AG#7 – Yo-leven India Pale Ale


I’m not going to be able to do the “Yo-leven” Double IPA recipe for the forthcoming NHC competition as it takes too long to condition and it might not be tasting it’s best when the judging rolls around. So I’ve decided to do a slightly scaled-down version instead and I’ll be entering it in the competition as an American IPA, rather than the Double/Imperial designation. I’ll be dropping the ABV to 6.6%, but I’ll be attempting to keep that huge American hop character.

  • Vienna Malt – I’m including a significant portion of Vienna malt in the grist, which should add a toasty aroma to the beer. Vienna is reputed to be a large component in Odells IPA, one of my favourite examples of the style.
  • CaraMalt – this time I’m using all CaraMalt which is the lightest crystal malt I can get. I want the sweetness and body from the crystal but I want slightly less  caramel flavour than C40 would give. My theory is that this might make the Vienna malt more prominent.
  • Bittering – Even though I’m increasing the gravity, I’ve reduced the bittering hops slightly to give me 55 calculated  IBUs. The last attempt was just slightly too bitter for the gravity, according to my notes. But I’m adding a huge amount of flameout hops this time, which will contribute some considerable bitterness, despite what the brew software says. For that reason, I need to be a little restrained with the “calculated” IBUs.
  • Hop Replacement – I’m going for an all-out tropical fruit bomb assault this time. Mostly Citra and Amarillo, with some Centennial for good measure.


Boil Size: 25.38 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.065 SG
Estimated Color: 14.2 EBC
Estimated IBU: 54.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 58.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 67.2 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


5.100 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 74.5 %
1.000 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC), 14.6 %
0.450 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (29.6 EBC), 6.6 %
0.300 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC), 4.4 %
13 g Centennial [10.90 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 20.5 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
50 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 14.3 IBUs
50 g Citra [14.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 19.5 IBUs
50 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Centennial [10.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Citra [15.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)
40 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs
60 g Citra [14.80 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 6.850 kg
Mash In           Add 19.18 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun, , 13.56l) of 77.0 C water


29/12/2013  – Mash temperature of 67.7°C. I used hop bags for my 100g addition of Centennial and Amarillo and was surprised to see that the bags still held a lot of the hop material, despite them being pellets. Added the 50g Citra addition at 80°C. Didn’t make much of a difference anyway, as I had the same issues separating the wort from the hops as I had during my last two brew days. Got an OG slightly over my target, which is my first all-grain batch to do so. I got a lot of break material in the fermenter because I had to scrape the bazooka screen of pellet hops to get the wort through it. All should be good though, got 19l of wort. Pitched about 400ml of US-05 slurry from “Pie-O-My” and it was fermenting like mad by the next morning.

03/01/2014 – Brought the fermenter into a warmer room as it looks like the vigorous fermentation has finished. The warmer temperature will ensure the beer is fully attenuated.

04/01/2014 – I’ve only got Amarillo hops in pellet form, so I was undecided about dry-hopping with them. The last thing I want is a crapload of green sludge in my beer when I decide to bottle it. In the end I decided to throw caution to the wind. I put 40g Amarillo hops in a muslin bag, weighted with marbles as usual, the added to the fermenter.

05/01/2014 – No sludge appeared in the end, great aroma. Nice fizzing action, even though nearly all of the kreusen has dropped. Will leave for a few days before racking to secondary and dry-hopping with a load of Citra hops.

10/01/2014 – Dry-hopped with 60g of Citra hops after racking to secondary fermenter. No flecks of pellet hops in the beer as far as I can make out. It’s a pity that the Citra hops I have are 2011 harvest. Will leave a few days before bottling.

14/01/2014 – Bottled using 130g of dextrose (17l @ 2.6 vol). Beer smells absolutely amazing so I have very high hopes for this one. I was just a few slugs short on the last bottle I filled and I couldn’t bear to throw it out, so I used a sanitised baster to pick up the last of the beer from the bottling bucket. I also had to resort to using some of the beer that had drained out of the dry-hop bag into a bowl!! Feck it. Got 33 bottles from the batch.

31/01/2014 – Far too soon to be tasting, of course, but reasonably promising. Good tropical fruit flavours, with plenty of dankness. The level of crystal sweetness seems a little over the top. Can’t help thinking that this is the flavour I should be tasting in the “Pie-O-My”, but isn’t there… Head retention decent, very hazy, but will benefit from another 4 weeks conditioning before competition.

18/01/2014 – Very nice! The flavours have smoothened out a little and it’s lost it’s harshness, leaving room from the tropical fruit flavours from the hops to shine through. I do think it’s a bit caramelly for an IPA though. I’d probably reduce the C15 next time. I think it will score reasonably well in the competition, provided the judge likes IPAs at the sweeter end of the scale.

26/02/2014 – Amazing!

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