IPA aging. Contradictory Information?

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pjj2ba

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Well what created the IPA as a style was that the beer seemed to mature much more rapidly than normal on the sea voyage to India, with the bitterness rounding out and mellowing in a fraction of the time it would have taken in a cellar; see Zythophile's most recent post.

I believe the link provided in this quote from another ongoing thread has some good information. The man in the link took two bottles (unfortunately not more) and left one at home and took the other with him while on business in the Mid-East for 3 months to simulate a ship voyage. Afterwards he tasted, and not surprisingly the two beers were very different, yet still both clearly were IPA's.

I like Scuba Steve's idea about aging and THEN dry hopping. This would probably have more rounded malt flavors and a smoother bitterness. Now is this better than dry hoping in a secondary then bottling/kegging and drinking within two week? It depends on your personal tastes. Some will say yes, some will say no. Brew what you like, and don't knock others for liking what they like. Some guys prefer Blondes, some prefer Brunettes, neither is wrong. Being able to have a choice ------- priceless.
 

ghpeel

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I've used S-04 in two IPAs and found that they really took an extra month or two compared to US-05 to get mellow. So for me, I'll age the English IPAs more than the American ones. And I'd agree with the posters above about aging, then dry hopping. I'll probably age my next English IPA for a month or two in a secondary, then dry hop for a week, then bottle/keg.
 

usurpers26

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2 weeks out of the fermenter is barely enough time to properly carb it...unless you force carbed. Regardless though, I completely disagree, sorry.



I disagree. I just made a double IPA and it tasted great 2 weeks out of the fermenter. SG was 1.075 FG was 1.012 ABV was over 8% No hot alcohol flavors.

If you pitch the right amount of healthy yeast and have great control of the fermentation temps you won't need to age the beer. That's been my experience.
 

maida7

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2 weeks out of the fermenter is barely enough time to properly carb it...unless you force carbed. Regardless though, I completely disagree, sorry.

I do force carb. It's mostly carbed in a week. 2 weeks and it's fully carbed.

I'm not lying. if you pitch the proper amount of healthy yeast and do a good job managing your fermentation temps, you beer will taste great straight out of the fermenter. You'd have to taste it to believe me. If you start the ferment cool you should not have any harsh alcohols.

Some high gravity beers do get better with age but not a hop flavored style like IPA. Drink Fresh!
 

ghpeel

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Maybe its a personal preference thing? I've just now got a fermentation fridge, so the next time I do an English IPA (I wanna clone Sam Smith IPA...yum) I'll keep it in the low 60's and see if its better sooner.
 

maida7

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Maybe its a personal preference thing? I've just now got a fermentation fridge, so the next time I do an English IPA (I wanna clone Sam Smith IPA...yum) I'll keep it in the low 60's and see if its better sooner.

start cool to control the harsh alcohol and esters. BUT finish warmer. This is very important with English strains (and to a degree all ale yeasts). Warm things up a few degrees at the end of activity to keep the yeast from going to sleep. This will help get full attenuation and it gives the yeast time to clean up the diacetyl. English strains are know to produce lots of diacetyl.

Sam smith is know for it's buttery diacetyl flavor so you may play around with the temps and brew it a few different ways till you clone it.
 

usurpers26

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Still disagree, even moreso with your last statement about high gravity. Too many people think you lose that much hop flavor over time...we just don't taste that in our IPAs. Yes, younger, they are much more sharp and astringent but that's not what we're shooting for.

We always pitch properly and our temp control is awesome.

Your opinion is surely valid, I'm not trying to say otherwise.

I do force carb. It's mostly carbed in a week. 2 weeks and it's fully carbed.

I'm not lying. if you pitch the proper amount of healthy yeast and do a good job managing your fermentation temps, you beer will taste great straight out of the fermenter. You'd have to taste it to believe me. If you start the ferment cool you should not have any harsh alcohols.

Some high gravity beers do get better with age but not a hop flavored style like IPA. Drink Fresh!
 

maida7

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It's not so much the bitterness that you lose over time. It's the hop flavor and aroma. Within a month the hop flavor and aroma are reduced significantly. Brew the same beer 3 months apart and taste a fresh one VS a 3 month old one. Do the test blind and see which one you like more. See which one has more hop flavor and which has more malt flavor. I prefer the fresh beer. That's a personal preference.

If your fresh beer has an hot alcohol flavor then try pitching cooler and keeping the ferment cooler for at least the first 48 hours. This initial phase of fermentation has a big impact on the alcohol flavor. Give it a try and see what happens.
 

warriorpoet

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You guys are really talking apples/oranges...an English IPA is similar but in no way like a Western IPA. The English has a bigger malt backbone and is smoother. The Western is more up-front hops with a balanced but not overly forward malt. So, you are both right!
I prefer my IPA's and Double IPA's to be Western, but that is what I want...not a competition judging parameter.
 

rayg

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It's not so much the bitterness that you lose over time. It's the hop flavor and aroma. Within a month the hop flavor and aroma are reduced significantly. Brew the same beer 3 months apart and taste a fresh one VS a 3 month old one. Do the test blind and see which one you like more. See which one has more hop flavor and which has more malt flavor. I prefer the fresh beer. That's a personal preference.

I don't think it takes even that long. The difference between one week
after bottling and 5 weeks is huge.

Ray
 
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The way i handle my IIPAs is three weeks in primary, then straight to kegging with the dry hops in the keg. Force carb and start drinking in a week. It really hits its stride in about three weeks after it is kegged and doesn't usually last past six to seven weeks.
 

gerbache

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I also prefer my IPAs as soon as I can get them kegged and (mostly) carbed. My usual pattern for them is two weeks in the primary, then a week of lots of dry hopping, then into the fridge it goes. I usually give them a bit of a shake to help speed up the carbing, but it's only a few days before I start drinking them, and I think they hit the peak at about a month after the brew day and start to fade from there.

I do my IPAs in a definite west coast style, with lots of late hop additions. My experience has been that after about 2 or 3 months, they're still pretty good, but missing that "something" that makes them really spectacular before.
 
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