Back to Shopping at

Making Norther Brewers "Off the Topper" Juicy?

I have brewed Norther Brewers “Off the Topper” Heady Topper clone a few times now and have one kit left in the freezer. This clone has never been ‘juicy’ to me but a solid hop forward beer. A great brew, but with all of the NEIPA talking happening now, I would like to tweak the recipe to change it up a bit - make a juicy IPA.

Grains & Sugars:
– 12 lb Fawcett Pearl Malt
– 12 oz Baird’s Light Carastan Malt
– 12 oz White Wheat Malt
– 1 lbs Brun Leger sugar

Hops: Hopshot, Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo, Centennial, Apollo

How do I make this a juicy IPA? Add to the grain bill, substitute hops (Citra / Mosaic) or?

What would you do?


Humorous but doesn’t add to the topic.

I’ve still never had a proper cloudy NE IPA, but these topics may be of interest:

1 Like

@flars - Yes, I know…I just couldn’t resist!

@ultravista - I’ve had this side by side with the actual Heady Topper, and it was surprisingly close. When you say “juicy” are you going for more citrus aroma and flavor from the hops, or are you going for that look and mouth feel, or both? What yeast did you use when you previously brewed the kit?

Add flaked oats and don’t use any finings. Do a whirlpool addition at 180. I do 2 dry hop additions. And drink it fresh. I have a little bit left in a keg that I put aside from a ten gallon batch I made a couple months ago. It’s settled out a bit now still cloudy through. Even heady topper recommends drinking it fresh. If you have it in a bottle pour it aggressively don’t decant off the hop matter. With such a flavorful beer you won’t notice the yeast bite of the dregs.

1 Like

Definitely try the Omega Tropical IPA yeast.

I’ve done some research on what makes the ‘juiceiness’ in a NEIPA prior to doing my 1st one of this style. Most of the research has been on the Brulosophy site, along with following a couple of threads here and in the HBT forum.
It looks like no one has nailed down what makes it juicy (or even defines what they mean by juicy), but here’s a combo of common denominators:

  1. Flaked oats
  2. Increased Calcium Chloride rather than Sulfate
  3. A good bittering charge, but mostly late hops in the boil.
  4. Coldhop at the peak of high krausen- ie. in 2-4 days.
  5. Coldhop again at the normal time- for me that’s 1 week.
  6. OK to kettle fine with IM or Whirlfloc, and OK to cold crash, but maybe don’t hit it with gelatin (I couldn’t find a definitive yes or no there)
    My 1st attempt ( I’m calling it ‘Nova Scotia PA’ because it’s a Scottish ale grain bill, done with S-04, New England style PA) is 9 days post pitch, and SG is actually below predicted, so tomorrow I’m moving it out to my garage for cold crashing. I think I won’t hit it with gelatin.
1 Like

Yup, I am with Jim in Maine, the juicy, is a word. I haven’t had one to compliment what juicy means… There seems to be a mystique aura of the style… I would say, if you have tried it and want to replicate, you will have a fun journey in front of you to find out what is NEIPA… Sneezles61

Juicy is just that juicy. Thick mouth feel and pulpy from the suspended hops. I like the dry hop at high kraussen idea it’s something I haven’t tried @jimrmaine. Why at high kraussen and not when pitching the yeast? Will the hops keep fermentation from starting? My hop schedule for the late additions is 10/5/whirlpool/5days primary/keg addition.

I’ve never tried dry hopping at high krausen, either. I plan on doing that this evening with the IPA we brewed on Saturday.

From Brulosophy on why:

Simply put, biotransformation is said to occur as a result of the interaction of hop oils and active yeast, leading to a transformation of certain terpenoids into terpenoids that weren’t originally present. A fascinating concept that many have posited may be responsible for the qualitative differences between New England and other styles of IPA.

1 Like

Be interested to know if it affects fermentation and your results flavor wise. I put them in my primary after a week or so before it’s done fermenting but there is still yeast in suspension and working. Wonder if it makes a difference

You would think its about the same, maybe a less rougher ride for the hops since it isn’t high krausen. Wouldn’t that make the hops… smoother? :relaxed: Sneezles61

I plan on using the Vermont ale strain.

I brewed this Heady Clone several times now with this kit - it is awesome - but, I would like to tweak it to give it a softer mouth feel and make it turbid and juicy.

Perhaps more wheat/oats and start with RO water w/a higher chloride to sulfate ratio.

I am looking for advice on what I already have (first post) to dial it in :slight_smile:

How much flaked oats to the recipe w/12 ounces of wheat malt?

I use a pound for 5 gallon batch

That’s a good move with your water. Another thing is play with your brewing software and the hopshot. It might benefit from 9mL of hopshot rather than an even 10. Just an idea.

brew_cat - I just noticed that all of the grains are mixed, therefore I can’t remove the wheat malt. Would you still go with 1# of flaked oats?

The wheat malt is fine just mash the oats with everything else. It will bump the gravity a bit but it will be good. What is the hop schedule? Just curious

Here is the hop schedule:

10.00 ML Hop Shot [3.35 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 6 92.9 IBUs

2.00 oz Simply Select Hop Blend [6.60 %] - Steep Hop 7 9.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Amarillo [8.20 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.40 %] - Steep/Wh Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.40 %] - Steep/Wh Hop 10 9.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Simply Select Hop Blend [6.60 %] - Steep Hop 11 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Apollo [17.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0.0 Hop 12 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Apollo [17.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 15.0 Hop 13 6.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [8.70 %] - Steep/Whirlpool 0 Hop 14 0.0 IBUs

1.00 oz Simply Select Hop Blend [6.60 %] - Dry H Hop 16 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.20 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 17 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [8.70 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 18 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.40 %] - Dry Hop Hop 19 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.70 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days Hop 20 0.0 IBUs

1.00 oz Simply Select Hop Blend [6.60 %] - Dry H Hop 21 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Amarillo [8.40 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 22 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [8.70 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 23 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.40 %] - Dry Hop Hop 24 0.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Apollo [17.70 %] - Dry Hop 4.0 Days Hop 25 0.0 IBUs

Back to Shopping at