Grapefruit IPA

Costco has some really nice Israeli grapefruits that I would love to use in a brew. My first thought is to make a grapefruit IPA. Some might call it a pale ale as I plan on this being very conservative for the style. I would appreciate any advice and comments on my recipe below.

10 lbs US 2 row
2 lbs white wheat malt
.5 lbs 20L crystal

Mash at 150 for 60 minutes, then a 60 minute boil. 1.060 target gravity

1oz Galena for 60 minutes for bittering

I am trying to figure out my cocktail of hops for flavor and aroma I don’t want to compliment and not overwhelm the grapefruits. The top varieties on my list are Galaxy, Summer, Czech Sladek, Waimea, UK First Gold, and Mandarina Bavaria. It depends on what is in stock and what I feel like while shopping.

I will also zest and scoop out the flesh of 4 grapefruits that I will sterilize in hot water and add to the carboy for primary fermentation. Ferment with Wyeast 1332


I think your plan sounds good for the most part, though I would probably stick to C-hops for the late additions to get grapefruit aroma/flavor from another angle. Also, I would just make a tincture with vodka with the actual grapefruit zest which you can add at packaging. Maybe add a small amount of carafoam to boost head retention in light of the vodka, but 20% wheat should give you plenty of dextrins in there.

I used cascade and Apollo in mine, I found these hops complemented the grapefruit nicely. Also, I don’t think you get much from fermenting citrus fruit, as all the sweetness goes away and you’re left with a lot of sourness and acidity. The peel is where you want to get your flavor - but just zest the outer layer and avoid the bitter pith if you want to get the most out of the flavor. If you want to accentuate the bitterness, go ahead and get some pith in there as well, but I don’t find grapefruit pith to be a very pleasant kind of bitterness after fermentation. I’d recommend hitting it with the zest only and eating the actual grapefruit.

Good point on the grapefruit flesh above. Edited my response to say zest only.

The other option is to pasteurize the beer (chemically) after fermentation, and add the juice of the grapefruits at packaging.

I made the blood orange hefeweizen from Extreme Brewing by Sam Calagione that uses the flesh and zest. The beer was fantastic and well received. I will take the same approach for this brew.

I have a lot of grapefruit out of an iPa that was bittered with warrior and simcoe/mosaic at 5, 0, and dry hop…equal amounts on the last three additions

I went to my LHBS to find the place almost out of most yeast strains and galena hops. I corrected on the fly and settled on the following recipe.

9 lbs 2 row
1.5 lbs wheat malt
.75 lbs 20L crystal

.5 oz Bravo 60 min
.3 oz Galaxy and Pilgrim for 15 minutes
.3 oz Galaxy and Pilgrim at flame out

Ferment with Denny’s favorite

Im an idiot and forgot to add a little black malt for colouring. Oh well.