My questions about recipes:
For hopping rates do we use the IBU listing and work the numbers around to keep the percentages right? I tried to make it work for the Meantime IPA and it came out to an obscene amount of hops - about 4 lbs per barrel vs. the 2 lbs per barrel mentioned in the recipe. Can we assume a more efficient use of hops at the professional level vs. homebrew level?
Can you be more specific for yeast strains? The homebrew strains that are typically available are purported to be from some of these breweries: Brakspear, Worthington, Whitbread, Boddingtons, Timothy Taylor, Fullers, Ringwood.
Yes, the idea behind the recipes was to provide an IBU target and the hop percentages by weight, so brewers could plug into their own recipe programs and figure out how many hops to add, given their own specific parameters. As I mention in the book, a lot of this, for many brewers, is still guess work and estimation. It was difficult to get detailed hopping information from all the brewers, either because they were reluctant to share to that level of detail, or simply couldn't get back to me because they are busy!Not every brewer provided weights. If they did, I included them, but if they didn't, I just listed %'s or whatever they provided me, figuring that was better information than not including the recipe at all.
Bigger kettles do usually provide more hop utilization efficiency, because of better heat exchange systems vs. direct flame used in smaller systems. 4 pounds per barrel in a Meantime IPA clone is going to be delicious, btw.
The yeast strains were unspecific because most of the breweries have proprietary strains, and I don’t know which available commercial strains would be the best replications of their house strains. If the brewer was willing to provide the yeast strain, then I included it, but many of the brewers who contributed recipes are using proprietary strains. This makes yeast substitution challenging, and my knowledge of how specific commercially available yeast strains compare to commercial breweries’ beers is admittedly not that great. So I took their suggestions. That being said, if you are brewing an IPA, I know the Fullers and Whitbread strains are good strains. The Ringwood tends to produce a lot of esters and diacetyl, which makes it tough to get intense hop character needed for an IPA. One of the best yeasts for any IPA is the CA Ale yeast strain-WLP-001 or WY1056. It’s a very clean, neutral yeast that attenuates well, which is why it is popular with many of the best IPA brewers here in the USA.