Opinions on first custom recipe.. IIPA

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shanecb

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A friend and I just threw together what we hope to be our first decent custom recipe. being a fan of seriously hoppy beers, we're jumping right into IIPA territory. If anyone could bounce ideas off of us on what would work/wouldn't work, it would be much appreciated. We used a beer calculator at Hopville to figure things out. Here's what we have so far. The biggest thing we're curious about is if the combination of different hops is appropriate or not.

Calculated OG: 1.069
Calculated FG: 1.017
Calculated IBU: 110.1
Color: 6 SRM
ABV: 6.9%

Fermentables:
5 lb Briess Golden Light DME
3 lb Briess Amber DME

Hop Schedule:
1 oz Warrior (60min)
0.5 oz Simcoe (60min)
1 oz Nugget (60min)
1 oz Centennial (30min)
0.5 oz Nugget (30min)
1 oz Cascade (10min)
0.5 oz Simcoe (10min)
0.5 oz Nugget (flameout)
1 oz Amarillo (dry hop after 7 days)

Yeast:
White Labs WLP001 California Ale


Any and all criticisms/suggestions are appreciated. Being the first custom recipe, we want to know what we're doing wrong or right! Thanks in advance.
 

mkling

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At 6.9%abv, I'd call that a standard American IPA, not an IIPA. But I like my standard IPAs big.

Again, for my tastes, I'd decrease the 60 minute hop additions and up the 30 minute or less additions. I might also add a bit of corn sugar to lighten the body & boost the gravity. 1.017 FG is kind of high for an IPA, even an IIPA. A pound of corn sugar will dry it a bit giving you a less than 1.015 FG (1.013 would be my target goal).
 

mkling

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For the question you asked, I think that's a decent combination of hops. I think the Nugget will be a nice addition in there to the usual IPA hops. Should be good.
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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Thank you for the input! We were considering boosting the ABV but weren't sure how much yet. Possibly up to ~8.5%. I'm glad you had input on the FG, because we figured it to be a bit high as well. Would you add the corn sugar WITH the malr, or sub it in for some of the golden light DME? We kind of want to keep the amber DME for some added body. I'm unfamiliar with how corn sugar is used in this case.

Is it possible to dry it out without adding corn sugar, and just using malt? My guess is no, since Briess has the fermentability of the DME at 75%, so the 1.017 would be as far down as you could go assuming you reached the full 75%, correct? I moved into beer from mead, so am used to things being practically 100% fermentable :D
 

bovineblitz

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At 6.9%abv, I'd call that a standard American IPA, not an IIPA. But I like my standard IPAs big.

Again, for my tastes, I'd decrease the 60 minute hop additions and up the 30 minute or less additions. I might also add a bit of corn sugar to lighten the body & boost the gravity. 1.017 FG is kind of high for an IPA, even an IIPA. A pound of corn sugar will dry it a bit giving you a less than 1.015 FG (1.013 would be my target goal).
Mindreader..
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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Hmm.. I'm a little lost on the corn sugar idea. The calculator I'm using could be wrong, but when I subbed in 1lb of corn sugar for 1lb of the light DME, and it ended up just giving me the same FG as before. Maybe I'm misinterpreting?
 

Malticulous

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The calculator uses a simple percentage for FG and takes no count for the fermentabilty of the wort. A pound or two of table sugar will work fine and make you beer both stronger and better.
 

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Maybe it's just me, since no one else commented on the lack of late hopping, but I think the IBUs are very high but there is very little in the way of late hops. Just the nugget, and the amarillo for dryhopping.

To me, the point of an IIPA is hops! And I'd add hops at 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes AND flameout. I'd skip some of the bittering hops, and do far more late hopping. To me, 30 minute hops are a "waste". You don't get hops aroma and flavor, just bitterness, but you don't get all of the bitterness. I'd lose the 30 minute hops for sure, and add them at 5 minutes or less. Simcoe at 60 minutes, especially, is a waste in my opinion. You wont' get any of the distinctive simcoe flavor or aroma. It's better at 10 minutes or less.
 

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Simcoe at 60 minutes, especially, is a waste in my opinion. You wont' get any of the distinctive simcoe flavor or aroma. It's better at 10 minutes or less.
I totally disagree.. Simcoe at 30 mins allows you to get the flavor, bitterness, and aroma qualities of Simcoe, albeit in lower quantities. However, if you do a 1 oz or 1.5 oz addition at 30 min, you will notice the Simcoe.

P.S. I just did a Nugget Nectar clone with Simcoe at the 3o min addition, and I can taste it right there with the Willamette and Nugget.
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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The calculator uses a simple percentage for FG and takes no count for the fermentabilty of the wort. A pound or two of table sugar will work fine and make you beer both stronger and better.
I see, thanks for cleaning that up. I'm still wondering though if the sugar should replace some of the DME or be an addition to the DME. I'm guessing a replacement, correct? Is there a preferred point in the boil that it should be added? Also, could anyone maybe recommend an online recipe calculator that would take things like that into account? It'd be nice to have an accurate estimated FG.



Thanks for all the other advice everyone, especially with the hops. I do plan on moving some of them to later in the boil, but I'm not really sure to what extent. What about something like this? Maybe split the simcoe up into two additions, or combine some of them?

1 oz Warrior (60min)
1 oz Nugget (60min)
0.5 oz Centennial (30min)
1 oz Simcoe (30min)
0.5 oz Nugget (30min)
0.5 oz Cascade (10min)
0.5 oz Centennial (10min)
0.5 oz Cascade (5min)
0.5 oz Nugget (flameout)
1 oz Amarillo (dry hop 7 days)
 

Malticulous

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No calculator will calculate FG. There are just too many variables in play. It takes experience.

Don't replace DME. The recipe is alright. You need a higher OG and a lower FG. Table sugar will do that.
 

mkling

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Maybe it's just me, since no one else commented on the lack of late hopping, but I think the IBUs are very high but there is very little in the way of late hops. Just the nugget, and the amarillo for dryhopping.
Hey Yoop, see the 2nd post! Been there, done that. ;)
 

mkling

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I see, thanks for cleaning that up. I'm still wondering though if the sugar should replace some of the DME or be an addition to the DME. I'm guessing a replacement, correct? Is there a preferred point in the boil that it should be added? Also, could anyone maybe recommend an online recipe calculator that would take things like that into account? It'd be nice to have an accurate estimated FG.
Definitely add sugar without dropping extract. Your OG is kinda low for an IIPA. You need to both raise OG and drop FG. Sugar will help with both.
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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Thanks a lot for clearing things up about the corn sugar! The only thing I don't understand is how adding corn sugar would result in a lower FG. If there is a portion of the malt which would not undergo fermentation, wouldn't that portion still not undergo fermentation, resulting in the FG being about the same? I'm not sure how the corn sugar pushes for a lower FG. Without knowing any better (which I don't) I would have thought that you would have a higher OG, but the FG wouldn't change since what wouldn't have fermented still wouldn't ferment.
 

mkling

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It's a good question -- Pretty much 100% of the sugar is fermented into alcohol. Alcohol has a lower gravity than water. (I believe it's around 0.800 for pure ethanol.) This addition of alcohol lowers the FG, though it does nothing to reduce residual sugars from the extract. But it makes the beer feel thinner and lighter in body because of the low SG of alcohol.
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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It's a good question -- Pretty much 100% of the sugar is fermented into alcohol. Alcohol has a lower gravity than water. (I believe it's around 0.800 for pure ethanol.) This addition of alcohol lowers the FG, though it does nothing to reduce residual sugars from the extract. But it makes the beer feel thinner and lighter in body because of the low SG of alcohol.
Oh wow that makes perfect sense, but I would have never though of it. Thanks a lot for the answer!


As of right now, here's where the recipe stands:

OG: 1.078
FG: (if someone could make an experienced guess I'd appreciate it!)
Bitterness: 92.6 IBU

Fermentables:
5 lb golden light DME
3 lb amber DME
1 lb corn sugar

Hops schedule:
1 oz Warrior (60min)
1 oz Nugget (60min)
.5 oz Nugger (30min)
1 oz Simcoe (30min)
.5 oz Cascade (10min)
.5 oz Simcoe (10min)
.5 oz Centennial (10min)
.5 oz Cascade (5min)
.5 oz Centennial (5min)
.5 oz Simcoe (flameout)
.5 oz Nugget (flameout)
1 oz Amarillo (dryhop)


Any final suggestions? I appreciate everything so far from everyone immensely.
 

mkling

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To me, that looks much better than where you started! The only thing I might change is upping the dry hops from 1 to 2 oz. 1 oz is what I do for an APA. I think you'll want more for an IIPA. Could go with more Amarillo or could go with something else, but I'd boost it a bit.

My guess is the sugar will drop your FG a couple points (2-3) from what your calculator gives.
 
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shanecb

shanecb

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To me, that looks much better than where you started! The only thing I might change is upping the dry hops from 1 to 2 oz. 1 oz is what I do for an APA. I think you'll want more for an IIPA. Could go with more Amarillo or could go with something else, but I'd boost it a bit.

My guess is the sugar will drop your FG a couple points (2-3) from what your calculator gives.
Great, thanks a lot! You and everyone else who posted has been very helpful. I'll consider throwing another oz of hops into the dry hop (maybe Nugget.. I can't get enough of Nugget usually!).

Thanks again to everyone! I'll probably post something up when I do this recipe with some tasting notes. Hoping everything goes well!

Prost! :mug:
 
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