I've found myself becoming quite fond of "thick" and "juicy" IPAs and DIPAs. Beers with a viscosity to them that feels somewhat syrupy and leaving a great mouthfeel when drunk.

I want to brew my own recipes which turn out with this thickness to them. So my question is:

What techniques are there to brewing thick beers?

Does it come down to the malt bill, the ratio of grist to water in the mash, the hops, boil time, adding lactose or some other additive? Do they all affect it?

1 Answer 1


Thick mouthfeel and body can come from a few sources and even more methods to manipulate them. Most how to brew books have an entire section dedicated to the topic. But here's some bullet points to piont you in the right direction for further reading.

Thicker body is from protients, unfermentables and starch.

Protiens: These are manipulated with the grain types and mash methods to preseve the proteins through the brew process. Most focus on how it effects the head but also in turn adds body. Cara malts and oats are used mostly. Unflocculated yeast also falls in this category and adds body and creamy mouth feel.

Unfermentables: These come from high mash temperatures to favor alpha-amylase and specialty grains in the crystal , Carmel and roasted families. Also Unfermentable sugars like lactos can be used, most Sweet/Milk stouts get thier sweetness and a lot of thier body from this.

Starch: I little goes a long ways. Also a key part of a lot of hazy beers we've seen recently. You get more starch by halting the mash before it's complete or steeping oats or other grains. A lot of starch can be added by flame out addition of oats.

I've seen in recent commercial examples of many "IPAs" being really sweet and completely unbalanced in sweet/bitter for the style, it's almost like the birth of a new style that would be best desribed as a Hoppy Sweet Pale. Like a combo of a Sweet/Milk Stout and IPA less the dark grains or a Pale Barley Wine.

  • 1
    Indeed roasted malts and oats do add thickness in my experience like Mr Zymurgist tells. This ‘Hoppy Sweet Pale’, we’re not talking about NEIPAs then? Something new, right?
    – Martin
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 19:06
  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. I have many books to go through but with time constraints and the desire to brew again soon I sought an answer here to help me along the way!
    – joe92
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 10:16

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