Kit or go for it?

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Justbrew23

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I am new to brewing and I am interested in brewing a hoppy IPA. I have two brews under my belt that turned out well. I really want to experiment with dry hopping. I am not sure if I should just buy a normal kit and make modifications like using citra hops/buy more hops for dry hopping? Or waiting to add LME/DMEuntil after the boil? I am looking for something easy to drink. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
 

Tpost704

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Redpappy

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I am new as well, been brewing since November of last year. Basically doing extract kits. A lot of it deals with what do you feel comfortable with doing. Tomorrow will be my first attempt of doing a 1 gal BIAB and maybe a SMaSH ( depending on how much time I have).

My suggestion, is to look around for a receipe, That sounds like what you are wanting and pick up the ingredients from your LHBS. My last 2 brews were from receipes that I got off of different web sites and just got the ingredients from my LHBS. If you are wanting to experiment, you may want to do 1 gal batches, and I say go for it. If you feel comfortable with just modifying, then go for doing that.
 

Tpost704

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Well said Redpappy. Whatever you end up doing, make sure you take detailed notes during every step of the process. I feel like that has helped me develop a lot.
 

Redpappy

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I'm about to brew a Zombie Dust clone (link below). It uses 8oz of Citra, 3 of which are dry hopped. I don't know if you have had Zombie Dust before, but its a hoppy APA that's big on Citra flavor, but not as extreme on bitterness. It might be something to consider if you want to attempt dry hopping.


https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/5920/zombie-dust-clone-extract
I notice the boil size is for 6 gallons, would there be a big difference if you did a 3.5 gal boil, then added the rest in the fermenter ( partial boil if I’m not mistaken)
 
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Justbrew23

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Thanks for the info Tpost704 & Redpappy. I have been taking notes during my brews. I like the recipe for the Zombie dust. I don't have a secondary fermenter. Is that an issue for dry hopping?
 

flars

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A "hoppy IPA" and "something easy to drink" are opposite each other. I would suggest just an easy drinking single hop IPA. There might still be a lot to learn about yeast pitch rate and temperature control before you set out on creating a new recipe.

Nothing really special about dry hopping especially when using pellets. Just wait until final gravity has been reached (possible discussion here) and pour the pellets into the fermentor (bag or no bag discussion), (primary or secondary discussion). Angst over the number of days to dry hop before racking from the primary to bottling bucket or keg.

Try a simple recipe like Northern Brewers Chinook IPA. Easy drinking with hop bitterness that isn't off the scales and great aroma from the Chinook hops. If you don't want to order from NB go to their site for the posted recipe.
 

Tpost704

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Thanks for the info Tpost704 & Redpappy. I have been taking notes during my brews. I like the recipe for the Zombie dust. I don't have a secondary fermenter. Is that an issue for dry hopping?
People will argue over using a secondary fermenter or not. I have done both. In my opinion, a secondary is not necessary for the majority of brews. I feel like any benefits of a secondary are not worth the added risk of infection. For my upcoming brew, I will not use a secondary and dry hop by just throwing the pellets into the primary after about 10 days.
 

allanmorgan

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So you are interested in brewing a hoppy IPA and you have 2 brews under your belt. Might I suggest a SMaSH? Single Malt and Single Hop. It gives you the opportunity to figure out what you like in your grain bill and which hop works for you. You can certainly add dry hops to your primary. You mentioned Citra, super scented. All 2-row grain, all Citra hops. Do a Citra dry hop as well. I did the same thing with Chinook that was way excellent. :D You just never know. That's the fun with experimenting.
 

Tpost704

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I notice the boil size is for 6 gallons, would there be a big difference if you did a 3.5 gal boil, then added the rest in the fermenter ( partial boil if I’m not mistaken)
If you can't do the full boil its not going to be detrimental to the batch. However, you may have slightly less hop utilization. I would add an extra oz of Citra at 60 min.
 

RM-MN

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I am new to brewing and I am interested in brewing a hoppy IPA. I have two brews under my belt that turned out well. I really want to experiment with dry hopping. I am not sure if I should just buy a normal kit and make modifications like using citra hops/buy more hops for dry hopping? Or waiting to add LME/DMEuntil after the boil? I am looking for something easy to drink. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
Ooh, I'm not sure you are ready to go so far as experimenting with dry hopping. After all, you have to wait until the fermentation is over, open the fermenter to drop in the hops, then wait 3 to 7 days before you bottle.

Nah, dry hopping really is simple. The hard part is choosing which hop to try first. Should I go for the Citra, Cascade Centennial, etc. Each hop brings something different to the aroma so you need to brew lots so you can sample each. That's one of the reasons I brew small batches, so I can try lots of different combination without getting a huge stockpile of beer.
 

Carolina_Matt

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I'm not sure it's an either/or proposition. Can't you buy a kit that includes dry-hopping? I bought an Amber Ale from Ritebrew and the kit includes dry-hopping. I'm sure there are IPAs that have it as well.
 
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Justbrew23

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Thanks for the input/advice I think I am just going to do some research on recipes for low bitterness hoppy IPAs. If anyone has something in particular I'd appreciate any advice. I really like the zombie dust that @Tpost704 posted
 

mongoose33

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I am new to brewing and I am interested in brewing a hoppy IPA.
An IPA is, by definition, hoppy.

I have two brews under my belt that turned out well.
Excellent!

I really want to experiment with dry hopping. I am not sure if I should just buy a normal kit and make modifications like using citra hops/buy more hops for dry hopping?
There are kits that include the hops for dry hopping. This is not an endorsement but an example: https://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/QueenofAfricaIPA.pdf

This is Northern Brewer's Queen of Africa IPA extract kit instructions. You'll note that they include hops for dry hopping, so right off the bat that's what you have, a dry-hopped beer with a recipe that is proven. You could, of course, add more hops during dry hopping, but then, as I note, if it doesn't taste good then was it your tweaks to the recipe, or something you did in process?

There are many other IPA kits out there like this one; I only note it because NB is good at providing both the recipe and process instructions to look at prior to purchase. I'm not endorsing this nor not endorsing it, as I'm generally not a hop head--I tend to prefer maltier offerings. I can enjoy the occasional hoppy beer if it's not overly focused on bitterness instead of hop flavor and aroma.

Or waiting to add LME/DMEuntil after the boil? I am looking for something easy to drink. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
Waiting to add it after boil? Why? What would that do? If you're buying a kit, you should follow the instructions and timing the kit gives you as they are necessary to produce what the recipe is intended to produce. You can tweak that, but don't just make changes without knowing for sure what that will accomplish.

I know the temptation is high to make our own recipes, but IMO new brewers should work on honing their process. If you have a reasonable recipe, everything else is process. That's the beauty of kits, esp. for new brewers: they don't need to make decisions on recipe, they can just deal with the process. When you're really new, the process is almost certainly still in flux; changing around recipes at that stage means if something doesn't work, was it the recipe change you did, or the process that produced the outcome?

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Now, the beauty of all this is you don't have to take anyone's advice on anything here--you get to decide. For you, maybe part of the enjoyment of brewing is trying stuff out, even if it may not work. There are many ways to enjoy brewing, and you get to pick the one that satisfies you the most.
 

jcaggiano

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My 2 cents: If you feel confident in what you have done so far, take those recipes and tweak them to your liking. Doing a Pliny Clone? Change the hops up. Or the yeast. Have fun and at the end of the month (or 6 weeks), you'll be able to say "I started with this but changed that". You'll be on your way to creating your own beers in no time. I'm sure we have all brewed a few that do not fit a category but damn! It sure turned out good!!!
 
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