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Old 05-18-2013, 09:21 PM   #1
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Default Session IPA recipe

So I am trying to create a sessionable IPA......lots of hop flavor and aroma BUT coming in around 4%. Of course I want to avoid creating "hop tea" so it still needs to have some malt backbone. After looking at a bunch of recipes I came up with this for 11 gallons at 77% efficiency

12.25 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 71.01 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 11.59 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.60 %] FWH) Hops 38.2 IBU
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.40 %] (10 min) Hops 7.2 IBU
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.30 %] (5 min) Hops 3.9 IBU
2.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.30 %] (0 min) Hops -
2.00 oz Falconer's Flight Dry Hop
1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [Starter 35 ml] Yeast-Ale

I plan on mashing a little higher...155 F. to create a little more body. The Kolsch yeast I am using accentuates the hops and attentuates in pretty much the same range as Cal Ale yeast.
What do you guys think? I have never used Falconer's Flight before but since it is a blend of a bunch of popular hops I figure I will stay with just one hop for flavor/aroma.

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Old 05-19-2013, 09:35 PM   #2
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Let us know how it turns out. I too want to brew a session IPA but I'm not sure how to start it.

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Old 05-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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The words "session IPA" are as much of an abomination as "imperial mild".

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Old 05-19-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Lots of good info in this thread.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/session-ipas-lets-hear-183421/

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Old 05-19-2013, 10:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
The words "session IPA" are as much of an abomination as "imperial mild".
Yep.

Except, I LOVE hops. American IPAs are my favorite style, and I buy them 90% of the time even when I meant to try something else. Hops get in your blood, and you can't get enough.

At my size, ONE 7% beer is more than I should enjoy in an evening and still be functional. So I want something quaffable where I can drink 3-4 and not be a stumbling mess. A "session" IPA has been my holy grail since I started brewing.

Founders recently came out with All-day IPA, so I'm sure that I'm not the only one who wants BIG hops and BIG flavor, but in a 5% beer. (or less).

I've come close a couple of times, similar to 21st Amendment's Bitter American, but not quite nailed what I wanted.

I'm way from my home computer right now, so away from my recipes, but a couple of things that are key, in my opinion:

Hopsbursting is a big bonus for lower ABV hoppy beers. It uses more hops, but it really gives the depth of hops flavor I'm looking for. Even a small bittering charge is ok, but with plenty of late hops, and that gives a depth of hops flavor I love.

Munich malt and Vienna malt are great for giving some malt backbone without being too much.

I would not overuse crystal malt, and instead add some intense malt flavor/aroma like with aromatic malt. A few ounces of aromatic malt can enhance the perception of malt backbone unlike anything else.

Another "go to" malt in a session IPA has been victory malt. Unlike crystal malt, it doesn't sweeten the beer but provides malt depth with its toasty/biscuit flavor and aroma. You don't need much at all, maybe 4 ounces in a 5 gallon batch, but it really deepens the malt.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
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the words "session ipa" are as much of an abomination as "imperial mild".
lmao
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Phunhog View Post
12.25 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 71.01 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 11.59 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.00 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 5.80 %
1.50 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.60 %] FWH) Hops 38.2 IBU
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.40 %] (10 min) Hops 7.2 IBU
1.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.30 %] (5 min) Hops 3.9 IBU
2.00 oz Falconer's Flight [11.30 %] (0 min) Hops -
2.00 oz Falconer's Flight Dry Hop
1 Pkgs German Ale/Kolsch (White Labs #WLP029) [Starter 35 ml] Yeast-Ale

I must have enter too soon, or else my netbook cut me off. anyway, about this particular recipe!

I'd cut the crystal in half. 6% crystal is more than plenty. You could use some light crystal and some darker crystal for complexity, but I think 11+% is too much. I'd stick with 5-6%, some 20L and some 80L.

I'd use some aromatic malt, perhaps 12 ounces total, instead of all of the crystal. Or maybe some victory malt (8-12 ounces total) instead if aromatic malt is not available. The 20L Munich is a good addition, and may negate the benefit of aromatic malt, so the victory may be a better choice here.

I don't know about FF hops, so I'll have to defer to someone else who's more familiar with those hops. I've only used them a couple of times, and been "meh" about it. I'd like to see traditional C hops, or more intense citrus hops (like amarillo) and combine it with simcoe or something else to provide depth but still give traditional West Coast hops flavor and aroma. Even galaxy would be a good choice, in my opinion.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:19 PM   #8
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Yoop, I feel it would be much more appropriate to call them hoppy APAs rather than session IPA.

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Old 05-19-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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Since we all know an IPA isn't low gravity nor can an IPA be black, we won't enter them into competitions under IPA, ok?
This is a hop lover's beer. I always have a version on tap.
Aromatic malt is KEY, IMO. Use it. It is so delicious.
I also like to use honey malt and/or biscuit malt depending on the hops.

One thing I would be careful with is the bittering addition. Most of the bad ones I have had are from craft brewers who think they can just cut the 2-row. It's like putting your tongue in a mousetrap. I try for about 25 IBU at the start and then make up the rest in late addition and whirlpool.

Falconer's flight will be delicious.

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Old 05-20-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Yoop, I feel it would be much more appropriate to call them hoppy APAs rather than session IPA.
I understand why you say that would be appropriate. But really, it's not an APA either. I usually think of an APA as a beer with a caramel sweetness (a pound of light crystal in a 5 gallon batch isn't unusual) and with more balance than an IPA. A really good APA balances the sweet malt with enough bitterness to make a drinkable (but balanced) beer with hops flavor.

In a "session IPA", which I realize doesn't exist, I see that as a more firmly bitter beer (but not "overwhelming, take the enamel off your teeth" bitter) without so much caramel sweetness and much more hops flavor and aroma than a typical APA. And possibly even lower ABV, as a West Coast type APA can have a pretty substantial ABV (6.2% or so). A really great American IPA will have little to no caramel sweetness, but instead enough malt backbone to balance the hops overload.

I want a beer that tastes just like a 7% IPA, but with 4-5% ABV. All of the hops flavor and aroma (and still firmly bitter) but without getting schnockered off of just one.

It's definitely not a recognized BJCP style, but I think it's a great niche for people like me who to try to brew what we like and usually brew "to style". I don't do bacon raspberry robust porters (or anything resembling such things), but I do make "Session IPAs".
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