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I'm a very new brewer, just cracked my first beer of my first batch tonight, which was a Coopers IPA. The beer was quite a bit better than I had expected for a first-time, but did not taste much like the strong, hoppy IPAs that I love. I'd like to take another crack at it, but am not yet feeling courageous enough to get too complex with the recipe.

Can anyone recommend a beginner's level brewkit or recipe that I can use for a very hoppy (and hopefully strong) IPA? Some of my favorites are Dogfish Head 60 minute, Racer 5, Victory Hop Wallop, and Mojo.

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This is a fine question in my opinion, worded appropriately for this site, but I think it should be a wiki. –  brewchez Sep 8 '11 at 14:23
    
I thought it was near the line, which is why I commented with those links, rather than flagging or downvoting. –  baka Sep 8 '11 at 17:06
    
Hey guys, sorry about that. This is my first post and I obviously don't really know the etiquette of the site. Let me know if I should take this down. –  Cory Sep 10 '11 at 14:58
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Yes. A simple base recipe to think about is just this:

  • Base malt, 90-95%: For the alcohol ;-)
  • Crystal malt, 5-10%: Add a little sweetness and malty, caramelly characteristic, but not too much!
  • Hops: Some nice American hops based off of your preferred beers
  • Yeast: American ale yeast, for a cleaner finish characteristic of American IPAs

This is a very basic guideline that allows you to play a lot with flavors and composition, but is basically the common elements of a lot of American IPAs. If this is your second brew, you are probably doing an extract beer so I would say like 10 lbs of pale extract syrup (or equivalent amount of dry extract if you use that), steep in 1-2 lbs of Crystal 20-60, and then pick some good hops.

Hops are really the key for this. If you want a simple recipe I would use something like Chinook or Centennial for bittering and Cascade or Amarillo for aroma and taste. Your hop additions should be something like 2 oz. for 60 min, 2 oz. for 15 min, 2 oz. dry hopped. This will get you a lot of bitterness, flavor, and aroma. If you are feeling more creative, you can look through the American Hops section of this wikipedia article for ideas. Getting a bunch of variety is fun, but so are single hop beers where you can really analyze the qualities of a single hop variety.

Another great thing to do is look up clone recipes of your favorite IPAs and see what hops people generally put in them. You will start seeing a lot of hops in common throughout different clones of different beers you enjoy, and you can build your hop profile around that.

Here's a basic recipe on Beer Calculus to get you started. This recipe is simple and really easy to brew, but can produce some awesome beer. The real key is figuring out which hop characteristics you enjoy and choosing your hop profile based on that (and what your homebrew shop has in stock!). Good luck!

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If you're willing to spend a lot of money on hops, I'd suggest using the "hop burst" technique. Instead of the 60-minute addition that is suggested here, consider adding a LOT of hops in the last 30 minutes. This way, you'll achieve the same bitterness but with much greater flavor and aroma from the hops. Use one of the many IBU calculators to get into the desired bitterness range. –  Dustin Rasener Sep 8 '11 at 22:16
    
Dustin I have just asked a question about hop burst and now I read your comment! Perhaps you can answer my question then!+ –  Poshpaws Sep 9 '11 at 14:46
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Have a look at An Enthusiast's Guide to Homebrew Beers: Making Ales, Lagers and Unique Hybrid Styles by Sam Calagione, it's got a recipe for 60 Minute IPA in it, as well as another for Hopfather a 100 IBU IPA. The recipes are all extract brews, so you only need some way of boiling the extract with hops and you're set.

I've made quite a few of the recipes in the book and they've mostly turned out to be excellent and very drinkable.

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