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Old 02-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default American IPA Critique

Hello,

Any feedback on this recipe? I tend to like my beers malty but I want to do a better job of staying true to the style. I sometimes over do it on the malt/nutty flavors. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

For a 2 gallon batch:

Grain Bill:
4.5lbs American 2-Row 82%
0.5lbs Caramel 40L 9%
0.25lbs Cara Pils 4.5%
0.25lbs Victory Malt 4.5%

Hop Schedule:
.25oz Cascade FWH
.50oz Centennial 60min
.25oz Centennial 30min
.25oz Centennial Post Boil @ 180F
.75oz Cascade Dry Hop after primary for 7 days

California Ale Yeast with .8L Starter

Per BeerSmith:
1.069 SG
64.7 IBU
9.9 SRM
7.0% ABV

Mash in at 154 for 60 minutes.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #2
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It will be fine as is given your preferences; maybe a bit too nutty for the style with 4.5% victory in there. You could keep it, reduce it, or remove it altogether.

Crystal 40 is on the high side, but not exactly overkill. It will offer more caramel sweetness than usual. 0-5% would better suit the style. I would mash at 151 F. The use of Carapils and Crystal will already offer some body.

Bitter with your higher alpha hop (Centennial). No need for FWH and bittering.
Focus on dryhop first, then post-boil second. - 1 oz. additions at these times would be fine for a 2 gallon batch.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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Cool, thanks for the feedback.

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Old 02-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
It will be fine as is given your preferences; maybe a bit too nutty for the style with 4.5% victory in there. You could keep it, reduce it, or remove it altogether.

Crystal 40 is on the high side, but not exactly overkill. It will offer more caramel sweetness than usual. 0-5% would better suit the style. I would mash at 151 F. The use of Carapils and Crystal will already offer some body.

Bitter with your higher alpha hop (Centennial). No need for FWH and bittering.
Focus on dryhop first, then post-boil second. - 1 oz. additions at these times would be fine for a 2 gallon batch.
Just re-read that last part, 2 questions:
1. RE: FWH. The reason I did this was because I heard that FWH gives a different complexity and flavor to the hop profile. I've never done it before so it was more of an experiment (brew it once with FWH then w/o and compare). If you have any feedback on that it would be greatly appreciated.

2. When you say focus on dry hop then post boil, what exactly do you mean? Is the schedule off a bit? You say 1oz additions would be fine...so 1 oz dry hop and 1 oz post boil? That won't be overkill? I do love the citrus aroma so I am more worried about what others may think.

Per your advice I removed the victory. My ESB was too nutty from a similar error. I also reduced the Caramel 40L to .25lbs and bumped the base malt to 5 lbs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeBrewLou View Post
The reason I did this was because I heard that FWH gives a different complexity and flavor to the hop profile. I've never done it before so it was more of an experiment (brew it once with FWH then w/o and compare). If you have any feedback on that it would be greatly appreciated.
FWH is said to be a way to add a smoother type of bitterness than traditional bittering. Because of this, I tend to see a higher amount of hops used for FWH than for traditional bittering to account for some of that difference. In American IPAs, which are innately bold and in your face, I don't really see a need for FWH. But there are also other methods to attain smoother bitterness, such as using a lesser amount of a lower cohumulone, higher alpha hop at 60. This allows you to attain the necessary IBUs as well as Smoothness, without using a ton of early hops. You can also add smaller portions at 60 AND 30, to help round out the bitterness instead of adding all of it at 60. And then there are even other methods of which I can't really explain. For instance, Pliny the Elder is arguably one of the best commercial IIPA's out there with +250 theoretical IBUs and a first hop addition of 3.5 oz. at 90 minutes, followed by fairly large 45 and 30 minute additions, and then nothing else until 0 and DH. If you have ever sipped this beer, you know that it is rather smooth and not harsh at all. The actual IBUs in this beer is said to be about 70-80.

In summation, when brewing American IPAs, there are various early hopping methods and theories. You just have to choose the one that is right for you. I would recommend brewing via traditional bittering for awhile with various hops to determine if FWH is right for you.

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Originally Posted by HomeBrewLou View Post
so 1 oz dry hop and 1 oz post boil?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeBrewLou View Post
That won't be overkill?
No. That's 0.50 oz. dryhops gallon of beer. The low end of the scale for American dryhop additions.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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I think it's WAY too much crystal 40L for me. That's as much as I'd use in a 5 gallon batch if I was using carapils as well, so I'd definitely reduce that and consider reducing the carapils as well.

In addition, I'd use more late hops as I really like an AIPA to have a hops "nose" and flavor that comes from a nice bunch of late hops.
More like this:
.35 ounce centennial FWH
.5 ounce cascade 15 minutes
.5 centennial 5 minutes
.5 ounce of cascade whirlpool

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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All good stuff. Thanks.

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Old 02-05-2013, 06:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomeBrewLou View Post
For a 2 gallon batch:

Grain Bill:
4.5lbs American 2-Row, 82%
0.5lbs Caramel 40L, 9%
0.25lbs Cara Pils, 4.5%
0.25lbs Victory Malt, 4.5%
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I think it's WAY too much crystal 40L for me.
1/2 lb. of C40 with 5.5 total lbs. grain = 9% of the total grist. 1/4 lb. carapils = 4%. The Crystal is at the upper end, but not insanely high. The carapils is on point at 4%. For a comparison, Green Flash WCIPA uses 16% total crystal and cara malts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I think it's WAY too much crystal 40L for me. That's as much as I'd use in a 5 gallon batch if I was using carapils as well, so I'd definitely reduce that and consider reducing the carapils as well.

In addition, I'd use more late hops as I really like an AIPA to have a hops "nose" and flavor that comes from a nice bunch of late hops.
More like this:
.35 ounce centennial FWH
.5 ounce cascade 15 minutes
.5 centennial 5 minutes
.5 ounce of cascade whirlpool

Cool thanks,
I guess the issue with small batches becomes making sure I get the color right but also making sure the crystal isn't too high. I reduced the crystal to .25lbs and got rid of the victory malt.

New grain bill:
5.0lbs American 2-Row 91%
0.25lbs Caramel 40L 4.5%
0.25lbs Cara Pils 4.5%

New Hop schedule per bobbrews advice:
0.50oz Centennial 60min
0.50oz Centennial 30min
1.00oz Centennial Post Boil @ 180F
1.00oz Cascade Dry Hop after primary for 7 days

I will probably tweak the hop schedule a bit. Per BeerSmith I am sitting with 71IBUs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
1/2 lb. of C40 with 5.5 total lbs. grain = 9% of the total grist. 1/4 lb. carapils = 4%. The Crystal is at the upper end, but not insanely high. The carapils is on point at 4%. For a comparison, Green Flash WCIPA uses 16% total crystal and cara malts.
Yes, and that's way too much crystal for my taste in an AIPA. There is one AIPA that I like that has nearly that much crystal- Surly Furious but it's overhopped so that it's not cloying or caramelly sweet. If I use crystal at all in an IPA, I tend to keep it at a total of 5% or less.

Some of my favorite IPAs have no crystal malt at all. I like victory malt in the original recipe, but not 13%+ cara/crystal malt. I also like "malty" backbones, but not sweet, so I'll use aromatic malt and/or Munich malt to provide a nice strong but clean malt flavor to the beer and then hop the heck out of it!
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