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Hop on Top - American IPA

Hi, First post and I wanted to share my first original recipe. My dad, brother, and I have been doing NB extract kits for the past year and have about 15 under our belts. I got the demo of beersmith and was playing around with it. I drafted a recipe and made it yesterday. It’s fermenting fast and I’m anxious to get it bottled, conditioned, and taste it so I can tweak it and try again. Here’s my first draft. Let me know what you think. I was going for a mellower malt tone, lighter in color, but full bodied hop taste.

Hop on Top
American IPA
Type: Extract Date: 23 Nov 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Brewer: Ben
Boil Size: 2.82 gal
Asst Brewer: BAK on Top Brewing
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Pot ( 3 Gal/11.4 L) - Extract
End of Boil Volume 2.60 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 4.60 gal
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 11.1 %
4 lbs DME Golden Light (Briess) (4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 44.4 %
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 17.0 IBUs
4 lbs DME Golden Light (Briess) [Boil for 30 min](4.0 SRM) Dry Extract 44.4 %
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 13.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 6.2 IBUs
2.0 pkg SafAle English Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-04) [23.66 ml] Yeast
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Other
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 0.0 IBUs

Est Original Gravity: 1.066 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.072 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Measured Final Gravity: N/A
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.3 %
Actual Alcohol by Vol: N/A
Bitterness: 61.8 IBUs
Calories: 246.0 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 8.7 SRM

Here are my brew-day notes:

  1. Add the first set of DME after steeping is done and before you get the full boil rolling.
  2. Be careful when adding the second 4lb of DME. When it gets back up to a full boil it may be prone to boiling over until it gets fully absorbed in.
  3. Use a blow off hose immediately as there is a lot of fermentables.

I’ll update this thread with how it turns out.

I think this will turn out to be a pretty good beer as I like centennial. I peronally would move the last hops to 10, 5, and flame out (0), respectively. Another thing you could look into is first wort hopping (FWH). Enjoy your first recipe beer!

I would second the above, and would consider moving most of them to a hop stand to maximize flavor. Also, as far as malts, I would personally drop the crystal by half, but I’m not a huge fan of crystal malts in general, much less in hoppy beers.

Also, if you want to keep it light in color, I would move that second LME addition to later in the boil, as you may get some carmelization by adding it that early (though this is disputed by some).

Finally, I like using brit ale yeasts in American IPA’s (Conan/Vermont Ale is my current favorite), though s-04 adds a weird tanginess that works, but is just not my preference. You may love it, but probably more traditional to use one of the american ale yeasts.

As I am a simpler is better person, I like the restraint to keep it all to one hop. However, I do find a lot of single-hop beers to be one dimensional, so you may want to explore using some traditional ‘hop cocktails’, such as Cent, Cascade and CTZ, or better yet, use a pre-measured mix like Falconer’s Flight. Cent, however (along with Mosaic and Citra) is one of the hops that can really work as a single hop beer (witness Two-Hearted Ale).

Since you already brewed this, you’re probably best to disregard everything I said as it will simply cloud your judgment and put stuff ‘front of mind’ when you are evaluating it. As Loop says though, should be a solid beer as is assuming you have good sanitation and ferment temp control. Nice work-

Thank you both for your feedback. They’re all things I’ve been thinking about either before or after I brewed this recipe. Coming up with the recipe and brewing it is some of the most fun and satisfaction I’ve had in brewing so far. I am anxious to taste it and refine it using your ideas and a few of my own. I am also a bit worried about the full pound of crystal, but I don’t have much experience with grain bills yet since you really have now idea which grains your using when you get a kit and it says,“steep the specialty grains”.

check out Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels. Not a beginner’s book by any means, but it sounds like you are well on your way to being a seasoned brewer, and this book will help you get there. He gives a lot of great shorthand/‘back of envelope’ calculations that are extremely useful as well.

I wouldn’t worry about the full pound of crystal. It will be give it a depth of malt character, which is good for winter. If you have the patience (which I didn’t), rebrew the exact same recipe with half of the crystal and moving the hop additions later and note differences. :cheers:

Pietro’s advice on “Designing Great Beers” is spot on. Great book.

As far as crystal malt goes I try to stay below 7%. With that said you used C40 which is fairly light. I like to use a couple different crystal malts to give dimension which includes using say C60 and C120 so they go a little “further” if you will. Hence why I limit them to 7% ( but is usually 5%).

When it comes to hops, be careful using too many types or they just get muddled. Identify a couple you think would work well together and use them.

Also, meant to say this with first post and even forgot on second…
Welcome to the forum. Great place to get answers and ideas.

Should be a good beer!

I’ve made many batches of all centennial AIPA with almost 10% c40. Turned out great.

Like Pietro I prefer American yeast for mine and use WY1272 for my AIPAs as well as for some other styles. It’s clean, flocs great and lets the hops shine. I’d suggest picking a yeast you like and sticking with it for a while. Brew that recipe over and over with tweaks to get the flavor profile you want. You’ll know what you’re getting from the yeast and can dial in the recipe.

As others have recommended try adjusting your c malts as well as using something like munich malt in the mix. My go to AIPA now is 82% 2 row, 14% munich and 4% c40 or 60 (whichever I have on hand). I adjust the hops according to my current tastes. At 60-70 IBU it’s pretty damn close to 2 hearted which I love.

Well, since you have already brewed it critically taste it before messing with your receipe because after all, it’s your beer custom made for you and not mine or anybody else’s opinion really matter when compared to that.

Now, if I were making that for me I would immediately lower the crystal malt as previous posters have mentioned (in fact, I would completely eliminate it but I suspect I am in the minority when it comes to that). I personally like a pretty dry product but that is of course just my take on the style. Also, a regular IPA usually runs about 1.065 O.G. and a 1.072 O.G. beer is starting to get into Double IPA territory. If you decide to continue making it that strong, you might consider thinning it out some by using some type of simple sugar (again with the dryer is better theme). Finally, the hops you choose should at least to some extent be influcenced by the water chemistry you are working with. If you have harder water (which I do) you might consider going the low cohumolone hop route to get a smoother bitterness. Around here, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting an IPA. In my opinion, the difference between the greats and the so so beers has to do with how smooth or harsh the bittering comes across.

There are also endless games you can play to change the beer up and make it unique. There are alot of newer hops on the market which can radically change the flavor of the beer, you should consider giving some of those a try. You can also play with adjuncts; I like to ceral mash ground corn to lighten things up plus there are several character grains which add to the fun (bisquet, victory, special roast etc. that can add interest). Anyhow, have fun and good luck to you. :smiley:

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