Author Topic: First try at a session IPA  (Read 20936 times)

Offline erockrph

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First try at a session IPA
« on: January 31, 2012, 09:33:59 AM »
I'm just getting started brewing and I want to start working on a recipe for a session IPA in the 4-4.5% abv range that I'm hoping to turn into a house regular. I'm planning on brewing half batches until I get this recipe to where I want it. I don't mind making some mistakes, since this is going to be an experiment in the recipe-development process for me. I just threw this together in Brewers Friend and Hopville to try something out.

I did have a few questions to help determine if there are any tweaks that need to be made before I get started.

-Right now this recipe calculates to about 60 IBU. I love bitter beer, but is that going to be overpowering in a beer with such a low FG/abv? My goal here is aroma/flavor first, but with a nice bite to it.
-My yeast choices are WLP-001, Wyeast 1056 or US-05. I'd like to use the WLP-001 to maximize my attenuation, but I'm not set up to make starters yet. Will I be ok pitching a pack of WLP-001 without a starter if this is only a 3-gallon batch? Or should I stick to dry yeast for now?
-I've been thinking about starting with 1 lb of the DME at the start of the boil and adding the rest at about 20 minutes remaining to maximize hop utilization. Is there any real benefit to this if the OG is so low on this beer? Aside from saving a little bit of my bittering hops, what else do I have to gain by doing this?
-Anything else here that doesn't look right or should be tweaked before I get started?

Thanks in advance!

====================

Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: American IPA
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 3 gallons
Boil Size: 3 gallons

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.042
Final Gravity: 1.010
ABV (standard): 4.22%
IBU (tinseth): 59.31
SRM (morey): 3.86

FERMENTABLES:
3 lb - Dry Malt Extract - Light (100%)

HOPS:
0.5 oz - Galena (AA 13) for 60 min, Type: Pellet, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Cascade (AA 7) for 15 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Cascade (AA 7) for 5 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
0.5 oz - Cascade (AA 7) for 0 min, Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Boil
1 oz - Cascade (AA 7), Type: Leaf/Whole, Use: Dry Hop

YEAST:
White Labs - California Ale Yeast WLP001
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 76.5%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temperature: 68 F - 73 F
Eric B.

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Offline denny

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 09:53:42 AM »
A session IPA is just a hoppy pale ale.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 09:57:06 AM »
You should be good to go on the yeast just pitching a vial in. You could probably get away with pitching a vial in a 5 gallon batch of 1.042 wort.  

I would do a partial mash of some specialty grains though.  Maybe a half pound of crystal 40 and a little carapils or something like that? Youll definetly want a little something in there for color and flavor as most IPA's have a little something added.

If youre unfamiliar with that process just steep the crushed grains a muslin bag in some of the brewing water around 155 degrees for 30 min or so!
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Offline bigchicken

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 10:07:50 AM »
A session IPA is just a hoppy pale ale.

I have to agree with this. Save yourself some money on hops and focus on a pale ale. Use the dry yeast to save more money. I think that many IBUs will be overpowering.
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Offline hoser

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 10:17:47 AM »
I would try and find Kelsey McNair's West Coast Bitter recipe.  I think you are looking for something similar to that?  I have brewed it and it is phenomenal!  I know it is listed in the recipe section of Stone's new book if you can't find it on the internet.  As many others have said, a session IPA is really just a hoppy lower gravity pale ale.   It is a little bit of a balancing act and you have to make sure that the beer isn't too thin and has the body to stand up to those hops at a low OG.  You may even consider no sparge if possible?  As mentioned you should probably steep some specialy grains like crystal or victory, as well.  60IBUs is a lot.  I would try to have my BUs=GUs and focus more on hop bursting and dry hopping for more flavor and aroma vs. bitterness

Online morticaixavier

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 10:57:20 AM »
I have been brewing a session  IPA of sorts lateley that I really like. it calculates are ~65 IBU according to beer smith but it not overwhelmingly bitter even with a 1.032 OG.

the recipe is

6.5lbs pale malt
.5 lbs crystal 30-40 (whichever makes itself available)

Last time I did it I put 12 oz hops in it. mostly in the last15 minutes 15, 10, 5, 0 with only about .5 oz of goldings at 60. you could do similar with extract by just adding ~.5 lbs crystal to your above recipe.
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Offline pinnah

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 11:22:33 AM »
I would try and find Kelsey McNair's West Coast Bitter recipe. 

I copied this somewhere:

Here is the recipe for 7 gallons of wort with a mash efficiency of 82%:

OG: 1.042
8.75lb Domestic 2-row
0.5lb Crisp Crystal Malt 77L
0.5lb CaraPils
0.2lb Honey Malt
0.1lb CaraVienne Malt

Mash at 158F for 60 minutes

Boil for 90 minutes
Hops:
20g Warrior (38.2 IBU) at 60 min
7g CTZ (7.3 IBU) at 30 min
10g Amarillo (3.1 IBU) at 10 min
10g Simcoe (4.3 IBU) at 10 min
1oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, Citra, CTZ at 0 min
1oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, Citra, CTZ dry hop

Fermentation:
WLP001 or WY1056 at 67F until completely fermented
FG should be 1.010~1.011

Reduce temp to 50F to settle out yeast

Return to 67F and dry hop for 7 days.




focus more on hop bursting and dry hopping for more flavor and aroma vs. bitterness
This.
I have been thinking that excessive late hopping might be key.  Massive flavor and aroma, not as much, or smoother, bitterness.

I don't think "hoppy" pale is accurate enough. ;D

Offline hoser

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 11:27:35 AM »
I would try and find Kelsey McNair's West Coast Bitter recipe. 

I copied this somewhere:

Here is the recipe for 7 gallons of wort with a mash efficiency of 82%:

OG: 1.042
8.75lb Domestic 2-row
0.5lb Crisp Crystal Malt 77L
0.5lb CaraPils
0.2lb Honey Malt
0.1lb CaraVienne Malt

Mash at 158F for 60 minutes

Boil for 90 minutes
Hops:
20g Warrior (38.2 IBU) at 60 min
7g CTZ (7.3 IBU) at 30 min
10g Amarillo (3.1 IBU) at 10 min
10g Simcoe (4.3 IBU) at 10 min
1oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, Citra, CTZ at 0 min
1oz each Simcoe, Amarillo, Chinook, Citra, CTZ dry hop

Fermentation:
WLP001 or WY1056 at 67F until completely fermented
FG should be 1.010~1.011

Reduce temp to 50F to settle out yeast

Return to 67F and dry hop for 7 days.




focus more on hop bursting and dry hopping for more flavor and aroma vs. bitterness
This.
I have been thinking that excessive late hopping might be key.  Massive flavor and aroma, not as much, or smoother, bitterness.

I don't think "hoppy" pale is accurate enough. ;D

YUP, that looks like the recipe.  I don't look at it as "excessive", I look at it as "appropriate" ;D

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 04:52:47 PM »
It almost sounds like what you are after is a stone levitation type beer that's not a red.  I love levitation for its hoppy-ness and its low ABV.  I'll be watching this thread with interest because I too would love to have a low ABV, high hop homebrew that rivals levitation for goodness (whether red, pale, or other). 

Anybody else with good recipes along these lines please do elaborate in great detail (or PM me if you don't want to derail this thread).


Offline erockrph

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2012, 09:03:51 AM »
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. I'm hoping to brew this baby up tonight.

As far as the nomenclature goes, I've never been one for holding tight to BJCP guidelines (that's one of the main reasons I wanted to start brewing my own beer), but I get the point. I guess I've been thinking "Session IPA" because I want a light, bitter beer, but this recipe is pretty far off form a true IPA in its current version. I think "Bitter Blonde" is a more fitting description, so that's what I'm going to call it.

While I still want a nice bite from this one, I've decided to cut the 60-min Galena addition down a little to put me in the 50 IBU range instead of 60. This brings my BU:GU down from 1.31 to 1.16ish. I can always ratchet that up or down in future revisions.

As far as the steeped grains go, I was definitely thinking of adding some steeped crystal malt when I step this recipe up to proper APA/IPA/DIPA versions. I'm a huge hophead, so I kind of want to start with a really light malt to get a feel what the hops are doing on the bitterness/flavor/aroma. Once I get a good feel for that then I'll start playing with the malt.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2012, 09:30:36 AM »
A session IPA is just a hoppy pale ale.

Although I agree with that statement, I've had a beer that was quoted as a session IPA.  That was Wanderer IPA from North Peak and it was 4.2% and 45 IBU.  Clearly it is below the PA alcohol limits, so it misses the PA mark too.  I'd say it more correctly should be called a session PA, but I'm betting marketing has some input there.  That beer did have a substantial hop flavor and aroma.  Maybe that is why they market it as an IPA?  It was good.

The hop flavor and aroma of the Wanderer far exceeds the limits of a Blonde Ale.  So that beer couldn't fit there. 
« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 09:32:52 AM by mabrungard »
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Offline richardt

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2012, 09:55:30 AM »
I'm a big fan of sessionable beers that mimic bigger beers. 
I call mine an XPA (Extra Pale Ale)
I shoot for the low end of AIPA or APA.
[BJCP: OG=1.50, FG=1.010, IBU=40, SRM=8, ABV=5%].
[BJCP:  OG=1.045, FG 1.010, IBU=30, SRM=5, ABV=4.5%].
It won't win any BJCP competitions, but, I guarantee you that a 5 gallon keg will empty in one night at a party.

For smoother bitterness, I'd make sure your sulfate levels in the water are low (<50 ppm)--but that's something you might want to have Martin chime in on.  For the floral/fruity styles, I find Summit, Admiral to be good choices.  Magnum gives clean bittering.

For fruity/citrusy flavor and aroma:  Cascade, Centennial, Citra, Amarillo, Simcoe are all good choices.  I like to combine small fractions of each hop and add them every 5-10 minutes from 20-30 minutes on down to flame out.  It gives more complexity.

For excellent aroma (that will somewhat survive CO2 scrubbing during fermentation), I find adding at least one or two ounces for steeping during whirlpool/chilling (once the wort temp gets below 170F) really kicks it up a bit without the excessive grassiness of dryhopping.

Dryhopping is nice, too but is usually accompanied by the grassiness and diminished clarity that some don't want.  Use at least one ounce per 5 gallons to have a noticeable effect.  Again, I add small fractions of each hop (e.g., 0.5 oz each of Cascade, Citra, Amarillo, Summit, and Simcoe) to increase complexity.

Malt is basically pale ale malt and crystal, with a little victory, carafoam, honey malt, or aromatic malt as good choices for specialty kilned malts.

Offline erockrph

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2012, 08:38:32 AM »
I finally cracked into the first bottle of this batch last night. The hop aroma is absolutely fantastic. The only thing is that the beer is too thin and dry for my liking for the type and amount of hops bitterness. So the verdict for this batch is that it is sessionable from an alcohol standpoint but not so much from a bitterness balance standpoint.

Changes I will make for the next batch:

Move from WLP001 to a less attenuative yeast (taking suggestions here - WLP007 maybe?)

I want to keep this recipe all extract for now so I'm thinking of adding dextrin for body. I was also thinking of starting the boil with the dme in only a gallon or two of water to get a little caramelization before I bring it up to full volume and add the bittering hops.

I may bring the bu:gu down a little, but frankly I'm fine with the current level of bitterness. I'd rather tweak the FG up first and adjust the IBUs in a future batch if it still needs it. I will switch from Galena to a cleaner/low cohumulone bittering hop like Magnum next time though.

I'm using RO water right now. I have to doublecheck but I'm pretty sure it has Mag sulfate added back in. I may try distilled water next time to keep the sulfate level lower.

All in all I'm very happy how this turned out for my first self-designed recipe. I appreciate all the advice I've gotten and I'm looking forward to making this even better the next time around.

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Offline pinnah

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2012, 03:49:25 PM »
Changes I will make for the next batch:

Move from WLP001 to a less attenuative yeast (taking suggestions here - WLP007 maybe?)

1450 might be nice.

Offline deepsouth

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Re: First try at a session IPA
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 06:09:02 AM »
ringwood ale yeast maybe?
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