Brew a Double IPA

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Brew a Double IPA

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2009 issue of Zymurgy Magazine

By Vinnie Cilurzo

Are you having a lupulin threshold shift? It might be time to brew a Double IPA.

By Vinnie Cilurzo

My first Double IPA was called Inaugural Ale; it was the first beer I ever brewed at Blind Pig Brewery in Temecula, Calif. on June 23, 1994. We purchased some used equipment from the Electric Dave Brewery in Bisbee, Ariz. The 7-barrel brewhouse was sound, but what was unique was the fact that the fermenters were plastic. This didn’t bother me much as I came into brewing professionally via homebrewing, where fermenting in plastic was fairly common. What made me more nervous was the fact that I had never brewed a batch of beer commercially on my own, and, more importantly, I had never brewed a batch of beer this large.

With all this in mind, I took the recipe for what was to be our Blind Pig IPA, doubled the hops (literally) and raised the malt bill by 30 percent or so. I figured that if there were any off flavors in the Inaugural Ale, at least there would be enough hops to help mask them. Thankfully, Inaugural Ale turned out great and we made it a tradition on our anniversary to brew a Double IPA.

Eventually both Rogue Ales and Stone Brewing brewed a Double IPA in the ‘90s, but it wasn’t until 2001 when Vic and Cynthia Kralj from The Bistro in beautiful downtown Hayward, Calif. started one of the hoppiest beer festivals around, The Bistro Double IPA Festival. That first fest had only 12 entries, including my first batch of Pliny the Elder…

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