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Old 05-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #1
ChadChaney
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Default Can't seem to make an IPA worth drinking...

I love hoppy beers, FW Double Jack, Hopstoopid, Pliny, any good solid IPA, but I can not seem to brew one to save my life! I have made some killer other styles; Sasion, Sasion on Brett, American Black Ale, Brown, even a RIS w cocao, oak and chili's. All of my IPA's seem to have the same fruity esters or flavor. I have used WL San Diego Super, WL American Ale, US04 and 05 and have had no luck. I use a swamp cooler and keep my temps under control. Last batch was 2 row, Victory and carapils with Simcoe, Nugget and Chinook, better than the 1st few but still not that great. I also seem to get a "dirty", literally a hint of dirt or earth flavor each time. Really frustrating. My sanitation is good, ingredients have come from different sources and make good-great brews in other styles, so I am thinking it is me somewhere screwing this up.

Here is what I have on hand; 1 lb Simcoe, 1 lb Centennial, 1 lb, Nugget, 1 lb Summit and 1 lb Chinook. I have a sack of 2 row, White wheat and Pilsen with access to most everything else. I have a wash of Pacman, some WL001, Notty, 04 and 05, oh and a WL London Ale. I really like big hop bombs with that kind of dank flavor, think Surly. Can anyone give me a basic recipe with the ingredients listed to make a good IPA?

All thoughts/critiques/help appreciated!

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #2
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You don't mention making a yeast starter.......Have you done that for these IPAs?

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:36 PM   #3
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Fruity esters, to me anyway, points to a temperature issue.

What temperature are you fermenting at?

Also, have you tried any SMaSH brewing with your IPAs?

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #4
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Look at your water. That's usually what jumps to me as the problem when people have trouble brewing one style of beer, but are very successful brewing other styles.

Esters usually point to yeast issues though. swamp cooler temps can swing quite a bit, and that's usually a recipe for esters. But you've got to start ruling out stuff where you can.

Try brewing an IPA with Reverse Osmosis water. Take a couple water jugs to the local water store, or one of those water machines in front of the grocery store. Fill up how much water you need.

Looks like you brew all-grain, so add 2% Acid (or Acidulated) Malt to your grain bill. That's usually around 4oz in a 5 gallon batch for an IPA.

Then buy some calcium chloride, and gypsum from the LHBS. Add 1tsp of each to every 5 gallons of water.

That's a super basic water profile, but give that a shot and see if it's any better.

In terms of what to brew. You've got everything you need to brew a Pliny clone. Bitter with Nugget or Summit, and pick up about 2oz of Columbus to dry hop with, and you're there.

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Is it possible the fruity profile may be under attenuated beer? That's why I asked about the starter.

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Old 05-30-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Ok, this is awesome, just what I am looking for! I do make starters and have a stir plate,and I use Mr. Malt for my rates. I also brew w RO water, but nothing added to it. I don't think it is an attenuation issue, last IPA went from .069 to .011 w the Super and I usually ferment for a min. of 3 weeks. As for the swamp cooler, I ferment in my basement ambient is low to mid 60's and keeping the swamp cool consistently via a hose and recirculating and frozen milk jugs works very well.
Don't want to go the Pliny route until I can make a decent IPA first.

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Old 05-30-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChadChaney View Post
Ok, this is awesome, just what I am looking for! I do make starters and have a stir plate,and I use Mr. Malt for my rates. I also brew w RO water, but nothing added to it. I don't think it is an attenuation issue, last IPA went from .069 to .011 w the Super and I usually ferment for a min. of 3 weeks. As for the swamp cooler, I ferment in my basement ambient is low to mid 60's and keeping the swamp cool consistently via a hose and recirculating and frozen milk jugs works very well.
Don't want to go the Pliny route until I can make a decent IPA first.
Can you give a typical recipe along with technique (mash temps, boil size) and we'll see if we can figure out what's going on.

A simple thing that might help for the next IPA is following the water chemistry primer- using 1 teaspoon calcium chloride and 1 teaspoon of gypsum in the mash- just to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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I also brew w RO water, but nothing added to it.
I think this is it. You need to do a little reading on building your water profile and the importance of chloride:sulfate ratio when it comes to getting the most from your hops. Adding a tsp of gypsum and epsom salts is a good starting point. As for recipes, there are a ton of good ones out there, but looking at what you have for 5.5 gallons of hop bomb...

13# 2-row
2# wheat
1# crystal 40L

Mash @ 152° F

FWH 1 oz Chinook

1 oz Summit @ 60
1 oz Centennial @ 15
1 oz Simcoe @ 15
1 oz Chinook @ 5
1 oz Centennial @ 5
1 oz Simcoe @ 5
1 oz Chinook @ 0
1 oz Centennial @ 0
1 oz Simcoe @ 0
1 oz Chinook @ Dry Hop
1 oz Centennial @ Dry Hop
1 oz Simcoe @ Dry Hop
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:47 PM   #9
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i agree with the gypsum additions. i found that as soon as i brought my sulfates up it helped make the bitterness crisper. i always had issues with what i felt was a muddled hop profile. the higher sulfates helped bring the flavor out.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:31 AM   #10
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So, here is some more info. I am AG, use beersmith and make 5.5 gallon batches, to keg 5 gallons. I have my settings, for IPA's, as medium body so I usually mash at 154 and have tried both batch sparges and fly sparging. My boil volume is usually 8.1 gallons and I have a plate chiller and immersion chiller, depending on mood I use one or the other. Actually, I will just copy my beersmith page.

Dank IPA V1
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 4/20/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Oposition Brewing Co.
Boil Size: 8.01 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My AG Setup
End of Boil Volume 6.76 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal Est Mash Efficiency 76.8 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Ingredients


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
15 lbs Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 90.9 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 3.0 %
8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 10L (Briess) (10.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.0 %
8.0 oz Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.0 %
1.00 oz Warrior [16.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 45.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Chinook [11.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 8.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.40 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 9.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [9.90 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 4.9 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.40 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 7.1 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [9.90 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 5.4 IBUs
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.40 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 7.8 IBUs
0.50 oz Chinook [11.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 3.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 3.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [9.90 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [13.00 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg San Diego Super (White Labs #WLP001) [35.49 ml] Yeast 16 -

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.071 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.740 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.017 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 124.1 %
Bitterness: 94.5 IBUs Calories: 40053.1 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 7.8 SRM
Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 16 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 4.83 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 20.63 qt of water at 163.7 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.83gal, 4.00gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).



Dank II
American IPA
Type: All Grain Date: 5/7/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer: Oposition Brewing Co.
Boil Size: 8.01 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: My AG Setup
End of Boil Volume 6.76 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal Est Mash Efficiency 76.8 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Ingredients


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
13 lbs Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 86.7 %
1 lbs Victory Malt (biscuit) (Briess) (28.0 SRM) Grain 2 6.7 %
8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.3 %
8.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.3 %
1.00 oz Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 37.1 IBUs
0.25 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 4.6 IBUs
0.25 oz Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 7 4.6 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8 5.0 IBUs
0.25 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 9 3.4 IBUs
0.25 oz Nugget [13.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 10 3.4 IBUs
0.25 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 11 3.6 IBUs
2.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 12 14.8 IBUs
1.25 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 10.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Chinook [13.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [14.10 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 15 0.0 IBUs

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.064 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.057 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.7 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.2 %
Bitterness: 86.5 IBUs Calories: 189.3 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 10.0 SRM
Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 15 lbs
Sparge Water: 5.12 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 18.75 qt of water at 162.9 F 150.0 F 75 min

Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 5.12 gal water at 168.0 F
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).



Those are the last 2 IPA attempts, the second one had a bubblegum/fruit aroma during dry hop, but tastes pretty solid, the first one is average at best.

So far, I see that I need to change my water for sure. Do I treat the sparge water as well?

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