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Old 12-05-2012, 03:42 AM   #1
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Default English IPAs

I've recently tried some Goose Island and Meantime IPAs and I found them to be incredibly delicious. While I definitely enjoy the American style IPAs, I'm wondering what other English style IPAs are out there.

On a HB note, anyone ever try making their own? I imagine it needs swapping out the American hops for something like East Kent Goldings.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:53 AM   #2
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It's mostly in the yeast selection and grain bill. You can use American hops (won't be 'to style'), but you would want some earthy or danky hops in there...definitely a subdued hop profile

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #3
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Greene King IPA's another one I like. Deuchars IPA is from Scotland and oh soooo delicious!

...mind I think you might have trouble finding any stateside...Canada is usually a better place to find Scottish products for what it's worth.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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I'm only brewing styles from the British Isles, so English IPA's, and ESB's, are very often either in fermenting vessel, in keg, or on deck. I kegged my MO SMaSH IPA a few days ago, using Maris Otter malt, EKG hops, and Wyeast 1882-PC Thames Valley II yeast. I do agree that malt and yeast choices are important, but so is the hop selection. Especially when you're adding the flavor and aroma hops (or dry hopping). My only deviation from the published style is I used the hop bursting technique. 7.5oz of hops all 20 minutes from the end (2oz @20, 1.5oz @15, 1oz @10, 1oz@5, and 2oz @1). This is for a 6.5-7 gallons (to keg) batch. The EKG harvest was at 7.20% AA (so you know). Came out to about 48-49 IBU's (almost the middle of the range) but the hop flavor (from the sample I took at kegging time) is great. Looking forward to having it by the pint. I also mashed at 154 with this batch, to retain more malt flavors. My previous MO SMaSH (ESB) I mashed at 150.

I would advise getting all English/UK ingredients for your English IPA. IMO, going with US hops takes away from what it could have been. Maris Otter malt, and EKG hops are NOT difficult to find/get all over the place. If your LHBS doesn't have both, I'd be surprised. If they don't, then just order it up online and don't worry about it.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #5
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It's an awesome style and one of my favorites. Honkers ale is a nice take on the style. Hopefully they don't start messing with the recipe.

+1 on Green King's IPA. I see this a lot in the US. Loved it while I was in the UK for a few years.
Fullers makes a nice IPA which may make it to the US - a lot of their products do.
Southampton (US) makes a Burton IPA which is good as well. I've only seen it in NY.

Couldn't agree more about Goldiggie's points on the ingredients. They are all easy to obtain. A fresh English IPA has a certain taste profile that's hard to replicate without authentic ingredients. For some of them like a Burton IPA the water matters as well, but at least where I live the water works well for most English beerstyles.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heferly View Post
It's mostly in the yeast selection and grain bill.
I'd say it's mostly the hop profile. Those earthy, Noble hops are really what signifies an English IPA.

There are plenty of top-rated, hoppy West-Coast style American IPAs with English malts and/or yeasts. Lagunitas included. You would never label these as English IPAs when you smell/taste them.

Elysian Immortal IPA is termed "English IPA" but the use of American hops, high aroma, and smooth bitterness of the beer make it fantastic. A favorite of mine for sure, but keep in mind, I tend to dislike English-hopped IPAs.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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Left Hand's 400 lb. Monkey is pretty good. A new local brewery here in Dallas (Peticolas) took gold at GABF for Classic English Style Pale Ale for Royal Scandal. I tried it at their brewery last weekend and it is amazing stuff.

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
I'd say it's mostly the hop profile. Those earthy, Noble hops are really what signifies an English IPA.

There are plenty of top-rated, hoppy West-Coast style American IPAs with English malts and/or yeasts. You would never label these as English IPAs when you smell/taste them.

Elysian Immortal IPA is termed "English IPA" but the use of American hops, high aroma, and smooth bitterness of the beer make it fantastic. A favorite of mine for sure, but keep in mind, I tend to dislike English-hopped IPAs.
I tried an "English IPA" from a brew pub I used to go to (location in Framingham, MA, same plaza as Best Buy and Bob's ) that was too bitter and used all US hops. I think they used an US yeast strain too. Don't remember if I was able to find out the malts used, but I doubt it was MO, or even UK 2-row (Pale Ale) malt. Just glad I tried a sample size before committing to a full pint.

BTW, pretty sure 'Noble hops' are not used in English IPA's...
"A lot of home brewers are familiar with the term “Noble Hops” which refers to four variety of continental European hops originally grown in Central Europe. The four hop varieties are Tettnanger, Spalt, Hallertauer and Saaz."

EKG is included in the 'The “Nearly Noble” Hops' category.
"In addition to the four hops listed above (and their variants), you will often hear of other hops occasionally listed as noble hops. These include English Fuggles, East Kent Golding, (Hallertauer) Hersbrucker, and Styrian Goldings (a Fuggle variant). While none of these are actually true noble hops, they share many of the noble hop characteristics of being highly aromatic and having low alpha acid.

Also due to the pressured of land usage in Central Europe, diseases and pests and the move of many commercial brewers towards high yield, high alpha hops (for hop extract), the supply of true noble hops has been steadily decreasing for decades. Growers are instead producing hybrids or variants such as Liberty (a cross of Hallertauer Mittlefruh with a disease resistant US hop) or Mt Hood (a higher alpha acid hybrid). Variants of the nearly noble hops above such as Willamette (derived from Fuggles) are also widely grown in the United States."



Personally, I really, really, really like EKG. Fuggles is ok, when used in moderation and properly. I like to use Target and Northdown for bittering additions from time to time too (when I don't want to use too much EKG).

IMO, any brews produced as "English" or from the British Isles should have the flavors from there. That means hop flavors/aromas should be from native hop varieties. IMO, using US, German, etc. varieties for the flavor and aroma immediately removes it from being an actual/true English style brew. It can be 'in the English style' but that's as close as it gets.

Carry on.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:13 PM   #9
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Okay, well then "nearly" Noble hops. They're still very grassy/earthy and higher in caroyphyllene, humulene, and farnesene than American hops, which are higher in myrcene and total alpha acids on average. So I tend to separate them into two simplistic categories based on these facts/traits. Though, New Zealand hops kind of have traits of both... sort of a middle ground. Either way I don't care for European hops in dry, bitter IPAs (unless they're mixed in with American hops). More than the yeast & malt profile, it's really those vegetal, grassy, earthy, hay-like flavors/aromas that signify English IPA to me; which is completely opposite to the citrusy, tropical, fruity, dank, piney traits we see in American hopped IPAs. And also, obviously the level of bitterness.

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The four hop varieties are Terrnanger, Spalt, Hallertauer and Saaz."
I think you meant Tettnanger.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Okay, well then "nearly" Noble hops. They're still very grassy/earthy and higher in caroyphyllene, humulene, and farnesene than American hops, which are higher in myrcene and total alpha acids on average. So I tend to separate them into two simplistic categories based on these facts/traits. Though, New Zealand hops kind of have traits of both... sort of a middle ground. Either way I don't care for European hops in dry, bitter IPAs (unless they're mixed in with American hops). More than the yeast & malt profile, it's really those vegetal, grassy, earthy, hay-like flavors/aromas that signify English IPA to me; which is completely opposite to the citrusy, tropical, fruity, dank, piney traits we see in American hopped IPAs. And also, obviously the level of bitterness.



I think you meant Tettnanger.
I did a copy/paste from a site without seeing that...

BTW, IMO/IME, an English IPA beats the American version every time. At least for me it does. I've gotten to loathe the hops most places use for flavor and aroma in American pale ales/IPAs. Any time I try one, I just can't enjoy it. Give me EKG (at the right use) and I'm a happy drinker.
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