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Old 09-14-2012, 04:37 AM   #1
dtmbizzle
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Default Newbie advice for first IPA

Hello all. Great site, I have referred to this place umpteen times over the past month as I brewed my first batch (English Pale Ale) and now as I am in the midst of my second batch, a run of the mill IPA. My first batch turned out excellent, far better than I hoped, and now I am hopelessly hooked. Here's where I am at with this IPA, what I am concerned with, and what I want to accomplish. Any input much appreciated.

Boiling went fine, as did wort cooling, however, I think I got a little impatient with pitching the yeast,(pitched at too high a temp, I am guessing 78deg) and also I think the thermometer I used might have been a little off because after 24 hours of fermentation, the yeast were going insane, and there was foam almost to the top of my primary (5gallon better bottle carboy). I slightly freaked out, but just watched it closely, no beer bomb situation ensued, and it settled down after another day or so. The temp in my basement is consistently at 68 degrees. There is a ton of foam/krausen hunk all over the headspace at this time, a full 4 days after fermentation started. Its all the way up to the neckof the better bottle, and has sort of dried out, and isnt falling back down. My plan is to dry hop with 1-3oz of cascade hops. I would also like to cold crash to clear the beer as much as possible. My main questions are what order should I do everything in... From my research, basic understanding of dry hopping, and I guess just plain assumptions I am making at this point, this is what I am thinking of doing;

1.) After 2 weeks in the primary, I was going to add my dry hop pellets and let them sit in the primary for a week

2.) 3 days after dry hopping, I was going to crash chill for an additional 4 days at 41 degrees. We have a wine fridge in the basement that I have commandeered from my wife (shhh...) that should be perfect

3.) after dry hopping for a full week, I was going to pull the primary from the fridge, and bottle. 2 weeks at least in the bottles, then taste the 'wares.

Does this sound like a good overall plan? My biggest concerns are that the higher pitching temp might warrant leaving the beer on top of the yeast cake for a longer period of time as opposed to racking to a secondary to dry hop. Is this right? Also, is it ok to dry hop and crash cool at the same time?

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Old 09-14-2012, 04:49 AM   #2
RobertRGeorge
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Everything you've done so far strikes me as about right. I don't like to leave beer in the primary for an extended time. I have found that getting it off the yeast and trub after about a week gives me a cleaner flavor. I use a secondary fermenter to bulk age the brew for at least 30 days, and depending on the original gravity up to 6 months.

It seems to me that there are a lot of brewers that are in a rush to drink their beer, and it looks like your plan calls for four weeks of aging. If you can stand waiting, I suggest giving it another 4 weeks in a secondary. You don't mention what your OG was but if it was above 50 I'll wager you'll appreciate the difference.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:20 AM   #3
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I'd have to disagree on the aging. The IPA's I've made all peaked at about 7 weeks (4 in primary, 3 in bottle). The hop aroma and flavor just didn't have the same zip as those first few bottles.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:24 AM   #4
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It sounds like you've got a pretty solid grasp of the process. I don't know how you were planning to keep the hops out of the bottling bucket, but I've found that a hop sack zip tied to the racking cane works great.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #5
WreckinBrewCo
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I'll agree, it looks like you've got a solid plan. The only thing I would change, based on personal preference would be to move to secondary for dry hopping and cold crashing.

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Old 09-14-2012, 05:38 AM   #6
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Sounds good, dude. I usually primary my IPAs for 10 days, dry hop for 5, crash to 34F for 2 days, keg and carb for 5 days, then start drinking that hoppy goodness. You DO NOT want to age IPA!!! Hop flavor and aroma start to fall off with age- the fresher, the better

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Old 09-14-2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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My preference is to age 30 days, with the last 10-15 days used as the dry hop stage. Regarding aging IPA: the original IPAs were aged 90 days or more as they made their way around Africa to the Raj in India.

Granted, we don't drink water with cholera in it any more, but I find the extra bulk aging helps the flavors mellow and mingle.

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Old 09-15-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
dtmbizzle
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Thanks for all the help and suggestions. I think I am going to keep 'the plan' in place, and just dry hop in the primary... Mainly because I will hopefully be starting a new batch of oatmeal stout next week. I have two carboys, so I'll just keep the IPA in its original home and see how we do.

My OG was 1.061 I appreciate all the differing opinions and viewpoints on this site. Seems like everyone has different experiences but theyre still respectful of everyone else's opinion. I think I will err on the side of 'dont age IPA' for this batch. Now I am thinking about how much, and what hops to add... here's my choices, what do you guys think? The boil hops used were Chinook for bittering, cascade for flavor, then chinook again for aroma at the end of the boil. I have;

1 ounce of whole chinook hops
2oz cascade pellets
1.5oz centennial pellets

I am leaning towards the cascade, and was going to dump in the full 2oz.

Thoughts?

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