Session Beer recipe for hophead?

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RichBenn

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OK, I'm an IPA (and double IPA) or a hoppy pale fan. My beers are ALWAYS over 1.060 S.G., IBUs usually on the high side of the style (pale ale, IPA).

My current objective is to brew an ale with some of the above characteristics, but with lower alcohol so that a couple of pints will not do me in! The typical "light" style categories do not seem to fit my tastes.

Recommendations? I was thinking maybe getting enough sweetness and mouthfeel in to balance some heavier hopping might do the trick. I'll be doing ales only, and simple infusion mashing.

Would a light pale grain bill with, say, 6-7 lbs of pale and a pound of Melanoidin added for sweetness and mouthfeel be a reasonable direction? And would I want to keep the bittering hops scaled down but the flavoring/aroma hops up?
 

flyangler18

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Scale the grainbill for your favorite IPA down to an OG of 1.040 -1.050 and load on the late additions.
 

david_42

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I've decided that a little rye works best in lower ABV hoppy ales. Definitely scale back on the bittering hops. You may have go so far as to eliminate a bittering add.
 
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RichBenn

RichBenn

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Scale the grainbill for your favorite IPA down to an OG of 1.040 -1.050 and load on the late additions.
Thanks for the confirmation, I was thinking a 1.040 brew and focusing on late/dry hops. Just was worried a bit how low S.G. I can start with and have something worth drinking...:D

Rich
 
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RichBenn

RichBenn

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I've decided that a little rye works best in lower ABV hoppy ales. Definitely scale back on the bittering hops. You may have go so far as to eliminate a bittering add.
What does rye do to the flavor? (Have never used it)

And does anyone know if it's a linear scaling on bittering hop IBUs, as compared to malt?

Rich
 

pjj2ba

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You might want to also add 1-2 lbs of wheat malt in place of some of your base malt. I find this really adds to the body of a beer, and helps prevent a lighter beer from tasting thin. I've got a 4% ABV Wheat/Pale ale hybrid on tap right now. Huge amounts of flavor for such a low alcohol beer. This beer was 60/40 Pils/Wheat, hopped agressively (~30 IBU's) and fermented with Safale 04.

I too, like you, have been considering making an IPA with all of the flavors but without the higer ABV. I had concluded before that there would be a lower limit, but after this hybrid beer, I think if I backed off a little with the wheat (say 75/25, and swap a pale malt for the Pils) and added addtional aroma hops (probably via hopback) and the dry hopped I could make a flavor packed beer at 4% ABV.

Also don't neglect your choice of yeast. I just tried White labs Pacific ale yeast and that beer has a very full flavor. And one could always use a Belgian Ale yeast for more flavor in an otherwise thinner beer.
 

bighandsray

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I often find myself with the same problem, not enough hops in low abv beers. That's when i usually turn to an American Pilsener. I like Stoudt's Pils, but you may not be able to get it in your area.
A good american pils can have 40 ibu's with 5% abv. That combo does the trick for me. I made what I called a blonde ale but it was essentially a Pilsner using US-05 fermented at 68-70F. I had really good results cold crashing the beer and force carbing for 3 weeks at serving temp. Almost seemed like a turbo lagering process.
I did 10 gal batch so scale accordingly
12# pale ale malt
6# pilsener malt
1# cara pils

1oz Perle @60
1oz Liberty @20
1oz Saaz @10
1oz Argen. Cascade @1

I did a 90 min boil due to the pilsner malt

You will want to modify this hop schedule and amounts to suit your taste. This 1 comes in low at 18 IBU ( I needed a lawn mower beer) but if you go easy on the bittering and load up at the end you should get more of an IPA profile. And if you wanted a higher SRM than 5 use some caramunich with the carapils.
 

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