Not sure we could have fit any more hops!

Not sure we could have fit any more hops!

Brewing IPA’s is not my strong suit. Give me malt forward beers all day long and I will knock them out of the park. That being said, I was glad my friend Mungus coerced me into brewing 15 gallons of one for his wedding. I couldn’t say no and I needed the brewing practice. Just because I prefer to drink malt forward beers I still need to be a master of the hops. To make things even more interesting, I had just upgraded to a 15 gallon brew kettle and this was its maiden voyage. I and no idea what my boil off would be, how my hop utilization would be affected, if my volumes were accurate, etc. And to top it all off, we did a double brew day and made 10 gallons of a Flanders Red before hand. Nothing like a brew day challenge.

Mungus Owning the hops

Mungus Owning the hops

To move between 10 and 15 gallons (and even 5) I like to think of the malt bill in percentages. This is why I always include them in my recipes. It is much easier to scale between volumes when working in percentages than in strict pounds. Hops are a little trickier. Bittering is easy as you can adjust for IBU’s but for flavor and aroma you just use your “brewers intuition”. In reality though, calculated IBU ratios can still work for flavor and aroma additions they just don’t adjust as precisely.

Mungus and Hungus

Mungus and Hungus

When I have brew hop forward beers I like to do a two step hop whirlpool. One hot whirlpool addition and one cold whirlpool addition. So basically I only add a “small” amount of bittering hops at the beginning of the boil then hit it hard once the flame is out. This helps to keep from volatilizing off all of the hop aromatics. The cold whirlpool acts as a hop back would by doing a cold steep. For dry hopping, I like to do two short (3-5 day) additions. The first is always near the end of fermentation (about 90% to terminal gravity) right in the fermenter. This ensures that there are still some convection currents at work in the fermenter that will help to fully mix the hops. The second addition I can also do in the conical once I dump the first addition and yeast. If you don’t have a conical, this is where you would do them in a secondary or in a keg.

So here is the recipe. Take note of the sugar addition (dryness) and the aggressive water chemistry (accentuate hops):


Dank Love IPA (Batch Number 154)

14B –American IPA
Recipe for 16.5 gallons Post Boil


16 lb/43.8%  Breiss 2-row
14 lb/38.4%  Weyerman German Pilser
3 lb/8.2%      Breiss Carapils
1.5lb/4.1%    Breiss Caramel 60L
2 lb/5.5%      Dextrose Sugar


12 ml  Hop Extract   40IBU 60 Min
2.5 oz Simcoe          14.5% 0 Min
2.5 oz Citra              15.1% 0 Min
2.5 oz Centennial     10.1% 0 Min
3 oz    Simcoe           14.5% -25 Min
3 oz    Citra               15.1% -25 Min
3 oz    Centennial     10.1% -25 Min
2 oz    Simcoe          14.5% In Fermenter
2 oz   Citra               15.1% In Fermenter
2 oz   Centennial     10.1% Dry Hop
2 oz   Citra               15.1% Dry Hop


Conan Yeast cultured from Heady Topper can.


Strike: 11 gal, 41.8g caso4, 8.8g cacl2
Sparge: 12 gal, 45.6g caso4, 9.6g cacl2, 2.9 ml phosphoric 85%

CA 312
MG 7
NA 23
SO4 283
CL 51
HCO3 109

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion at 149 for 60 min reserving caramel malt. Add caramel malt and mash out to 168.

Measurements and Calculations

Wort Volume Before Boil: 18.75 US gals
Wort Volume After Boil: 16.5 US gals
Volume Transferred: 15.75 US gals
Volume Of Finished Beer: 15.00 US gals
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
OG: 1.062 SG
FG: 1.013 SG
Apparent Attenuation: 78 %
ABV: 6.5 %
IBU (Rager): 100+ IBU
Color (Morey): 7 SRM
Mash Efficiency: 68 %
Mash pH: 5.65
Fermentation Temp: 68 ?F
Fast ferment test: 1.011

Process Notes

Mashed at 149 with no recirculation since I was doing a double batch with my friend Mungus. 75 min into the mash we started the recirculation and raised mash temp to 168 for mash out. Held a slow sparge and lauter but still had a low efficiency. This was very likely due to pre crush that Mungus brought from Morebeer. My crush is always a bit finer. We added the caramel at the start recirculation to keep the mash ph in the proper range although it ended up being high at 5.65.

Hops into the kettle

Hops into the kettle

We used 12ml hop shot (hop extract) to achieve 40 IBU at 60 min. Added water pre boil to hit starting volume. Boiled down 2.25 gal. Had to add DME to get gravity back up. Sugars added at 10 min along with nutrient and Super Moss HB. At flame out added the first charge of hops and whirlpooled for 15 min. Cooled wort down to 75 over 10 min and added second charge of hops. Continued whirlpool for 15 min. Stopped whirlpool and racked to fermenter at 66*.

Pitched 700 ml of slurry harvested from previous batch in conical. Serious fermentation action by next morning. Day 4 down to 1.027. Day 7 still fermenting but slowing. Strong hop aroma. Day 8 ferm very slow and gravity at 1.016. Added 4 oz dry hop directly into fermenter. Day 11. Gravity 1.013. Dumped 1250 ml trub from bottom dump. Added 4 oz dry hop directly into conical. Cooled to 60 for three days on the second hop addition. Did a quick 12 hr cold crash. Filled three kegs.

Tasting Notes

At three weeks old this was one of the best IPA’s I had ever made. It had a wonderfully smooth hop bitterness that really sold me on using hop extract. The hop flavors and aroma balanced very nicely with the fruity esters from the Heady Topper yeast. There were huge notes of Citrus and Apricot. The beer had an amazingly bright clarity for an IPA. We served 10 gallons of this at Mungus’s wedding and it was one of the first beers to go. The keg I had on tap at home didn’t last long at all either. All 15 gallons was probably gone before it was 5 weeks old.

IPA turned to Butterscotch

IPA turned to Butterscotch

I bottled a 6 pack to enter in local competitions and boy did I get a surprise. At about the 9 week mark, something happened to those bottles that turned the beer into a Diacetyl bomb. When I got my scoresheet back from the competition I immediately cracked one of the 4 I had left certain that they had judged the wrong beer. Sure enough the same feedback I had gotten on that scoresheet matched what was in the bottles in my basement. The beer turned very hazy, darkened, and threw down a large sediment. I am still baffled as to how such a bright, lightly colored beer going into the bottles threw this of flavor. My guess is that it was an infection from the recycled yeast or possibly my original culture from the Heady Topper can did not get a pure strain. I plan to scrap the yeast I have on a slant and go in search of ECY29 as the pure culture. So it goes. At least we enjoyed the hell out of this before it turned!