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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > IPA problem
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Old 07-21-2012, 03:04 AM   #1
callisbeers
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Default IPA problem

I have brewed several IPA's now including the current DIPA on tap and I just cannot get the level of beer I am looking for. Almost all have had the same sort of taste. They are not overly flavorful nor aromatic. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-21-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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What is your hop schedule like and what like of hops are you using.
I hit my IPA's hard late in the boil and then dry hop.

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Old 07-21-2012, 11:57 AM   #3
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Here is the schedule for the DIPA:

Boil 60 mins 0.4 Warrior pellet 15.8
boil 50 mins 0.4 Warrior pellet 15.8
boil 40 mins 0.3 Citra pellet 14.5
boil 30 mins 0.4 Nugget pellet 11.3
boil 20 mins 0.4 Nugget pellet 11.3
boil 10 mins 0.5 Amarillo pellet 9.1
boil 5 mins 0.5 Falconer's Flight pellet 9.9
boil 1 min 0.5 Falconer's Flight pellet 9.9
dry hop 9 days 1.0 Cascade pellet 5.5

Here is an early IPA: (this was a summer IPA so not a super high ibu)

boil 60 mins 0.25 Citra pellet 14.5
boil 30 mins 0.5 Falconer's Flight pellet 9.9
boil 15 mins 0.5 Citra pellet 14.5
boil 1 min 0.5 Cascade pellet 5.5
dry hop 7 days 0.5 Cascade pellet 5.5
dry hop 7 days 0.5 Citra pellet 14.5
dry hop 7 days 0.5 Falconer's Flight pellet 9.9

The 2nd one wasn't bad but it just didn't have that "pop". I read about "hop bursting" so I tried that in one that is fermenting. I am wondering if 1) I am just not getting a good balance between the hops and malts or 2) I am just not mixing the hop varieties well.

These were for 5 gallon batches

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Old 07-21-2012, 01:39 PM   #4
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Things I've found that have really improved my IPAs and APAs:
1) Simplify your grain bill. There really isn't much need for anything more than pale malt, some light crystal, and maybe some Vienna/Munich.
2) Simplify your hopping. Throwing every type of hop you have in the freezer into the kettle just muddies up the flavor and aroma. Stick to no more than three hops, and even then, make sure they're similar in characteristics. My absolute favorite combo is Chinook/Centennial/Cascade. And all I usually do with that is Chinook at 60 or FWH, Centennial at 15 or 10, and Cascade at 0. Is there a lot of complexity in my IPAs? No, but that's one style of beer I really feel that doesn't benefit from an array of flavors coming through.
3) Pitch cool, and ferment cool. I keep my fermentation chamber at 66*F with S-05 the entire time.
4) Skip the dry hop every now and then. Seriously. It's not nearly as important as some people make it out to be. The IPA recipe out of Brewing Classic Styles doesn't have a dry hop, and it's a pretty awesome IPA by all means.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phenry View Post
Things I've found that have really improved my IPAs and APAs:
1) Simplify your grain bill. There really isn't much need for anything more than pale malt, some light crystal, and maybe some Vienna/Munich.
2) Simplify your hopping. Throwing every type of hop you have in the freezer into the kettle just muddies up the flavor and aroma. Stick to no more than three hops, and even then, make sure they're similar in characteristics. My absolute favorite combo is Chinook/Centennial/Cascade. And all I usually do with that is Chinook at 60 or FWH, Centennial at 15 or 10, and Cascade at 0. Is there a lot of complexity in my IPAs? No, but that's one style of beer I really feel that doesn't benefit from an array of flavors coming through.
3) Pitch cool, and ferment cool. I keep my fermentation chamber at 66*F with S-05 the entire time.
4) Skip the dry hop every now and then. Seriously. It's not nearly as important as some people make it out to be. The IPA recipe out of Brewing Classic Styles doesn't have a dry hop, and it's a pretty awesome IPA by all means.
+1 Keeping the ferment temp low will help prevent excessive esters in your beer. I actually fermented my last IPA at 60 deg F. Keeping the malt bill simple allows the hops to shine. And finally using no more than three hop varieties keeps the hop flavors and aromas from getting muddled. I use warrior for bittering (at 60min) then use a combo of amarillo, cascade and centennial at 15 and 0 minutes. I use 1oz of each hop at each time addition. I then dry hopped with the same combo & amounts. My last IPA was my best one ever!
Cheers,
Brandon
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Old 07-21-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Burtonizing my water took my ipa to the next level.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I noticed my IPA's got better when i simplified things. Simple grain bill and simple hop schedule.
Usually some like fwh, or 60 then 15, 5 and fo. Then some dryhop.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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I have similar results where I can get buttering but little of that aroma burst. I often do at least two ounces in he last 15 minutes of the boil and at a minimum ounce but normally two or more dry hopped. I use cascade, centennial, and other customary American hops. The OPs issue sounds similar to mine. I don't bag my hops, letting them settle in he fermenter. I get earthy aromas but they are even subdued. My fermentation is normally 65-68.

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Old 07-21-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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As was already mentioned, the hops schedule could be redone.

Like this;

1 oz bittering (60 minutes for FHW) or to get you to 40-50 IBUs with this addition
1 oz 15 minutes
1 oz 10 minutes
1 oz 5 minutes
1 oz 0 minutes
Dryhop

That will maximize hops flavor and aroma and provide a "clean" firm bitterness.

In an IPA, you want little to use only a small amount of crystal malt (if any) or increase the bittering hops as a lot of crystal can create a perception of more sweetness. Sometimes that is really nice in an IIPA or IPA, but it has to be balanced with the amount of hops so as to not be too sweet or cloying, and let the hops "pop". A traditional grain bill would be some US two-row, and a little character malt (Munich, Vienna), a bit of crystal malt, and sometimes even some simple sugars to keep the body light with a crisp finish.

The other thing to think about is your water. Hops flavors tend to be harsh with highly alkaline/carbonate water, but very smooth and gentle with RO/soft water. What kind of water are you using?

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Old 07-21-2012, 05:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
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The other thing to think about is your water. Hops flavors tend to be harsh with highly alkaline/carbonate water, but very smooth and gentle with RO/soft water. What kind of water are you using?
Big +1 to good water. My favorite profile I've settled on so far is (give or take):

Ca: 105
Mg: 18
Na: 47
SO4: 300
Cl: 55
HCO3: 63
Total Hardness: 344
Alkalinity: 52
RA: -35
SO4/Cl: 5.4

That's mainly just building on my current water profile, all of my additions are gypsum or calcium chloride, with about 4x as much gypsum as CaCl2. Yes, it is quite hard, but the RA is -35, so even a rather pale Pale Ale can be brewed with that water and the hops will shine through like no other. I'd suggest looking into how alkaline your water is, and trying to bring it down to something around 50 ppm with dilution if it turns out to be high.
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