#26 Continuous IPA

Better later than never. This is the last recipe from the old days (2011). With this recipe, each and every recipe up to batch #50 will be published on my blog. I know there are some tasting notes missing for some of the recipes which I try to add at some point. This recipe was all about the continuous hop addition method used by Dogfish Head Brewery in the US for their IPAs. I started writing this post in July 2012 (yes, I have a lot of unfinished posts in my draft folder) and never had any of Dogfish Head’s min IPAs at this point nor was it easy to get some Simcoe, Amarillo and Columbus hops back then. In fact, my brother and I had to travel to London in Summer of 2011 to get our hands on some of the Dogfish Head beers such as Palo Santo Maron, Indian Brown Ale and Festina Peche. All really enjoyable. We further attended the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF), visited the Meantime Brewery and Fullers and some other non-beer related sight-seeing. I really like London and it is definitely worth a visit. Enough of story telling. The recipe below is a straight forward IPA recipe to put the continuous hop addition method to a test.

Recipe: Continuous IPA
Numbers: Volume [L] 22 (5.8 gal)
Original gravity 14.6°P (1.058)
Terminal gravity 5.2°P (1.020)
Color Around 15 EBC
ABV 6% (v/v)
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 5.2 kg
Cara Amber (70 EBC) 1 kg
Hops: Columbus (14.4% AA) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Simcoe (12.9% AA) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Amarillo (8.5%) 15 g and continuously added over 60 min
Amarillo (8.5%) 30 g added at flame out
Amarillo (8.5%) 30 g as dry hops
Simcoe (12.9% AA) 15 g as dry hops
Yeast: Danstar Nottingham
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 16 L (4.2 gal), sparge: 25 L (6.6 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 60 min @66°C (151°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 90 min
Fermentation: Primary 7 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter
Secondary 14 days @20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenter with addition of dry hops (see above)
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 3 with sugar addition
Maturation time > 3 weeks

04/16/2011: Brew day. This batch was actually brewed by my brother. We originally planned to use Wyeast’s 1187 Ringwood but the starter got contaminated and that’s why we went with a dry yeast instead. All the hops for the boil were blended and every 2 min 1.5 g of the hop blend was added to the kettle. 30 g of Amarillo went into the wort at knock out and the primary fermentation was performed at 20°C (68°F).

04/23/2011: Racked the beer into a secondary fermenter and added the dry hop additions.

05/02/2011: Bottled the beer to a carbonation level of roughly 3 vol of carbon dioxide with some fresh unfermented wort.

06/18/2011: First tasting (beer six weeks in the bottle).

Aroma: Lots of mango and slight grass character.

Appearance: Amber, white creamy head with nice bubbles rising to the top. Clear.

Flavor: Very grassy, bitter and mango notes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, average carbonation level, finishes with a grassy bitterness and a solid malt backbone.

Overall Impression: Not bad after all. However, not only is the grassy character really not what we are looking for in an IPA nor having a solid malt structure in the finish. The maltyness in the aftertaste makes this beer rather hard to drink. On the other hand, we did not use the freshest hops since we could not buy Simcoe, Columbus nor Amarillo on a regular basis back then. Once we could get our hands on some of these hops we basically ordered a whole bunch of it and stored them in the freezer. Luckily, this changed and we can now buy Amarillo and Simcoe on a regular basis at our local homebrew stores.

Any changes on the recipe? I would go with a normal caramel malt such as Caramunich or Crystal malt instead of the Cara Amber. Second, use fresh hops and maybe increase the dry hop additions. At least double the amount. And reduce the carbonation level to 2 vol.

Is it a clone recipe for Dogfish Head’s 60 min IPA? I can’t tell as I had my first 60 min IPA in late September 2013. And the bottle I got was not the freshest example as well. We brewed various IPAs and Pale Ales since and in your opinion there are better and easier ways to get hop aroma and bitterness into a beer rather than using the continuous addition approach. First wort hopping, hop bursting or using Blichmann’s Hop Rocket (TM) incorporates the hop aroma very well in your opinion. That’s it for today.