English IPA

After thoroughly enjoying Mutiny on the Beagle, the traditional IPA that Doug sent from Scotland, I’ve decided it’s time to brew an IPA. Here’s what I’m gathering from my reading on brewing a traditional IPA.

A simple malt bill is used so as not to overpower the hop and yeast flavor characters. Pale malt or simply 2 Row would be fine, but I’ll stick with Maris Otter. I’ll consider some carapils for head retention and body, but I think for this first one I’ll just use the single malt.

A low mash temp (150F) and long rest (90’) will help convert those complex sugars to simple ones the yeast will utilize and result in higher attenuation of the final beer, making it appropriately dry.

Some gypsum to the mash water to better replicate the Burton on Trent profile seems appropriate, and will give the hop a little better bite.

A highly attenuating yeast is necessary, so I’ve picked up Wyeast seasonal English IPA blend. Adding Brett would be interesting and appropriate I think, especially after drinking Mutiny On The Beagle last night, which contained Brett. It was delicious, but I’m not ready to store this IPA over the summer just yet. I would also consider aging it on some oak chips, but maybe for the next IPA.

The hops will be either EKG or Fuggles. The question remains do I bitter with these low alpha varieties or bitter with a high alpha and just flavor and aroma with the English? I guess it makes sense to use a high alpha on a 15-20 gallon batch, otherwise it will cost me a fortune to bitter this beer, but it wouldn’t be traditional, would it?

20 gallons

Grain Bill- 44 pounds Maris Otter

Hop Bill-

  • 8 ounces of EKG 6.3% 60’
  • 2 ounce EKG 6.3% 20’
  • 2 ounce EKG 6.3% 10′
  • 2 ounce EKG 6.3% 5’
  • 2 ounce EKG 5% dry hop 4 days

Yeast- Wyeast 1203-PC Burton IPA Blend for Traditional and Historical English IPA, English Pale Ale, English Bitter styles, Robust Porter, Foreign Stouts. Profile: The revival of interest in historic and classic English IPA styles calls for a specialized yeast – this blend highlights hop bitterness and aroma while still allowing full expression of authentic water profiles and pale malts. Low to moderate ester level can be manipulated through fermentation temperature and pitching rate. Palate finish is typically neutral to mildly fruity with some maltiness. Good flocculation characteristics make this an excellent candidate for cask conditioning.

Alc. Tolerance- 10% ABV

Attenuation- 71-74%
Temp. Range- 64-74°F

Calculated Stats

  • OG = 1.063
  • IBU = 48
  • FG = 1.018
  • ABV = 5.9%

Brew day- March 28, 2015

Charles’ Brew Day Pics are here.

Brewers- Tom V, Alan, Charles, Kyle, Dickie, Dan Y

Water prep

  • 30 gallons St. Louis County tap
  • 1.5 tablets crushed Campden
  • 5 teaspoon phosphoric acid
  • 10 teaspoon gypsum

Mash schedule

  • Strike water  = 169 F (on new thermometer)
  • 2 PM mash in 14g
    • 158 F on new thermometer
    • 148 F on old thermometer
    • Plan was for 150F
    • Drifted down some over the next 2 hours
    • Added portions of hot water to bump temp but didn’t do much
  • 4 PM add more hot water (6g with bump water)
  • Sparge with 10g at 190F
  • 5 PM Collected 25+ gallons in kettle
  • Thermonator dropped temp to 63F
  • 8 PM Charles O2 the wort and pitch yeast

Starting Gravity = 1.064, 22 gallons

Hit all our numbers, temp (I guess), times, gravity, volume. Sample was good, sweet, not crazy hoppy but certainly bitter. Should be a good beer.


No bubble in the airlock Sunday morning, but a bubble started by Sunday night. Temp in the basement is 63F, 1 degree below the lower limit of the yeast tolerance range, so I’m trying to raise it, though I like it being in the lower range.

April 6- Racked to secondary in the other big fermenter. No dry hop yet. Gravity = 1.018, exactly where it was calculated to be. ABV will be around 6%. Sample is still a bit sweet for an IPA, but is appropriately hoppy. I think it will mellow into a fine beer, but it’s not there yet. It’s still green, strong on hops and sweet. Hopefully time will blend and mellow the flavors. I’ll add the dry hops soon.

April 9- Add 2+ ounces of EKG in muslin sock weighted with marbles (more marbles next time). Dry hopping is a pain in the ass.

April 16- Pulled the dry hop 1 week later.


April 18- 4 weeks after brew day I kegged 15 gallons of the IPA. I still have 5 gallons to bottle. Sample was pretty good. We drank a warm, flat jug of English IPA when we brewed the Patersbier. The beer is still too sweet, but I’m still hoping for improvement as it ages a bit.

April 29- Bottled the last 5 gallons. Still needs to mature.


May 15- Opened the first bottle and it was really good. Pretty, golden and clear. Nice aroma. Flavor was appropriately bitter but balanced and left a mild hop dryness in the mouth. Very good. I’m very pleased.


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