Sunday 29 April 2012

First Crack at an English IPA

Yeast seems to have got over excited
So much has been written about this beer style I'm not sure any article I could write would add to the sense of what an Old School English IPA should, or shouldn't, be. 

My attempt is to try and emulate Meantime Brewing's take on an IPA as it is one of my very favourite examples of a strong, bitter beer showing off the East Kent Goldings at their very best. 

My recipe basically uses Fuggles for bittering with EKG's late and dry. I'm looking for a beer between 6 and 7% abv and a bitterness of around 45-50 IBU. Because I'm using fuggles (5.22%AA) for bittering that's quite a lot of hops (and a fair few twigs) but it didn't seem to give me much liquid loss coming out of the boiler. In fact I ended up with 24L @ 1063 instead if 23L @ 1067. A combination of that and pitching two packs of yeast probably explains why I woke up to a yeast explosion this morning. I am ruing the demise of my original 30L Hambleton bard fermenter which is scratched beyond reasonable use these days and thus only gets used for holding spent grain. 

Doughing in
Anyhow, as I write, the yeasties are munching their way through the wort. I'm going to transfer to a secondary bucket relatively early, partly because I'm going to dry hop with loads of lovely EKG's prior to bottling next weekend or early next week. Yes, I'm not going to keg this beer (to be honest I'm already dreading the faff that is going to be bottling but I really feel this beer is going to benefit from being in the bottle for an extended secondary fermentation period). 

The recipe is based on my ordinary pale ale recipe but beefed up with a bit of demerara and carapils instead of wheat malt or torrefied wheat. This is mainly because I have a wheat intolerant friend who I want to try this beer. The brewday was not without problems; I had to brew indoors due to the stupid English weather and one of my elements blew (probably due to the sugar in the brew that seemed to stick to the element) so I'm going to have to take the boiler apart to clean both the elements again. This will cause a problem all its own because you can bet your life that, when I put the elements back in situ, there'll be a leak. 

First Wort Hops, Demerera Sugar and Yeast

Brewlength 24L
Bitterness 45 IBU
Colour 15 EBC
Original Gravity 1063

Grain Bill

6kg Pale Malt
200g Crystal (120 ebc)
300g Carapils

First Runnings
Boil Ingredients

30g Fuggles First Wort Hop (5.22%AA)
500g Demerera Sugar
30g Fuggles @30 mins
30g Fuggles @20 mins
30g East Kent Goldings @ 15 mins
30g Fuggles @ 10 mins
1 protofloc @ 5mins
30g EKG @ flame out (80c steeped for 30 mins)

1 x Windsor
1 x S04


  1. Did you hear the Can You Brew It podcast about Meantime IPA? They give out the recipe and there's some interesting bits about the brewing process too...