Brewing With Total Confidence
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Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by Iliff Avenue Brewhouse, Nov 1, 2019.
What's wrong with this recipe?
1. It's an American-style IPA.
Nothing jumps out at me. Grain bill should be solid, although you may want more sweetness than you have (more Crystal-caramel, if you want to keep the German vibe you could do Caramunich or mash at higher temps). I've never tried that combination of hops but I have learned recently where that metallic, phenolic flavor I hate in so many IPAs come from: Dry hopping, and this recipe is aggressively dry hopped. I'd reduce the 5-day dry hopping to three days while the beer is actively fermenting, then make sure the beer is cold for the 10-day dry hopping.
Thanks for the feedback.
Early impressions are that the bitterness is moderate, hop flavor is great, and the aroma is surprisingly too mild. May need to look at my dry hopping procedure and just do one large addition... It's also a bit maltier/biscuity than I expected and possibly a bit estery as the Notty started a little warmer than I had planned. Hoping it comes together a bit better in the next couple of days.
For some reason it’s a lot harder for me to make good ipa in comparison to lagers. I have made some decent ones but they are never repeatable. Might just have to buy commercial ones and brew to my strengths.
Not an expert by any stretch...
I would simplify your hop schedule. From Daniels' Designing Great Beers, he notes that NHC IPA's had an average of 5 hop additions. Essentially, 2 bittering, 1 Flavor, 1 Aroma, 1 Dry (right in line with your 1 dry hop thought process). And for an IPA, he recommends the American C's...Cascade, Centennial, Chinook (and I'll add Citra).
And a little low-mid Crystal, like Nosy suggests, is a great idea. Maybe instead of the sugar.
For the dry hop you could try the active fermentation/post fermentation split that Nosy mentioned. Nottingham does create the enzyme that does the magical bio-transformation and those hops should have a bit of the geraniol that gets changed to citronellol. So it's got a theoretical chance of working. How important it is is still debatable, but at least you can say biotransformation and have a leg to stand on.
I haven't tried Nottingham, but a bunch of the English yeasts will dull various hop properties such as bitterness.
For the post fermentation dry hop I'm trying to move to only do 2-3 days and that immediately prior to packaging. Haven't done enough batches to be sure, but it does seem to be the flavour of the month (backed with a bit of research - it seems the contribution of the hops drops markedly after 2 days of dry hop).
And I'd drop the sugar as well. And maybe sub the honey for a proper crystal/caramel malt.
Finally if you don't mind a bit of haze in your IPA you could move those late additions to a whirpool/post boil steep. That's likely to help the aroma angle.
I have to agree on dropping the sugar, and adding some C60. I have never used sugar in any IPA I have ever made. All of my recipes are all poached from others mind you. My go to WC IPA has 5.7% crystal 60, 5.3% carapils, the balance is two row. I have been playing around with hops, but have been using this grain bill for about a year now. I have been really happy with the results.
Great feedback guys. Let me address some of the particulars.
sugar - that’s staying. I do short mashes so that helps with attenuation to get a drier character which I prefer.
honey malt - mainly for color and a bit of flavor. Landed on this mainly because one of my favorite ipas uses it. I’m not a big fan of crystal malt in general as I like crisp lighter bodied beers. That being said I will likely sub it out for some c60 or something more normal next batch.
dry hop - first addition was added at high krausen, second addition was added after fermentation completed. I have experimented with hopstands before but my process was not very repeatable as I would usually over or undershoot my temperature.
yeast - I think this may be the main culprit. Even thought the mouthfeel is dry from my water profile the yeast seems to be accentuating the malt. May go back to good old reliable us05 or something more neutral.
I’m a big fan of citrusy ipas so I am also considering using Amarillo in place of the comet.
Another question is am I using enough kettle hops?
One other note is that I am using pils instead of two row only for cost. Pils is my main base malt since I brew a lot of lagers and the only grain I buy in bulk.
I will post an updated recipe to see if it’s any better.
I've had good luck with the kveik yeast for hop flavor, as for the hop profile, your right comet is lacking on strong citrus flavor, I've also had good luck with my hop back and not using finnings in the boil
I updated the recipe.
*Swapped honey malt out for c60
*Swapped Notty out for US-05
*Swapped all comet out for amarillo
*going with one large dry hop addition instead of trying DDH
I will say that a few days in the keg and the IPA has improved a bit. It's definitely a WC IPA due to the dry bitterness. If the aroma was stronger it would actually be pretty good I think.
Just for reference my water profile is as follows
Ca - 90 ppm
Mg - 6
Na - 15
SO4 - 165
Cl - 55
mash pH ~ 5.3
Looks fine for a hoppy beer