experienced brewer but IPA noob

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Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2011
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Palo Alto
i have plenty of experience formulating and brewing pales, porters, browns, stouts and other styles, but i've been a bit shy to attempt an IPA from scratch. it's very easy to describe what 10% chocolate malt will do for a beer, but i don't know what simcoe @ 30 min will contribute, especially compared to pitching it at 15 or flameout.

fwiw, i'll be using R/O water and targeting a chloride:sulfate of .23. i also have this excellent screen: http://www.stainlessbrewing.com/Hop-Spider-with-seam-welds_p_158.html.

i'm basically looking for any thoughts at all, but particularly on the following:

1) grain bill complexity? too much? is the vienna overkill?
2) corn sugar a must for the style?
3) mash temp? i don't want this to be a thin mess at this abv with so much very fermentable wort. i expect this to finish lower than projected and hit 7.75-8% abv
4) hop suggestions? mostly looking to stick with these unless someone convinces me the balance is poor. i like them and i have them!
5) hop timing? more at 30 min? how long to whirlpool?


Batch Size 5.500 gal Boil Size 6.250 gal
Boil Time 60.000 min Efficiency 72%

OG 17.8 P FG 4.7 P
ABV 7.2% Bitterness 77.4 IBU (Tinseth)
Color 8.2 srm (Morey) Calories (per 12 oz.) 244

Total grain: 15.750 lbName Type Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
Rahr - 2 Row Malt Grain 12.000 lb Yes No 80% 2.0 srm
Weyermann - Vienna Malt Grain 2.000 lb Yes No 81% 3.0 srm
White Wheat Malt Grain 1.000 lb Yes No 86% 2.0 srm
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L Grain 12.000 oz Yes No 74% 45.0 srm

Name Alpha Amount Use Time Form IBU

Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus 15.5% 0.750 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 30.8

Centennial 10.5% 0.500 oz Boil 30.000 min Pellet 10.7
Columbus/Tomahawk/Zeus 15.5% 0.250 oz Boil 30.000 min Pellet 7.9
Simcoe 13.0% 0.500 oz Boil 30.000 min Pellet 13.2

Amarillo 9.5% 0.250 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 3.1
Centennial 10.5% 0.250 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 3.4
Citra 12.0% 0.250 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 3.9
Simcoe 13.0% 0.250 oz Boil 15.000 min Pellet 4.3

Amarillo 9.5% 1.000 oz Boil 1.000 s Pellet 0.0
Centennial 10.5% 0.500 oz Boil 1.000 s Pellet 0.0
Citra 12.0% 1.000 oz Boil 1.000 s Pellet 0.0
Simcoe 13.0% 0.500 oz Boil 1.000 s Pellet 0.0

Amarillo 9.5% 0.750 oz Dry Hop 0.000 s Pellet 0.0
Centennial 10.5% 0.750 oz Dry Hop 0.000 s Pellet 0.0
Citra 12.0% 0.750 oz Dry Hop 0.000 s Pellet 0.0
Simcoe 13.0% 0.750 oz Dry Hop 0.000 s Pellet 0.0

Name Type Form Amount Stage
WLP001 - California Ale Yeast Ale Liquid 2.367 tbsp Primary

Name Type Amount Temp Target Temp Time
Infusion 5.001 gal 170.219 F 153.000 F 50.000 min
Final Batch Sparge Infusion 3.297 gal 193.606 F 165.200 F 15.000 min


Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2011
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Them Scary Woods
1) Vienna isn't overkill but it will lend a slight biscuity flavor to the IPA.

2) Corn sugar isn't a must unless you wish to thin out the flavor. If you want to add more fermentables to boost the ABV, use 2 row.

3) Mash temps from 148-155f are the usual range. You'll get a crisper flavor with the lower temp but compensate with a slightly longer mash. I usually strike at 165.

4) That's a hell of a lot of hops especially for your first IPA. Amarillo and citra are so similar, I might skip one of them. You might consider replacing one with cascade. Also, there's no shame in making a SMaSH IPA (single malt and single hop) to really appreciate what each hop can do, especially if you're unfamiliar with the variety. I like to do this in small one gallon pilot batches.

5) I would change your 30 minute addition to 20, your 15 to 5 and just skip the one minute addition. Your whirlpool addition goes in at flameout and should last about 45 minutes. Then you can use the wort chiller.


Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2009
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Wow, strong opinion, here's mine! The total hop amount is just about exactly equivalent to my best recipes, schedule almost the same. Amarillo is not at all like Citra, combined they work well together. I love Vienna in an IPA, or light Munich, 2 lbs does not seem too much. I made an all Vienna IPA that was awesome.

If I were to brew this the only change I * might * make would be to reduce the crystal malt to 8 oz.

Oh and I routinely use sugar to dry out IPAs over 1.070, 8 oz to 1.5 lbs.

FWIW and YMMV and WTF etc and so on,
Steve da sleeve


Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2011
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Palo Alto
thanks for the feedback! opinions certainly differ, and i have not used citra or amarillo in isolation enough to comment on what exactly each brings, but my impression so far is closer to steve's than aiptasia's. that said, i appreciate all the ideas.

aiptasia, could you talk a bit more about the shift toward knockout? it seems a lot of recipes argue for additions about 30 minutes out to create a strong flavor. i also don't have a pump, so i cannot do a whirlpool. i have usually performed a 20 min steep post-knockout for hoppier beers before beginning to run the wort through my plate chiller.

steve, i actually reduced the crystal to 8oz in my own copy of the recipe! thanks for the other advice. i may reserve the last gallon in the kettle and add corn sugar and compare it to the rest of the batch.

i think in constructing the original grain bill i was a bit too concerned with BJCP style guidelines for IIPA. it seems in practice that the 8SRM minimum is not followed and many are much, much lighter.