Author Topic: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback  (Read 939 times)

Offline Andy Farke

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West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« on: November 04, 2021, 06:20:57 pm »
So...I've signed up for the HopBox from Yakima Valley Hops, and got my first quarterly shipment last Friday. I'm really thrilled with the variety of hops that are included--it's got some old favorites, as well as new-to-me varieties, all from the 2021 harvest.

This includes 2 ounces each of: Bravo, Cashmere, Cascade, Centennial, El Dorado, Strata, Wiamea, and Wai-iti.

I have brewed plenty with Centennial and Cascade, and not as much with the other varieties. So, I figured a West Coast-style American IPA would be something that's both 1) in my style preferences; and 2) a good way to try new hops in combo. I'm not really interested in a SMaSH brew, I want to avoid Cascade and Centennial, and I *would* like a batch that is more "old school" in flavor rather than a tropical flavor bomb.

Here is what I am thinking:
Malt (I don't foresee adjusting this much--the malt combo is one that works for me):
75% 2-row
15% Maris Otter
5% light Munich
3.5% crystal 40
1.5% crystal 60
To hit ~1.062 o.g.

Hops:
Bravo, 60 minute boil
Cashmere, Strata, Waimea split evenly in the whirlpool (1 oz. each)
Cashmere, Strata, Waimea split evenly in the dry hop (1 oz. each)
To hit ~55 IBU -- 35 IBU comes from the bittering addition, the rest from the whirlpool

What do folks think? Do you foresee any clashing flavors? I am wondering if I should swap out Strata for Wai-iti...or is the Strata OK? I worry a bit that it might be better suited in combo with some of the newer hops (Citra, Mosaic, etc.).
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Offline allenhuerta

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2021, 06:25:50 pm »
Denny & Drew just did a little West Coast IPA chat. I'd go and listen to that. You're a bit off from what I'd look for in an old school West Coast IPA but Drew talked about an "updated" West Coast IPA that maybe this is more similar to.

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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2021, 08:36:04 pm »
Denny & Drew just did a little West Coast IPA chat. I'd go and listen to that. You're a bit off from what I'd look for in an old school West Coast IPA but Drew talked about an "updated" West Coast IPA that maybe this is more similar to.

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Thanks for the recommendation! I hadn't gotten to that episode yet, so I'll give it a listen.

Yeah, I guess I mean that I don't want a complete old school IPA with the Centennial/Cascade/CTZ hop sphere...I mainly mean one that's not another Citra/Mosaic/Galaxy combo (or something in that wheelhouse).
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2021, 09:23:33 pm »
So...I've signed up for the HopBox from Yakima Valley Hops, and got my first quarterly shipment last Friday. I'm really thrilled with the variety of hops that are included--it's got some old favorites, as well as new-to-me varieties, all from the 2021 harvest.

This includes 2 ounces each of: Bravo, Cashmere, Cascade, Centennial, El Dorado, Strata, Wiamea, and Wai-iti.

I have brewed plenty with Centennial and Cascade, and not as much with the other varieties. So, I figured a West Coast-style American IPA would be something that's both 1) in my style preferences; and 2) a good way to try new hops in combo. I'm not really interested in a SMaSH brew, I want to avoid Cascade and Centennial, and I *would* like a batch that is more "old school" in flavor rather than a tropical flavor bomb.

Here is what I am thinking:
Malt (I don't foresee adjusting this much--the malt combo is one that works for me):
75% 2-row
15% Maris Otter
5% light Munich
3.5% crystal 40
1.5% crystal 60
To hit ~1.062 o.g.

Hops:
Bravo, 60 minute boil
Cashmere, Strata, Waimea split evenly in the whirlpool (1 oz. each)
Cashmere, Strata, Waimea split evenly in the dry hop (1 oz. each)
To hit ~55 IBU -- 35 IBU comes from the bittering addition, the rest from the whirlpool

What do folks think? Do you foresee any clashing flavors? I am wondering if I should swap out Strata for Wai-iti...or is the Strata OK? I worry a bit that it might be better suited in combo with some of the newer hops (Citra, Mosaic, etc.).

up to you, but i would aim for ~65 IBU. each brew i make lately i find myself thinking "i wish i had upped the bitterness on this"
truthfully im inexperienced with those specific aroma hops though.

i check your blog/website, so im sure youve got it figured, but do you have a water profile for it?

Offline denny

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2021, 09:10:04 am »
About 80% of what I make is WCIPA.  I have 2 suggestions....first, simplify your first.  Pick one or 2 character malts to go with the pale and leave it at that.  Second, download the survivable booklet from Yakima Chief and base your hop additions on that info.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2021, 09:22:02 am »
up to you, but i would aim for ~65 IBU. each brew i make lately i find myself thinking "i wish i had upped the bitterness on this"
truthfully im inexperienced with those specific aroma hops though.

i check your blog/website, so im sure youve got it figured, but do you have a water profile for it?

Hmmm...yeah, I might up the bittering on it. I usually float between 50 and 65 IBU, and it's not a biggie to increase that a touch. I agree that more bitter IPAs are usually to my taste.

For water, I'll probably roll with my local tap water, and maybe a touch of gypsum--it's worked fine on many past recipes. I'm going to do another home water test tonight, just to see where everything is sitting nowadays.
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Offline denny

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2021, 10:06:12 am »
up to you, but i would aim for ~65 IBU. each brew i make lately i find myself thinking "i wish i had upped the bitterness on this"
truthfully im inexperienced with those specific aroma hops though.

i check your blog/website, so im sure youve got it figured, but do you have a water profile for it?

Hmmm...yeah, I might up the bittering on it. I usually float between 50 and 65 IBU, and it's not a biggie to increase that a touch. I agree that more bitter IPAs are usually to my taste.

For water, I'll probably roll with my local tap water, and maybe a touch of gypsum--it's worked fine on many past recipes. I'm going to do another home water test tonight, just to see where everything is sitting nowadays.

I shoot for 1:1 BU:GU or even a bit more.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline kramerog

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 11:10:02 am »
About 80% of what I make is WCIPA.  I have 2 suggestions....first, simplify your first.  Pick one or 2 character malts to go with the pale and leave it at that.  Second, download the survivable booklet from Yakima Chief and base your hop additions on that info.
Here's the link https://cryopopblend.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Survivable-Compounds-Handbook.pdf

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2021, 02:06:30 pm »
About 80% of what I make is WCIPA.  I have 2 suggestions....first, simplify your first.  Pick one or 2 character malts to go with the pale and leave it at that.  Second, download the survivable booklet from Yakima Chief and base your hop additions on that info.
Here's the link https://cryopopblend.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Survivable-Compounds-Handbook.pdf

Thanks for the link -- I had trouble finding a URL for the document that didn't throw an error.
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2021, 09:43:12 am »
OK, I have looked over a fair bit of info (including the suggested links), and have thoughts/comments/responses.

I should have clarified that my "base malt" mix is in part driven by what I have on-hand -- I didn't have *quite* enough 2-row, hence the extra Maris Otter. In past recipes with similar flavor goals, I've found a measure of Munich malt in my WCIPAs also adds something I like. I've ditched the crystal 60 initially indicated (don't remember why I put that in there, anyhow), and just used crystal 40, as well as throwing in some biscuit malt. Past recipes of 2 row+Munich+crystal 40+biscuit have worked really well for me, so I'm going to stick with that general malt combo.

I did get a chance to read through the hop survivables pamphlet from YCH, and found it somewhat useful, but not entirely what I need in my case. The blending principles seem defensible, but the limited coverage limits its use for my current hop stash. Additionally, without individual lot/year analyses of my particular hops in-hand, I'm in educated guess territory at best for the hops that *do* overlap with my recent acquisitions. I've dug a bit into the available data for the hops not in the YCH literature, and have something to go on now, at least. So...it at least gave me food for thought, and did help clarify my hopping strategy!

In any case, as I read more about the various hops, I'm going to revise my initial thoughts, and save Strata for another brew. At the moment, I'm leaning towards Waimea+Wai-iti+Cashmere as whirlpool/dry-hop...but I gotta decide quick, because I'm just heating up for the boil! If I were really worried about "classic" WCIPA, I'd probably swap Cashmere for Cascade, but I do so much with Cascade already that I'm going to reserve that for yet another batch of truly classic IPA. I'm maintaining Bravo as the bittering hop.

As a creature of habit, getting the HOPBOX has been a pretty good way to break me out of the usual mold. I plan to write up a review for my blog before too long...

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and pointers to resources -- I truly appreciate it.
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Offline denny

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2021, 10:04:55 am »
Did you by any chance listen to the WCIPA episode of Brew Files?  It might give you some guidance
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2021, 10:25:08 am »
Did you by any chance listen to the WCIPA episode of Brew Files?  It might give you some guidance

Yep! Listened to it this morning. Some useful stuff in there--I always enjoy hearing where you and Drew overlap in opinions, as well as where you differ!
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Offline denny

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Re: West Coast IPA Recipe Feedback
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2021, 10:31:17 am »
Did you by any chance listen to the WCIPA episode of Brew Files?  It might give you some guidance

Yep! Listened to it this morning. Some useful stuff in there--I always enjoy hearing where you and Drew overlap in opinions, as well as where you differ!

Glad you enjoyed it.  Hope there was a smidgeon of usefulness for you.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell