Author Topic: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's  (Read 1509 times)

Offline flbrewer

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Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« on: February 22, 2016, 08:07:07 PM »
I have brewed 12 all grain batches up to this point. 11/12 of them were a pale ale or IPA recipe. My last recipe (Hop-Fu) turned out somewhat boring. I've never confirmed any off-flavors in my beers, sanitation and my batch sparging procedure is pretty solid IMO. I have always used RO water and have begin to explore mash PH.

I am pretty particular in what I like amongst commercial pale ale/ IPA's FWIW. The beers I've brewed have always had between 80-100% 2 row as a base malt and in most cases they were fermented with US-05 or similar.

I'm considering not brewing this style anymore and perhaps changing gears to something that may be more exciting to me. Any thoughts? Are these styles tougher to produce an interesting beer, perhaps something that would win an award or score about 35 points in a comp. Thanks for any feedback or suggestions!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 08:23:02 PM by flbrewer »

Offline jweiss206

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 08:21:31 PM »
I have brewed 12 all grain batches up to this point. 11/12 of them were a pale ale or IPA recipe. My last recipe (Hop-Fu) turned out somewhat boring. I haven't ever confirmed any off-flavors in my beers, sanitation and my batch sparging procedure is pretty solid IMO. I have always used RO water and have begin to explore mash PH.

I am pretty particular in what I like amongst commercial pale ale/ IPA's FWIW. The beers I've brewed have always had between 80-100% 2 row as a base malt and in most cases they were fermented with US-05 or similar.

I'm considering not brewing this style anymore and perhaps changing gears to something that may be more exciting to me. Any thoughts? Are these styles tougher to produce an interesting beer, perhaps something that would win an award or score about 35 points in a comp. Thanks for any feedback or suggestions!

I've also given up on American Style Pales. I've brewed at least 6 different versions with a variety of different hops and mash temps. I've tried ones on the sweet side, the dry side and the hoppy side. I too have found the majority of them to be boring. Dry and hoppy was my favorite, but that was more like a mild IPA. I don't drink many commercial Pales either, so that's probably my main problem. Just not a big enough fan of the style. Now I just brew British style pales when I have the urge.

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 08:33:01 PM »
Take up a style that the bottle shop market isn't already flooded with, i.e., anything not APA, IPA, stout or double/imperial/etc.

I went on a kick of different english pale ales for a while and really enjoyed it. Friends who shared the beer really appreciated it too as many had never tasted anything with "english" character from the yeast before. English pale ale, saison, alt, any number of lager styles (though I'm starting to see a resurgence in craft lager here locally, for better and worse). I'll still brew APAs every now and then but there are so many fresh examples I can get locally, I don't really see much point in focusing on them.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 08:37:21 PM »
+1. Or  try dabbling with Belgian styles. Those are anything but boring.
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Offline goschman

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 10:19:33 PM »
I think it all depends on your preferences. Even if something isn't boring, you still may not like it. It's easiest to go with styles that you enjoy to drink. There have been a few occasions that I was drinking some of my beer and wondering 'why did I even brew this?'

I know that APA/IPA features hops but playing around with grain and yeast may help you to create something more interesting...
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 10:45:37 PM by goschman »
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 10:30:52 PM »
As much as I love ALL styles of beer, I never have created what some would call a typical "house beer". My reason is simple - I pretty much get bored after 5 gallons of any of my batches and am always looking to try out new recipes/ingredients and beer styles. I do this in an attempt to make all of the beers I brew, better.

While I have most definitely made some very good representations of styles, I still enjoy the brewing process more and am constantly tweaking things to make each beer the best it can be.

Offline denny

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 10:47:51 PM »
I'd say APA/AIPA accounts for maybe 75-80% of my brewing.  I guess my first question would be "define boring".  And my second would be "are you sure you like the style?".
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Offline Stevie

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Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 10:59:32 PM »
When I think of boring and IPA/APA, I think one dimensional. To me the key is multiple additions and mixing up the hops. SMaSH IPAs are boring IMO and so are insanely hop bursted IPAs. I like half of the bitterness at 60, the other half at 15 or 20, and loads of flameout or whirlpool + healthy dose of dry hops.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2016, 11:35:23 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline denny

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 11:05:38 PM »
When I think of boring and IPA/APA, I think one dimensional. To me the key is multiple additions and mixing up the hops. SMaSH IPAs are burning IMO and so are insanely hop bursted IPAs. I like half of the bitterness at 60, the other half at 15 or 20, and loads of flameout or whirlpool + healthy dose of dry hops.

Agreed about the SMASH...to my tastes, almost guaranteed to be boring.
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Offline flbrewer

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2016, 11:39:14 PM »

I'd say APA/AIPA accounts for maybe 75-80% of my brewing.  I guess my first question would be "define boring".  And my second would be "are you sure you like the style?".

Good question, yes I love the style. I would have assumed the Hop Fu would be at least a tasty beer and for me that wasn't the case. Boring as in not remarkable. Would you like a bottle??

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2016, 11:39:59 PM »
Anyone on here (within reason) who wants some bottles for feedback just say so. I'd love some feedback from BJCP judges.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2016, 11:49:34 PM »

I'd say APA/AIPA accounts for maybe 75-80% of my brewing.  I guess my first question would be "define boring".  And my second would be "are you sure you like the style?".

Good question, yes I love the style. I would have assumed the Hop Fu would be at least a tasty beer and for me that wasn't the case. Boring as in not remarkable. Would you like a bottle??


Are you getting good hop aroma and flavor or does it seem muted and dull ?  If the latter you could be oxidizing your hop character which will make a hoppy beer a lot less interesting. Getting pH right helps any beer and this is no exception. Hoppy beers come out best IMO around 5.4 pH, so this could be another avenue to explore. As said, blending hops is the best way to get hop complexity. And don't be afraid to experiment with the grist or water chemistry either. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2016, 11:59:16 PM »
How much hops are you using? Are you saving the bulk for whirlpool and dry hops? Do you like the flavor/aroma if the hops you're using, and just aren't getting enough of it?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2016, 12:00:54 AM by erockrph »
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Offline stpug

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2016, 12:09:48 AM »
I have brewed 12 all grain batches up to this point. 11/12 of them were a pale ale or IPA recipe. My last recipe (Hop-Fu) turned out somewhat boring. I've never confirmed any off-flavors in my beers, sanitation and my batch sparging procedure is pretty solid IMO. I have always used RO water and have begin to explore mash PH.
You've brewed 12 total all grain batches. Eleven of them have been APA or IPA beers. Your last IPA (hop fu) was boring. So then are you saying the other 10 were NOT boring? And what about that intriguing one non-APA/IPA batch; what was it?; was it any good?

I am pretty particular in what I like amongst commercial pale ale/ IPA's FWIW. The beers I've brewed have always had between 80-100% 2 row as a base malt and in most cases they were fermented with US-05 or similar.
If you're particular about what you like in commercial APA/IPAs, then what is it? 100% US 2row IS pretty boring IMO, even for an IPA. US05 is also pretty boring IMO, even for an IPA ;).

I'm considering not brewing this style anymore and perhaps changing gears to something that may be more exciting to me. Any thoughts? Are these styles tougher to produce an interesting beer, perhaps something that would win an award or score about 35 points in a comp. Thanks for any feedback or suggestions!
Switch it up. Don't bore yourself out of the hobby. Make something interesting and flavorful, or interesting and not-too-flavorful. I love a cream ale, blonde ale, or american lager any day of the week (usually two or three in a row :D).  IPAs are not tough to make; err on the side of too many hops and you should be safe. APAs, on the other hand, are harder to make because you go too many hops and you're in IPA territory, and too few and you're in kind of bland territory; definitely harder to make than IPA but not much (restrained dry hops, and a good steep/whirlpool is key, in my book).

At least, that's how I see it.

Offline flbrewer

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Re: Boring Pale Ales/ IPA's
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2016, 12:13:51 AM »

Are you getting good hop aroma and flavor or does it seem muted and dull ?  If the latter you could be oxidizing your hop character which will make a hoppy beer a lot less interesting. Getting pH right helps any beer and this is no exception. Hoppy beers come out best IMO around 5.4 pH, so this could be another avenue to explore. As said, blending hops is the best way to get hop complexity. And don't be afraid to experiment with the grist or water chemistry either.

Muted and dull! I am very careful not to oxiginate post-boil. I transfer into the keg via gravity and hoses with almost zero splashing. Regarding water chem, it's always R/O and whatever Bru'n'water says which in general has been a little bit of CaCL.
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