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A Simple IPA Recipe

By Stan Schubridge on December 12, 2012

For the uninitiated, IPA stands for India Pale Ale. It's not that it came from that country. It was first brewed in Europe. Because it was sent way the hell over the India, it needed to have a real punch to take such a long journey. The strength kept it from becoming loaded with bacteria. Remember, back in the day there was no FedEx. It needed to be strong.

And then there was the lion's share of hops. This additive is a natural preservative.

Now with That Out of the Way

Check out this recipe to make one kind of an IPA at home. This is the stuff you'll need as you begin this long trip toward the popular ale. You should end-up with a 2-gallon batch.

  • Wyeast #1028: London ale
  • 1 ounce of 5.5% Willamette bittering hops)
  • 1/2 ounce, Willamette finishing hops
  • 5 ounces, crystal malt
  • 2 pounds pale malt
  • Measurements - OG: 1.043 and FG: 1.008

What's an OG? It's an abbreviation for "original gravity." This is a measurement of how much sugar you get from the grains. Assuming you have 10 pounds of 2-row malt, you're looking at a 1.057 OG beer at 80% efficiency. If you're efficiency plummets to 60% you'll end-up with 1.043 OG count for a 5-gallon batch. Since the sugar content is low, you'll need to use fewer hops which will mess-up your alcohol content.

FG means "final gravity." For instance if your IPA has an OG of 1.054 but an FG of 1.020, you missed the boat. The final taste will have too much body, masking the bitterness of the malt. The balance will be too rich.

O.K. The primary fermentation will take about a week. The secondary one only needs 4 days.

The Batch

Start by mashing 5 quarts at 140 degrees. Be mindful, the better the water, the better the brew. Read the pH to 5.3. If it's not there, act accordingly by adding more mash or water. Rip the fire up to 150 degrees. Watch the temperature, letting it simmer for 2 hours. The final 5 minutes, crank the flames up to 170 degrees. Mash 2 hours, maintaining temperature at 145-150 degrees. Mash out 5 minutes at 170 degrees. Sparge with 2 gallons of 165 degree water. Sparging? Wiki explains it this way "drain the wort completely from the mash, after which more water is added, held for a while at 170 degree and then drained again. The second sifting can be used in making a lighter-bodied low-alcohol beer known as small beer, or can be added to the first draining. Some home brewers use English sparging, except that the second batch of water is only held long enough for the grain bed to settle, after which recirculation and draining occurs."

Anywho, after sparging, boil it for another hour-and-a-half. Add the hops in the last hour. Then 5 minutes before the end of boiling, add the finishing hops.

Let 'er ferment as proscribed above.

How do you get the carbonation to happen? Take 1/16th of a teaspoon of corn sugar and dump it in the bottle, fill it with the final product and cap it. There should be enough yeast still in the brew to make it all bubbly so when you open a cold one, it should hiss at you.

Stan Schubridge is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Stan writes mostly for Beertaps.com which is an eCommerce company out of New York that sells all the Beer Tap Handles one could need.

Original article published on SooperArticles.com

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