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IPA Grain Bill

I know I need to be more specific than just IPA because there are subgroups now…I guess mine is more of a West Coast IPA focusing more on flavor and aroma than outright bitterness and I do like them to be crystal clear.

So I’ve been using the same grain bill for a few years. Roughly 77% 2 row, 14% vienna and 9% c 40. Recently I feel like they’re on the sweet side even though I get great attenuation with WY1056 or 1272 and typically end up around 1.008-1.010 FG. Sort of an odd caramel like quality to the taste that I find less pleasing all the time.

I recently brewed the Resilience recipe which was just 2 row and 7% c40. I felt like it had that same flavor.

Right now I’m thinking I may eliminate the C malt and cut the vienna in half. May even do a batch with straight 2 row.

What kind of grain bill are you guys using for IPAs?

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I’m similar in my % base malt to % Chrystal malt. You could try dropping it to 5% or even less. I make a rye IPA with about 5% my Belgian pale ale is 4%. You could drop it all and just use wheat and mash at a higher temperature or not. Have you tried a Brut IPA I think the amylase enzyme will eat some of that Chrystal malt also

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I’m always changing it up but I almost always have a pound of wheat in there. I stopped using crystals and the like completely maybe some Golden Naked Oats instead.

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I think your adjustments look good. Maybe just a little crystal for color purposes. Do you think mashing around 148 would help offset the sweetness with some dryness?

Your base recipe works well for pale ale or IPA.

I do about 73% 2 row, 5% each of Crystal 20, 120, and Melanoidin. 10% Torrified Wheat. 2% Vienna.

My base has been 50/50 Pils and MO… You see that reoccurring in all my grain bills… I like C-120, 3 oz in a 5-gallon batch for IPA’s… Like Squeegee… I enjoy wheat… nice head retention. A pound is good when the ABV is low… And 1.5 lbs table sugar… That has been a very good target for me… I’ve drying out IPA’s for quite some time… I do have an eye open to a brute… some day… I have targeted 6.2 - 6.7 ABV… Sneezles61
Helpful… eh? :smirk:

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I would consider changing the C-40 to C-10 or 20 which I think provides sweetness without the caramelized flavors. I’d also try dropping it to 5%.

That’s a thought. I’ve been mashing closer to 150. Used to mash higher.

I like my pale ales and IPAs to have good body and mouthfeel so I’m not necessarily trying to dry it out. I’ve just recently noticed a kind of cloying sweet flavor that I find displeasing. Seems to affect the aroma a bit as well. I originally felt it might be oxidation but I’ve been close transfering so i doubt that’s it…

I’d drop the Chrystal completely then and add wheat and some oats. I’ve done it as has @squeegeethree
Mash a bit higher than 150 if you don’t want it dry and don’t add sugar

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Just tapped my Paddy’s IPA brewed 3/17. I like it better than the IPA with the c malt in it. Much lighter and cleaner tasting to me. The flavor I found cloying is no longer there. I’d like a little more mouth feel so maybe some wheat or oats and I think less munich or vienna instead. Color is nice, lighter without the c40. There’s still a little yeast in suspension I think and I can taste/smell it. It has been moved recently from cold storage to serving fridge. Hopefully as that falls out the hops aroma will improve. It’s not what I’d hoped for and not what I usually get in my IPAs. Can’t imagine the grain bill change would negatively impact hops aroma.

22 lbs Briess 2 Row (1.8 SRM) Grain 4 88.0 % 1.72 gal
3 lbs Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5 12.0 % 0.23 gal
1.00 oz Centennial [10.80 %] - First Wort 20.0 min Hop 6 11.6 IBUs -
1.00 oz Galaxy [14.10 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 7 25.0 IBUs -
1.25 oz German Magnum [14.03 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 28.3 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 9 - -
1.00 oz Galaxy [14.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 4.5 IBUs -
0.50 oz Centennial [10.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 1.7 IBUs -
1.00 oz Centennial [10.80 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 12 1.5 IBUs -
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.10 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 13 1.0 IBUs -
1.00 oz Centennial [10.80 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 20.0 min Hop 14 1.9 IBUs -
0.50 oz Galaxy [14.00 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 20.0 min, 17 Hop 15 1.2 IBUs -
1.0 pkg American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) [124.21 ml] Yeast 16 - -
4.00 oz Centennial [10.80 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs -

I like this grain bill and can see keeping it with a few changes but I have a 54% 2 row 46% pils IPA on deck that probably needs some wheat/oats added to the grain bill and I’m planning a MO based IPA.

Had a NEIPA recently Solace Brewing Partly Cloudy that I liked a lot. Very light yellow. Almost like a murky Helles now that I think about it. Can’t find any info on it except the type of hops, el dorado and citra, and it’s double dry hopped.

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Add some protien like wheat malt. I’m thinking of adding some 6 row in place of my wheat. Just playing

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That’s an interesting idea. 6 row has more protein than 2 row right?

Yes it does. I’ve read that the protein helps hold the aroma


Planning to brew this other IPA grain bill tomorrow if I can free up a fermenter for it. SRM will be very light unless I add something for color or a little vienna or munich. I kind of want to try a lighter grain bill though so we’ll see. May change up the hops a bit too. Got lots of hops in the freezer I need to use up and I’d like to get some more stone fruit, tropical fruit aromas if it’s going to be a pale yellow fizzy thing…

All comments, critiques and advice appreciated.

6 lbs Briess 2 Row (1.8 SRM) Grain 4 46.2 % 0.47 gal
6 lbs Pilsner Malt (Avangard) (1.7 SRM) Grain 5 46.2 % 0.47 gal
1 lbs White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 6 7.7 % 0.08 gal
5.68 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge) Water Agent 7 - -
0.50 g Calcium Chloride (Sparge) Water Agent 8 - -
0.50 oz Centennial [8.50 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 9 14.7 IBUs -
0.70 oz German Magnum [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 10 28.6 IBUs -
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 11 - -
1.00 oz Centennial [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 5.3 IBUs -
1.00 oz Centennial [8.50 %] - Boil 3.0 min Hop 13 3.3 IBUs -
1.00 oz Centennial [8.50 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop 14 2.3 IBUs -
1.0 pkg American Ale II (Wyeast Labs #1272) [124.21 ml] Yeast 15 - -
2.00 oz Centennial [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days


More wheat

Looks super nosy with a nice bitter. Looks like it’s going to be fairly light bodied as well IMHO. Like all the late additions. Should be super aromatic! I’ll be interested to hear how it comes out. Making me thirsty!

How much more? You know I don’t normally use it at all.

10% at least. I’m up to 25% in my NEIPA and I’m really liking it.


Yea I keep the bitterness to a point that even non-ipa people don’t hate them and then I load up with aroma hops. I think I added a whirlpool since posting this.

And yea I’m going for a more light bodied ipa. My old stand by 2 row, c40 and Vienna or Munich has started to wear out it’s welcome with me. I’ve noticed most of the IPAs I’m enjoying elsewhere have lighter grain bills. A lot of guys using Pilsen heavy grain bills with 2 row or MO. No c malt at all. This one young brewer I was talking to today was like why would you ever put c malt in an IPA? That’s for english beers. Yea, I know but lets just go with it…

So my first departure is the grain bill posted above. I just left out the c malt and I like it much better. Figured I’d do a few 5 gal test batches using pilsen malt and maybe some english malts like MO or GP. Less caramelized stuff like the darker malts I’ve been using.

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