A big part of making beer at home is to be able to repeat recipes, even if it is yours. I love experimenting, and too often I’m just making beer based on what ever ingredients I have, so I rarely actually follow recipes. Lately I’ve decided to try and repeat recipes, as part of making sure my process is right and I can actually control the brewing process. I am aware that this the opposite than most home brewers work – I make my own recipes before following recipes, but to each his own. The first beer I’ve decided to try and redo one to one is the last 4C IPA I made in the summer of 2015 which was strong, light and nicely hoppy.
I’ve set to follow all the same perimeters and quantities to make the same IPA again, but at the end of the day it came out a pretty different beer. The original IPA was light and hoppy, definitely American style, while this IPA is malty and darker, English style more than anything.
1.53kg of Crushed Pale Malt
400g Crystal Malt
5 litres of boiled Brita filtered London tap water, start temp before grains: 74°c, after grains addition: 64°c
Several times I’ve warmed up the mash to keep the temperature up, staying around 64°-65°c
Grains taken out and drained (+ squeezed) after 90 minutes total at 65°c.
Roughly 3 litres mash was left with 1095 gravity at 49°c.
Ran 1 litre of boiled Brita filtered water trough the grains again into the mash and drained again.
5g West Coast by Mangrove Jack’s yeast dissolved in 500ml Brita filtered London water (23°c) and 5g dextrose
Left to activate from the beginning of the boil, about 2 hours.
4l mash water brought to an immediate boil on a very high flame and another 1L boiled Brita water added
60 minutes: 100g dextrose, 15g Chinook hops (12.7%)
15 minutes: 25g Challenger hops (5.99%)
0 minutes: in the ice bath with 10g Citra hops (12.7%) and 20g Cascade hops (7%)
Wort was a total of 3l with a gravity of 1100 at 24°c
3L of the cooled wort was added to 2.5L Brita filtered London tap water and the yeast mix
Total of 6L with OG=1053 at 20°c.
Drinking while making
Dry hop (a week after brewing)
Added 15g Chinook hops and 10g Citra hops
Bottling (2 weeks after brewing)
Dark honey colour, sweeter aroma than the previous IPA
FG=1010 at 20°c, making it a 5.76% ABV beer.
Total of 6L
32g dextrose added for priming to achieve a CO2 volume of 2.1.
Ruby colour and hazy, highly carbonated with big bubbles but almost no head retention. Doesn’t look like an American style IPA, but an English one with the muddy ruby colour.
Smells fruity and fresh with a solid malt sweetness. Chinook hops are very present.
Tastes like a bitter or an English ale with a strong and alcoholic after taste. Hoppy, but not enough to really make it a true IPA, a bit heavy to drink but still refreshing. Definitely an English style IPA.
The biggest two changes are:
- The grain composition has changed, from 83% Pale Malt and 17% Crystal Malt to 79% Pale and 21% Crystal
- In this batch I’ve kept the temperature higher during the mash and that reduced the dryness of the beer
The mix of the two above (the first is just a mistake) created such a different beer. I will try and recreate the original one again using the right grains composition and keeping lower mash temperature.