Posts Tagged 'american ipa'

AG#29 – Easy Company Pale Ale

The hop drawer in my brew fridge is currently crammed full of partially used bags of hops. I know that in there I’ve got bags containing Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Summit, Northern Brewer, Chinook, Cascade, EKG and probably loads more. A “leftovers” recipe has been on the cards for a while.

I’m going to do my usual thing of weighing out my hop leftovers on brew day and then updating the BeerSmith recipe to get my measured IBUs. Hop bags will be required for this brew, I think!

I’m going to use a simple malt bill of Crisp Maris Otter and equal percentages of Munich malt and wheat malt. Nothing else. I think that in the past I’ve unnecessarily complicated the grain bills on my pale ales and IPAs. So I’m going to concentrate on using a simple malt base in order to layer on the lovely hop flavours. I’m keeping this at a sessionable 4.5% as part of my 2015 effort to brew more low ABV beers.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 27.92 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.92 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.046 SG
Estimated Color: 9.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 66.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


3.800 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 82.6 %
0.400 kg Munich Malt (17.7 EBC), 8.7 %
0.400 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC), 8.7 %
10 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 18.6 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
60 g Amarillo [8.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 13.7 IBUs
24 g Centennial [11.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 7.5 IBUs
10 g Cascade [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 2.2 IBUs
99 g Citra [14.40 %] – Steep/Whirlpool, 5.0 min, 15.8 IBUs
30 g Saaz [4.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  5.0 min, 1.5 IBUs
21 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  5.0 min, 3.3 IBUs
21 g Columbus [14.20 %] – Steep/Whirlpool  5 min, 3.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (sprinkled)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 4.600 kg
Mash In           Add 12.88 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 20.15l) of 77.0 C water

14/03/2015 Mash Day – Mashed at around 66-67C. Slow enough run-off from mash tun. Wort is nice and pale.

15/03/2015 Brew Day – Centennial leaf hops a bit musty, 21g chinook smelt amazing. Bit of Saaz got in by mistake. OG 1.046

30/03/2015 – Dry-hopped with 50g Centennial pellets. Will dry-hop for 3-5 days. Smells pretty good from the fermenter already. I have some concerns at the momentabout how little aroma and flavour I’m getting from the hoppy beers I put in the keg. They never seem to be what I’m expecting given the huge amount of hops I’m putting in. For this reason, I intend to bottle these beers, probably in some 750’s.

04/04/2015 – Bottled with 118g corn sugar (16 litres at 2.7 vol).

27/04/2015 – been a bit lax in posting updates on this. It’s nearly gone! And only just over three weeks in the bottle. Great hoppiness and mouthfeel. Really firm bitterness. But the star of the show is the crispness contributed by the gypsum which was added to the mash water. It makes a huge difference. Probably the best pale ale I’ve ever done. Already considering a rebrew.

AG#27 – Jaipurish India Pale Ale


I’ve long been a fan of Thornbridge’s Jaipur. Though it’s brewed by an English brewery, it’s very much an American style IPA, though perhaps not as strong as most IPA. It comes in at 5.9% ABV, but delivers a lovely hoppy punch – grapefruit rind with a little pine. I’ve always liked it because it’s very crisp and drinkable. I decided to attempt a clone version of the beer because I have some WLP810 yeast slurry left over from a previous batch. It might seem odd to be using a lager strain for this beer, but I read some comments on JBK that point to WLP810 (the Anchor Brewing strain) as the yeast Thornbridge uses for this beer. The only way I’ll know is to give it a try. for the grain bill, I’ll be using Mitch Steele’s recipe taken from his “IPA” book. Mitch specifies 96% pale malt and 4% Vienna malt. I’ll be using 4% Vienna, 4% wheat and 92% pale malt. I’ll also be using the hop varieties reported to be in Jaipur – Ahtanum, Centennial and Chinook. I’ll be using lots of Ahtanum and Centennial but keep the Chinook addition(s) quite restrained, as Chinook can be quite pungent and I don’t want it to overwhelm the more delicate Ahtanum. I doubt by beer will be as pale as Jaipur, but I hope so.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 27.92 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.92 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.056 SG
Estimated Color: 10.1 EBC
Estimated IBU: 55.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 72.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


5.166 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 92.0 %
0.225 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC), 4.0 %
0.225 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC), 4.0 %
24 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 44.6 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
25 g Ahtanum [6.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 4.2 IBUs
25 g Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 7.0 IBUs
50 g Ahtanum [6.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Centennial [11.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
25 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg WLP810 (400ml slurry from Union Square)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge

Total Grain Weight: 5.616 kg
Mash In           Add 15.72 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 18.32l) of 77.0 C water


26/01/2015 – Made a couple of boo-boo’s.. First of all I decided to add more hops at the last minute, but instead of adding them to the flameout bowl as intended, I added them to the 10-min bowl. I couldn’t accurately remove them as there were different hop varieties in the bowl so I just left them in. Beer will have a bit more bitterness than the 56 IBU above suggests. I also completely forgot to take a gravity reading. Used hop bags for all the additions, even the bittering addition, and I got a good run off from the boiler. I might have to do this again. I’ve a horrible feeling my dial thermometer is not accurate, it was measuring 20C before I ran off from boiler, but the hop bags I removed from boiler had beer in them that felt distinctly warm. Were the hop bags insulating warm beer inside them? Must calibrate the thermometer before I use it again. Pitched yeast mid-morning and fermentation was going by evening.

Also, I was adding some cold water to the strike water to take the temperature down, but I overcooked it. When I doughed in, the temperature of the mash was at 63-64C. Even I couldn’t ignore that mistake. So I added boiling water from the kettle to bring the temperature back up closer to 65C. Added an extra 25g of Ahtanum and increased the amount of Chinook to 40g because they smelt so fresh.

02/02/2015 – Weather is really cold at the moment, but this is still fermenting away. Still a steady stream of bubbles through the airlock.

16/02/2015 – Kegged the beer tonight and bottled a single bottle with 2 carb drops. Aroma is a bit sulphurous, but the sample tasted quite nice.

AG#26 – Yo-leven India Pale Ale


This beer was fantastic the last time I brewed it, but I did think it was a little too sweet and cloying. I’ve taken the drastic step of removing all of the crystal malt in an effort to dry out the beer to make it more quaffable. It might also allow those hop flavours to come out even more. I’ve included a small portion of CaraPils, which together with the wheat malt will give the beer great head retention and lacing down the glass. The hopping schedule is exactly the same as the last recipe – some things you just don’t mess with!

Recipe Specification

Boil Size: 26.90 l
Post Boil Volume: 23.40 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.066 SG
Estimated Color: 11.7 EBC
Estimated IBU: 57.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 71.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


5.300 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (5.9 EBC), 79.1 %
1.000 kg Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC), 14.9 %
0.200 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC), 3.0 %
0.200 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC), 3.0 %
18 g Magnum [10.70 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 27.4 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
50 g Amarillo [8.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 11.4 IBUs
50 g Citra [14.40 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 18.6 IBUs
50 g Amarillo [8.80 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Centennial [11.00 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
50 g Citra [14.40 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (400ml yeast slurry from Thirsty Dog)
60 g Citra [14.80 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days       Hop           13       0.0 IBUs
40 g Amarillo [10.90 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days    Hop           14       0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Bubbles’ Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 6.700 kg
Mash In           Add 18.76 l of water at 74.6 C          68.0 C        60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (Drain mash tun , 15.35l) of 77.0 C water


29/12/2014 – Dry hopped with 40g of Amarillo pellets. Plan on leaving them in for no longer than 5 days before racking to secondary and dry hopping again with lots of Citra.

02/01/2015 – Racked to secondary and dry hopped with 60g of freshly opened Citra pellets. Lot of what appears to be off-gassing of CO2 going on.

06/01/2015 – Removed the hop bag from the fermenter. Great aroma. Will let the sediment settle before bottling tomorrow night.

07/01/2015 – Did three bottles and primed with 1.5 carb drops per bottle. Kegged the rest, even though I only got about 15 litres into the keg. Didn’t bother sanitising the keg, just scalded the inside with a couple of kettles of boiling water.

10/01/2015 – I’ve a horrible feeling the bottles aren’t carbonating…

12/01/2015 – I think it’s okay, bit of life showing in the bottles.

17/01/2015 – Astounded to discover that this is tasting pretty dreadful out of the keg. Can’t figure it out. I thought that maybe it was just the first glass, but I drew three glasses off the keg and it still tasted rubbish, overly sweet and not very hoppy. It was also under carbonated, which is completely bonkers as it’s had a week to chill and carbonate in the fridge. I suppose I can’t do anything else expect wait another week or two before trying again.

15/02/2015 – This has actually come good in the keg, though not as nice as last years attempt. I suspected that the funny sweetness I was tasting was down to the CaraPils, because I got the same taste in the kegged Little Dawg. But interestingly, I didn’t get it in the bottled Little Dawg. Maybe it’s because the bottled beers are getting more conditioning time, whereas the kegged beer is going straight out in the cold shed after it’s finished fermenting. Anyway, the sweetness has subsided, revealing a pretty sharp bitterness. The hop flavour and aroma is a bit disappointing though, nowhere near as intense as last years. It could be just the keg version – I do have one bottle conditioned example of Yo-leven though, which I plan on opening tomorrow evening.

02/03/2015 – Tasted the bottled version. Nice, but not a patch on last years. Not enough bitterness and hop flavour is a little disappointing. Not the worst IPA I’ve ever had, however. The most troublesome thing about this sampling was how inferior the kegged version is compared to the bottle conditioned version. By comparison, the kegged IPA seems creamier, much sweeter and lacking in both aroma and flavour.

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!

AG#1 – Trixibelle Belgian IPA


I had my WLP550 slurry sitting in the fridge for the last week or so, so I had to get cracking on my AG setup. A full account of the momentous occasion can be found here as there’s just too much detail to put into this little recipe post.

This is one of those recipes when I definitely have a commercial beer in mind and I’ve sought out clone recipes and attempted to use the same (or similar, at least) ingredients or techniques as the commercial version. In this instance, the commercial beer is Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch, a Belgian-inspired IPA. Essentially, it’s an American IPA, but fermented with a Belgian yeast. I’ve used the same hops reported to be in Raging Bitch, Amarillo and Columbus, two varieties I’ve used together before with great success.


Boil Size: 26.88 l
Post Boil Volume: 22.88 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 19.00 l
Bottling Volume: 17.50 l
Estimated OG: 1.067 SG
Estimated Color: 8.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 59.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 81.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


5.00 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM), 85.5 %
0.40 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM), 6.8 %
0.15 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM), 2.6 %
0.15 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM), 2.6 %
0.15 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM), 2.6 %
20 g Columbus [13.90 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 40.5 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
15 g Amarillo [7.80 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 3.1 IBUs
15 g Columbus [13.90 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 6.1 IBUs
20 g Amarillo [7.80 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 3.4 IBUs
20 g Columbus [13.90 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 6.7 IBUs
20 g Amarillo [7.80 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
20 g Columbus [13.90 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Ale (White Labs #WLP550) (400ml of yeast slurry from Vingt-Sept)
30 g Centennial [7.80 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge

Total Grain Weight: 5.85 kg

Mash 15.5 l of water at 75.7 C

Mash Temperature 68.1 C for 1 hour

Batch sparge 18.5 litres at 75.6 C


27/10/2013 – Brew Day – Notes can be found here.

28/10/2013 – One thing I’ve noticed is that there’s a huge level of kreusen. It’s even hit the lid, something that hasn’t happened to any of my brews for quite a while. Could this be because I aerated my wort differently this time, i.e. by just opening the tap on the boiler and running the wort through a sieve? I am slightly concerned that it might be too cold in my new fermentating room. There is certainly a noticeable sulphurous aroma coming from the fermenter. That aroma was there on previous pitches of this same yeast, but perhaps not as strong as it is now. I’ll be taking a temperature measurement tonight or tomorrow to check. Great hoppy aroma from the fermenter too though.

29/10/2013 – Had to do a clean up job as the fermentation pushed through the lid! Normally I’d be worried that it was fermenting too warm, but the room it’s fermenting in is bloody freezing. I have to take a temperature reading, but the level of foam is too high to reach the beer.

09/11/2013 – Took a gravity reading this evening as it has been quite cold, and this was still showing signs of fermenting (or perhaps just off-gassing with the colder weather). It measured 1.010 and the sample tasted pretty good, will improve with a few weeks in the bottle. Lots of Belgian yeast character but plenty of the American hops showing through.

12/11/2013 – Even though my original recipe specified a dry-hop of Amarillo, I subsequently decided against it. However, the aroma from the fermenter seems to have faded and my last taste of the beer shows the Belgian yeast flavour is pretty strong so I want to make sure the American hop flavour is prominent. So on the spur of the moment, I decided to dry-hop this thing. I don’t have any Amarillo leaf hops, and I don’t like dry-hopping with pellets, so I compared the aroma of some Centennial and Simcoe that I have and plumped for the Centennial as the aroma was fruiter and less piney. I also moved the fermenter to a warmer room as this will help the oils dissolve better. Will probably bottle this at the weekend.

16/11/2013 – Bottled with 124g of dextrose (17 litres at 2.6 vol). Bottled into a mixture of bottles – 14 x 750ml, 7 x 500ml, 13 x 330ml.

30/11/2013 – Opened a bottle not really realising it has only been bottled 2 weeks. The flavour is a bit ‘meh’, not really the American hop onslaught I expected, though this might become more evident after another couple of weeks aging. the yeast flavour is definitely in the right ballpark – those distinctive Belgian esters peeping through the flavour, though not very assertive. Head retention is quite poor and the beer is very hazy. A bit immature with possibly a touch of acetyl-aldehyde. I’m glad now that I dry-hopped this thing, because if I hadn’t, I’d be blaming the lack of hop aroma on the absence of dry hops. But I’m hopeful they’ll become more evident when the beer matures more.

14/12/2013 – This has started tasting rather good! It’s much drier than I was expecting; drier than intended but very appropriate for an IPA. Not a lot of residual sweetness but lots of mouthfeel. It’s got a massive whack of citrus peel – both in taste and on the nose.The Belgian yeast flavours are much in evidence. I don’t taste much of the dank, piney Columbus, but plenty of Amarillo. The head formation is good, and lasts well enough down the glass, though I’ve done better on this before. Nice citrus aroma, but nothing too strong. Much less caramel flavour than I expected. I think the carbonation could be a little spritzier and I’d probably up the wheat malt too. Certainly very good for my first all-grain beer on my new 3-vessel system.

14/02/2014 – Pre-competition tasting – Exactly two months after the last ‘official’ tasting, the hops have really died in this; to such an extent that I’m unsure whether it could still be termed a Belgian IPA.

PM#17 – Yo-leven India Pale Ale


Having completely screwed up my last attempt at this beer, I didn’t want to waste any time in re-brewing it. In addition, I want to make sure I have some nice hoppy beer for sipping over the Autumn/Winter brewing season. I’ll be doing some brown ale and a porter in October, so I’ll need my hop fix too. I’ve designated this beer as the “Citra” beer. Plus some Cascade chucked in there for balance. I’ve got two bags of expensive Citra hops in the freezer too, which I’ll be using for my next attempt at this beer. The fermentation should be cleaner this time because I’m using a re-pitched US-05 slurry. I don’t know why, but it always gives better results than pitch dry (even rehydrated) yeast.

I’m planning on doing a Citra and Cascade dry-hop on this beer and keeping the hop bill simpler by leaving it at two different varieties. I’m resisting the urge to do a dry-hop of Chinook, as the last attempt at Yo-leven was dry-hopped with Chinook and the aroma at bottling time was immense. Of course the proof is in the drinking – if my second attempt at Yo-leven turns out to have a superior hop aroma, well then the next Yo-leven is getting a big dose of dry Chinook hops.


Boil Size: 17.00 l
Post Boil Volume: 15.11 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 15.00 l
Bottling Volume: 15.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated Color: 9.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 75.8 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 65.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


2.75 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM), 58.5 %
0.40 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (15.0 SRM), 8.5 %
0.15 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM), 3.2 %
0.15 kg Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM), 3.2 %
0.15 kg Munich Malt (10.0 SRM), 3.2 %
20 g Cascade [7.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 27.6 IBUs
1.10 kg Light Dry Extract [Boil for 20 min](8.0 SRM), 23.4 %
20 g Citra [15.00 %] – Boil 15.0 min, 14.7 IBUs
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
20 g Citra [15.00 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 11.1 IBUs
20 g Citra [15.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 9.2 IBUs
20 g Citra [15.00 %] – Boil 1.0 min, 9.2 IBUs
20 g Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05) (450ml Slurry from previous batch of Yo-leven)
10 g Cascade [7.50 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs
25 g Citra [15.00 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs

Brew Day 09/09/2013 – Doughed in at 72.5°C and started off the mash at 67.5°C. Got 14 litres at an OG of 1.074. Very happy with that given the large amount hops soaking up the wort. Certainly a lot more successful than my last attempt at this beer. The wort is quite pale with a great hoppy aroma. Taste from the trial jar was tasty, but extremely sweet as you’d expect. Pitched 450ml of US-05 yeast slurry.

10/09/2013 – Big action going on in the fermenter this morning when I got up. The weather has suddenly turned quite cold so there’s some good ambient temperatures for fermenting a big beer like this. It’ll keep those fusel alcohols in check.

15/09/2013 – Dry-hopped with 25g Citra and 10g of Cascade (just a little to bring the size of the dry-hop up). The dry-hop I did on the last (screwed up) batch of Yo-leven gave a huge aroma out of the fermenter and that was dry-hopped for a week with a similar amount of Chinook. Will leave this one at least a week also.

22/09/2013 – Bottled with 95g of dextrose (12.5l at 2.6 vol), so this was dry-hopped for 7 days in total. Got 4 x 500ml bottles and 32 x 330ml bottles from the batch. I got just over the 12.5l out of the batch, spot-on. Fantastic aroma.

18/10/2013 – Dying to open this! It’s calling me! Must resist for another week or so…

26/10/2013 – The first sip of this was a little bit of a shock to the tastebuds. I initially thought ‘yeasty’, but it’s not yeast.. it’s alcohol. There’s quite a boozy kick in it which I’m hoping will dissipate somewhat over the next few weeks. I think it will be fine though, because I timed the last batch of Yo-leven to be at it’s peak level of conditioning at 7 weeks after bottling. I’ll try another bottle next weekend to see if it’s improved. Other than that, the hop flavour is great. Though the hops are probably being masked by the heat from the alcohol. The body of the beer seems excellent for a Double IPA, nothing too syrupy; at least, nothing that’s out of style. Carbonation level is good. Head retention really good also. On subsequent sips, it’s definitely got a big boozy nose. There’s a great deal of citrus and caramel flavour in there, but it’s being pushed into the background by the alcohol.

30/10/2013 – Getting a bit worried about this now. That booze level is still too hot for a beer that’s been in the bottle for 5 weeks. The first taste is still quite shocking, but then your tastebuds adjust to it. Not as hoppy as I was expecting either. Is the hop varieties the problem? Or is it the fact that I didn’t use pellets this time?

09/11/2013 – Hmm… still not there yet. The first sip the booze hits you, though it’s more subdued than the last time I tasted it. I think… I’m now thinking of moving closer to the first attempt I did on this. Less alcohol, taking it out of the “Double” IPA category. I’m also thinking of radically changing my approach on the hop front and dispensing with the Citra altogether. The bucket of “Trixibelle” I have at the moment is throwing out massive aromas of pine and fruit. The hops in that? My old friends Amarillo and Columbus. It’s pretty much a tried and trusted partnership and I think loading the Yo-leven with both varieties will be the way forward with this beer. The mouthfeel is really good, carbonation fine. The head retention in this version is not as good the first version, so I might go back to using wheat malt instead of the CaraPils. I think a bigger flameout addition is required, along with a bigger dry-hop, as the aroma really isn’t as prominent as it should be.

11/11/2013 – It must be getting better, because I’m opening these bottles with alarming frequency, right?? To be serious, on this occasion I’m definitely tasting a different beer. Could be because this bottle came from the shed and not from the fridge. The aroma is more prominent and it’s a lot less hazy – pretty damn clear actually. I know I was going for a stronger “Imperial/Double” style beer with this attempt, but I think the level of crystal malt is too much. I think it’s too syrupy. That, and the warmer temperature is making the beer seem like a barleywine or some other sipping beer.

12/11/2013 – These are starting to disappear! It’s getting really good now. The alcohol has definitely subsided a bit more and it does seem hoppier than on previous occasions.

PM#16 – Yo-leven India Pale Ale


Having actually done the brew before writing the introduction to this recipe, I fear that anything I write as an introduction will be pointless as this wasn’t a very successful brew day. Everything was fine until I measured my original gravity. It came in at 1.063! I almost couldn’t believe my eyes; I’ve never missed my gravity targets by this much before. Adn the sad thing is, I’m still at a loss on why it happened. There was a big gap between weighing out my malts and doing the actual brew. Because of all this hot weather we’ve been having, I abandoned this brew and just bagged up the crushed malt in ziploc bags. Is it possible Ieft some base malt out of the recipe and forgot about it? Maybe another culprit might be the mash temperature? I mashed at a pretty high temperature of 69.5C. While I was shooting for a slightly higher mash temperature, I did go a little overboard. But I didn’t adjust with cold water because I didn’t think the mash temperature would be high enough to kill off any enzymes. And I still don’t believe the mash temperature is the problem here. Maybe I under-estimated the amount of hop soakage. No more than usual though. I only got 14 litres into the fermenter. [EDIT: it turns out my inaccuracy was due to a dodgy weighing scales. See comment in notes below.]

Pretty disappointing, however, I’ll try to set out where I was going with this attempt at a re-brew. I wanted to make the beer lighter and colour and reduce the malt flavours, but still leave plenty of caramel sweetness in the beer. I’ve used different hop varieties (including my old favourite, Cascade) because I was getting a lot of grassiness from the last hop combo, which I suspected was from the flamout additions of Columbus and Summit.

The following is a summary of the changes to the grain and hop bills in this attempt.

  • No corn sugar in this attempt. The idea was to not only up the ABV slightly (by 0.2%), but to see what effect removing the corn sugar would have on the mouthfeel and flavour of the beer. Given the problems I encountered with the gravity, it’s just as well I removed the corn sugar!
  • This attempt has slightly more crystal malt, just 50g. But it’s split between 75% C15 and 25% C40.
  • The amount of wheat malt is much the same, I reduced it by 10g only to have the same percentage as the other specialty malts. I reduced the Munich malt by 50g but added 50g more biscuit malt this time. I’m not sure whether any of these changes will have much of an effect though.
  • This attempt used a sachet of fresh US-05 whereas the last attempt was fermented by a pitch of US-05 slurry.
  • This attempt has a traditional 60-minute bittering addition, instead of the 30-minute bittering addition used in the first attempt.
  • There’s three different hop varieties here, instead of six used in the last attempt. The flameout addition is slightly smaller too.


Boil Size: 17.00 l
Post Boil Volume: 15.11 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 15.00 l
Bottling Volume: 15.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.075 SG
Estimated Color: 10.6 SRM
Estimated IBU: 71.9 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 65.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


2.25 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) , 50.6 %
0.30 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (15.0 SRM) , 6.7 %
0.15 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM), 3.4 %
0.15 kg Munich Malt (10.0 SRM), 3.4 %
0.15 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM), 3.4 %
0.10 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM) , 2.2 %
0.35 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) , 7.9 %
20 g Centennial [11.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 42.5 IBUs
1.00 kg Light Dry Extract [Boil for 20 min] (8.0 SRM), 22.5 %
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
24 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 15.0 min, 9.6 IBUs
24 g Centennial [11.50 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 10.2 IBUs
24 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 6.0 IBUs
36 g Chinook [13.30 %] – Boil 0.0 min, 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)
30 g Cascade [5.50 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs
30 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 5.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs


24/08/2013 Brew Day – As I said above, everything was going fine until I had the beer in the fermenter and realised I had missed my target gravity by 12 points! A bit of a disaster, but hopefully it will still make a tasty beer. This is likely to be pretty bitter as the IBUs are possibly too high for the OG. I might abandon my plans to do the double dry-hop on this after all. I’ll leave this in the fermenter for 2-3 weeks before bottling.

27/08/2013 – Well, the mystery has been solved… My assistant brewer and I noticed this morning that our digital scales are completely off! I did think at the time that my hop additions looked pretty small compared to previous batches. The 1.35kg of malt extract that I weighed out looked a little small too, which would explain the lower gravity. So what now? Now that I know that both my malt additions and my hop additions were lower than intended, maybe they’ll balance each other out. The wort I tasted from the sample jar was pretty sweet, not much hop bitterness coming through, but hopefully it will be okay. I considered dry-hopping this twice, in line with my original plans, but I might just be wasting hops on what might be an under-bittered and cloying beer. Now I’m thinking of just doing the single dry-hop and chalking it down to experience. What have I learned? Calibrate the weighing scales before attempting any brewing. It’s pretty bad that I can’t trust a Salter digital scales, but there you go. Fuck it, anyway…

31/08/2013 – This brew has been an unmitigated disaster and one borne out of pure carelessness. I was looking over this recipe the other day, just contemplating how the balls-up with the kitchen scales might have affected both my gravity and bitterness levels, and then it hit me.. I had completely forgotten to add my flameout addition of 36g! Complete and utter lack of attention. At this stage in my brewing career, I really should have noticed the low level of hop material in the kettle at the end of the boil. My first idea was to do a really aggressive (and probably multi-stage) dry-hop. But I don’t want to be chucking expensive hops into a brew which is so wide off the mark of my recipe. Probably better to chalk it down to experience and get on with a re-brew. So I dry-hopped today with 30g of Chinook and I’ll probably remove the hops in a weeks time, then bottle.

I had planned on re-using the yeast from this beer in a new Imperial red ale which I’m going to call “Diabolus in Lupulus”. It’s an extension of my Big Dawg Amber Ale, but using a completely different malt bill in order to achieve a completely different style of amber ale. Now however, I’m abandoning that plan in order to re-brew the Yo-leven (again!) and I’ll roll over the yeast from this batch. I even bought a new bag of Citra hops to use in the re-brew.

07/09/2013 – Bottled with 100g of dextrose (13.5l x 2.5 vol). Got 24 bottles from the batch as expected. No issues with bottling. Great hoppy aroma from the FV. The brew has a prominent bitterness, quite to my surprise, given the low IBUs. Saved the yeast slurry for the next batch of Yo-leven, which I’m brewing tomorrow.

16/10/2013 – Nearly 5 weeks in the bottle and my thoughts on this are a little mixed. Surprisingly, it seems to have just enough bitterness to carry the ABV and level of residual sweetness. But as we know, bitterness fades, so I’m guessing this one will have to be dispatched fairly quickly. It was a little yeasty, but that could be because the bottle hadn’t had any cold-conditioning in the fridge; I just took the bottle from outside. Maybe I just poured it carelessly, who knows. One disappointing aspect of the flavour is that it has the hop flavour level of an ordinary pale ale, not the huge hop bomb I was aiming for. Maybe when the yeast drops out further and conditions a bit more, the hop flavours might be more prominent. It’s also got great clarity.

I’ve adjusted the recipe in BeerSmith to account for the dodgy scales (which was ready approximately 50% of the actual weight). As such, my malt extract and hop additions were too small. Here’s the updated/actual recipe:


Boil Size: 17.00 l
Post Boil Volume: 15.11 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 15.00 l
Bottling Volume: 15.00 l
Estimated OG: 1.061 SG
Estimated Color: 9.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 65.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes


2.25 kg Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM), 57.7 %
0.30 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 15L (15.0 SRM), 7.7 %
0.15 kg Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM), 3.8 %
0.15 kg Munich Malt (10.0 SRM), 3.8 %
0.15 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM), 3.8 %
0.10 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt – 40L (40.0 SRM), 2.6 %
0.30 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM), 7.7 %
10 g Centennial [11.50 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 22.5 IBUs
0.50 kg Light Dry Extract [Boil for 20 min](8.0 SRM), 12.8 %
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
12 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 15.0 min, 5.1 IBUs
12 g Centennial [11.50 %] – Boil 10.0 min, 5.4 IBUs
12 g Cascade [7.40 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 3.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)
30 g Chinook [13.00 %] – Dry Hop 7.0 Days, 0.0 IBUs

Looking over the recipe, it’s pretty easy to see why the beer lacks the intended hop punch – it’s got only 76g of hops! Even a standard pale ale would have more hops than this. It’s a useful illustration though, of how important those late/flameout additions are. After forgetting my  flameout addition, I can really see a big difference in the aroma.

30/10/2013 – It’s pretty apparent this is not going to be one of my more successful brews. There’s very little hops in evidence for an IPA and the malt and yeast flavours are just not up to scratch either. There’s enough bitterness surprisingly, but not enough hop flavour.

10/11/2013 – I had thought this was improving slightly – the Belgian yeast character was starting to subside somewhat though it still had (and has) a touch of the “heads and tails” about it. I’d three bottles of it recently, and the ensuing headache was something else. On this tasting, there’s an unpleasant level of residual sweetness in it. Even though there’s still plenty of hop bitterness there, perhaps it just doesn’t have the oomph to balance all that residual sugar? Not bad though, considering the brew day was an unmitigated disaster. You’d still know this was an American ale.

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