Posts Tagged ‘India Pale Ale’

The race for new Hops

Sunday, February 9th, 2020

The hop landscape is ever changing and the changes are now a snowball rolling down a huge hill, gaining speed, faster and faster and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. It makes for a very exciting time for home brewers and craft beer fans that appreciate the hop.  The new hops are combining high alpha acids with great aromas and flavors that are also unique and didn’t exist  five years ago.  Increased storability, resistance to disease, increase in harvest per acre, etc are creating so many interesting hops that old favorites are falling to the wayside. There is also the race to be the hop far that creates the next Simcoe, Citra or Galaxy hop that drives sales and profits.

I became a home brewer to experiment, these new hops are allowing me to do just that and more.   I am having a hard time keeping up with the changing hop landscape. 

I crated a section on the site that isn’t linked to have my own library of hops.  The goal is to use this as a quick look for a hop profile, allowing me to build beers easier. Having to search multiple sites to determine a single hop profile (some are incomplete and I want to see consistency across sites) can add a lot of time to crafting of a new recipe.

I have close to 100 varieties on the new page but  probably could easily add another 50 while also building up the profiles of those that already exist.  I try not to add brand new hops as information on them is sparse, not consistent, and the name can change like the wind.  Also, there is the possibility that the hop isn’t well received and will never be grown in large amounts.

I am really looking forward to what the next five years of hop experimentation will bring.  I think it will make the last five years seems sparse and infantile.  Exciting times are ahead.  Enjoy1

Brewed: Smiles IPA

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

smiles ipa grain bed

Home brewing brings a smile to my face. It is a great way to relax, taking my mind off my job and other normal life issues. I get consumed by the process. I need to make sure that everything is set before starting, while trying to clean and put away throughout to unsure a neat and clean working space.

Therefore, that should be enough to want to make an India Pale Ale (IPA) named Smiles IPA. I have another and much more important reason. Kaila.

Kaila is my 12 year old daughter that is full of smiles, 24/7. When she greets you, when she tying her shoe or while playing sports, she always has the most friendly and inviting smiles to share with one and all. Her smile is addicting, always helping me through a tough day or even leaving the source of the bad day behind.

She deserved a beer named after her. Smiles IPA was born.

In using Galaxy, Simcoe and Cascade hops, my goal was to capture the essence of how Kaila makes everyone feel; each of these hops has always struck me as a inviting and enjoyable.

I hope I do Kaila justice with this beer. If I do, I will be brewing it again and will have some ready for the day that that 12 turns into a 21. Crap, don’t rush life. Enjoy!


General Information:
Brew Date: Saturday, August 27, 2016
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: S-04
Yeast Starter: N/A
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.045
Final Gravity: ?
IBU: 43.2
Color: 4.2 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 4.7%
Primary Fermentation: start @66*F

Grain Bill:
9.00# Maris Otter
1.50# Oats

Saccharification @152.6*F

Hop Bill:
0.75 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Galaxy @5 minutes
1.00 ounce Simcoe @5 minutes
1.00 ounce Cascade @5 minutes
1.00 ounce Galaxy @whirlpool 20 minutes @160*
1.00 ounce Simcoe @whirlpool 20 minutes @160*
1.00 ounce Cascade @whirlpool 20 minutes @160*
2.00 ounce Galaxy @dry hop 4 days
2.00 ounce Simcoe @dry hop 4 days
2.00 ounce Cascade @dry hop 4 days

1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes
4.0 quarts rice hulls


  • 2016-08-28: @62*F, slow start to fermentation.
  • 2016-08-29: @69.1*F, good fermentation.
  • 2016-08-30: @67.8*F, put on heat at 69*F to finish fermentation.
  • 2016-09-03: Took off heat.
  • 2016-09-10: Dry hopped, 3.0 ounces 2014 Galaxy, 2.0 ounces 2014 Simcoe.
  • 2016-09-14: Bottled with 4.0 ounces of priming sugar and 2.0 cups of water. 26, 22 ounce bottles. Bottle crown label: K.
  • 2016-10-16: Tasted.

Useless Fact: If Micheal Phelps were a country, he’d rank no. 35 on the all-time Olympic gold medal list, ahead of 97 other nations.

Brewed: Little Mon’ Down Under

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

little mon down under

Lately I have been home brewing every two months, only to refresh the stock of IPA in the house.

I brewed a Sip of Sundshine pseudo clone back in September. In keeping with the focus of trying to improve on my IPA home brewing, I really looked into water profile. I purchased Salifert salt water test kits for alkalinity, magnesium and calcium. According to some correspondence that I had with a fellow home brewers on home brew talk, these test kits are very reliable and accurate. I have familiarity with them from my salt water days (miss it).

I did measurements for alkalinity and calcium. Alkalinity was 305 while calcium was at 140. If the 140 calcium number is correct, I believe that is a ridiculously high number. I am still investigating if those numbers are in the correct rate measurements that is needed for comparisons made by brewing water calculators. Therefore, as you could have guessed, I didn’t make any changes to the local water.

I will eventually figure out water chemistry. Enjoy!

Little Mon’ Down Under

General Information:
Brew Date: Thursday, November 12, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Vermont Ale
Yeast Starter: 2 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.50
Original Gravity: 1.052
IBU: 51.9
Color: 3.4 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 5.1%
Primary Fermentation: 14 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.00# 2 Row
12.0oz Red Wheat
8.0oz Flaked Oats
8.0oz Honey Malt

Saccharification @149.1*F

Hop Bill:
1.00 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Galaxy @5 minutes
4.00 ounces Galaxy @whirlpool 20 minutes
5.00 ounce Galaxy @2 days dry hop

1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 minutes


  • 2015-11-27: Dry hop with 5.0 ounces of Galaxy hops
  • 2015-11-29: Bottled, 28, 22 ounce bottles. Final gravity: 1.010.
  • 2016-01-05: Tasted one of the last bottles.

Useless Fact:

  • The “pound” key on your keyboard (#) is called an octotroph.

Brewed: Sip of Sunshine

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Home brew sip of sunshine

I was fortunate enough to taste Sip of Sunshine earlier this year. I say fortunate as it is a really nice IPA (India Pale Ale), full of citrus and tropical hop aroma and flavor.

I have never brewed up a clone. I have used clone recipes for inspiration in the past. This recipe originally started off as a quest to get my home brewing of IPA to the next level.

IPA has evolved over the past seven years as new hops, new hopping techniques and new malt combinations have taken a bitter bomb to a more balanced, dry, not sweet malt profile with huge amounts of flavor and aroma. I have tried to keep up but, at times, I believe I am doing my version of these (it is home brewing after all). But, my ultimate goal, is to brew the tastiest home brew possible. I want friends and family to ask for another. I am not too sure my recent creations have hit that level. Possibly due to process, possibly due to the time I have at my disposal and possibly due to inference of not trusting my abilities of late.

Looking for high rated American IPAs on Beer Advocate is a great place to start for the commercial beers that are turning heads. Next, I took the list over to Home Brew Talk searching for clones of these beers. This step was probably the most fun: reading people’s input as they build a recipe, pulling in their own research along the way to finally create what most agree is a great clone.

That all said, I couldn’t do an exact clone :), slight changes, but I really have to give credit to the homebrewtalk community. Enjoy!

Sip of Sunshine

General Information:
Brew Date: Monday, September 14, 2015
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: 1 pack Safale S-05, .5 pack Lallemand BRY-07
Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 6.50
Original Gravity: 1.060
IBU: 143.1
Color: 5.8 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Alcohol by Volume: 6.9%
Primary Fermentation: 5 days @63*F, 7 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
6.00# 2 Row
5.00# Maris Otter
1.00# Flaked Oats
12.0 oz Red Wheat
4.0 oz Caramel 60L

Saccharification @152.6*F

Hop Bill:
1.50 ounce Magnum @60 minutes
1.00 ounce Citra @20 minutes
3.00 ounce Citra @5 minutes
3.00 ounces Citra @whirlpool 30 minutes
3.00 ounce Citra @4 days dry hop

1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Irish Moss


  • 2015-09-17: Actively fermenting at 63*F
  • 2015-09-19: Ramp up to 68*F to finish.
  • 2015-09-22: Out of temperature control, resting at ambient: ~66*F
  • 2015-10-01: Dry hop with 3.0 ounces of Citra hops
  • 2015-10-04: Bottled, 30, 22 ounce bottles. Final gravity: 1.010.

Useless Fact:

  • A duck’s quack doesn’t echo, and no one knows why.