West Coast IPA Feedback

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
321
Location
Portland
I'm looking for some feedback on my West Coast IPA recipe. I've brewed something very similar to this probably twenty times and I'm trying to fine tune it. I'm going for something cripsy with moderate bitterness that has the classic citrus, pine & dank but also has some tropical fruit (kind of like Sticky Hands, pFriem IPA, Wanderjack or RPM for those in the PNW). My biggest complaint is that the hop flavor and aroma just aren't as full and saturated as I'd like. It's like the flavors are pretty good but the intensity is too low. Strangely, I don't seem to have this issue with NEIPAs. Any thoughts or ideas for improvement are appreicated!

13 lb 2 row
3 lb Vienna
0.5 lb C40
0.25 lb Dextrose

1 oz Warrior 60 min (42 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 10 min (13 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 0 min
1 oz Centennial Lupomax Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Amarillo Lupomax Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Citra Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Centennial Lupomax Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
1 oz Amarillo Lupomax Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
1 oz Citra Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
4 oz Simcoe dry hop #1
2 oz Simcoe dry hop #2
2 oz Citra Lupomax dry hop #2

Imperial Flagship (wy1056 Chico) fermented around 66 for a few days and then ramped up to 70

Soft crash to 55 around day 8, raise to 65 on day 9, dry hop on day 10 & day 11, cold crash on day 12, closed transfer keg on day 14.

Mash pH = 5.3

150:50 sulfate:chloride

O.G. = 1.068
F.G. = 1.011
ABV = 7.5%
 

TeflonTom

Active Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2022
Messages
33
Reaction score
17
Perhaps I am speaking out of range of my own experience, but I think you might have too many cooks in the kitchen with that long list of hop additions. Warrior is pretty good with that pine that you're looking for as-well as having a higher AA%, so that would make sense to have as your bittering addition. I would say you maybe choose between keeping simcoe or citra since both are close in acid ratios, but the simcoe would give a bit more berry influence.
 

RCope

CopeCraft Brewing
HBT Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
564
Reaction score
2,954
I have a few suggestions...I see nothing wrong with your malt bill, but I'd use a pound of C40 and take away 1/2 lb of Vienna. More depth to support all those hops (for me).

I'd also simplify your WP to a single addition @ 175 for 20 minutes (just me being lazy).

I love Simcoe on the hot side, and a bit in the dry hop, I'd switch out your first 4oz Simcoe dry hop addition with 4oz of Centennial (Bell's Select makes a huge difference, ime). That may amp up your flavor and aroma without switching up your overall recipe much.

You could also add a hop that acts like a "fruit multiplier", for example Galaxy or Vic Secret. Even an oz in the dry hop can drive the fruit flavor/aroma forward. Or switch The Simcoe dry hop for a NZ fruit forward hop (I've had success with Nectaron, Wai-iti, Waimea, and Rakau).

That's all I got...Cheers!
 

visitor

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2006
Messages
66
Reaction score
22
Location
South Windsor
Sounds like you enjoy similar American IPA's that I do with a lot of dankness, citrus and pine. I go for a bit more bitterness than you are looking for but I wouldn't change your hop bill, that looks like it will get what you are looking for! Your malt bill looks similar to my IPA recipes barring the crystal. I frequently use a very small touch of honey malt instead of the traditional crystal malts. Excluding crystal malts is a personal preference thing. Many CA brewers will exclude crystal malts but it seems like the NW brewers still favor using some crystal so go with your personal preferences and taste here. I often use a mix of 50/50 pils/2-row and sometimes favor one or the other depending on what I am trying to use up.

How does this differ from previous recipes you've been trying to improve upon?
 

hopfenstopfen

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
Messages
231
Reaction score
1,213
Location
North Carolina
I'm looking for some feedback on my West Coast IPA recipe. I've brewed something very similar to this probably twenty times and I'm trying to fine tune it. I'm going for something cripsy with moderate bitterness that has the classic citrus, pine & dank but also has some tropical fruit (kind of like Sticky Hands, pFriem IPA, Wanderjack or RPM for those in the PNW). My biggest complaint is that the hop flavor and aroma just aren't as full and saturated as I'd like. It's like the flavors are pretty good but the intensity is too low. Strangely, I don't seem to have this issue with NEIPAs. Any thoughts or ideas for improvement are appreicated!

13 lb 2 row
3 lb Vienna
0.5 lb C40
0.25 lb Dextrose

1 oz Warrior 60 min (42 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 10 min (13 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 0 min
1 oz Centennial Lupomax Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Amarillo Lupomax Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Citra Whirlpool (185 for 15 min)
1 oz Centennial Lupomax Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
1 oz Amarillo Lupomax Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
1 oz Citra Whirlpool (160 for 15 min)
4 oz Simcoe dry hop #1
2 oz Simcoe dry hop #2
2 oz Citra Lupomax dry hop #2

Imperial Flagship (wy1056 Chico) fermented around 66 for a few days and then ramped up to 70

Soft crash to 55 around day 8, raise to 65 on day 9, dry hop on day 10 & day 11, cold crash on day 12, closed transfer keg on day 14.

Mash pH = 5.3

150:50 sulfate:chloride

O.G. = 1.068
F.G. = 1.011
ABV = 7.5%

I’m just beginning a similar quest. I did a very similar, modern neipa, dry hop procedure on my most recent WCIPA. While its a nice beer, its not popping like I hoped. I’m thinking of dry hoping at the tail-end of fermentation next time. I had great success with this technique once before. For what its worth, brewers at Bell’s have said they use this technique on a couple podcasts.
 
OP
OP
anteater8

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
321
Location
Portland
I have a few suggestions...I see nothing wrong with your malt bill, but I'd use a pound of C40 and take away 1/2 lb of Vienna. More depth to support all those hops (for me).

I'd also simplify your WP to a single addition @ 175 for 20 minutes (just me being lazy).

I love Simcoe on the hot side, and a bit in the dry hop, I'd switch out your first 4oz Simcoe dry hop addition with 4oz of Centennial (Bell's Select makes a huge difference, ime). That may amp up your flavor and aroma without switching up your overall recipe much.

You could also add a hop that acts like a "fruit multiplier", for example Galaxy or Vic Secret. Even an oz in the dry hop can drive the fruit flavor/aroma forward. Or switch The Simcoe dry hop for a NZ fruit forward hop (I've had success with Nectaron, Wai-iti, Waimea, and Rakau).

That's all I got...Cheers!

I like the idea of more hot side flavor, and I also like the idea of using a more modern hop for a big punch. I ended up shifting my Simcoe boil addition back to 30 min and adding some Citra Lupo at 10 min. I did one whirlpool at 180. I also abandoned the Centennial & Amarillo in favor of Idaho 7 to try to get that hot side saturation that Scott Janish talks about. It may be blasphemous, but I think I've enjoyed my Centennial heavy IPA's less than others. My hope is the Citra/Idaho combo will amp things up but the Simcoe will keep it rooted in some West Coast flavor (7/4/3 Simcoe/Citra/Idaho).

Here's what I brewed...

0.45 oz Warrior 60 min (17 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 30 min (26 IBU)
1 oz Citra Lupomax 10 min (17 IBU)
1 oz Simcoe 0 min
1 oz Citra Lupomax whirlpool (180 for 30 min)
2 oz Idaho 7 whirlpool (180 for 30 min)
3 oz Simcoe whirlpool (180 for 30 min)
2 oz Simcoe dry hop #1
2 oz Citra dry hop #1
1 oz Idaho 7 Lupomax dry hop #2
 
OP
OP
anteater8

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
321
Location
Portland
Sounds like you enjoy similar American IPA's that I do with a lot of dankness, citrus and pine. I go for a bit more bitterness than you are looking for but I wouldn't change your hop bill, that looks like it will get what you are looking for! Your malt bill looks similar to my IPA recipes barring the crystal. I frequently use a very small touch of honey malt instead of the traditional crystal malts. Excluding crystal malts is a personal preference thing. Many CA brewers will exclude crystal malts but it seems like the NW brewers still favor using some crystal so go with your personal preferences and taste here. I often use a mix of 50/50 pils/2-row and sometimes favor one or the other depending on what I am trying to use up.

How does this differ from previous recipes you've been trying to improve upon?

I've definitely enjoyed this recipe more with crystal than without. I love plenty of commercial beers without crystal (RPM, Sticky Hands, Volatile Substance, Pliny) but I can't seem to strike the right balance without it, they don't seem quite round enough.

The past several versions of this recipe were mostly the same grain bill with different timing & ratios of Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo and sometimes Citra. My most recent was pretty different, using equal parts Simcoe, Strata, Mosaic & Azacca and this one is tasting particularly good right now. This makes me think its just easier to get that full flavor with newer & fruitier hops... but how do you get the saturated flavor with Simcoe, Centennial, Amarillo & CTZ like Pliny?

On the other extreme end of the IPA spectrum, I've had great luck with a Sierra Nevada Celebration clone. 87% 2 row and 13% crystal 60, all Cascade & Centennial, no whirlpool, just a 2.5 oz dry hop. This beer is so delicious and well balanced, but very different from the newer West Coast IPAs. Finding that middle ground is a challenge.
 
OP
OP
anteater8

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
321
Location
Portland
I’m just beginning a similar quest. I did a very similar, modern neipa, dry hop procedure on my most recent WCIPA. While its a nice beer, its not popping like I hoped. I’m thinking of dry hoping at the tail-end of fermentation next time. I had great success with this technique once before. For what its worth, brewers at Bell’s have said they use this technique on a couple podcasts.

Yeah, soft crash after fermentation and dry hop seems to be the growing consensus among a lot of brewers. I can't say for sure I've noticed a huge difference since I started doing it, but the logic is sound and the beers haven't gotten worse.
 

Group W

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
78
Our process and ingredients are similar. I would suggest simplifying. Dump the WP hops all in at one time. One dry hop dump as well. Less chance for O2. 12 days in the fermenter is more than necessary. You could start fermentation around 63 degrees for cleaner finish, skip the soft crash, DH around day 5 then increase temp 2 degrees/day to 67 to clean up, then cold crash. At 1.068 OG, a higher IBU of 65 to 70 might help. As for the hops, I like to keep it to no more than 3 aroma/flavor hops. That grain bill looks fine to me, but I wonder if that much Vienna is taking over the flavor profile. Do you really need dextrin in a 7.5% beer? Let us know how it’s going on your next brew.
 
OP
OP
anteater8

anteater8

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2015
Messages
347
Reaction score
321
Location
Portland
Our process and ingredients are similar. I would suggest simplifying. Dump the WP hops all in at one time. One dry hop dump as well. Less chance for O2. 12 days in the fermenter is more than necessary. You could start fermentation around 63 degrees for cleaner finish, skip the soft crash, DH around day 5 then increase temp 2 degrees/day to 67 to clean up, then cold crash. At 1.068 OG, a higher IBU of 65 to 70 might help. As for the hops, I like to keep it to no more than 3 aroma/flavor hops. That grain bill looks fine to me, but I wonder if that much Vienna is taking over the flavor profile. Do you really need dextrin in a 7.5% beer? Let us know how it’s going on your next brew.
All good notes, thanks. I actually did move back to a single dry hop, since I haven't noticed any difference once I started splitting into two. I never thought to go that low with Chico. I also can't say I've noticed a big difference since I started soft crashing before dry hop, but there seems to a growing consensus that this is the way to go. Have you noticed a difference either way?
 

Group W

Active Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
78
All good notes, thanks. I actually did move back to a single dry hop, since I haven't noticed any difference once I started splitting into two. I never thought to go that low with Chico. I also can't say I've noticed a big difference since I started soft crashing before dry hop, but there seems to a growing consensus that this is the way to go. Have you noticed a difference either way?
I didn’t notice a difference. Over time I had introduced many of the great concepts from forum discussions, to the point that my brew day was getting out of hand. I had the opportunity to talk to several commercial brewers and as a result went on a process improvement mission. I had three goals; simplify, shorten brew day and make better beer. I’m big on IPAs, so hop flavor was important. I reduced step mash phases, boils to 60 min, checked transfer methods, ferments to about 9 days to keg, etc. I simplified grain bills, hop additions, only fine with a whirlfloc tablet and nothing else. I cut an hour, implemented more lo-do measures and make clear beers with little effort. There are tricks we can do as home brewers that the commercial guys can’t justify. Like moistening grains before milling that can help with astringency. All I’m saying is that one way to get hops to shine is to reduce the clutter and put them on a clean slate. Your salts look good and I assume you are starting with RO water, or something similar. Maybe look at every step and ingredient and ask why am I doing this and what do I want from this ingredient. Regarding hops, everyone has different tastes and are at different evolution experience. For me, I don’t like Simco or CTZ. And I’m tired of Mozaic. You want crisp classic citrus pine and dank. For me that would be Centennial, Chinook and Strata. But that’s my taste preference lately. It will surely change. I really like Azacca also. But it might be a little far from classic. Just my 2c. Sorry for the length here.
 

Latest posts

Top