Any advice on IPA kits?

Hello all. I went to a brew “festival” over the weekend and really liked the various IPA’s that were offered. Most were pretty similar with some nuanced differences.

Anyway…I’m fairly new to the brew game and wanted to pose a few questions:

  1. Is there any reason a new brewer should steer clear of IPA’s due to complexities, etc?
  2. Does anyone have any recommendations on a good NB IPA extract kit for a rookie?
  3. Related to the first two points, I’m a little hesitant to get into dry hopping and wanted to know if there are any IPA extract kits that don’t require dry hopping and/or secondary fermentation.

That’s quite a bit to be asking, but I appreciate any insight.

IPAs are relatively easy and can in some cases allow you to hide flaws with hops. Having said that it’s difficult to get the kind of aroma you’ll want for an IPA without dry hopping it. This doesn’t really mean you need to rack to a secondary vessel either. I’ve dry hopped in the primary many times.

You don’t specify what kind of IPA you like, east coast, west coast, traditional or english so I’d say try the Dead Ringer. It’s very similar to Bell’s 2 hearted ale.

I’m answering in reverse order…

  1. Dry hopping is pretty important to get good hop flavor and aroma. It’s not that hard, actually, so I’d recommend giving it a go. You could always dry hop in primary…

  2. Dead Ringer is popular, but my favorite extract kit I ever did was the 115th dream kit. It’s spendy, but damn it was tasty. Be prepared to make a starter, if you go for a particularly strong beer kit.

  3. Water could be an issue… less so for extract than all grain, but consider using RO or Distilled. Also, IPAs tend to be have a higher OG, so be prepared to pitch plenty of yeast (starter, multiple packs, or dry yeast).

[quote=“dannyboy58, post:2, topic:20737”]
IPAs are relatively easy and can in some cases allow you to hide flaws with hops.
[/quote]I agree. Add enough hops and it will mask many mistakes. However if you stick to an extract recipe or make up your own then proceed the same, as long as good sanitation is used, you should come out with some good beer.

If there is a commercial IPA you find to be great just Google the name with “clone” and there is almost always one. Even if not post here and you will at least get good feedback on what to use.

Dry hopping is not that hard but late additions, like flame out, will help with the “hop nose” you will want.

I did the Kama Citra IPA for my second extract kit and it turned out great. Not too bitter, strong hop characters, but not over the top. There is dry hopping, but I just added it to the primary after 4 weeks of fermentation, left it 5 days and bottled. Wasn’t a big deal at all.

Dannyboy58 - I have a great liking for Sierra Nevada, either Torpedo or Hop Hunter.

My very first IPA was New Belgium’s Ranger. Restaurant didn’t have any good amber ales, so I tried it. Went extremely well with a “Baseball Steak”. It might be about 40 gallons of NB’s Dead Ringer since then.

Ive not done an IPA kit, read some of the ingredients list an have my own, which is close to 2 hearted, and I found to hop pre boil, AKA first additions, then a wheel barrow load at flame out… Some times I will dry hop and other times not. Sneezles61

I’m a huge proponent of FWH additions. I will not make an APA or IPA without it. I’ve even had success on non hop forward beer.

You don’t have to DH your IPA if you don’t want all that aroma. If you want that aroma then you HAVE TO DH.

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I vote for dry hop. Love that aroma. But I guess you don’t have to its your beer. If you do a kit just toss any dry hop additions in at flame out.