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I'm planning to make my first English IPA on this Sunday and I wanna know from more experienced homebrewers if my recipe is ok:

For a 20L batch

Ingredients:

Amount Item Type % or IBU
4.50 kg Pale Ale Malt (8.3 EBC) Grain 77.59 %
0.50 kg Carahell (24.0 EBC) Grain 8.62 %
0.50 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (4.0 EBC) Grain 8.62 %
0.30 kg Carared (55.0 EBC) Grain 5.17 %
30.00 gm Cascade [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 18.9 IBU
30.00 gm Cascade [5.40 %] (45 min) Hops 17.4 IBU
30.00 gm Cascade [5.40 %] (30 min) Hops 14.6 IBU
30.00 gm Cascade [5.40 %] (15 min) Hops 9.4 IBU
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale

So, what you think? All opinions are welcome! I wanna make a great IPA!

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6 Answers 6

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Cascade is an American citrus flavored hop, English hops like East Kent Goldings or Fuggles are a better choice. Secondly, "Cara" malts are generally a german type of malt. If you really wanted to be true to English form, try getting some crystal malts, and some biscuit malt.

Pale Ale malt is a good choice for a base malt so no worries there. (Especially, if you can combine it with some biscuit malt.)

The good thing is that I think your proportions are well thought out, so making substitutions that are more English would put you in the right ball park. I like your hop schedule just not the variety.

Lastly, the recipe as is though would make a fine beer. I think if it more like a well hopped American Pale/Amber hybrid.

I wonder if ingredients are an issue for you as I think you're writing from someplace other than the US or UK. At least that's what I remember last time I checked out your profile. If that's the case, just make the recipe you have and you'll probably enjoy it. Cheers

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You are correct, I live in Brazil and ingredients is a bit of problem, I made my recipe with ingredients I have in stock. I only have Fuggles and Cascade in home, and I already have an Irish Red Ale all made with Fuggles, so in this IPA recipe I chose Cascade just to taste the difference between Fuggles and Cascade! I can get some bittering hops with my friend, like Galena. Do you think if I use Galena for bittering and Fuggles for aroma I can get a better IPA? My option for 0,5kg of wheat malt is to add more head to the beer. I can't get English malts, my supplier only have German and Belgium –  loop0 May 27 '10 at 11:53
    
I think you'll make a fine beer as is. Certainly Galena for bittering and fuggles for flavor would make a decent English IPA. As for the malts, I like the use of a little wheat for head retention, I know of several commercial US brewers that do exactly that with their IPAs. And you need to work with what you have, so go for it. Good luck! –  brewchez May 27 '10 at 12:22

If hop choice is limited, Willamette makes a good substitute for Fuggles and would be a decent choice for and English IPA. My first batch, Northern Brewer's India Pale Ale extract kit, used Summit, an American bittering hop, for its 60 minute addition, so there's some wiggle room there, but mostly in the bittering, not later on.

In addition to what others have said about the choice of hop, I wanted to weigh in on the hop schedule. I've not seen a 45 minute hop addition very often. A more classic hop schedule for an English IPA is 60-30-15-1. (That's the schedule on the Northern Brewer kit.) I'm not saying don't do the 45 minute addition, but that by leaving out the 1 minute addition, you might sell yourself short on aroma.

You might also think about dry-hopping it for a few days before packaging. This is common practice with all English ales. Restraint is rewarded here, though, as you can end up with vegetal and grassy flavors from overdoing it on the size or length of the dry-hop addition.

The wheat is interesting, if nonstandard. Same with the CaraRed. I'm envisioning something slightly cloudy and dangerously red.

I dunno. It looks like a nice beer to me. The only problem is you're calling it a Traditional English IPA. Change the name to Better Red than Dead American IPA and you'll have people beating a path to your door. If you want to brew to style, though, at a minimum, go with what my esteemed co-answerers have said about choosing English-style hops. It does make a real difference.

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1  
Interesting take on the hops schedule. I viewed it as a layering of bitterness and flavor. Moving from 45min to 1 min is pretty drastic change. Remember this is an ENGLISH IPA, hop aroma shouldn't be nearly as prevelant as you would think like American IPA. English IPA is still a malt forward beer with noticable hop flavor and bitterness. –  brewchez May 26 '10 at 12:40
    
Sorry, I stated something that looked drastic but was positively pedestrian and derivative. I took the hop schedule from Northern Brewer's IPA kit: 60 mins 30 mins 15 mins 1 min I took the dry-hopping precedent from Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers, so that's consistent with the style. I'm editing to make my suggestion seem less drastic. Thanks for the tip! –  Rich Armstrong May 27 '10 at 2:46
    
Thanks for the hops explanation. I like the name suggestion. Since my beer will don't fit at English IPA and American IPA, maybe I call name it as Better Red than Dead Brazilian IPA. :P –  loop0 May 27 '10 at 11:55
1  
I'll be on the next flight down. :) –  Rich Armstrong May 27 '10 at 15:33

in the words of our "father" 'Relax; don't worry, have a homebrew' I think it will be just fine as you have conceptualized it. Brew it!

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If you're after making a "proper" British IPA, then Cascade probably isn't the hop you want to be using. (East Kent) Goldings and Fuggles are the classic British hops, you could also look at using something like Brambling Cross, which is used to good effect in Crown's Unpronounceable IPA.

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So, what you think? All opinions are welcome! I wanna make a great IPA!

It looks like a good IPA, but not a good English IPA.

The BJCP says:

Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing); English hops; English yeast that can give a fruity or sulfury/minerally profile. Refined sugar may be used in some versions. High sulfate and low carbonate water is essential to achieving a pleasant hop bitterness in authentic Burton versions, although not all examples will exhibit the strong sulfate character.

The original gravity looks on target. You overshot the IBU range by 5-10 IBUs.

I recommend using Maris Otter or Golden Promise malt instead of Pale for that authentic British character.

Drop the wheat malt. It will cloud up a beer that is supposed to be bright. If you want soft malt character try some Vienna malt.

Regarding the hops, I like the flavor of Fuggles, especially when paired with Centennial for bittering.

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Can you taste of 5-10 additional IBUs? And <10% wheat malt won't cloud up the beer any, let alone English IPA allows for a slight haze anyway. My local shop sells a Pale Ale malt that is English base malt, that isn't made by Crisp or Simpsons, so I assumed Pale Ale malt was a catch all for an english based barley malt. –  brewchez May 26 '10 at 15:04
    
It's generally considered that 5 IBUs is about the "resolution" of the human palate. –  Dean Brundage May 27 '10 at 14:17

Best homebrew English IPA I've had was:

  • Marris Otter base for 1.060
    (substitute Pale malt & a little Biscuit if you dont have MO)
  • 1/2 pound British Medium Crsytal
  • All Fuggles (60, 15, 5, flameout - not sure the amounts but it was 25-35 IBU and fairly hoppy)
  • S-04 Dry Yeast
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