English IPA (Article)


This English IPA was my second ever all grain brew. I’ve never been a fan of the West Coast style of American IPA’s. That’s not to say that I haven’t found some that I like. Some of the hop bombs out there are just not to my liking. If I taste a lot of pine or am burping hops after a sip of an IPA, I tend to have trouble finishing it. I do like those that have a citrus hop aroma and flavor, especially when it tastes like grapefruit. As I write this article, I’m brewing a batch of Red Grapefruit IPA (more on that in a later article).

At the time that I brewed this beer (May 18, 2013), I didn’t have a real good working knowledge of all grain brewing, so many of the processes that I used that day aren’t what I do now. I look forward to seeing how many of you point out the processes that are probably not the best ones to use in brewing beer.

By luck, this beer actually turned out fantastic, achieving an overall score of 40 at the 2013 Clark County Fair (Washington State) competition and won a blue ribbon. I attribute the great score and the wonderful way this beer turned out mostly to luck!

As far as English IPA’s go, I personally love them. They have a subdued smooth hopiness that isn’t in your face screaming, “YOU CAN TASTE ME, CAN’T YOU”. However, the hops are still front and center in this style. The hop in an English IPA should be more about the up front bittering hops, instead of the aroma and flavor hops. However, it’s usually a tough balance to get the bitterness right, without going overboard with the bittering hops. An English IPA should have a good malty backbone with OG of 1.050 -1.075, thus they can be quite high in alcohol and maltiness. The finishing gravity is 1.010 – 1.018, so fairly dry to moderately sweet. The IBU range is 40 – 60.

My version of an English IPA came in at 1.063, slight towards the high end of the range, but not up at the top of the range. My IBU’s came in at 56, which is pretty much at the top of the range. The beer finished at 1.015, right about in the middle of the range for the style. It finished at 6.7% ABV.

I have the judges tasting notes here along with my notes and the recipe.



Type: All Grain Batch Size: 5.50 gal Boil Size: 7.44 gal Boil Time: 60 min End of Boil Vol: 6.24 gal Final Bottling Vol: 5.00 gal Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage

Date: 18 May 2013 Brewer: Scott Ickes Asst Brewer: Equipment: Scotts New Equipment Efficiency: 72.00 % Est Mash Efficiency: 78.5 % Taste Rating: 30.0

Taste Notes: Judges notes from 2013 Clark County Fair: Overall Score – 40 Won a Blue Ribbon Judge #1 – 39 Aroma – 10 out of 12…Medium hops to style. Appearance – 2 out of 4…A bit cloudy, good head retention. Flavor – 15 out of 19…Clean taste; No off flavors; flavor to style. Mouthfeel or Body – 4 out of 5…Appropriate to style. Overall Impression of this beer – 8 out of 10…Nice job; brewed to style! Judge #2 – 39 Aroma – 9 out of 12…More malty than hoppy. Appearance – 4 out of 4…Good color. Cloudy (or is it dry hopped). Good head retention. Flavor – 14 out of 19…Malt is stronger over the hops. Definifite malt on the end. Mouthfeel or Body – 4 out of 5…Medium body. Good carbonation. Overall Impression of this Beer – 8 out of 10…Tasting more malt than hops. Still a good beer. Judge #3 – 42 Aroma – 10 out of 12…Moderate hops. Appearance – 3 out of 4…Good color and head. Flavor – 17 out of 19…Malty and moderately hoppy. Mouthfeel or Body – 4 out of 5…Smooth and appropriate carbonation. Overall Impression of this beer – 8 out of 10…Proper malt and hops.

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins) Water Agent 1
11 lbs 8.0 oz Pale Malt, Northwest Pale (3.0 SRM) Grain 2 90.2 %
12.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 3 5.9 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4 3.9 %
2.00 oz Fuggles [6.30 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 35.9 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.70 %] – Boil 15.0 min Hop 6 16.1 IBUs
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 7
1.25 oz Willamette [5.70 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 4.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg London Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1028) [124.21 ml] Yeast 9

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

Est Original Gravity: 1.063 SG Est Final Gravity: 1.015 SG Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.4 % Bitterness: 56.1 IBUs Est Color: 11.1 SRM

Measured Original Gravity: 1.063 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.012 SG Actual Alcohol by Vol: 6.7 % Calories: 211.2 kcal/12oz

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge Sparge Water: 4.99 gal Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE

Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs 12.0 oz Grain Temperature: 72.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 16.94 qt of water at 163.0 F 152.0 F 60 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.14gal, 3.85gal) of 168.0 F water

Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Bottle Pressure/Weight: 3.93 oz Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage

Volumes of CO2: 2.3 Carbonation Used: Bottle with 3.93 oz Corn Sugar Age for: 30.00 days Storage Temperature: 65.0 F


Brewed on May 18. Mash: Infused grains into 4 gallons of 164 degree water. Temp was at 147 so added a little over a gallon of 212 degree water to bring up to 152 degree mash temp. Held mash temp fairly steady at 152 degrees F. It did drop to 148 degrees F at 30 minutes, so infused it with 3 quarts of 212 degree water to bring the temp back up to 152 degrees. Lautered and drained. Got about 3 gallons of first runnings. First Batch Sparge: Infused with 1.5 gallons of 168 degree water and let rest for 20 minutes. This brought grain temp to 142 degrees F. Lautered and drained. Brought boil pot up to about 4.5 gallons. Second Batch Sparge: Infused with about 3.5 gallons of 168 degree water and let rest for 15 minutes. This brought grain temp to about 125 degrees F. Lautered and drained. This brought poil pot up to about 8 gallons. Boil: Great rolling boil for one hour. Everything went real well from here on out. Post Boil: After chilling wort to 75 degrees F., drained to fermenter and oxygenated with compressed air for 23 minutes. Pitched yeast at (9:15 p.m.) into fermenter about 15 minutes into oxygenation. May 19: Long, long lag. Still no activity the next morning. Temp of fermenter is 68 degrees F. At noon I hit it with a second oxygenation for 20 minutes. Slow bubbling of air lock started at about 6 p.m. Going every 9 seconds at 9 p.m. I’m thinking I underpitched slighty by using only one smack pack. I will use two smack packs on next one when gravity is >1.060. I’ll also use a yeast nutrient too. May 20: Airlock now bubbling nice and steady. May 26: Racked to secondary. June 12: FG at 1.012. ABV is 6.7%. Bottled: Yield 51 12 ounce bottles and 4 22 ounce bottles. The hop flavor seems to be right on point. The hop aroma isn’t too apparent, but might improve after conditioning. Some malt flavor apparent, with some biscuity notes. I’m not too good at predicting maltiness in a green, uncarbonated beer. I hope my taste judgement improves with experience. Bottled with slightly over 3/4 cup corn sugar.