2

Background

I've heard a lot of buzz about the New England IPA lately. After reading this article, I've gathered that it features fruitiness, cloudiness, and somewhat creamy medium bitterness. The specific aromatics and tastes seem to be a bit at-large. Haziness also seems to be a consistent characteristic.

After having done a few West Coast IPAs (largely consisting of Cascade, Simcoe, and Centennial pellets), I haven't been able to nail down exactly which hops, yeasts, or other ingredients seem to be "successful" for this style. A few other pieces such as these tips and this recipe seem to be good starting places, but I'm still not entirely sold.

As Nate Reynolds of GotBeer.com mentions here, the BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) has not yet recognized this as a full-fledged "style", so there may be some degree of educated opinion rather than fact. I hope to gain some experienced insight on the New England IPA, nevertheless.


Question

What, exactly, sets the New England IPA apart from a "traditional" IPA or even a West Coast IPA?

Furthermore, has anyone had repeated success with this style, and would be able to share your tips/recipes?

3

As a home brewer, I consider the style an IPA but it is characterized by the following:

  1. Little or no early additions of hops to the boil, 60/30 minutes. (Mash hopping is okay).
  2. A heavy late addition of hops to the boil kettle, 15 minutes and below. This can also include hop stands while the wort is cooling, like adding hops when the wort temperature gets to around 180 degrees F.
  3. Heavy Dry Hopping.
  4. A clean yeast fermented cool. It's an IPA, you have lots of food for the yeast and temperature can get out of hand. California Ale is okay but something slightly more English like a Conan strain (supposedly the Heady Topper strain), or West Coast Ale from Mangrove Jack that finishes a little bit more dry and hits the fruity ester profile by just a smudge over California Ale.

Cloudy/Hazy is not required, this is a byproduct of someone assuming that "It's cloudy because they used so much dry hop or late hop". I call Bullshit! I don't need it crystal clear but don't haze the beer up on purpose for this style.

Mouth feel: When you use so much hops in a brew, you do get mouth feel from the hops no doubt, and I would describe it as sort of creamy(ish). I have tweaked the mash temperature a bit lower (148 range) to account for the "extra mouthfeel".

Hop Selection: The west coast ops you mentioned can be used to brew this style successfully, but everyone is into the tropical hops these days so pick accordingly. Expect to use north of 1 pound of hops for a 10 gallon batch - my latest rang in at 22 ounces.

IBU's - who cares...you add everything late and you are looking for perceived bitterness not actual IBU's.

.

  • Good perspective. I especially appreciate the note about not intentionally hazing the beer - from what I read, the haze is merely a typical characteristic, not a deliberate feature. – NeatoBandito May 1 '17 at 20:28
  • Also thank you for the insight on specific tips and semantics; I figured the more "fruity" hops were desired, but this also confirms my inclination about the more traditional "west coast" hops. – NeatoBandito May 1 '17 at 20:31
  • The old standby west coast hops are sort of out of favor now, and I don't know why...(the big C's) Cascade, Columbus, Centennial, and Chinook. Love those hops and they are generally cheaper now too! Having said that...my last two beers were a Mosaic Pale followed by a Citra Pale...Doh! – Pale Ale May 8 '17 at 15:35
3

According to an article on vinepair[1]:

"New England IPAs are beers that are purposely hazy or cloudy, which can give these brews a smooth, creamy mouthfeel – a departure from the light/dry mouthfeel you often get with West Coast IPAs – with little to no hop bitterness at the end utilizing hops that impart a tropical, juicy sweetness rather than the classic bitter, dank or citrus-y flavors West Coast IPA lovers have come to expect."

This sentiment seems to be backed up in all the articles you have listed and I have found relating to these IPAs. Hazy, tropical, creamy mouthfeel seem to be the most distinctive characteristics. Higher chloride levels leading to rounder mouthfeel, also seem to be a defining feature of this style.

To me they almost sound like a fruity Weissbier to me.

If you wish to know more about how to brew it, find your favourite and e-mail the brewers, most of us are happy to hand out some pointers to a fellow brewer wishing to try and recreate a beer.

[1] https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/what-is-new-england-ipa/

  • Have you yourself ever given this style a try? – NeatoBandito Apr 30 '17 at 23:08
  • I had one or two last time I was in the US, don't recall much about them as they were dropped into some intensive research outings. – Mr_road May 1 '17 at 21:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.