IPA – Hopily Ever After

Well the wedding is over and I’m finally all caught up on the backlog of blog posts and work stuff. Rebecca and I got married on January 31st and everything went swimmingly! I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts since January so I’m going to post this one before I start working on non-wedding beer posts. We served 11 kegs of unique beers at the reception, and I’ll have a post talking about that and what it was like to brew for such a big event. We spent a week touring Colorado and visiting breweries, so I think I’ll have a post about that too. This is going to be the last wedding beer I write a blog post about since 15 beers is a bit much to blog about. Also there isn’t anything overly exciting or innovative to say about three IPAs using the same process with slightly different recipe. I was able to use the ones so far to give a bit of an overview to my process and recipe formulation though.

This was one of my favourite beers at the wedding. It’s a fairly simple recipe with common ingredients but it turned out fantastic, with that high level of hop aroma that people chase. When it comes to hoppy beers I like to keep the bitterness low, and focus on fruity hop flavours instead of pine, which I find comes off as garlic and onion when used too much. I used a mix of citrus and pine hops at a ratio of more than 2:1 to strike a balance between the two. I find that pine and resin hop flavours punch through much more readily than citrus hop flavours so more citrusy hops are needed to balance things out. In this case I used an oz of Centennial and Simcoe at 5 minutes for flavour and bitterness, the same at 0 minutes with 1.5 oz of Citra added in to up the citrus character and help strike a balance of flavour. In the dry hop I stuck with the same three hops to avoid muddling the flavour, again using higher amounts of citrus focused hops to hit the flavour profile I was looking for.

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My IPA grain bill is fairly standard consisting of mostly Domestic 2 Row, a bit of Munich I for colour and a hint of breadiness, and some Wheat Malt for head retention. I use US Magnum to bitter since it is such a clean hop that produces a smooth bitterness. I use San Diego Super Yeast (WLP090) as my house yeast for clean beers. It seems more and more of my blogger friends are starting to prefer Vermont Ale Yeast for hoppy beers so I may give that a try in a future iteration of the recipe. If I hadn’t been brewing this for a crowd I probably would have hit it with some gelatin as well to help clear it out, you can see how cloudy it was when I took this picture about 2 weeks before the wedding. I knew a few wedding attendees were vegetarian so I stayed away from gelatin in respect to them.

Hopily Ever After

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