In this article, I am going to write about one of the styles of beers that I like the most, because of its aroma and bitterness …. the IPA. This style of beer has a very peculiar history. As you may know, IPA is the abbreviation of India Pale Ale and this is where the history of this style of beer resides. After Britain conquered India and settled on its territory at the beginning of the 18th century, the troops and civilians living there began to demand one of their favorite “beer” beverages, and of course, the English government besieged their petitions and they began to load their ships with porter and dark ales, the most demanded by English society at that time. What they did not expect is that due to the long journey bordering the entire African coast, together with the temperature changes having to cross the equator and the constant movement of the ship in the sea, it happened that these beers did normally arrive in poor condition, with sour and mouldy flavors.

Punk IPA Brewdog

As a result, brewers in England began to investigate on the subject. It was known that hops act as an antiseptic preventing the growth of bacteria and alcohol creates a medium where it does not allow the growth of microbes. These two parameters were what those the brewers at the time started to modify. The solution came from a recipe created by George Hodgson of Bow Brewery, transforming a recipe that was already made from a Pale Ale, where the amount of hops increased considerably and alcohol resulting in a very bitter beer, alcoholic, with a lot of foam and that endured the long and hot trip to India, creating what we know today as IPA-style beers. The IPA is a pale ale beer of high fermentation with a high alcohol level of over 6% and with an important bitterness exceeding 40 IBUs.  It is a beer balanced between bitterness and sweetness, intense, tasty, very aromatic and with good body. An important area to take into account when preparing this type of beer is the water to use, not in its quantity, but inits composition, of both minerals and salts. Many people have written on this subject, with contradictory arguments and resulting in different water profiles. In general, you should use water low in bicarbonates and high in sulphates, and with some calcium and magnesium.

According to John Palmer and Colin Kaminski in his book “Water” the profile of the water to be used in this style of beer should be:

  • Ca: 50 – 150 ppm
  • Alkalinity: 40 – 120 ppm
  • Sulphates: 100 – 400 ppm
  • Chlorides: 0 – 100 ppm

One of the most famous IPA beers is the Punk IPA Brewdog. It is a refreshing beer, very drinkable, with aromas of pine, floral, citrus and tropical fruits, is a very drinkable and simple beer in malts to highlight the flavors of hops. Created by brewers James Watt and Martin Dickie, in a small brewery in Aberdeenshire, (Scotland) in 2007 together with a bold marketing campaign, they achieved a revolution in the craft beer world, reaching to thirty Brewdog bars today and exporting to more than fifty countries. It is one of the fastest growing brands in recent times in the United Kingdom, an example of good know how to take an expanding company and bring good and innovative products to the market.

  RECIPE -PUNK IPA
DI 1.054 ABV 5,60%
DF 1.012 IBU 43
  WATER
Total water 30,4 liters

Water for mix 11,7 liters

Water for washing 18,7 liters

Total liters of beer resulting: 20 liters

  GRAIN
Malt Pale Ale 7 EBC 92,5%       4,31Kg

Malt Crystal 120EBC 7,5%         0,38Kg

Total Grain                                   4,690kg

HOPS
Ahtanum 80 minutes boiling for 25 IBU

Chinook 15 minutes boiling for 10 IBU

Ahtanum 15 minutes boiling for 8 IBU

 WHIRLPOOL  DRY HOP
Chinook 4g

Ahtanum 6g

Sincoe 10g

Nelson Sauvim 5g

Ahtanum 40g

Chinook 50g

Sincoe 40g

Nelson Sauvim 20g

Cascade 40g

YEAST Wyeast 1056 American Ale

PROCESS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EQUIPMENT

Recipe calculated for an equipment with 75% yield and with an evaporation in boiling of 4 liters per hour.

MIX

  • Mix with a ratio of 2.5 liters of water per kilogram of grain.
  • 149F for 45 minutes. 162F for 15 minutes.
  • Mashout at 172F.

BOILING

  • Volume of grape juice in pot 25.3 liters.
  • Density before boiling 1.043.
  • Boiling time 80 minutes.

FERMENTATION

Ferment at 66F. Dry Hop at 14ºC for 5 days. Ripen at 57F for 15 days.

CARBONATION

Carbonate to 2.2 vol of CO2 or if you prefer with 6.2 grams of dextrose per liter at 66F for 1 week and save to mature at 57F for a minimum of 3 weeks.