Session IPA recipe advice - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Session IPA recipe advice

Thread Tools
Old 02-12-2013, 09:10 PM   #1
Dec 2012
Waterloo, ON
Posts: 49
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

I'm looking to make a 'sessionable' IPA. I like the hop flavor but I'd like to brew something a little lighter then many of the 'hop bombs'. I have a pound of cascade and an ounce of centennial so I'm hoping to use mostly cascade for this recipe, here is what I have, I'd love to hear some opinions, it's easy to make the IBUs work but I have a harder time estimating hop flavor. It will be a BIAB recipe, I don't know how you guys copy your recipes from beer smith so I'll just type it out.

5gal batch
11lb 2-row
8oz crystal 80L
8oz cara-pils
Mash at 149

1.5oz Cascade- 60min
1oz Cascade- 15min
1oz Centennial- 5min
1oz cascade- 1min

1-2oz cascade dry hop?
US-05 yeast

OG 1.052
FG 1.009
That gives me 52 IBU (looking for about 50)
colour 8.5SRM

How does this sound?
I'm very open to suggestions on how to change things.


Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 10:15 PM   #2
SC_Ryan's Avatar
Dec 2007
Santa Cruz, CA
Posts: 769
Liked 29 Times on 23 Posts

What you have there is pretty much a pale ale as far as the hop level/OG goes, with a hop level similar to say a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. You will want to probably double or triple the 15, 5 and 1 minute additions and maybe even add some dry hops. Cascade and Centennial are a super tasty hop combination! If it were me, I would do 1.5 oz of both Cascade and Centennial at 15, 5 & 1 and adjust your 60 minute addition to land you around 50 ibu. If I were to dry hop, I would probably dry hop with .5-1 oz of each as well.

I like the idea of cara-pils to give it some good "thickness" and body to hold up to the hops at a lower gravity. I would probably up the carapils to 12 oz. Crystal 80 is probably darker than you want to go. It would probably be tasty but might turn out more like a "session imperial amber". I would roll with .5# of cry40 instead.
Oh no! Bitter beer face!!!

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 12:59 AM   #3
Jul 2008
Posts: 1,552
Liked 114 Times on 102 Posts

There's a long thread about this on here somewhere...
There's also this:
And this:
The short version: simply scaling down the 2-row+US-05 IPA template won't give you what you want. You need more maltiness and residual sugar than that will provide. Use a richer base malt (Vienna, MO, Special Pale, etc...) and add some more specialty malts than you normally would. Omit any simple sugars. Mash higher. Consider a less-hungry yeast. Cut back on the IBUs, not on the flavor/aroma hops.
Say no to intolerance: love gluten and lactose.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 01:48 AM   #4
Relax? RELAX?!
PhelanKA7's Avatar
Feb 2010
Posts: 996
Liked 103 Times on 77 Posts

Not to sound like a teetotaling, know-it-all, party-pooper but 5.6% is a bit above the recommended alcohol content for a session beer. 5.1% is supposedly the ceiling: (page 27 is the section on session beers)

It is whatever is a session beer to you in the end though. Just thought I'd point that out for educational purposes. Ok, I'll be going now...

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 04:31 AM   #5
Aug 2008
, New York
Posts: 1,567
Liked 134 Times on 83 Posts

Originally Posted by PhelanKA7 View Post
Not to sound like a teetotaling, know-it-all, party-pooper but 5.6% is a bit above the recommended alcohol content for a session beer. 5.1% is supposedly the ceiling.
Well... if the BA actually knew anything about real session beers, they'd know that they are actually under 4%. Or, 4.5% if you really want to push it.

I'll be leaving now.

PhelanKA7 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 01:02 PM   #6
Dec 2012
Waterloo, ON
Posts: 49
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

So I may have used the wrong wording, was taking it from Hops and Robbers, an IPA I enjoy and is advertised as a 'sessionalble IPA' at 5.7%. After reading through the linked thread about session IPAs I realized I may be off on my wording. I guess I'm looking for something right between an IPA and Pale Ale, maybe closer to the IPA side. With the cascade I'm hoping for something lighter/fruitier rather then the 'dank' you may get from a hop like chinook.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
Jan 2011
Sierra, Nevada
Posts: 4,041
Liked 440 Times on 351 Posts

<5% abv

10-11lb English and American 2-row blend
8oz crystal 20 or 40L
4oz crystal 40 or 60L
12oz carapils
Mash at 152-154

15 IBUs from Centennial @ 60
15 IBUs from Cascade @ 10
1.5 oz. Cascade @ 0

2oz Cascade & Centennial dry hop

WLP002 yeast

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #8
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,888
Liked 8092 Times on 5647 Posts

You've hit on my personal "Holy Grail"!

I want a 5% beer, or even less, but with all the hop goodness of a 7.5% IPA.

I've come close-ish, but never been able to say "That's it! It's perfect!". At least not yet.

A couple of things I've learned might help you, though. One is to use some character malt, like Munich malt and/or Vienna malt. Since you're reducing the grainbill but want to keep some malt backbone to stand up to the hops, that really helps. Keep the bitterness (60 minute hops) firm but not too much, and use a neutral bittering hop like magnum.

I'd use mostly two-row, about 2 pounds of Vienna (or light Munich), a tad bit of crystal 40L (.5- .75 pound). Or, all two-row for the base malt but and .5 pound of aromatic malt for the grainbill if you want to skip the Vienna or Munich. A little victory malt (.25 pound) also provides some depth if you'd like that.

For hopping, something like this:
.5 oz bittering hops 60 minutes (again, neutral ones like magnum) or to get you to about 25 IBUs with this addition
1 oz cascade 15 minutes (or amarillo, or centennial, or whatever you like for these additions)
1 oz cascade 5 minutes (or whatever)
1 oz cascade 0 minutes (or other favorite)
dryhop with 1-2 oz

Target an OG of 1.050 or less, using a clean well attenuating American ale yeast.

I love hops like chinook, but for a lower OG hoppy beer it can be overpowering and harsh so I use hops like the ones I listed.
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
Nov 2012
Posts: 9

I'd have to dig it up bu Zymurgy had a "Pliny the Toddler" a while back that was really good and clocked it at around 4.9%

Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
Jan 2011
Rocky Hill, CT
Posts: 1,075
Liked 209 Times on 136 Posts

Originally Posted by Spisuk View Post
I'd have to dig it up bu Zymurgy had a "Pliny the Toddler" a while back that was really good and clocked it at around 4.9%

great idea tho


Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Session recipe Srceenplay Recipes/Ingredients 9 05-06-2012 03:59 PM
Session IPA advice ChadChaney All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 03-10-2012 08:47 AM
First brew session, last minute advice Jcoz Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 43 05-24-2011 12:26 AM
Urgent...impromptu brew session advice! peregrinebio General Beer Discussion 5 03-09-2011 04:45 AM
Best session beer recipe?? sidneysaintpe Recipes/Ingredients 12 09-30-2008 12:39 PM

Forum Jump