really tasty, but a little lacking in carbonation because I was a little late catching the beer in the primary. I have a few different sparkler attachments for the hand pump with different sized holes, and its amazing what that does for the texture and head for the beer – without it produces a frothy head with very light carbonation, but with the sparkler gave it insanely creamy, dense head and, while it does diffuse all the carbonation from the beer, I think it gave the beer a smoother texture. Two days after tapping the cask, I really thought this beer hit its peak. I’ve read about how some slight oxidation can bring out malt flavors



Leave a comment

Filed under All-grain, English, Hoppy, IPA, Pale Ale