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DylanTO 01-27-2013 06:18 AM

Deep Red IPA - Recipe Help
Hey guys,

First time attempting to put a recipe together from scratch.

I am trying to achieve a very deep amber/red IPA, with IBUs between 65 and 75 that is quite balanced with hops to malt flavours, 6.5 - 7.5 ABV.

I would really appreciate any help or advice, but I really have two things that I am wondering about. First, here's the recipe:

5.5 gallons

Mash: (Single Inf., 75min @ 148 degrees)
11# Maris Otter (~85%)
1# C80 (~7.5%)
1# C120 (~7.5%)

90 min boil:
1oz Magnum @ 90min (First Wort Hops)
0.5oz Simcoe @ 10min
0.5oz Simcoe @ 5min

Yeast: WLP001 - California Ale

So, my two issues are:

1. The crystal malt, is it too much? I am using a light body mash schedule to try to reduce the sweetness as much as possible, but I also don't want it to be super dry. I do want it to be fairly malty and a deep dark red.

2. The hop schedule and IBUs. Beersmith, using Tinseth, says 67 IBUs. Using Rager, it says 78! Seems like a big gap. Also, will the 1oz of FWH and then nothing until 10 and 5min leave a big hole in the flavour somehow? What would be the effect of splitting the first oz in half and putting half of it at 60min?

Please suggest reconfiguration as you see fit!

Thanks in advance!

DylanTO 01-27-2013 02:29 PM


inhousebrew 01-27-2013 02:36 PM

1st: I think that is too much crystal. I'd go down to 10% total. If you need color adjustment use carafa III or roasted barley to hit that red color you desire.

2nd: For flavor additions I like the 15 minute addition. And then on later on either at 5 or 0 for aroma. I'd also dump in an ounce of dryhops.

gpack 01-27-2013 02:58 PM

Although I agree with reducing the Crystal, I personally disagree with adding Carafa or Roasted. I would stick to around 8% C80 which will give you around 13L.

12# MO
1# C80

I like to FWH Hop and have used magnum. I think you would appreciate the flavor you get is you did Simcoe at FWH and maybe a light addition of magnum

.75 FWH Simcoe
.3 Magnum at 60
1 oz Simcoe at 15

If you aren't going to steep the Finishing hops for a decent amount (30 minutes) I say save that addition and dry hop the bejesus out of it.

LegitBrew 01-27-2013 03:08 PM

I'd knock the 120 down to a half pound. That should give you a nice deep copper red color bordering on light brown. Agree with above hop adjustments. Splitting the magnums in half at the beginning will only lower the overall bitterness. Magnums have a pretty clean profile and don't impart much character apart from bitterness. Sounds like you want to mash around 152-154. Not too dry or malty in my experience. And yes.....dry hop!

DylanTO 01-28-2013 12:24 AM

Thanks for your input guys!

So based on your recommendations, I think I'll use 0.5 pounds of C120, instead of a full pound, making the total crystal 12% of the grist.
I'll push the 10min simcoe addition back to 15min and keep the 5min addition.

@gpack Thanks, I will definitely try simcoe as FWH in a simcoe SMaSH I'm planning soon. However, I already bought the C120, so I am going to give it a shot. :)

@gpack and @LegitBrew, I am tempted to dry hop, but I have little to no temp control in my fermentation chamber. The ambient temp is usually ~75 degrees F and can go higher. I have read that dry hopping at this temp can impart unwanted flavours. Any experiences one way or the other?

I read an article on the topic of borderline high temps in fermentation and what yeasts to choose. The guy from Whitelabs was quoted as saying the WLP001 was their best bet to gain neutral flavour at these temps, so that's why I chose that yeast.

bobbrews 01-28-2013 12:38 PM

Early on, I brewed an IPA that finished at 1.020, used 9% Crystal 40, and had 65-75 IBUs with a lot of late hops and dryhops. As a point of reference, this beer was about right for me as a new brewer who was just getting into IPAs... perhaps a tad too sweet but nothing to complain about since I drank it all with a smile on my face. I would have definitely hated it though if I used an equal amount of C80.

Keep in mind that 12% of C80 will have a much different effect than something like 9% C40. The pruney, dark, toasty caramel sweetness will be very forward, especially in a high FG IPA with a low to moderate IBU count. But if you're mashing low (148 F) then you should have a very dry beer in the end. Given what you stated about your goals for this beer, I would recommend mashing at 152-153 F and cutting the crystal to 5-7% total... I would even go so far as to recommend something below C60 as a replacement for this style. Use some melanoidin and/or 2 oz. of chocolate malt if you simply want color from it.

As for your hop bill, if you want smoothness, then bitter small and hopburst/dryhop big... A good mantra to live by for someone who desire tons of aroma and smooth bitterness. And definitely try to keep the fermentation temperature in the low to moderate 60's (F) for an IPA. After about a week or so, you can bump it up to the middle to high 60s for conditioning and dryhopping. There are ways to do this effectively even if your ambient air temp. is a bit high. Check the search option in this thread for more info. But again, I would not let this beer go into the 70's until bottle priming/carbonating.

DylanTO 01-28-2013 10:55 PM

@bobbrews, thanks a million for taking the time to help me out here. It is greatly appreciated.

Let me revise my stated goals. After reading a bit more about reference styles, I believe that what I am trying for is closer to an English IPA than an American one. I am not shooting for an overly sweet malt character, more a big complex malt flavour with moderate to low sweetness.

I already have the grain, 11# MO, 1# C80, 1# C120.

Using all of the C80 and half of the C120, my FG in Beersmith is coming out as:
1.014 mashing at 152.
1.012 mashing at 150.

Does a higher gravity always equal sweetness, or can it just mean body?

What would you expect the flavour to be like in a beer with a FG of 1.012 or 1.014 using this dark of a crystal malt in this proportion?
How would it differ from the result of also cutting the C80 in half, making the total crystal 8%, with a similar FG?

It seems you would recommend the latter. If so, is it because the sweetness would still be cloying, even at this FG?

Sorry to be a pest, I just want to understand what the difference would be in the final product.

bobbrews 01-28-2013 11:14 PM

Okay cool. You know there are plenty of British Base Malts out there aside from Maris Otter, right? I would look into them for future beers. Also, English IPAs usually have at least 2 out of 3 British components (malt, hops, yeast). You have British malt, but your yeast and hops are very American.

Low to moderate sweetness for an IPA would be finishing at around 1.013-1.017 FG. Very low would be more like 1.012-1.008 FG. The crystal malt (especially darker crystal malt) will just enhance that toasty, caramel sweetness. If you already have the grain, I would go ahead with 6-8 oz. C80 and 3-4 oz. C120. A tiny bit more will be okay, but don't go overboard. Keep these dark crystal malts collectively below 10% total (<7% if possible). The crystal malt will add some body, but from the sounds of things, you would probably enjoy the beer more if you mashed at about 154F. That will also add some body.

Something that you should really look into is keeping the wort temp between 60-68 F. This is very important for an IPA and can't stress it enough. Are you making a yeast starter? What is your projected original starting gravity?

DylanTO 01-29-2013 12:10 AM

Right on, I think you've talked me down off the ledge here. :)

I'll go with 8oz C80 and 4oz C120.
Beersmith says mashing at 153 will get me an OG of 1.063 and an FG of 1.014, so I think that sounds good.

When it comes to fermentation temp, this is where I am a little stuck. My only option currently is the wet towel method, which I plan on trying. I'll have it sitting in a bin of ice water which it can wick up. My fermenter is a plastic conical though, which makes sense since we're in an apartment, but doesn't help when it comes to cooling. I may also use my rubbermaid mash tun as a swamp cooler, filled with frozen 2 litre pop bottles.

As for the yeast starter, what's the benefit of this?

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