Back to My Roots:Brewing Beer: The Double IPA

Don’t worry, relax, have a homebrew.

The Story:

A few years back I brewed a clone of Russian River Brewing Company’s infamous Pliny the Elder double IPA. This brew has a cult following, and many consider it one of the best beers in the world. It is very difficult to attain unless you happen to be north of Los Angeles, CA. After brewing a porter that turned out pretty bad and a lackluster brown ale, I decided I needed to stop messing around and go big. Since my last attempt at the Pliny the Elder clone turned out banging, I decided to try again. I actually find brewing mad hoppy beers to be the most fun brew days. Tossing in hops after hops after hops, lively’s up the room with beautiful aromas.

Hoppy brews are the best. The assortment of aromas wafting through the air just makes one giddy with excitement.

Hoppy brews are the best. The assortment of aromas wafting through the air just makes one giddy with excitement.

The Recipe

The original recipe was derived from an article in a brewing magazine that featured the brewmaster at Russian River. He devised this recipe for home brewers:

7 lb LDE
.60 lb dextrine
.60 lb Crystal 40 L
3.75 oz Columbus @ 90 min
.75 oz Columbus @ 45 minutes
1 oz Simcoe @ 30 min
1 oz Centennial @ 0 min
2.5 oz Simcoe @ 0 min

1 oz Columbus Dry-Hopped 14 days
1 oz Simcoe Dry Hopped 14 days
1 oz Centenial Dry hopped 14 days
.25 oz Columbus Dry hopped 5 days
.25 oz Simcoe Dry Hopped 5 days

American Ale Yeast

I found a new homebrew store hear in Greenville that has a decent selection of ingredients.  Although their hop selection was unique, they had only a few of the hops I needed for this recipe. I decided to completely revamp my recipe due to time constraints and hop availability. So, the Pliny the Elder clone will have to wait for another time. I was actually ok with this because it allowed me to use some hops I’ve never used before, and it became a more personal recipe.

The revamped recipe:

7 lb LDE
.60 lb dextrine
.60 lb Crystal 40 L

3.75 oz Galena @ 90 min
.25 oz Galena @ 45 minutes
.75 oz Centennial @45 minutes
1 oz Cascade @ 30 min
.25 oz Galena @30 min
1 oz Cascade @ 0 min
2.5 oz Centennial @ 0 min

3 oz Centennial Dry Hopped 14 days
1 oz whole leaf Citra Dry Hopped 14 days

Safale US-05 Yeast

The resulting brew would hopefully be 7-8 %, with nice citrus, fruity, and flowery notes. For double IPA’s you need to use enough malt to balance the bitterness imparted by the insane amount of hops. Thus, I’d recommend using at least 7 lbs of DME, or 12-14 pounds of 2-Row. The rest of the grain bill should be quite simple. You want a light bodied beer to allow the hops to come through. However, I like to use a little bit of crystal malt to diversify the bill a bit. Lastly I used dextrine to bump the gravity a bit.

I had never used Galena hops before, but they were listed as a good substitute for Columbus hops so I gave them a try. I figured the citrus characteristics from the Galena and Centennial hops would pair nicely with the grapefruit, fruity, characteristics of the Cascade hops. Additionally, I used Citra whole leaf hops for dry-hopping purposes in order to really intensify the Citrus and Tropical fruit aromas.

Dry-hopping: Racking the fermented brew on top of more hops in order to intensify hop aromas and flavors. Many consider a must if brewing an IPA.

Dry-hopping: Racking the fermented brew on top of more hops in order to intensify hop aromas and flavors. Many consider a must if brewing an IPA.

The Brew: 

DSCN0543

Old Man Double IPA

Old Man Double IPA

Old Man Double IPA


I named this beer the “Old Man Double IPA” . This stems from a theory I have that our father’s generation is obsessed with IPAs and only IPAs. Shout out to my Dad and Uncle! Love ya, but I’m still going to make fun of you for this. Here’s to you!

I’ve been incredibly impressed with the way this brew turned out thus far. The nose on this is exploding with fruity, orange, and citrus notes. The aroma is complimented with lovely flowery, flora, and subtle citrus flavors. My favorite part of the beer is how velvety smooth and fluffy the mouthfeel is.

My only complaint is I would like a thinner body. I most likely mashed at too high a temperature, aiding in the thicker body.

The moral of the story: When in doubt, make the brew your own. I could have ordered ingredients for the Pliny Clone and it probably would have turned out great, but it wouldn’t have felt completely my own. Instead, I was able to experiment with new hops and can now throw this recipe in the “must brew again” pile.

Scheming a chocolate mint stout for the early winter months.

Stay tuned and keep brewing!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s