Brew Day: Drink With the Flies IPA V2

written in brewday, ipa, recipe

I recently brewed an IPA using only New Zealand and Australian hop varieties. I was shooting for a very light colored, clear, crisp, and fruity IPA to enjoy in the summer. Here’s a photo. I used a very simple grain bill consisting of 50/50 domestic 2-row and pilsener malts, and added a half pound of wheat to aid in head retention.

For hops, I used Waimea, Australian Summer and Nelson Saivan as follows:

FWH: 1oz Waimea, 1oz Nelson Sauvin
30m: 1 oz Waimea
5m: 1oz Australian Summer, 1oz Waimea
0m: 1oz Nelson Sauvin 1oz Australian Summer
Dry hop for 3 days: 1oz Waimea, 1oz Nelson Sauvin

I was also experimenting with large First Wort Hopping (FWH) additions while avoiding any bittering additions at all. I was trying to see how much bittering I could get from FWH alone. It may have been the hops used, or the process itself, but I didn’t really get much bittering from FWH, so that might be a good technique for extracting a small amount of bittering from hops and avoiding harsh bitterness. It’s hard to tell how much of the flavor and aroma profile comes from FWH in this beer as it had many other later hop additions.

In any case, it’s an easy enough technique that I’ll be including in more of my brews going forward.

Beer issues

The resulting beer was OK, but it had some issues that I will address in this version. Of course some of these are subjective, the brew itself was solid and people wo try it seem to like it.

Color and mouth feel

It didn’t have enough of a malt backbone, and honestly it fell a bit flat and uninteresting. The color was super pale and yellow, which I was going for, but I think it could use a bit more color, too.

To address this, I’m changing the grist by removing the pilsener malt, and replacing it with more 2-row and some Vienna and Munich malts to layer some complexity without adding any significant sweetness. I’m also adding a bit of dextrin to increase body.

Hop aroma

It could definitely use more hop aroma and bitterness. I’m now adding a proper bittering addition with CTZ, one of my go-to bittering hops for it’s high alpha acid content. I’m also pushing more hops to the later additions to get more flavor out of them, and throwing Galaxy into the mix to get even more of a tropical and grapefruit aroma and flavor.

In general, I like the direction of this combination of hops though, and that remains the focus of my “Drink with the flies”.

Yeast selection

It could use a bit more ester production in fermentation, so I am switching WLP001 with a bit more flavorful but dry strain, WLP007.

Mash pH

My mash pH on the last brew was at 5.8 and I corrected it by adding some phosphoric acid right in the mash cooler. For this brew I’ve changed the grist by adding some Vienna and Munich malts, which are toasted malts that might add some acidity in the mash, but not quite enough to get it to the 5.4 range. I’m keeping my salt additions as is, but also adding acidulated malt to help lower the pH to 5.4.

The final recipe looks like this:

Batch Size Boil Time IBU OG FG ABV
6g 60m 72 1.078 1.012 8.8


Start with RO water. Treat strike water with:

Name Amount
Gypsum 1.5 tsp
Calcium Chloride ¼ tsp
Phosphoric Acid 0.5ml

Add ½ tsp gypsum in boil.


Name Amount Percent
Rahr 2-row 12 lb 73.8 %
Vienna Malt 2 lb 12.3 %
Light Munich Malt 1 lb 6.2 %
Dextrin 8 oz 3.1 %
Wheat Malt 8 oz 3.1 %
Acidulated Malt 4 oz 1.5 %

Mash at 149F for 90 minutes.

Hop schedule:

Variety Time Amount Form
Nelson Sauvin FWH 1oz Palletes
Centennial 60m 1oz Palletes
Australian Summer 2m 1oz Palletes
Waimea 2m 1oz Palletes
Galaxy 2m 1oz Palletes
Waimea Steep for 15m 1oz Palletes
Galaxy Steep for 15m 1oz Palletes
Waimea Dry hop 3 days 1oz Palletes
Nelson Sauvin Dry hop 3 days 2oz Palletes
Galaxy Dry hop 3 days (separate) 2 oz Palletes


Name Lab Attenuation
WLP007 Dry English Ale Yeast White Labs 70 - 80%

Brew notes

June 20, 2015

Mash ended up at 146F. Boiled a quart of water and adjusted up to 149. Mash pH was on target, 5.4.

Sparge water (RO) pH was of 8.0. I added 3ml of phosphoric acid to bring it down. It was way too much, brought it down to 3.6, so I had to troubleshoot. I added 2g of more RO water, but the buffering capacity of this water is so low, it only brought it up to 4.1. I then replaced 1g of this water with tap water, which has huge alkalinity in my area, and that brought it up to 5.4. I added a half of a campdem tablet to not screw with cholrine which has given me problems before. Final Sparge water pH was 5.3.

I sparged for 45m and collected 7.6g of wort. Waited for hot break which took about 10m, and started the 60m hop addition.

At 15 minutes left of the boil, added a whirfloc tablet, something I do with all my brews.

I didn’t have enough hop bags, was missing one for the steap additions. I decided to remove the CTZ bag, clean it up, and use that for the steap addition. I didn’t want to risk having too much trub in the kettle, but this worked well. I removed the CTZ bag 1 minute before the boil was done.

Chilled down to 68 F with a plate chiller. Aerated wort for 40m, pitched my yeast starter, and attached a blow-off tube right away. I expect this to be an aggressive fermentation because of gravity and yeast choice.

OG: 1.078. This is Double IPA territory :)

July 3, 2015

Kegged beer. Gravity reading was 1.020, but it is still fermenting. Also added dry hops of 1oz Waimea and 2 oz Nelson Saivon.

July 6, 2015

Removed Waimea and Nelson Saivon dry hop bags

July 9, 2015

Dry hopped with 2oz Galaxy

July 13, 2015

Removed 2oz Galaxy dry hops. Smells heavily of passionfruit, might as well call it passion IPA! :) It appears to continue to ferment as it is still generating CO2, so leaving it in keg at room temperature until activity stops.

July 25, 2015

FG: 1.012 (resulting in an 8.8% ABV DIPA) Set it in keezer and began carbonation.