West Coast IPA feedback

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CascadesBrewer

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I do not have distilled on hand so I am going to go with tap + campden. Can I blindly add any salts to improve this, even marginally? or am I better off not adding anything

It is a bit of a gamble. I suspect most places in New Jersey uses surface water that is fairly low in mineral content (Calcium, Sulfate and Chloride levels in the 20 to 60 range). There is a chance that adding 0.5 to 1 gram of Gypsum per gallon would help get your Calcium and Sulfate levels into better ranges for a West Coast IPA. Acid adjustments are a bit harder to predict without a water report. With my DC Suburbs tap water I often have to add around 30 ml of 10% Phosphoric Acid for a 5 gallon batch (that is a full volume mash BIAB process...I just switched over to 88% lactic for my last batch).

I would suggest you try to track down some info on your water.
 
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RyPA

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@CascadesBrewer I've tried, but only found about bad stuff/contaminants, nothing that matters to my beer. I normally do distilled but my food store was sold out, and plan to eventually get a RO setup. Maybe I'll just use the water as-is.
 

hout17

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Also consider sending off a sample to Wards Lab and get a water report so you have an idea. They have a pretty quick turn around.

Without knowing I would just brew as is adding some Campden as you mentioned.
 
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RyPA

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I considered that but you'd need to redo it at an interval to keep it true/accurate. I think a RO kit for $200 would be better
 

CascadesBrewer

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Consider using basic / "classic" ingredients that support non-tropical hop flavors / aromas.
  • 90% "two row", 10% "light munich";
    • 25% Golden Promise is probably too much
    • Sugar (as @Beermeister32 mentioned) for higher ABV recipes
  • Color is pale (otherwise, see Red IPA).
  • 50 IBUs of a classic bittering hop (Magnum, Warrior, ...)
  • Flavor/Aroma hops appropriate for either a "classic" or "modern" IPA
  • Yeast strain appropriate for either a "classic" or "modern" IPA
Hops: for a more "classic" West Coast IPA (the anit-NEIPA?) consider the full list of classic "C" hops as well as Simcoe and Amarillo. There's more to classic "C" hops than Cascade and Centennial.

Yeast: something that doesn't contribute flavor and "lets the hops shine". Verdant's flavor wheel (link) shows 'red apple' and 'tropical'.
^^^All good; spot on suggestions.^^^
 
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