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From Pale Ale to IPA

So, if I have a tasty, well balanced pale ale recipe, can I just add less water to the fermentor when I start fermenting and come up with an IPA? I’m thinking that instead of adding 2 gallons to get me to 5, I might add 1 gallon to get me to 4.

It will definitely be slightly higher ABV. Will it be to the style guidelines. Maybe not, but how it tastes will be the most important part of the plan.

I use this recipe builder when I play around with ingredients to get an idea of the outcome.

I’m currently planning an amber pale ale or amber IPA based on NB’s American amber ale recipe.

I think you’re right. I use brewersfriend myself and really like it. I recently made what I call an Amber IPA and it was quite good. (Amber extract, crystal 20, Columbus for bittering, Cascade & Willamette for finishing)

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Tentative plan for the amber ale ingredients is centennial for bittering, all other hops will be cascade. Add maybe half pound of caramel 40 with the steeping grains. Might also add some extra light DME.


Style guidlines, if it matters to you, for pale ale and IPA overlap with of course IPAs having a generally higher ABV and IBU. My personal PA/IPA grain bill is about the same with the focus being on increased bittering hops and usually increased flavor/aroma hops as well. I like both to be easy drinkers and typically below 7% abv with PAs usually below 6%.

SO my answer to your original post would be to focus more on increasing your hops and maybe a small bump to your extract depending on your target abv.


I did this with Denny’s Waldo Lake Amber a couple of years ago. Just increased the bittering and late addition hops. The FWH are already there. I also used WY1272 rather than Denny’s 1450. Turned out great! I’m planning to brew it again soon for a late summer/fall beer. I like 1450 but 1272 attenuates and flocs a bit better for me.

Didn’t mention this before. Main reason for trying a modified amber ale recipe is the yeast. My yeast starting taking the FG of my amber ales down to 1.006. Normal FG for the amber ale was 1.010 to 1.011. The yeast is harvested WY 1056. Use the same yeast for the Dead Ringer. DR FG is the same at 1.006 and always finished at 1.006 even with fresh yeast. I am just finishing an amber ale with US-05. Wanted to test for a wild infection of my brewing equipment. SG of this amber ale is 1.010 on day 16 in the primary. I’m guessing no wild yeast in my equipment.

edit: The sediment/yeast in the bottles of amber ale brewed with the harvested WY 1056 is stuck tight to the bottom. Pour the entire contents of the bottle. The Dead Ringer still has some loose sediment.

Instead of less water add some extra DME or sugar. Increase the bitterness a bit and a hefty dry hop. Wha la IPA

Thats a very curious use of centennial, as FWH ? I was using them as whirlpool, and some what less, as it seems to be a double of cascade… I’m curious then, Dannyboy do you use it also as FWH? I have a little more tinkering to see how this alters me IPA… Sneezles61

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