"Session" IPA's - let's hear it!

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14thstreet

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I like your recipe, I know I'll be trying out the hot steep method this year in a number of british-inspired beers. With wlp001/us-05/1056 I'm beginning to lean towards a higher mash temp, nothing lower than 154F. Dries out too much for me leaving the impression of "no malt" or body. But of course, that's just preference.
 

Jazong

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This looks great for a beer on cask especially. The last small IPA I did was a mini version of Sublimely Self Righteouis and originally it was so over done in all aspects of hoppyness and so under done in body and sweetness I just left it alone for about 4 months (tasting occasionally) as it was undrinkable . Eventually it started to become drinkable but just barley. After about 5 months I put it on nitro and it was fantastic. Sadly it's been 9 months now and it's past it's prime but I learned a lot about brewing and serving low gravity hoppy beers over that time frame.

I agree about the inaccuracy of beer smith at low and high mash temps, but I would be inclined to error on the side of caution not wanting this one to finish too low. Sounds like you know what you're doing though so.......

Cheers,

-J
 

AnchorBock

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I ended up needing to shorten the brewday and figured the easiest way was to cut the half hour hot steep (which I still recommend you all try if you haven't).

1.043 OG
Mashed at 156F
60 min boil
78% 2 row
15% Marris Otter
2.5% Crystal 55
2.5% Crystal 120
2% Victory

1 oz CTZ 15.2% FWH
.5 oz CTZ 15.2% 30 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 10 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 5 mins
1 oz Centennial 11.5% 5 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 0 mins
.5 oz CTZ 15.2% 0 mins

WLP001 - 1 Liter starter

.5 oz Chinook Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Centennial Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Simcoe Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Chinook Dry Hop 4 days
.5 oz Centennial Dry Hop 4 days
.5 oz Simcoe Dry Hop 4 days

Pitched at 63* and fermented at 65*. Raised 1 degree per day as fermentation slowed down to 69*. Currently sitting at 1.016 and looks to be pretty much done so I'd probably adjust the mash temp to 154 next time, but I'm guessing it'll end up around 1.014 by the end. Adding dose 1 of dry hops today and will add the next dose in 4 days and cold crash in about 5 days. It'll be kegged/fined/primed after 3 days of cold crash.

I'll let you all know how it turns out in a month or so - thanks for all the feedback!
 

Jazong

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Can't wait to hear how it comes out. I don't think you'll regret the mash temp. Even if it does stop at 1.014 I think it will seem lighter than you might think a 1.014 beer would bee. Lots of that depends on where you start. I think 1.050 to 1.016 would be perfect. That will be my goal for next time. Keep us posted.

-J
 

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Today I did a dumbed down Sculpin Big Mouth to 1.050, possibly 5.4ABV. I am getting tired of brewing high octane beer and getting tanked after the second beer. It tasted pretty good from the hydrometer tube. We will see how it goes in a couple weeks. I have about 3 oz of sugar that I plan to add at day 3. Wish me luck.

Sheldon
 

AnchorBock

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I ended up needing to shorten the brewday and figured the easiest way was to cut the half hour hot steep (which I still recommend you all try if you haven't).

1.043 OG
Mashed at 156F
60 min boil
78% 2 row
15% Marris Otter
2.5% Crystal 55
2.5% Crystal 120
2% Victory

1 oz CTZ 15.2% FWH
.5 oz CTZ 15.2% 30 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 10 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 5 mins
1 oz Centennial 11.5% 5 mins
1 oz Cascade 5.6% 0 mins
.5 oz CTZ 15.2% 0 mins

WLP001 - 1 Liter starter

.5 oz Chinook Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Centennial Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Simcoe Dry Hop 8 days
.5 oz Chinook Dry Hop 4 days
.5 oz Centennial Dry Hop 4 days
.5 oz Simcoe Dry Hop 4 days

Pitched at 63* and fermented at 65*. Raised 1 degree per day as fermentation slowed down to 69*. Currently sitting at 1.016 and looks to be pretty much done so I'd probably adjust the mash temp to 154 next time, but I'm guessing it'll end up around 1.014 by the end. Adding dose 1 of dry hops today and will add the next dose in 4 days and cold crash in about 5 days. It'll be kegged/fined/primed after 3 days of cold crash.

I'll let you all know how it turns out in a month or so - thanks for all the feedback!

Kegged/fined/primed this today - ended up finishing at 1.011 so I was a bit premature on the first dose of dry hops, shouldn't be a big deal though. I'll probably see if it's carbed up in about 2 weeks.
 

AnchorBock

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The batch from a few posts up turned out quite good served through my "beer engine"

caskipa2.jpg


Posted some notes on my blog about it, but it really hit the mark as far as what I was trying to brew.
 

phenry

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I just brewed my first shot at one of these this morning. Recipe was:

OG: 1.039
IBU: 56
ABV: ~3.7ish
SRM: 6.0

5.0 lb 2-row
1.0 lb Vienna
8.0 oz White wheat malt
8.0 oz Crystal 20*L
6.0 oz Crystal 40*L

0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - FWH
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - 20 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Columbus (15.3%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - Dry hop

Fermented with S-04

I'll know in about a month or so how it turns out.
 

libeerty

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I just brewed my first shot at one of these this morning. Recipe was:

OG: 1.039
IBU: 56
ABV: ~3.7ish
SRM: 6.0

5.0 lb 2-row
1.0 lb Vienna
8.0 oz White wheat malt
8.0 oz Crystal 20*L
6.0 oz Crystal 40*L

0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - FWH
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - 20 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Columbus (15.3%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - Dry hop

Fermented with S-04

I'll know in about a month or so how it turns out.

I really like that recipe, right up my alley. Definitely update how it turns out.
 

phenry

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I just brewed my first shot at one of these this morning. Recipe was:

OG: 1.039
IBU: 56
ABV: ~3.7ish
SRM: 6.0

5.0 lb 2-row
1.0 lb Vienna
8.0 oz White wheat malt
8.0 oz Crystal 20*L
6.0 oz Crystal 40*L

0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - FWH
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - 20 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Cascade (6.4%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Columbus (15.3%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - Dry hop

Fermented with S-04

I'll know in about a month or so how it turns out.

Dry hopped this on Tuesday and bottled today, initial impressions are a pretty solid flavor and aroma, and definitely not as terribly thin as I was expecting. Granted, it was warm and flat when I tasted it, so hopefully carbonation will help hide the low body.

I really like that recipe, right up my alley. Definitely update how it turns out.
 
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Started this thread almost three years ago, and still haven't made one. :eek:

I'm glad it is still going though!!

Phenry, your recipe sounds perfect for the intent of this thread! :mug:
 

phenry

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Is two days of bottle conditioning enough? Of course not! But nonetheless, I still cracked one open today to find it actually had some carbonation.

Chilled and slightly carbonated, this stuff is amazing. If you're hesitant at all about brewing one of these IPAs and it turning out like water, don't be. This recipe of mine just graduated to the re-brew group.
 

jdgapc

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Is two days of bottle conditioning enough? Of course not! But nonetheless, I still cracked one open today to find it actually had some carbonation.

Chilled and slightly carbonated, this stuff is amazing. If you're hesitant at all about brewing one of these IPAs and it turning out like water, don't be. This recipe of mine just graduated to the re-brew group.

Patience is a virtue....that i also do not have! i did the same thing with a honey wheat, bottled on friday and tried it last night, and it had head on it. glad to hear it turned out well!
 

Apendecto

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Is two days of bottle conditioning enough? Of course not! But nonetheless, I still cracked one open today to find it actually had some carbonation.

Chilled and slightly carbonated, this stuff is amazing. If you're hesitant at all about brewing one of these IPAs and it turning out like water, don't be. This recipe of mine just graduated to the re-brew group.

What did you mash at?
 

phenry

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Thanks. I'm a little surprised it's not higher.

I tend to like my beers a little drier, but my usual mash temp is 150*F, so who knows, maybe my thermometer is off? I'm brewing another rendition tomorrow, this batch is going way too fast:

OG: 1.039
IBU: 49 (Rager)
ABV: ~3.7ish
SRM: 6.5

5.0 lb 2-row
1.0 lb Vienna
8.0 oz Flaked Wheat
8.0 oz Crystal 20*L
8.0 oz Crystal 40*L

0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - FWH
0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - 15 min
0.5 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - 0 min
1.5 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 0 min
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Columbus (15.3%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - Dry hop

Fermented with S-04

Mash @ 155*F for 60 min

Going for a more Pliny the Elder inspired hop schedule this time, still not anything drastically different from my original recipe though.
 

phuff7129

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I have been following this thread for a while and I have brewed a couple of ok session IPA's but I have a winner here.

I am told this is the Stone Levitation Ale recipe from the Stone book. What is interesting about this recipe is the mash schedule. Stone calls for a 10 minute mash at 157. Conventional wisdom is there is no way to convert in 10minutes but if Stone can do it, I thought I would give it a try.

I hit the 157 temp right on the money and I checked it after 10 minutes with an iodine test and taste test and it was not converted. I stirred and let it go another 10 minutes and it was definitely converted and the wort tasted great!

I do not know if you can consider this an IPA or not. It is definitely hopped like an IPA but the grain bill is more of an amber. I was really concerned that IBU/SG ratio was way too high at 1.373 but the hop profile, bitterness, and balance with the malt is excellent. I think it could even be a little more hoppy if you really wanted to.

I have fairly high alkaline tap water so I diluted it 50/50 with RO water and my water adjustments are listed in the recipe.

To sum up here are my tasting notes and the recipe.

Tasting Notes: This very well could be the best beer I have made to date. I have yet to compare it to the commercial Stone version but whether it is cloned or not, it is an excellent beer. I definitely think I hit the water profile right on the money.

It has a medium body, rich, smooth mouthfeel, fantastic fruity/citrusy aroma, nice thick creamy head that dissipates to a thin head after about 10 minutes. Excellent lacing. Beautiful dark amber color.

Taste starts with a nice rich, snooth, malt character and medium body, silky mouthfeel. Mid palate it is still malt with a firm bitterness, and then finishes with clean citrus notes. Super easy drinking beer. One sip begs for another. Very clean flavor. I detect no off flavors or homebrew twang at all.

At 4.2% abv and 66 ibu's, I think this beer would qualify as a "Session IPA". I was concerned that with the high ratio of bitterness to gravity the hops would overpower the beer and that is just not the case. I think you could make this beer even hoppier if you wanted to but I think it is excellent just the way it is. I guess technically it would be considered a hoppy Amber becaue it is too dark for an IPA. Anyway this is a great beer for anyone looking for lower abv and enough hops to satisfy any hop heads such as myself.

Stone Levitation Ale
American Amber Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 5/26/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal Brewer:
Boil Size: 8.49 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Kettle and large mash tun
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 68.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 74.2 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes: 6/23/13 This very well could be the best beer I have made to date. I have yet to compare it to the commercial Stone version but whether it is cloned or not, it is an excellent beer. I definitely think I hit the water profile right on the money.

It has a medium body, rich, smooth mouthfeel, fantastic fruity/citrusy aroma, nice thick creamy head that dissipates to a thin head after about 10 minutes. Excellent lacing. Beautiful dark amber color.

Taste starts with a nice rich, snooth, malt character and medium body, silky mouthfeel. Mid palate it is still malt with a firm bitterness, and then finishes with clean citrus notes. Super easy drinking beer. One sip begs for another. Very clean flavor. I detect no off flavors or homebrew twang at all.

At 4.2% abv and 66 ibu's, I think this beer would qualify as a "Session IPA". I was concerned that with the high ratio of bitterness to gravity the hops would overpower the beer and that is just not the case. I think you could make this beer even hoppier if you wanted to but I think it is excellent just the way it is. I guess technically it would be considered a hoppy Amber becaue it is too dark for an IPA. Anyway this is a great beer for anyone looking for lower abv and enough hops to satisfy any hop heads such as myself.


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
0.41 tsp Gypsum Mash Addition
0.16 tsp Baking Soda Mash Addition
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 83.1 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 4 9.2 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5 6.9 %
1.3 oz Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 6 0.7 %
1.00 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [14.00 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 7 54.6 IBUs
0.85 tsp Gypsum Sparge Addition
0.20 tsp Lactic Acid Sparge Addition
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 10 -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 12 11.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Crystal [3.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 13 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Simcoe [13.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 14 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) [35.49 ml] Yeast 15 -
1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.50 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days Hop 16 0.0 IBUs

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.048 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.046 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 4.0 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 4.2 %
Bitterness: 65.9 IBUs Calories: 153.5 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 18.1 SRM
Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 13.3 oz
Sparge Water: 6.91 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Mash at 157.0 F 20 min. 1.25 qts/lb
Be sure to check for conversion.

Sparge Step:
Double batch sparge with 2 equal amounts to get to final boil volume.
 
OP
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The latest issue of Zymurgy has an article about the concept!

Zymurgy said:
The Session IPA
By Drew Beechum

What happens if we marry the hop rumble of the IPA with a pale ale- (or lower) strength beer? I would argue a wonderful thing happens—the session IPA.
 

BreezyBrew

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DrinkNoH2O

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I think I'm going to try my hand at brewing a session IPA this weekend. Goal is to use up some leftover ingredients while making a sessionable hoppy ale.

Any thoughts on the following recipe? It's sort of "kitchen sink" but I think it should work out well:

Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.048 SG
Estimated FG: 1.010 SG
Estimated ABV: 5.0%
Estimated Color: 6.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 47.2 IBUs

Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Boil Time: 30 Minutes
Mash Temp: 154.0 F (60 min)

Ingredients:
7.25 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)-81.0 %
0.55 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) - 6.1 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) - 5.6 %
0.40 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) - 4.5 %
0.25 lb Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) - 2.8 %

0.25 oz Magnum [14.10 %] - Boil 30.0 min - 9.9 IBUs

0.75 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Boil 15.0 min - 11.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Citra [11.10 %] - Boil 15.0 min - 10.1 IBUs

1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Boil 5.0 min - 6.0 IBUs
1.00 oz Citra [11.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min - 8.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Ahtanum [5.20 %] - Boil 5.0 min - 1.9 IBUs

1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min
1.00 oz Citra [13.90 %] - Boil 0.0 min
0.50 oz Ahtanum [5.20 %] - Boil 0.0 min

1.00 oz Amarillo Gold [8.20 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Day Hop
1.00 oz Citra [13.90 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days
0.50 oz Ahtanum [5.20 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days

Still deciding on yeast…
 

libeerty

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Big fan of this session IPA I brewed. Split the batch, dryhopped half with 4oz Galaxy, half with 2oz Simcoe/2oz Mosaic. Latter is much better. Next time might do 2.5 Simcoe/1.5 Mosaic and either Pearl or MO as the base, or more Munich.

Recipe: Session IPA
Style: Standard/Ordinary Bitter
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications

Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.032 SG
Estimated Color: 6.4 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 70.6 %
3 lbs Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 2 23.5 %
12.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L (40.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.9 %
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 4 12.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - First Wort 60.0 minHop 5 11.5 IBUs
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 6 4.2 IBUs
1.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 7 7.6 IBUs
2.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 8 0.0 IBUs
2.00 oz Centennial [10.00 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Nottingham (Danstar #-) [23.66 ml] Yeast 10 -


Mash 152
 

Sbarnard80

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Finally brewed mine and gotten to the point where I have had a few. Definitely good flavor and a nice hoppy nose. Very drinkable. Will make a final assessment after I give it some more time, but I feel like next time I would like a tad bit more body and flavor. Am at 4.75abv and fine with that and want to keep it the same.

My first thought is raise the mash temp to 156 and add about .5lb more crystal 20l. The thought being this will raise my og a bit but with the higher mash temp will turn a bit into nonfermentables and give it more flavor. Prob a little more bittering hops at the beginning of the boil as well.

Any thoughts on the change strategy here? Other ideas?
 

Bearfoot

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Well, after reading all 15 pages as well as pertinent links, I've come up with a little something I will be brewing next week. It's kind of a blend of a lot of the recipes I've read on this thread thus far.

Thoughts and suggestions are welcome, however I just went out and got the grain so there are limitations to what I can change...

Batch Size: 11G (AG)
OG: 1.043
FG: 1.010
COlor: 7.2
IBU: 41

53.5% 9.99# Pale Malt (Colorado Malt Co)
30.0% 5.60# Vienna (Colorado Malt Co)
6.5% 1.21# White Wheat Malt
5.0% .93# Victory Malt
2.5% .47# Crystal 40
2.5% .47# Crystal 60

Chinook 10.5%AA 1.2oz FWH
Simcoe 13.0%%AA .75oz 20 min
Crystal 4.0%AA 1.2oz 20 min
Simcoe 13.0%%AA .75oz 5 min
Chinook 10.5%AA .75oz 5 min
Simcoe 13.0%%AA 1 oz whirlpool
Citra 11%AA 1 oz whirlpool

Dry Hop TBD, probably Citra + Simcoe. Excited for this one!
 

beerandloathinginaustin

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Finally brewed mine and gotten to the point where I have had a few. Definitely good flavor and a nice hoppy nose. Very drinkable. Will make a final assessment after I give it some more time, but I feel like next time I would like a tad bit more body and flavor. Am at 4.75abv and fine with that and want to keep it the same.

My first thought is raise the mash temp to 156 and add about .5lb more crystal 20l. The thought being this will raise my og a bit but with the higher mash temp will turn a bit into nonfermentables and give it more flavor. Prob a little more bittering hops at the beginning of the boil as well.

Any thoughts on the change strategy here? Other ideas?

You could try a little rye or flaked oats too. Don't underestimate what a yeast that leaves a maltier perception like 006 or 028 can do too.
 
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Commercial versions seem to be popping up more and more...

Founders is okay, but I really like Lagunitas' Day Time IPA. I feel they nailed the style...
 

doublebogey10

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I tend to like my beers a little drier, but my usual mash temp is 150*F, so who knows, maybe my thermometer is off? I'm brewing another rendition tomorrow, this batch is going way too fast:

OG: 1.039
IBU: 49 (Rager)
ABV: ~3.7ish
SRM: 6.5

5.0 lb 2-row
1.0 lb Vienna
8.0 oz Flaked Wheat
8.0 oz Crystal 20*L
8.0 oz Crystal 40*L

0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - FWH
0.5 oz Columbus (15.3%) - 15 min
0.5 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 5 min
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - 0 min
1.5 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - 0 min
1.0 oz Centennial (9.9%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Columbus (15.3%) - Dry hop
1.0 oz Simcoe (13.5%) - Dry hop

Fermented with S-04

Mash @ 155*F for 60 min

Going for a more Pliny the Elder inspired hop schedule this time, still not anything drastically different from my original recipe though.

phenry,
I know it's been a year on this but curious which version of yours that you liked better?
 

Bearfoot

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Quick update: fermented my recipe (few posts up) split between two varieties of Conan yeast. 3 weeks in hop flavor is bright and crisp...yeast profile seems to add some perceived body. First reaction is that I'd up the caramel malts just a bit more to give some strength to the legs, but overall pretty pleased. More notes to come as I dry hop & carb
 

GCPHomebrew

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Session IPA is the style I brew most. Like 80% of the time. I modify all IPA recipes to lower abv to 5 or less abv


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GCPHomebrew

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This week I am going to incorporate FWH, hop standing and dry hopping into my session IPA!!


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bulldogbrewhaus

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Just wanted to chime in on this discussion. I am working on a session ipa recipe for the brewery that I work for. I also went to brewschool in the UK, work for an american craft brewery and have gained a pretty good understanding of how to brew quality session beers. Many of my suggestions have already been discussed, and these are just a collection of my thoughts and discussions with our brewmaster.

-Mash high, 154-156
-Blend some more dextrinous malts with your normal base (Marris Otter/Golden Promise) something like 25-50% of your base.
-Don't scimp on the character malt, add some munich/vienna, some low to mid level crystal, and something for aroma/flavor (Victory/Melanoiden).
-Select hops with higher oil contents for hopbursting, dry hopping, hopstanding or whatever other tricks you guys normally do with your hoppy beers.
-Select a less aggressive yeast strain, some of the less estery british strains would be appropriate or maybe something like northwest ale if you are determined to go american. If you have good temp control you could ferment slightly cooler or even try a hybrid yeast.
-Many of the british session ales use some wheat, generally torrified but sometimes malted. For my own personal taste I would skip the wheat but it would be appropriate I think.

This style has really been gaining momentum lately, and several major breweries have recently released session beers or made existing ones year round. I think the imperial movement was great, but I am glad american brewers are starting recognize the value of quality session beers. Some of the best session beers I have ever had came from breweries in the UK like Thornbridge, and some of the London breweries (Beavertown, Kernel, Weird Beard, BBN, Fullers etc...). I hope this trend continues and we are able to take a page out of the british brewing tradition. I hope this is coherent enough to follow and helpful to some. Cheers.
 

JKaranka

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Yeah, in the UK you pretty much have to due to taxation. Many other good ones too like Darkstar, Moor, Bristol Beer Factory and Otley.
 
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