IPA tips/tricks/recomendations?

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iron_city_ap

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My very first batch has been bottled for about a week :ban: and I'm starting to think about my next batch. I want to brew an IPA to be ready around Christmas time and was looking for any tip/tricks/recomendations anyone might have with them.

Since its only my second batch, I'm leaning going with either a complete kit or one slightly modifying one (different yeast, etc..., but nothing too complicated just yet), so for me at the time, the simpler the better but I'd like it to be a small step up from step/batch 1.
 

blackwaterbrewer

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adding some gypsum to the mash is a nice trick for getting a smoother m0uthfeel to balance hop bitterness.

i am a big fan of dry hopping in secondary.
 

The Pol

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HELLO!

DO NOT forget the FWH!!:rockin:
 

s3n8

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There is a chart floating around here that has a scale that compares gravity to IBU, but it seems to not cover IPA territory too well. My rule of thumb is to have about 1.1 or greater IBU:GU ratio. e.g. if your planned OG is 1.060 (60 GU) Shoot for >66 IBU. The beers I have liked best have been 1.3 IBU:GU, but then again, I am becoming a bit of a hophead. Last IIPA I made had 16oz of hops in a 5 gallon batch :).

Always dry hop an IPA, and I personally like a lot of late hop additions. I usually FWH, and additions at 60, 20, 15, 10, 5, 1 and DH. Play around with the numbers to get the ratio right, dont overdo the crystal/carapils, mash fairly low (152ish). I like Maris Otter, but 2row and 8 - 12 oz of medium crystal makes a nice grainbill.

Hops are up to you, I really like Chinook, Centennial, Columbus ,and Cascade.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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I could have sworn I posted a reply, but here goes again. Sorry if this ends up being a double...

Thanks everyone for the replies so far, but here is how big of an amateur I am....

mosyslack, what do you mean by +1? I have a good idea what dry hopping is, but not the +1

The Pol & s3n8, What does FWH stand for? ALso, no clue what you mean by crystal/carapils or what the heck grainbill is. What/when do you use to measure IBUs? Is there something on the hydrometer?

Like I mentioned in my origional post, this is only my 2nd batch ever. Thanks for not being too brutal on me. Also, I don't know anyone that homebrews, so the internet is my bestest friend when it comes to learning this stuff.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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Could you guys help me out here a bit.... what do you mean by +1 when dry hopping? What does FWH mean? What do you use, or how do you measure IBUs? When you talk about 'additions at 60, 20, etc...' is that adding hopps while mashing? Sorry if these seem like pretty basic/stupid kinds of questions.

This is only my second batch ever, so please be gentle.
 

Benjibbad

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+1 mean we agree with a previous post. Dry hopping is just adding dried hops after primary fermentation. You will derive a good deal of hop aroma from it.

FWH is First wort hopping, it is only realy do able if you are doing AG brewing. It's just adding hops to the kettle prior to draining and sparging your MLT.

There are a few different meathods to derive IBUs. Do a google search and you will find plenty of calculators out there that will help you determine IBUs.

The additions are adding hops during the boil. Depending on when you add the hops determines how much bitterness is extracted from them. The longer they boil the more bitterness. As you get closer to the end they impart their flavors ~20 mins, and the last ~5 and less adds aroma.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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Benjibbad, Thank you so much for explaining all that to me. That Chocolate Banana Bread Ale you have planned sounds unreal.
 

mmb

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get a nice bittering charge and then drop between 4 -6 oz of hops into the last 20 minutes of boil.

Huge aroma/flavor without a huge bitter bite
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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Since I'm still extremely new to this and making what I like to call a 'hamburger helper' batch (kit), any recomendations to a specific kit or any good changes to make to whatever kit I buy (the local supply place carries Brewers Best and something gold (not exactly sure on the name))? Should I swap out for a specific type of yeast, or pick up a little of a specific type of hopps? Again, I'm severely new, so nothing TOO complicated just yet.
 

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Since I'm still extremely new to this and making what I like to call a 'hamburger helper' batch (kit), any recomendations to a specific kit or any good changes to make to whatever kit I buy (the local supply place carries Brewers Best and something gold (not exactly sure on the name))? Should I swap out for a specific type of yeast, or pick up a little of a specific type of hopps? Again, I'm severely new, so nothing TOO complicated just yet.
You can use the Brewer's Best kits. They're solid. Not great, but not bad. If you want a kit, I'd suggest ordering one from Austinhomebrew.com. That's how I started. The cost is reasonable, and the instructions are very good. They have better quality and fresher kits than the Brewer's Best boxed kits. They have a ton of "clone kits", too.

If you want, you could look at some of our recipes: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f69/

Many of them are all-grain, but some are extract and would be fine for you to do. We can help you with instructions/procedures if you need some assistance with "reading" the recipe.
 

Docnector

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I am in the exact same situation. I am ready to do my 2nd brew ever & want to do an IPA. I want to order a kit on ebay so it is already put together. Do you recomend one brand over another, Brewers Best, True Brew or Coopers. Anyone have experiance with any of these 3 brands?
 

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I'd get one from Austin Homebrew, linked just above.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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Thanks for the info on Austinbrew. I had to drive past the supply place yesterday, so I picked up a brewer's best kit, but I'm going to make some small modifications....

I'm planning on adding 1tsp of Gypsum
The kit doesn't have anything for dry hopping, so I'm going to add 1 oz. of something, depending on what hopps they have at the place (gotta go back), probably another ounce of hopps for the boil, and some stuff to feed/boost the yeast and last but not least some irish moss. Sadly, its more of a winery, so their beer supplies are a bit limited, but good enough. From what I'm reading/you guys are recomending, hopefully they'll have Amarillo.

I noticed Ausin mentioned double pitching the yeast for OGs over 1.060, and since the kit comes with Nottingham, I'll probably go the double route. I need to see what kinds of yeast they carry and I'll go from there. May pick up a 2 pack of an ale yeast if they have it.

To bump the ABV, am I better off adding a little extra malt, going with the yeast booster, or just adding a pound of sugar? I know sugar is the least favored option of the 3, but it never hurts to ask.

As an added note, the instructions that came with this Brewer's Best kit, compared to my last are very different. The new instructions are more detailed. I like them MUCH better than the ones that came in my last kit.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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I forgot to ask,

The recipe calls for boiling most of the hops for 55mins, with aroma hops being adding for the last 5. It seems like most other recipes call for adding the hops at different intervals, which I'm assuming is a little better.

Should I spread out my hop additions, lowering the IBUs? They estimate the IBUs,stock, to be about 45-49. Since I'm planning on adding extra hops during the boil that should help bring the IBUs back up. Or should I go with boiling the recipe hops for the 55 mins they recomend and add my additional hops in intervals (may bump it an oz or two above the 1 I'm currently planning)
 

Rick500

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What's the recipe?

I've come to favor having one bittering hops addition at 60 minutes and moving all the rest to 15 minutes or less. More flavor and aroma.

To increase the alcohol without changing flavor much, you can add some sugar, but that will make the mouthfeel thinner. If you increase the malt, you'll probably also want to increase the hops.
 

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OK I just ordered a kit from Austin Homebrew. I need to know if I need to get some additional hops for dry hopping? (Know nothing about dry hopping) I ordered the 1% alcohol booster & the white labs calafornia yeast. This is the extract kit. So to all you IPA experts please advise what else I might need to make a very good IPA? I am a hop head, so like the full flavor. Also wish to boost the alcohol up as much as I can in an efficent manner.
 

Rick500

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The kit may already come with enough hops to dry hop. If not, just get an extra ounce of cascade, amarillo, centennial, something like that.
 

duffman2

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Great timing guys. I've been planning my 8th batch and have really been craving a good IPA so I just ordered Austin's mini-mash kit. But I have two packs of Safale -05 that's been in the fridge for two weeks so I didn't order anymore from them and I was wondering if that would work out ok.

Also, someone recommended 152 for the mash temp. Why is this better than standard 155? And I haven't added malt for an alcohol boost, but I do have a few cups of DME in a bag in the fridge, so how do I go about doing that? Add one cup with the rest of my LME at boil? More DME? Late Addition?
 

jjones17

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Ironcity, I like what you have planned. I love IPAs as well. I am not an expert, but you sound like me a few months ago when I was doing my second batch. Let me first say: Welcome to the addiction. Do not let your first 1 to 3 batches turn you off from home brewing. I just recently dumped half my first batch out, it tasted so much worse than my 4th batch it was unreal. I only use my 2nd batch for cooking (IE beer batter, chocolate cake with stout, etc) as it is just no good to drink... I made a Coopers kit using only dextrose. YEEECH.

Anyway, this might sound a bit odd... but my third batch was a Coopers IPA. It actually turned out really good, I am drinking one now. Here is what I did.

Buy 1 Coopers IPA Kit(make sure its not expired, this is important), 4 pounds Light Dry Malt Extract, and 6-12 ounces of bittering hops. What kind of hops? Thats up to you.

Bring 3 gallons of water to a boil. Turn off heat, add 2 pounds of your Dry Malt Extract (called DME from here on out), stir to dissolve completely. Add
1/6 of your hops (IE if you bought 6 ounces, add 1 ounce).

Turn on heat, bring to boil. BE VERY careful about boil overs, watch like a hawk. After awhile, the foam should subside. Stir occasionally, keep boiling for 30 mins. (FYI, when the foam subsizes and you see little 'floaties' in the boil, this is called HOT BREAK... a good term to remember)

At 30 mins boil, add another 1/6 of your hops. Keep boiling.

At 15 Boil, add another 1/6 of your hops, turn off the heat, and the rest of your DME. Your boil will end since the temp has dropped, stir to dissolve all the dme completely. (FYI there is a good reason to split up your DME additions like this. Just search for "Late Malt Extract Addition" on the web or this forum, for more info")

Turn on the heat, bring back to boil. Boil for 15 more mins.
At the last minute, just before 15 minutes expires, add another 1/6 of your hops, and if you like strong beer, add either 1/2 pound of honey, or 1/2 pound of brown sugar. If you do not like super strong beer, skip the honey/sugar. Add another 1/6 of your hops now.

Turn off heat, and take your pot and place it in your sink. Fill the sink up with cold water, and ice. You want to cool it down as fast as possible. Cool for about 30 mins covered. Then, dump into your fermenter topping up to 5 gallons with cold water.

As long as your wort is not too hot, add (pitch) your yeast now. You can use the kit yeast, but store bought ale yeast is MUCH better, just make sure its fresh and not expired.

Refrigerate the last 2/6th of your hops in a sealed bag.

After 1 week in your primary, if you are someone who liked to rack into a secondary do it now. Now, remember how you added 4/6ths of your hops earlier? Well, now you add the last 2/6ths of them. This is your dry hop addition.

Doing the above made an AWESOME Ipa beer for me. The only thing I would do next time, would be to steep some Crystal Malts 20Lish. For you, just starting out, dont worry about it. Here is the best advice I could give you, and the best advice you should listen to: go to this website and read through the information: http://www.howtobrew.com/intro.html

That web book will help you understand the basics. The guy gets pretty in depth dont try to absord all of it. But, the next time somone says something about brewing you dont understand you can use the book as a reference. Thats how I am now doing partial mash using grains... and loving every minute of it. Cheers! :mug:
 

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Great timing guys. I've been planning my 8th batch and have really been craving a good IPA so I just ordered Austin's mini-mash kit. But I have two packs of Safale -05 that's been in the fridge for two weeks so I didn't order anymore from them and I was wondering if that would work out ok.

Also, someone recommended 152 for the mash temp. Why is this better than standard 155? And I haven't added malt for an alcohol boost, but I do have a few cups of DME in a bag in the fridge, so how do I go about doing that? Add one cup with the rest of my LME at boil? More DME? Late Addition?
There really isn't a standard of 155- mash temps for partial mash batches tend to be 152 or 153, but it goes by the recipe.

Austinhomebrew.com has great instructions, and great recipes. I wouldn't add anything to it, because then you're changing the IBU/SG ratio that the recipe was formulated upon. If you add more malt, then you'll need more hops, etc, so when you have a solid recipe it's usually best to not mess with it too much unless you've made it before and are looking for specific changes.
 

jbambuti

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To the OP,

I'd ditch the Nottingham and pick up some US-05, if your LHBS carries it. I'd be surprised if they didn't. Works great for IPA's, is very clean, and is an excellent dry yeast. I've got an IPA bottle conditioning right now that is looking to be very good. I dryhopped it in primary, as I don't secondary. Very good results. Best of luck in becoming a hophead. :mug:
 
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iron_city_ap

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I brewed it yesterday and here is what my final came out to be.....

I'll specify what is from the kit

2.5gal boil
1 lb. Crystal 40L (kit)
8 oz. Victory (kit)
6.6 lb. Light LME (kit)
1 lb. Golden DME (kit)
1 tsp. Gypsum
11 oz. Table sugar
5 oz. Brown sugar
1 oz. Columbus Bittering - 14.2 - 55min (kit)
2 oz. Cascade Bittering - 7.5 - 55min (kit)
.5 oz. Columbus - 14.2 - 30min
1/2 tsp. Irish Moss - 30min
.5 oz. Columbus - 14.2 - 15min
1 oz. Cascade Aroma - 7.5 - 5min (kit)
5 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
11g. Nottingham yeast (kit)

I tried to mash in the 150-155 range. I'm using an electric stove, so keeping an exact temp is tricky as all can be.

I'm planning on racking to the secondary in about 7-10 days and dry hopping with 1 oz. Amarillo - 7.5

I looked in on it this morning, and within 12 hours of racking my hydrolock was full of beer, with a little on the lid of the bucket. I promptly pulled it out, cleaned it, and its bubbling along nicely. I'll be keeping a close eye on it the next couple days. I'm real glad I didn't double pitch the yeast like I was talking about.

The OG was 1.063 and the hydrometer shows a potential of a bit over 8%ABV.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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To the OP,

I'd ditch the Nottingham and pick up some US-05, if your LHBS carries it. I'd be surprised if they didn't. Best of luck in becoming a hophead. :mug:
All they had was Nottingham(11g), Windsor(11g), Coopers(7g), and something else(7g). The girl working at the place had no idea which of the 4 would be the best for an Ale. Its a winery, so they don't know a ton about brewing beer. I figured since the kit came with Nottingham, I'd just stick with it. The nearest place I've found that specializes in beer is a good 45min. away. I may have to start planning a little further ahead when picking up ingredients and brewing.
 

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Wen using floral hops like cascade for aroma and flavor in an IPA, I find that adding a pound or two of all natural unpastuerized clover honey at flameout, not only provides and alcohol boost, but gives a slight floral/honey aroma and flavor to the beer that is just so nice. So if I were you, I would add a pound or two of honey at flameout and dry hop for two weeks with cascade. Trust me, it's good. Maybe try this for another IPA sometime!
 

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Definitely dry hop.

That's a pretty nice pairing of hops in that kit, cascade and columbus are two of my favorites for IPAs. Not really sure how I feel about adding the brown sugar. When does the recipe call for that? Near flame-out? Brown sugar is actually white processed sugar with molasses added back in. It will give an alcohol boost but possibly with the downside of weird flavor and thin body. I'd rather add more LME or DME instead of that stuff.

If you can find Centennial, Amarillo, or Simcoe, try em out. I tend to use lots of different varieties of hops. Personally, I like Columbus for bittering, centennial and amarillo for flavor, and tons of cascade for aroma and dry hopping. Simcoe is amazing for anything.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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The recipe doesn't call for adding any sugar. Its something I did on my own to boost the ABV. I only added 5oz, so hopefully it won't add too wierd of a flavor. I added it to boil right away. Not sure if that was a good thing, bad thing, or neutral. I figured if I let it boil the full time, the sugars might process better. Hopefully that wasn't a big boo boo. It probably explains why my hydrolock bubbled over so quickly.
 

alexdagrate

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The recipe doesn't call for adding any sugar. Its something I did on my own to boost the ABV. I only added 5oz, so hopefully it won't add too wierd of a flavor. I added it to boil right away. Not sure if that was a good thing, bad thing, or neutral. I figured if I let it boil the full time, the sugars might process better. Hopefully that wasn't a big boo boo. It probably explains why my hydrolock bubbled over so quickly.
it probably will be fine.

I agree with the previous poster that adding honey at the flameout will probably taste best if you want to boost the alcohol.

The main issue is that cane sugar early in the boil with caramelize a bit.

In the end, when you drink your beer, if it tastes good, you did a good job.
 

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The recipe doesn't call for adding any sugar. Its something I did on my own to boost the ABV. I only added 5oz, so hopefully it won't add too wierd of a flavor. I added it to boil right away. Not sure if that was a good thing, bad thing, or neutral. I figured if I let it boil the full time, the sugars might process better. Hopefully that wasn't a big boo boo. It probably explains why my hydrolock bubbled over so quickly.
I'm not a fan of adding sugar to boost the ABV in a beer that already has good balance, and I'm not a fan at all of brown sugar. Fermented brown sugar tastes, well, odd. If you want a higher ABV beer, it's just better to start with a higher OG recipe to begin with. Good beer has a balance to it. Sure, IPAs are balanced more toward the hops but there is still a thought-out IBU/SG ratio to make that balance.

I also rarely use honey, unless I want a thin bodied but higher alcohol beer. I also watch the hop schedule, and take the whole recipe into consideration. Nothing wrong with experimenting, but I think it's important to know what each new addition will bring to the beer.
 
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iron_city_ap

iron_city_ap

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Thanks for the input. Hopefully, like I said before, the brown sugar won't throw off the balance too much. Its something I didn't really think a whole lot about when I was planning it out(the balance). Hopefully it will come out okay. I'm starting to realize that it all boils down to personal preference in the end. As long as I like the way it turns out, great.
 

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My very first batch has been bottled for about a week :ban: and I'm starting to think about my next batch. I want to brew an IPA to be ready around Christmas time and was looking for any tip/tricks/recomendations anyone might have with them.

Since its only my second batch, I'm leaning going with either a complete kit or one slightly modifying one (different yeast, etc..., but nothing too complicated just yet), so for me at the time, the simpler the better but I'd like it to be a small step up from step/batch 1.
I too am doing my second batch ever. I am brewing an IPA today & got the kit from Austin Homebrew Supply. An American IPA extract kit with alcohol boost & yeast fuel using the California Ale yeast. It has been an easy step by step process so far. Will hope to have it ready right after Christmas. Look them up on line & are very easy to work with to order. Good luck.
Doc
 
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