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Looking for a Less Aggressive IPA

Hello Everyone,

I am wondering if anyone out there could recommend a recipe (or commercial example to look into) for an IPA that skews toward the lower end of the hopping spectrum. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get into this style of beer because of the pronounced hop character and bitterness, which I know is exactly what many people value as the style’s chief virtue. I was thinking that maybe there are some examples out there that are less hoppy that I might like. I keep going back to Bell’s Two Hearted Ale every 6 months or so as a benchmark to see if my palate has changed, and while I can appreciate this beer for its craftsmanship, I find that I still need something to eat to go along with it and can usually only manage to drink just one. I’m not at all diminishing that brand or the style in general, just looking to find an example that works for my predilection. Maybe I should look to some English examples?

Goose Island IPA was the IPA that got me started on the style.

I never liked them before…but I picked up a 12-pack sampler once and when I cracked the IPA, for whatever reason I loved it!

Odell IPA…One of my favorite IPA’s.

"We took the traditional IPA, originally shipped from England to India in the 1700′s, and made it bolder and more flavorful – American Style. We’ve added new varieties of highly aromatic American hops to create a distinctive bitterness profile and an incredible hop character.

7.0%Alc. by Vol 60IBUs"

[quote=“Dan S”]Hello Everyone,

I am wondering if anyone out there could recommend a recipe (or commercial example to look into) for an IPA that skews toward the lower end of the hopping spectrum. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to get into this style of beer …[/quote]

For a commercial example try Harpoon IPA; this beer (imo) has a strong malt presence that you may find helps balance with the hops.

Not all styles are liked by everyone, find and drink what you like.

[quote=“stompwampa”]Goose Island IPA was the IPA that got me started on the style.

I never liked them before…but I picked up a 12-pack sampler once and when I cracked the IPA, for whatever reason I loved it![/quote]

Me too. That was the beer that opened my mind to ipas. never cared for them before had that on tap at a bar and loved it.I wonder if there’s a good clone out there

You should list the beers that you have tried and didn’t like. Personally, I think the beers mentioned would be on your list.

You may be more interested in the American Pale Ale instead of the IPA. Though the lines do get blurry. SNPA has won awards in both the APA and IPA categories.

I find Summit IPA to be tasty but not a knock your shocks off beer. Or is it Summit Pale Ale. :oops:

edit: it’s Extra Pale Ale.

you can always take a good IPA recipe, and use less hops. maybe use 2/3 of the hops for each addition. 1/2 if you want something closer to a pale ale

My dad never used to like IPA’s, until one day I forced him to. He forgot about it for a little bit and it warmed up into the mid 50’s, and the harshness mellowed out some. Now that’s about all he drinks.

Bell’s two hearted is a less aggressive IPA. I’ll agree that overly bitter IPAs are not that enjoyable. But Two-Hearted is more about the hop character and the overall balance. It is possible that you just don’t like IPAs and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

You may want to try the Mongoose English ipa. Not too bitter with a nice slightly sweet bready taste. Thought it would be real hoppy with 2 oz. UK Kent dryhop, but not the case. I would do it again for sure. :slight_smile:

Being in MN you may have tried it but Summits IPA is a good well balanced, mildly hoppy IPA. I’m talking their old IPA, not the new Saga. The old one is a more English styled IPA without a ton of bitterness and is lacking that traditional citrusy American IPA flavor. I dig it.

I was going to suggest 2 hearted but I guess you’ve been there and done that. Harpoon IPA was a good suggestion.

Really though, you’re a home brewer, make your own and customize it to your liking. As a starting place you might try our host’s dead ringer (2 hearted clone) but reduce the amount of hops used.

Anchor Liberty is on the low end of the IPA range.

First of all, let me throw in my support for Harpoon IPA. That was the beer that got me into craft beer. I’ll also second that you may want to start looking at hoppier APA’s instead. There tends to be some overlap between the high end of the Pale Ale range and the low end of the IPA side of things.

If you want to brew one for yourself, IPA is an easy style to get started with. For a basic extract IPA, I’d use 8lb of extra light DME and steep 1lb of any Crystal malt in the 20-60L range.

For a less aggressive hop bill, I’d recommend using 1.5 oz of Magnum at 60 minutes for your bittering charge. For your late hops, pick any 3 IPA type hops (Amarillo, Simcoe, Centennial, Cascade, Citra, Nelson Sauvin, etc). Use an ounce of one at 15 min, an ounce of another at 10 min, an ounce of the last at 5 min. Then add an ounce of each at flameout and dry hop with an ounce of each.

That should get you in the ballpark of a 1:1 BU:GU ratio, with some nice late hop character, and a comparitively smooth bitterness from the Magnum. If you really want to ease back on the hops, you could go with just 1 ounce of Magnum, but then you may end up skirting the line between APA and IPA.

Anchor Liberty Ale is my vote as well. It is one of the originals of the style, if not THE original. So of course, Americans being who we are, we had to keep on pushing the envelope of ever more hoppy brews after this one, so that today it pales in comparison to the so-called “best” examples of the style. Still a really fantastic beer, though, IMHO.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is also pretty dang great, and very mild and not so harsh. Love those Centennial hops… mmmm…

Thanks very much for all of the replies – I’ll be looking forward to following up on all of the recommendations! I have tried Summit’s Extra Pale Ale and have enjoyed it on tap.

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have been any “historical recreations” of IPA’s from way back when? I’ve often wondered what the original examples must have tasted like after the long boat ride from England. Although highly hopped, I imagine that these beers must have smoothed out considerably on their way to India.

Lots of info about historical styles (including the IPA) here: http://barclayperkins.blogspot.com/sear … -date=true

A big +1 on this recommendation…some real eye opening info here. Great suggestions, and great history (since most of the common folklore we’ve been reading regarding IPA and it’s origins is probably wrong).

This site, s well s The Zythophile, should be bookmarked on every brewer’s computer.

Also think about trying an APA, like an IPA but not as bitter, or like a pale ale with much more hop aroma and flavor. Take an IPA recipe that sounds good and lower the bittering hops(60min) and up the late additions(10min or less). I used to hate IPAs, but now the stuff I thought tasted like chewing lemon seeds is some of my favorite.

I’m not a great fan of hoppy hops or IPAs, though I think my tastes are skewing as I try more.

Anyway, I do like New Belgium’s Ranger IPA. Great hop flavor, not like drinking Pine-Sol or battery acid.

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