Part of my New Year’s Resolution for Brewery Reviewery was to post more of my homebrewing activity. I really slacked off in the last year and most posted about my wants/needs for what I want to do with my homebrewery. The beer recipe below, a citrus hop flavored IPA, has already been brewed and completely drank. It is a really solid recipe and it might be my best beer to date.
Before we get to the recipe, let me go through my thinking on the recipe with you. To begin with, I really enjoy IPAs, but if you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know that I am not a big fan of piney hops. I know that all hops will inherently have some of this flavor, but I wanted to minimize it as much as possible. Because of that I did a lot of research into hops that give off a lot of tangy, citrus, tropical, and grapefruit flavors. What I ended up deciding on was a mix of Amarillo and Citra hops. It was actually my first time using both of these hops, and I already have plans to use them again.
I’m also not a fan of IPAs with all hops and no malt backbone. I’m a big fan of balanced beers, so having a good malt component was key in the formulation of this recipe. I modeled my projected beer to be similar to Smooth Hoperator. Below is the recipe along with the hopping schedule.
- 10 lbs. American 2-Row
- 2 lbs. Munich Malt
- 1/2 lb .Crystal 40
- 1/2 lb. Cara-Pils
- 1.25 oz. Amarillo hops (9.3% AA) @ 60 minutes
- .75 oz Amarillo hops (9.3% AA) @ 15 minutes
- .25 oz Citra hops (13.4% AA) @ 15 minutes
- .75 oz Citra hops (13.4% AA) @ 0 minutes
- Yeast is a mix of American and English Ale
The expected totals for this beer at a 75% efficiency should be 6.6% ABV and it should have ~63 IBUs.
I really like using American 2-Row or English 2-Row as a base malt (I’m sure I’m with the majority of homebrewers out there with that one). In addition I like adding 10%-20% Munich Malt to most of my grain bills as it adds a nice malt complexity, body, and overall good flavor. It also add some light color to the beer. The half pound of Crystal 40 serves two purposes, 1. Adds malt body and sweetness and 2. Adds some color. The final malt addition is Cara-Pils which doesn’t add much in the way of sugar or flavor, but it helps support head retention.
The hops, as I mentioned earlier are all there to add citrus flavors to the beer. I really wanted to add the majority of the hops towards the end of the beer to give it a killer nose. The ounce and a quarter of Amarillo hops at the beginning was enough to give a solid bitterness without making it too bitter.
As I said, I this beer has been brewed and completely drank. It really turned out excellent and did everything that I wanted to do. The nose was bright and fresh, the malt was solid, the mouthfeel was slightly creamy, and the overall bitterness was on line with an IPA. This beer is no hop bomb, but a balanced example of the style.
It feels really good to design a beer from the ground up with goals in mind and then to accomplish all of those goals. I really feel like I am making major steps forward with my brewing and this beer is just a great example of this.