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Making clear IPA again

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InspectorJon

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Let's see if there is really a significant interest interest in pursuing this as a serious subject or just a lot of folks that want to rant. I'll start by saying I really like the better examples of "NEIPA" and understand haze as a reault of process and not as a goal. I also like the idea of calling it New England Ale and not IPA but I think that ship has sailed. I have seen some IPA's recently at local breweries that were classified as West Coast IPA that were not opaque like many of the NEIPAs on the market but they were not really clear either. We have all heard or read the debate on hazy vs. clear IPA. There is a 40 page thread on that. Let's not debate it here.

Rather than discussing or debating the subject of hazy vs. clear I would like this discussion to be about actual how to and methods of creating a really flavorful clear IPA. Not simply a high IBU IPA which seemed to be a goal a while back but a truly flavorful one. A discussion about grain bill and hop schedules that will combine to focus on both clarity and flavor. Pictures of clear IPA are nice but lets talk about how you got there.

What can be done to make a truly clear IPA that has well defined, standout modern hop flavor and aroma? Is it possible? Personally I care more about flavor than aroma but as one that loves to cook I know smell and taste are closely intertwined. In this article Scott Janish digs into this idea of what creates and what might mitigate haze. Highly flocculant yeast is likely necessary to make clear beer but won't eliminate haze. Haze in good NEIPA is not a resut of yeast in suspension. Polyphenols from hops and protein from malt combining to remain in suspension seem to be prime suspects for haze. Can we minimize polyphenols and protein and still get big hop flavor? I am still what I think of as an intermediate beginning brewer so I am clearly not an expert in the subject matter at hand but it is something I'd like to know more about and pursue.

This is an almost? clear West Coast IPA with Citra, Amarillo and Sabro hops. I thought it was pretty good.
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bwible

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When this thread originally started, it was ranting for a bit. Not because people think NEIPA doesn’t have a place. But because it has taken over the IPA marketplace and many examples are not labelled accurately. That and servers in bars seem confused when somebody asks for a clear ipa - like they’ve never heard of such a thing.

Everybody has their own thing. I don’t care for NEIPA. So I just don’t buy them. I also don’t care for the vanilla bourbon chocolate chicken chipotle porter kind of beers either. But if somebody wants to make that and drink that, well that’s up to them.

But I think the original complaint was that it’s getting harder and harder to find a clear west coast ipa and even when people are trying to buy one they are ending up with murk because the beer is not labelled in a way to tell you what was in the bottle, or more frequently now, the can - where you can’t even look at the beer.

No doubt the dank, juice and murk are here to stay. I don’t believe anybody has a problem with that. If you don’t like what’s on tv you change the channel. All people are asking is that somebody still make a clear ipa - Lagunitas, for example makes a good one - and put the right label on the beer so people know what they are buying. These things all have silly, whimsical names and designs that tell you nothing and no indication what you’re buying other than “IPA”.
 

The_CuRe

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For me, the debate is around IPAS being dry, bitter beers vs non dry, non bitter beers, thats why I refuse to include NEIPAS into IPA category (I know I am not authority for that, just a matter of believes), I do believe there can be hazy IPAS, as long as they keep those two minimum characteristics listed before.
 

PianoMan

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I just like good beer. I've had awful crystal clear WCIPAs and fantastic hazies. Ergo, I don't get my panties in wad just because an ipa isn't clear. I'm usually one and done with a orange vanilla milkshake ipa, for sure, but when done properly, I'm amazed brewer's can pull it off. Just focusing on one look or style takes away from the creativeness and artistry of the craft beer brewing. Just my 2 cents.... let's get back to pics!
 
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InspectorJon

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Rather than discussing or debating the subject of hazy vs. clear I would like this thread to be about actual how to and methods of creating a really flavorful clear IPA. Not simply high IBU IPA which seemed to be a goal a while back but truly flavorful. A discussion about grain bill and hop schedules that will combine to focus on both clarity and flavor. Pictures of clear IPA are nice but lets talk about how you got there.

Maybe this discussion should be moved to All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing
 
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PianoMan

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Rather than discussing or debating the subject of hazy vs. clear I would like this thread to be about actual how to and methods of creating a really flavorful clear IPA. Not simply high IBU IPA which seemed to be a goal a while back but truly flavorful. A discussion about grain bill and hop schedules that will combine to focus on both clarity and flavor. Pictures of clear IPA are nice but lets talk about how you got there.

Maybe this discussion should be moved to All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing
I can explain some history. I originally got into home brewing for WCDIPAs and RISs. Over time, I become a Safale05 only guy using basically a Pliny the Elder grain bill and hop schedule and of course changed up hops over time as they developed other strains. I bottled at the time and dry hopped in a secondary bucket. 17days primary, 10days secondary. Truly, even then, beers came out great. But the flavor didn't last long due to O2 introduction. Then the hazies came out. I tried cloning them using different yeast, higher Alpha hops, reading about 7day fermentation and it all went to sh!t for me. Nothing came out good. So basically, I'm returning to my original brewing concept with some modifications.

Concepts: use exact same grain bill, chemistry, 2pks of 05, 12.5oz hops using a .5/3/3/3/3 schedule (.5 bittering at 30min/3oz at 0min/3oz whirlpool/3oz dryhop 1 after day 3 fermentation/3oz 2nd dryhop). So the 2nd "dryhop" is warming some DI water to 80-90F then with a strainer add the 3oz hops and soak for 10min or so then add the hoptea to the keg while filling. Keg is purging with CO2 the entire time to minimize oxygen obviously. Fermentation was 14days then keg. This next one fermenting now will be 14days then cold crash for 48hrs at 55F. I was impatient with the 1st attempt...even as a veteran HB, I still get excited! Other things I add to the keg is potassium sorbate (to help ensure no refermentation) and absorbic acid for oxygen control.

The above beer was the 1st attempt at this and came out great. I used Magnum, Falconers Flight and Citra. My IPA loving friends were jazzed with the results. No diacetyl, no harsh hop burn, just a good clean flavorful beer. Maybe a hair sweet due to honey malt but will back off 1oz.

In this next IPA, I'm using hops used in Pinthouse Pizza Electric Jellyfish but still 05 and same hop schedule.

Grain Bill:
10lbs - 2 row
4lbs. - White wheat
12oz - Carapils
4oz - Crystal 20 (Axed out of the recipe now)
4oz - Honey Malt (will use 3oz next time)
1lbs - Corn sugar
End ABV around 7.7% but will be a bit lower after adding the hop tea mix.
 
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ba-brewer

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I believe the OP is looking for help in making a clear IPA with the flavor and aroma character of an NEIPA.

I would say the IPA shown in the OP is an acceptable level of haze for a West Coast IPA.
 
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InspectorJon

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What's the point of this thread vs. the other thread?
Rather than discuss the distinctions of labeling hazy or clear IPA or what ever one prefers to call it, I would like to discuss how to make clear IPA using the newer hops and research that NEIPA has spawned. How can we put that new knowledge about hops and grain into use but still produce a clear beer? Lets see if we can't produce a tropical, fruity highly flavorful clear IPA that isn't a race to 100 IBUs.
 
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InspectorJon

InspectorJon

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I become a Safale05 only guy using basically a Pliny the Elder grain bill and hop schedule and of course changed up hops over time as they developed other strains.
I have used a grain bill I found in the Two Hearted Clone thread a lot to make IPA experimenting with different hops. I think this version was a 3 gallon batch. The percentages are whats relevant. The last two could be equaled at 4% each.
5.5 LB two row (75%)
20 oz Vienna (17%)
6 oz Crystal 15-20 (5%)
4 oz Carapils (3%)

The Janish article says:
"A study looking at the haze of beer brewed from a control of 100% malted barley compared to two beers with either 20% and 40% of the malted barley was replaced with unmalted wheat found that the higher the addition of unmalted wheat, the less permanent haze. The beer with 40% unmalted wheat had significantly less permanent haze than the beer with 100% barley. The authors also tested a number of polyphenols in the beer and found that the higher the percentage of unmalted wheat in the beer, the less amount of measured polyphenols were in the beer."
And:
"If haze increases as the polyphenols from dry hopping increases, it should be then that two beers made exactly the same, except for different dry hopping regimes (one with more hop material and the other with less) should have a noticeably different appearance."

Given this I think I will substitute some unmalted wheat for part of the two row, which should help counteract the heavier dry hop tendency to create permanent haze. @PianoMan Using the hop tea idea seems like it might also help by minimizing hop material. Using oxygen at packaging won't do anything for haze reduction but will certainly result in an improved.

I like some of the fruity esters the popular NEIPA yeasts produce. I have a current batch of the above grain bill fermenting with Juice A38. It has a water profile more like a NEIPA but dryhopping at a little under 1 oz/gallon. I'm hoping it will come out more clear than hazy.
 
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I am up for this, i would love to see some peoples ideas here. probably 8 or so months ago i brewed an ipa, didnt label it as anything in particular. i wanted an ipa that was clear but using the newer hops to get that tropical fruity flavor. i went with a simple grain bill 93% 2row 7% crystal 20. used what i had on hand for hops so 60min boil of 20oz each centennial and magnum, 1oz of mosaic at 20min 10min and flame out. dry hopped with 2oz of galaxy. the result was not crystal clear, not hazy, an ok ipa but i felt was under hopped. i have not revisited this recipe yet but coming up on spring i would to produce a better final product. hopefully this thread will return some better results then mine. not that it was bad, it was a perfectly drinkable beer but tasted more of an apa the ipa. so i would likely brew a similar batch and put some more emphasis on the late boil additions and maybe do a whirlpool hop then double my dry hop.
 

bobeer

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for me, as long as the IBU's are where you want them to be, it's all about time and limiting oxygen exposure. If you want a nice clear, bitter, yet resiny hop flavor, the way I get there is with time, mostly.

Brew day is as usual for any other beer but I put some extra effort into getting clear wort into the fermenter. Do whatever whirlpool and dry hops the recipe says, then cold crash for a few days, then package. I used to skip the dryhop and just put hops in the keg but it seemed like all the hops would be gone after the first 6 pours and those 6 pours were very cloudy and just tasted like straight up hops. So now I dry hop for 7-14 days then remove them before I cold crash and the result is much better with the hop flavor surviving throughout the life of the keg. I let the keg condition for 2-3 weeks before I tap it to enjoy. I usually get relatively clear beer while maintaining that hoppy flavor and mouthfeel.
 

PianoMan

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Just to add more about flavor. These are pictures of the hop schedule for the current #1 try...they were on-hand hops so guess I added Simcoe also.

The #2 hop schedule is the currently fermenting one. One thing I didn't note earlier, I do Magnum as a first-wort not a boil hop. Supposably it squeezes out a few more IBUs. One 1oz package lasts 2 beers.

The 3rd pic are all the various hop schedules I've picked up over time but mostly from a thread on HBT... I'll post here once I find it.

Hop schedules...



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