This extreme beer is boiled for a full two hours while being continually hopped with high-alpha American hops. At 21% ABV and 120 IBU, this is one of the biggest IPA ever brewed. This brew is generally unfiltered and abundantly hoppy, which is probably why Dogfish Head appropriately nicknamed it the Holy Grail for hop heads. Dogfish only brews this beer a couple of times of year, so it makes perfect sense to brew this one yourself so you have some of your own to sip and some to age.
This recipe was originally featured in “Big Beers, Small Sugars: Making Wort for Extreme Beers” by Jamil Zainasheff in the November/December 2005 issue of Zymurgy.
Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA | Imperial IPA
- 16 lb. (7.26 kg) Pilsner malt
- 0.5 lb. (0.23 kg) English amber malt
- 11.0 lb. (5 kg) Dextrose (added during fermentation)
- White Labs WLP001 California Ale or Wyeast 1056 American Ale yeast for the initial fermentation
- White Labs WLP099 Super High Gravity Ale for the secondary fermentation
- 1.38 oz. (39 g) Amarillo pellet hops, 10% a.a. (continuous hopping)
- 1.38 oz. (39 g) Simcoe pellet hops, 13% a.a. (continuous hopping)
- 1.38 oz. (39 g) Warrior pellet hops, 16% a.a. (continuous hopping)
- 1 oz. (28 g) Amarillo pellet hops, 10% a.a. (daily dry hopping)
- 1 oz. (28 g) Simcoe pellet hops, 13% a.a. (daily dry hopping)
- 1 oz. (28 g) Warrior pellet hops, 16% a.a. (daily dry hopping)
- Original Gravity: 1.092
- Final Gravity: 1.042
- ABV: 21%
- IBU: 120
- Boil Time: 120 minutes
- Efficiency: 74%
Use a single infusion mash at 149°F (65°C) using a ratio of 1.3 quarts water to 1 pound of grain for the base malt. The sugar is added during fermentation. Brewer Andy Tveekrem says, “The key to making a copy of our 120 Minute IPA is to add hop pellets continuously throughout the 2-hour boil. You will be adding more hops than you think are prudent. Start the main fermentation with the first ale yeast at 72°F (22°C). Two or three days later, prepare a 2-quart starter for the high gravity ale yeast. After the main batch has fermented for several days, or when primary fermentation is about half done, add the high gravity ale yeast. Feed the fermenter twice daily with dextrose that has been liquefied with the fermenting beer. 35 to 40 percent of the overall fermentables should come from dextrose. Feed the sugar for approximately 7 to 14 days. The length of time and the final alcohol level depends on yeast health and temperature. Add yeast nutrient every other day. Monitor the gravity before and after feeding to ensure that not too much sugar is being added. Stop feeding when the yeast can’t take any more, or the beer will end up too sweet. Also add a small charge of hop pellets each day to enhance the hop aroma. This beer will require multiple rackings to clarify. Bottle conditioning is not recommended since the alcohol will inhibit further yeast activity. The final beer should be at least 18% ABV.”
Partial Mash Option:
Replace the 16 lb. (7.27 kg) Pilsner malt with 11.5 lb. (5.22 kg) Briess Pilsen Light or Alexander's Ultralight liquid malt extract.