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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > When To Drink an IPA?
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:01 PM   #1
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Default When To Drink an IPA?

I have been on an IPA kick for almost a year now.

I have always tried to keep a pipeline going so that I am able to condition my beers in the kegs for at least two months before they hit the tap. However, recently I ran out (first time in 4 1/2 years of brewing)!! Once I got my next brew going I obviously couldn't wait 2 months to drink it and therefore it hit the tap at the one month period (3 fermenting and 1 on CO2). It was actually fantastic which got me to wondering: as far as homebrewing goes, when is it best to drink an IPA? Right away or wait a while? Wasn't sure if this was a fluke or maybe just due to the particular recipe.

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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I drink my IPAs as fresh as possible so they still have the huge aroma. Typically three weeks fermenting an a week carbing.

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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I also drink mine as soon as they're carbed. I think they're better when fresh and still have the big hop aroma!

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Old 10-07-2012, 04:46 PM   #4
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I recently made a pale ale with a lot of hop flavor. I don't keg but I tested bottles at each week through week 7. I thought weeks 3 and 4 were perfect. By week 7, the hop flavor was significantly reduced and left an unbalanced bitterness. The bottles that had been in the fridge, however, retained the flavor much longer. Not very scientific but in the future, I will get all hoppy beers in the fridge or in my belly by week 4.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:14 PM   #5
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I'm going to weigh in on the opposite side. Every time I've made an IPA, whether it was a big 100+ IBU Pliny clone or a simple mild single IPA, the flavors hit their stride at 2 months in the bottle. They're sharp and bitter right away, but at two
Months the flavors are melded and mellow and sweet and, to me at least, much much more enjoyable.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM
I'm going to weigh in on the opposite side. Every time I've made an IPA, whether it was a big 100+ IBU Pliny clone or a simple mild single IPA, the flavors hit their stride at 2 months in the bottle. They're sharp and bitter right away, but at two
Months the flavors are melded and mellow and sweet and, to me at least, much much more enjoyable.
X2. Every beer has it's a time when it's perfect. I think some IPAs taste kinda nasty when they're fresh.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:23 PM   #7
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I have two kegs of IPA on tap right now. Well, actually had since one keg kicked last night. They both are good, but very different. The one that kicked last night was brewed on 9/10/12, so was about 26 days old when it was gone. The other IPA was brewed on 9/16/12, and I have 5+ gallons of it left (I brew 10 gallon batches).

IPAs don't keep the "hoppy" flavor and aroma for long, although they can be very drinkable as they age. They seem to have a more perceptible bitterness as they age, as the hops aroma and flavor fade (since the hop flavor and aroma balances out the bitterness).

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
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My IPA is best at 4 weeks in the bottle after some 3.5 weeks or so in primary with a one week dry hop. Dito on week seven+.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Yooper, whats your process? You kicked one last night (10-6-12) that was brewed on 9-10-12 so barely 3 weeks old when kicked right? By myself it takes me 2-4 weeks to kick a keg.

The reason I am asking is that I feel my beers, most of the time, taste too "green" if I don't ferment 3 weeks and then wait at least another few before tapping.

Good replies so far, I hope to see a lot more experiences.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krovitz
I recently made a pale ale with a lot of hop flavor. I don't keg but I tested bottles at each week through week 7. I thought weeks 3 and 4 were perfect. By week 7, the hop flavor was significantly reduced and left an unbalanced bitterness. The bottles that had been in the fridge, however, retained the flavor much longer. Not very scientific but in the future, I will get all hoppy beers in the fridge or in my belly by week 4.
This matches what I recently heard third hand on a blog originally started by the hop expert at I think either miller or ab: "the lining in bottle caps will absorb a lot of the aroma from hops within 3 weeks."
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