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bobcatbrewer 02-20-2014 12:18 AM

Advice On Imperial IPA
Hi guys! I'm making my first IPA and I was looking for some advice. I really want to make a maltier IPA but I want a reasonably strong hop profile. I'm really looking for something a little sweeter with a grapefruit kind of taste. I'm sort of confused when it comes to the hop schedule,most of what I have seen is all over the place as it pertains to times and types of hops. Should I dry hop? If so how much and what kind should I use? I want to make sure I don't exceed the style guidelines because I may send this in to a competition.

Below is what I worked up in BTP, any help or advice would be appreciated.


motorneuron 02-20-2014 02:51 PM

I don't see anything attached or linked here, so I can't tell what you're working with. However, if this is your first IPA and you want something maltier, you might want to try making a decent-strength amber instead. American amber and IPA aren't so different, but amber leans more on the sweet, caramel kinds of flavors. Many versions still have a hop punch, but you get a nice balance of malt and hops without going into 1.065+ territory, which can make your life a little more difficult.

As for how to hop, whether it's IPA or amber, the basic principles are pretty simple. You usually want a bittering addition, usually right at the beginning of the boil, which gets you most of your goal for IBUs. Then you want at least one flavor addition (at the 20 or 15 minute mark, typically). And then you want aroma additions. Part of the reason that recipes look so different is because people have all kinds of ways of doing aroma additions. But all of the following are basically intended to increase hop aroma:

*10 minute or less.
*hop stand (i.e., add hops when wort has cooled a bit but is still quite hot, and then let sit in hot wort before finishing cooling).
*dry hop.

The bittering addition can be accomplished with a small amount of high-AA hops. Flavor additions are *typically* 2 or 3 oz in a very hoppy beer. And aroma additions are often at least 3, and can often be far more in a very hoppy beer.

For a moderately hoppy beer--and this is an extremely rough guide--you could use 1 ounce for bittering, 1 ounce for flavoring, 1 ounce at flameout, and 1 ounce of dry hop. That 4 ounce profile is more like a "traditional" IPA, but these days that's more like the minimum you'd see on an APA or amber. We just love our hops these days.

As for which hops to pick--the classic ones are the "C" hops, including especially cascade and centennial. But all of the following are very common now: amarillo (citrusy), summit (for bittering, also citrusy), simcoe (dank, pine), columbus/zeus/tomahawk (bittering, dank), chinook (sort of smoky), citra (tropical fruit), mosaic (citrus/fruit). And I'm sure I have already left out somebody's favorite hop.

At bottom, it's easy to make a good version of a hoppy American beer: simple grain bill, controlled fermentation temperature, lots of hops. Making a great one is a bit trickier.

Jwerner23 02-20-2014 09:02 PM

I see you want it sweeter, I would remove the caramel 120L and do a lb. of 40L or 60L. The 120 is pretty dark. I would also up the hops. Move 30 min addition to 20 or 15 min. Put a couple ounces of Centennial at Flameout. I would also do a couple ounces as dryhop.

bobcatbrewer 02-21-2014 03:13 AM

Thanks for the responses! Jwerner, what kind of flavor should I expect if I stick with 120L? How about the difference between 40L and 60L? Will the 120L overpower the hops?

Also does adding hops at flameout increase the ibu? add to aroma? flavor? Also what does dry hopping add to my beer?

And1129 02-21-2014 03:22 AM

The 40L, 60L, and 120L all refer to the amount of color that malt will impart to your beer, so using 120L over 40L may make your beer brown or black depending on how much you use. The flavors will vary a bit between them, but not too much, with the darker 120L bringing more roasty flavor to it which may be out of place in an IPA.

Adding hops towards the end of the boil or at flame out don't contribute much in the way of IBU's. Your IBU's are mostly determined by the first hops your throw in as they have to boil for a good amount of time to extract the alpha acids and then isomerize them so that they are soluble in your beer. The late additions and dry-hop additions are typically for hop flavor and aroma and not bitterness.

bobcatbrewer 02-21-2014 03:43 AM

Thanks for the reply! So does the hop selection that I have made seem pretty good? Originally I was wanting to do some New Zealand hops like Pacific Jade but I saw the ones I choose were most commonly used for IPAs.

aking 02-21-2014 04:00 AM

I am not familiar with the yeast you chose but you can attain a sweeter maltier taste with an Engish Ale yeast WLP002 and higher mash temps in the 152+ range.

And1129 02-21-2014 04:19 AM

Hops look pretty good, but i would definitely dry hop with something. Maybe more Amarillo or Centennial. Cascade is my go to dry hop, but usually i tell people to dry hop with whichever hop smells the best to you. 0.5 oz. to a max of 2 oz for 3-10 days would add a lot of aroma and flavor.

Jwerner23 02-21-2014 04:51 PM

And1129 thanks for following up my previous answer, I left to go to work after my post so I am just getting back on now. You answered that perfectly too.

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