Brew a New England IPA

Brew a New England IPA. Image credit: Emily Collins

Jesse Reynolds

A style that seems to be synonymous with homebrew in 2017 is the New England IPA. It offers big tropical hop aromas and flavour with limited amounts of perceived bitterness.

Often described as “juicy” — a descriptor brought on by thicker mouthfeel and smooth, fruity flavour — this is a style which encourages the “haze” homebrewers have been taught to avoid in many styles.

The style originated (surprise, surprise) in New England, most notably in Vermont where the preferred yeast strain results in a fuller body and the production of slightly fruity esters. The most readily-available strain to homebrewers is probably White Labs Burlington Ale, but if you can get your hands on a good pitch of Escarpment Labs Vermont Ale (made in Canada) or GigaYeast Vermont IPA, try one.

The malt profile of the beer isn’t expected to provide much, so for this recipe it’s simple. 2-Row makes up the bulk of the fermentables, with some Biscuit Malt and Flaked Oats added to contribute breadiness, body and haze.

For hops, Amarillo will provide most of the bitterness and citrusy flavour. Late additions of Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic will add a diverse bouquet of tropical fruit aromas and flavour.

Another recent favourite of craft brewers and homebrewers alike is the Double Dry Hop (DDH) technique. The theory behind using multiple dry hop additions is that it can add a layer of complexity to the aromas and flavours produced, specifically when done at different temperatures and stages of fermentation.

With this recipe, we’ll make use of the DDH to try to capture the huge hop aroma and flavour expected of this style.

New England IPA (BCJP Category 21B, Specialty IPA)

(all-grain, 5.5 gallons)

OG: 1.057

FG: 1.016

ABV: 5.42%

IBU: 67

SRM: 5

Water

8.5G tap water (treated w/campden tablets) or spring water
Add 1g calcium chloride and 2g gypsum to mash

Malt

10 lbs 2-Row malt
1 lb Flaked Oats
0.5 lb Biscuit Malt

Hops

2 oz. Amarillo (60 mins)
1 oz. Simcoe (flameout)
1 oz. Citra (flameout)
1 oz. Mosaic (flameout)
1 oz. Amarillo (1st Dry Hop)
1 oz. Simcoe (1st Dry Hop)
1 oz. Citra (1st Dry Hop)
0.5 oz. Mosaic (1st Dry Hop)
1 oz. Amarillo (2nd Dry Hop)
1 oz. Simcoe (2nd Dry Hop)
1 oz. Citra (2nd Dry Hop)
0.5 oz. Mosaic (2nd Dry Hop)

Yeast

White Labs WLP095 Burlington Ale or Escarpment Labs Vermont Ale

Brew Day Instructions

Mash-in grains to 151F (66C) and hold for 60 minutes. Infuse with boiling water or direct heat to reach 168F (76C) and sparge with 168F water until you have 6.5 gallons of wort in your boil kettle. Bring to a boil for 60 minutes, adding hops as laid out in the recipe above. To finish, hop stand or whirlpool so the flameout hops stay in contact with the beer for at least 20 minutes.

Chill 5.5 gallons of wort to 65F (18C) and transfer to a fermenter no smaller than 6.5 gallons. Pitch yeast and ferment at 65F, then raise to 70F (21C) toward the end of fermentation to finish the beer strong and clear up diacetyl.

After 48-72 hours of active fermentation, add the first round of dry hops. It is recommended to use a muslin bag so hops do not expand too much and cost you one or two gallons of beer! When you raise the fermentation temperature to 70F, remove the first round and add the second round of dry hops. Wait for fermentation to complete, then bottle with priming sugar or keg.

Enjoy!