My first IPA. Would love some advice!

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I'm going to brew my first IPA.

Since I have yet to invest in a grain mill, I'm using an all-grain recipe from my local homebrew supply store as a start. And the grain bill for a 5 gallon batch (19 liters) is the following:

- 6 kg (13,22 lbs) - Pale Ale Malt
- 320 g (0,7 lbs) - Crystal Malt

- 50 g (1.7 oz) - East Kent Goldings (60 min)
- 50 g (1.7 oz) - Cascade (15min)

The grain bill looks simple enough, but I'm pretty sure this isn't enough hops for a nice hoppy IPA.

So, I was thinking of two different options:

Option 1. I buy an extra 100 g (3.5 oz) of Cascade and I do a All Cascade IPA, with 55 g (2 oz) for the 60 min and the rest 95g (3,3 oz) for 15, 10, 0 min and dry hop additions.

Or

Option 2. I add another 100 g (3,5 oz) of another hop on top of that extra 100 g of Cascade. I was thinking of Citra. Am I going too crazy with this one? This would be around 250 g (8,8 oz) of hops into a 5 Gallon batch.

And of course, I would keep the EKG for another beer.

Would love to hear your feedback! Thanks!
 

kev211

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Is that english crystal that youre using?Grains look good. Maybe toss in some carapils for a little added body?

Definitely save the EKG for a different brew. Cascade and EKG arent really great bittering hops. Especially for an IPA. I would use something like magnum or warrior to bitter with. Then finish with a mix of cascade and citra. I would definitely get after it with your flavor and dry hops. Do 2-3 oz of aroma/whirlpool at flameout, and then dry hop with 3-4 oz. Dont be afraid to get jiggy with those hops
 
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Is that english crystal that youre using?Grains look good. Maybe toss in some carapils for a little added body?
Not sure if it is English Crystal Malt, the store doesn't specify which kind it is. Would it make a big difference?

Do you think I could get away with only using Cascade and Citra? I kinda like the idea of doing a Cascade + Citra only IPA. I was thinking of something like this:

30 g (1 oz) CASCADE 60 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CASCADE 5 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 5 min
45 g (1.5 oz) CASCADE 0 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 0 min

50 g (1.7 oz) CASCADE DRY HOPPED
50 g (1.7 oz) CITRA DRY HOPPED

That would get me around 53 IBU, I was looking for a little bit of bitterness without being too bitter.

Would this be a tasty IPA?
 

ProblemChild

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Not sure if it is English Crystal Malt, the store doesn't specify which kind it is. Would it make a big difference?

Do you think I could get away with only using Cascade and Citra? I kinda like the idea of doing a Cascade + Citra only IPA. I was thinking of something like this:

30 g (1 oz) CASCADE 60 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CASCADE 5 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 5 min
45 g (1.5 oz) CASCADE 0 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 0 min

50 g (1.7 oz) CASCADE DRY HOPPED
50 g (1.7 oz) CITRA DRY HOPPED

That would get me around 53 IBU, I was looking for a little bit of bitterness without being too bitter.

Would this be a tasty IPA?
This would work out pretty well. Amount of crystal is fine. Hopefully the crystal is under 40L
 

kev211

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Not sure if it is English Crystal Malt, the store doesn't specify which kind it is. Would it make a big difference?

Do you think I could get away with only using Cascade and Citra? I kinda like the idea of doing a Cascade + Citra only IPA. I was thinking of something like this:

30 g (1 oz) CASCADE 60 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CASCADE 5 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 5 min
45 g (1.5 oz) CASCADE 0 min
25 g (0.8 oz) CITRA 0 min

50 g (1.7 oz) CASCADE DRY HOPPED
50 g (1.7 oz) CITRA DRY HOPPED

That would get me around 53 IBU, I was looking for a little bit of bitterness without being too bitter.

Would this be a tasty IPA?
Looks good to me. If youre LHBS doesnt specify then I would guess that the crystal is english crystal or something similar. But it wouldnt hurt to ask them what it is exactly. You dont wanna be putting C120L in there when you were thinking you were getting 40L
 
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Looks good to me. If youre LHBS doesnt specify then I would guess that the crystal is english crystal or something similar. But it wouldnt hurt to ask them what it is exactly. You dont wanna be putting C120L in there when you were thinking you were getting 40L
Yeah, I will ask them what kind of Crystal Malt there are using in the recipe. I reckon it wouldn't make a lot of sense putting C120L in there, but you never know.

[EDIT] I called them and they told me it was a 120 EBC Crystal Malt. Meaning it's around 45 L.
 

65C

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6.3KG for 19L is going to come out quite strong in my experience (even 5.5 for 23L is strong in my experience - I'm moving down to <5kg now)

I'm finding 50g/50g okay - not super hoppy but good enough brew

if it was me - I'd do the 50/50 and then try a 50/50 plus 100 dry hop next time so I understand the diff rather than go all in first time - as I type I'm drinking a 4.725kg MO + 300g Munich + 125g Cara with 30g Citra at 60 and 25g Simcoe at flame out + 50g Citra dry hop - and it's really quite hoppy

the thing about dry hopping is that it adds a bunch of extra things to consider - like how to get the beer out of the primary etc.

I started brewing to get maximum hops - but actually enjoying making brews that are more subtle now - especially Black IPAs without daft hopping
 

ProblemChild

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6.3KG for 19L is going to come out quite strong in my experience (even 5.5 for 23L is strong in my experience - I'm moving down to <5kg now)
With a 14lb grain bill and shooting for 5 gallons, will probably end up with an OG of about 1.068 - 1.070.

If using a US-05/WY1056, probably ferment down to an FG of about 1.012

This will leave you with about a 7.2% ABV.

Good point for sure.

May want to take out about 500 grams of base - try to take out 350 grams base malt and 150 grams crystal. That should take you down into the 6% range
 
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With a 14lb grain bill and shooting for 5 gallons, will probably end up with an OG of about 1.068 - 1.070.

If using a US-05/WY1056, probably ferment down to an FG of about 1.012

This will leave you with about a 7.2% ABV.

Good point for sure.

May want to take out about 500 grams of base - try to take out 350 grams base malt and 150 grams crystal. That should take you down into the 6% range
On the website they say that the OG will be around 1.063 – 1.068 and an FG of 1.012 – 1.015 (ABV 6,2%).

The thing is, since I don't have a grain mill yet (it's going to be my next upgrade, i promise), they grind up all the grain and mix it up in the bag, so removing a few grams of base malt and crystal won't be easy.

I could ask them if they could send the grain separately, but when I called them today to ask to grind it more finely or maybe do a double grind ( because I'm doing BIAB ), they flat out refused, saying that they had problems with the mill the last time they did that for me.

Anyway, I'm guessing that doing BIAB with a coarser grind will lower my efficiency, making it a bit lighter. Always look on the bright side?
 

ProblemChild

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On the website they say that the OG will be around 1.063 &#8211; 1.068 and an FG of 1.012 &#8211; 1.015 (ABV 6,2%).

The thing is, since I don't have a grain mill yet (it's going to be my next upgrade, i promise), they grind up all the grain and mix it up in the bag, so removing a few grams of base malt and crystal won't be easy.

I could ask them if they could send the grain separately, but when I called them today to ask to grind it more finely or maybe do a double grind (because I'm doing BIAB), they flat out refused, saying that they had problems with the mill the last time they did that for me.

Anyway, I'm guessing that doing BIAB with a coarser grind will lower my efficiency, making it a bit lighter. Always look on the bright side?

As a question - what is the intended volume into the ferementer? is it 5.0 gallons into the fermenter or is it more?

I calculated based on 68% efficiency and 5 gallons into the fermenter. If you are going to get 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, that will drop OG significantly. Could be somehting like 1.062.

With a good crush and sparge practice, you could actually get (well within reason) 75% efficnency which would give you on OG of 1.075 at 5 gallons and 1.068 at 5.5 gallons.

Point is - depending on many thing, volume into boil, whether or not you top off, how vigorous your boil is, how well you mash and sparge, your numbers could be anywhere really.

Considering that and the probability of getting high efficiency without exta attention to the crush, I have to (take back an earlier comment and say it is probably best to leave well enough alone. Go for it. Run the kit and see what you get.
 
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As a question - what is the intended volume into the ferementer? is it 5.0 gallons into the fermenter or is it more?

I calculated based on 68% efficiency and 5 gallons into the fermenter. If you are going to get 5.5 gallons in the fermenter, that will drop OG significantly. Could be somehting like 1.062.

With a good crush and sparge practice, you could actually get (well within reason) 75% efficnency which would give you on OG of 1.075 at 5 gallons and 1.068 at 5.5 gallons.

Point is - depending on many thing, volume into boil, whether or not you top off, how vigorous your boil is, how well you mash and sparge, your numbers could be anywhere really.

Considering that and the probability of getting high efficiency without exta attention to the crush, I have to (take back an earlier comment and say it is probably best to leave well enough alone. Go for it. Run the kit and see what you get.
It's around 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.

In the last batch I got a pretty good efficiency with a fine crush (not too fine, but finer than normal). I did a 90 min mash, isolated it well, stirred every 15 min, squeezed the bag well and even sparged. That got me around 75% IIRC.

So as you said, without that extra attention to the crush of the grain I don't think I'll have the same kind of efficiency.

So yes, I think I'll try the grain bill as is. Thanks!
 
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Well, for anyone curious how this beer turned out, I can say it turned out pretty great! Pretty tasty IPA!

Lots of hoppy aroma with a subtle bitterness. Maybe I should've add a different hop for bittering, like Warrior or Chinook, to make it pop out a bit more, but I'm still very happy with the result. At the last moment I decided to buy a mill and crushed my grain to a pretty fine crush. Obviously my ABV ended up being quite high, around 8%. My hop schedule was this:

30 g CASCADE 60 min
35 g CASCADE 10 min
35 g CITRA 10 min
35 g CASCADE Steep/Whirlpool
15 g CITRA Steep/Whirlpool
50 g CASCADE DRY HOP
50 g CITRA DRY HOP

Thanks again for all the help!
 

Cyclman

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I was going to say, I don't know why, maybe because I grow them, but I really think any IPA should have some Chinook hops. They seem to go so well with any other hop.
 

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