Possible to overdo it with APA?

I’ve read a little bit about the style, but still wrapping my head around it.

My next brew is planned to be a SMaSH APA. In my limited experience, I’ve always thought of an APA to be similar but nowhere near as bitter or “hoppy” as an IPA. I’m not a trained judge or anything, so I’m wondering if it’s possible to overdo it with flamout/whirlpool hops and dry hopping? I am sure it is, but not really sure if I am doing too much. I’m using all Citra, by the way.

From my recipe, I am bittering to about 33 IBU’s then doing about 2 oz whirlpooling, and plan to dry hop in the keg with one more ounce of hops. While I want it to have some hop flavor/aroma, I don’t want it to be on the level of a massively hopped IPA. I am thinking it is pretty good as is, but was looking for some opinions.


Don’t get me wrong, I really love Citra, it’s got wonderfully complex flavors. However you need to know that…

Citra is one of the most aggressive hops on the planet. A little goes a very long long way.

Yes, in my opinion, the process you have described will overdo this hop for an APA. It won’t be too bitter, but the hop flavor will be HUGE and over the top for the APA style. Go easier on it. A simple flameout addition with no whirlpool should be perfectly fine for Citra. Believe me, it is stronger than any other hop you have ever used. You’ll get tons of flavor from just like one ounce in 5 gallons added at flameout or in the last 5 minutes of the boil or whatever. No need to any later hop additions. If it seems to come up short, you could add some dry hopped later on. But I doubt you’ll need it.

My 2 cents.

Perfect, exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much! My original recipe was:

9 lbs Maris Otter
0.5 oz Citra @ 60 min
0.25 oz Citra @ 15 min
0.25 tsp Irish Moss @ 10 min
0.25 Citra @ 5 min
1 oz Citra whirlpool hops

1 oz Citra dry hop

I’ve since changed it to (MO wasn’t recommended by another member here):

10 lbs Vienna
0.75 oz Citra @ 60 min
0.25 tsp Irish Moss @ 10
1.5 oz Citra whirlpool

1 oz Citra dry hop

I may dial back the 1.5 to maybe just 1 oz at flameout instead and let it ride. Then, if I determine it isn’t enough, I can dry hop. I can’t remember exactly (not looking at my notes), but I think the AA content of these pellets I grabbed at my LHBS are 12%.

Zombie Dust is categorized as an APA… And is all-Citra…

Great and timely thread. I just got back from a sweep through the Michigan craft breweries and the Odd Sides Citra APA was phenomenol. Thanks for the tips on Citra hops as this is probably my next ale to put together a recipe for 8)

You can overdo 'em. They’re called session IPAs.