New England IPAs (or NEIPA for short) has been a style of beer that has really taken off in recent years. It’s a bit cliche but it seems like every homebrewer under the sun has been trying to perfect this style. So why not me?
To be honest the biggest thing holding me back so far has been the concern over oxidation. Apparently this style of beer is extremely susceptible to oxygen exposure and “any” amount will instantly ruin the flavour and colour. As I don’t have any kegging equipment there is ample opportunity for oxygen exposure during my bottling process. But hey, homebrewing is a hobby about trying things despite the limitations right? So I figured I would give it a shot and see how things went… and (spoiler alert) boy am I ever glad I did!
|Beer Name:||Avg. Perfect Northeast IPA|
|Recipe Type:||All Grain|
|Pre-Boil Volume:||7.5 gallons / 28.4 litres|
|Batch Size:||5.75 gallons / 21.8 litres|
|4 g||Calcium Chloride|
|6 ml||Phosphoric acid|
|10.75||American Pale 2-Row|
|0.42||Canadian Honey Malt|
|1||Dry Hop (7 Days)||Citra|
|1.5||Dry Hop (7 Days)||Galaxy|
|1||Dry Hop (7 Days)||Mosaic|
|1.25||Dry Hop (3 Days)||Citra|
|1.5||Dry Hop (3 Days)||Galaxy|
|1||Dry Hop (3 Days)||Mosaic|
|1||Wyeast – London Ale III 1318|
|14 days||Bottle Conditioning|
|Mash Temperature:||152°F / 66.7°C|
|Mash Time:||60 min|
|Boil Duration:||60 min|
You’ll notice that the above recipe is actually called a Northeast IPA but for all intents and purposes it’s the same thing 🙂
I began my brew day a few days before by making a yeast starter. I chose Omega Yeast’s OYL-200 Tropical IPA because I figured that would work well with the fruity flavours I was hoping to achieve from this beer.
Brew day went uneventful and I ended up with an Original Gravity (OG) reading of 1.058 which was almost right on target. I chilled the wort down and pitched my yeast.
I knew I wanted to be pretty aggressive with my fermentation process and bottle it a bit young which I thought might help in preserving the beer. So I only let this beer ferment for 10 days total. Even still when I went to actually bottle it my Final Gravity (FG) reading was already as low as 1.005, quite a bit lower than target, resulting in an ABV of 6.96%.
The other piece of advice I had heard around bottle conditioning NEIPAs, other than “just don’t do it”, was to condition them for as short as possible and consume them quickly. So following this advice I only let the beers sit for about 1.5 weeks or so before putting them in the fridge.
|Smell||The nose on this beer was amazing. A great mix of citrus and floral notes that was reminiscent of freshly poured fruit juice.|
|Appearance||Hazy but actually reasonably bright. The pictures I have don’t do it justice because the beer was actually much lighter than it looks here. |
The head capping it off was very thick and foamy and would often grow above the top of the glass like a tower reaching for the skies.
|Taste||Delicious! Exceptionally balanced, so awesomely hoppy but thirst quenching at the same time all while having absolutely no “hop burn”. |
It’s not a stretch to say that this is by far the best beer I’ve ever made. In fact the beer was so good that despite already having quite a variety of other beers already in stock,this beer was not only the last one added but the first to be completely drank as well. It was truly a sad day when the last bottle was cracked open.
|Yield||This brew cost $56.39 in ingredients to make and yielded 43x355ml bottles ($1.31/bottle)|
If you couldn’t tell by my descriptions above this brew was definitely a success and I will absolutely be making it again. So even if you don’t have kegging equipment don’t let that stop you from trying to make your own awesome NEIPA! You may just be surprised with the results.