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IPA Recipe Critique

Hi All:

I’ve had trouble getting an IPA to turn out the way that I want lately. I’m looking to get fairly high IBU’s with strong grapefruit nose and palette. I’m also aiming for a very light color and crystal clear. My latest attempt is posted below and I would appreciate any words of wisdom that any fellow hop heads can offer… I’ve been getting a very floral essence in my IPA and I’m looking for a bit more bitterness and a lot more citrus:

2-Row Pale - 12.5#
Crystal 40L - 1.25#
Vienna - .65#

Cascade Hops (pellet) - 2oz (90 min)
Cascade Hops (pellet) - 1oz (60 min)
Centennial Hops (pellet) - 1oz (15 min)
Centennial Hops (pellet) - 1oz (0 min)
Cascade Hops (pellet) - .50oz (dry hop)

1.50qt/lb water
60 minute mash at 154F, Sparge at 171F, 90 minute boil

Safale US-05 Yeast

For me personally I like to use a bit of dextrose to make sure that my IPAs are a bit on the dryer end which lets the hops shine through. I also prefer Centennial as a bittering hop over Cascade and like a 15, 10, 5, 0 hop schedule. You could also dump a bit more in for dry-hopping if you really want to bring that aroma forward. Other than that I like your simple grainbill and that yeast should be golden for an IPA.

Recipe looks pretty good although I would suggest boosting your late additions for maximum effect. Got your sulfate up? I aim for 300ppm sulfate via gypsum. Clarity is simple: whirl floc, cold crash, and gelatine if necessary. I have come to accept a small amount of haze in ipa’s which comes from using a heavy hand with the hops. Lastly, I think 90 minute boils are a waste of brewing resources. 60 is plenty. Good luck fellow hophead.

+1 to all of this ^^^. We think alike!

I add 1lb of cane sugar to all my IPA’s to help dry them out a little. That’s personal preference. If you want a strong grapefruit flavor, swap the Centennial and Cascade. Bitter with the Centennial and use Cascade the rest of the way. Or even better, bitter with a stronger but neutral hop. Maybe 1/2 to 1oz of Magnum. Then Cascade at 15,10,5,1. And up that dry hop. I love Cascade hops and will routinely use 2oz for dry hopping.

I’d mash just a little lower. Maybe 150-152 range. Again, just my personal opinion. I’d drop the C40 down to 1lb and up the Vienna to 1lb. I’d even consider using Munich over the Vienna. It adds a little more of a maltier flavor then Vienna without making the beer sweet. These are all things I do with my IPA recipes so take from them what you want.

I’d move the 90min addition to dry hopping. I don’t think 0.5oz of hops for dry hopping is adequate. My last two batches if IPA have included 8oz of hops. 2oz at 60, 2oz at 15min, 2oz at FO and 2oz DH. They’ve been coming out with the kind of flavor and aroma I’ve ben looking for.

^2nd thisl so long as you are not using Pilsner Malt

^2nd thisl so long as you are not using Pilsner Malt[/quote]

I actually disagree that it’s ever a waste of time. Boiling for 30 minutes before the first hop addition allows for most of the hot break material to coagulate. If you add hops before this happens, your utilization will suffer. This can make the difference between a mild or firm bitterness for many beers.

I definitely agree that 90 minute boils are a must if using Pilsner malt.

I like to boil for A little bit before starting my hop additions, so my boils are usually 70-75 minutes. I really like all centennial brews. Its really smooth bittering, in my opinion and the flavor and aroma by itself is awesome. You can’t go wrong with cascade in there too though. I agree that you’ll need to up your dry hop addition to at least an ounce.
To my palate, centennial adds more grapefruit notes than cascade.

I would FWH an oz of Cascade, then an oz (or two, depending on the target IBUS) of Centennial at 60-minutes, then an oz of Centennial and one of Cascade at 5-minutes, again at flameout, and again as a dryhop. I always do a 90-minute boil, which I find improves clarity and brightens the hops.

I suppose that it is a good general rule to boil pils malts for 90 minutes. However, today’s pils malts are well modified. More modification less SMM>precursor to DMS. Whenever I get a bag of malt I get the malt specs. This will give you info you need to make informed decision with your brew. http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/bmg/noonan.html

While I agree with you mplsbrewer that a longer boil time will increase hop utilization, I don’t agree it is due to protein coagulation. In addition, the additional utilization from the extra 30 minutes is not much in reality and easily offset by the tiniest amount of hops which is not worth the extra time/propane to me. http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/l … rchet.html

OP, a good IPA recipe is as simple as 100% pale malt with 8oz C-hops with heavy late additions. Might be an opportunity for a SMASH. Based on my experience cascade is the de facto hop for grapefruit. Cents are a little more floral which I prefer.

^2nd thisl so long as you are not using Pilsner Malt[/quote]

I actually disagree that it’s ever a waste of time. Boiling for 30 minutes before the first hop addition allows for most of the hot break material to coagulate. If you add hops before this happens, your utilization will suffer. This can make the difference between a mild or firm bitterness for many beers.

I definitely agree that 90 minute boils are a must if using Pilsner malt.[/quote]

Alright, I guess I take some of that back. I normally boil ten minutes before the first hop addition to avoid boilovers but I typically don’t do 90 just because I’m cheap and want to save propane. I also heat strike water on the stove for this reason so long as it is a reasonable amount

Thank you for all the advice! Looks as though I need to increase the amount of hops that I’m using for my recipe and tweak some additions. I will keep trying, I’m determined to master this style!! Thanks again!

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