In the world of craft beer, it seems that curiosity now revolves around what has come to be called New England IPA, or Vermont Pale Ale. Beers labeled under these names are little by little showing up on shelves and specialized bars. As you will see, this style is also known with the diminutive of NEIPA, that comes from New England India Pale Ale, being very similar to the IPA. This is not a coincidence; it is a beer style that evolved from the legendary English IPA style of the 18th century.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW ENGLAND IPA
- They are very dark golden and orange beers.
- They have fresh aromas and flavors of tropical and citrus fruits.
- In the mouth they are creamy, with great body
- They have almost no bitterness.
In the brewing world there are some discordant voices that think it is a passing fad. They think NEIPA is not a new style, but a clear variant of an IPA. Because of its high content of hop aromas, it can’t be stored for long periods, as it loses its characteristic flavour. However, this style of beer has won many followers and little by little it is consolidating itself in the beer scene worldwide. In reality, this type of beer was created as a response of those that did not like the sharp bitterness of the IPA, but apart from having the same acronyms, the only thing that it has in common with the NEIPA is that they are hopped beers. While IPAs are clean, transparent, bitter beers, with citrus or herbal aromas, depending on whether they are English or American, NEIPA are cloudy, silky beers with tropical and slightly bitter fruit flavors.
To achieve this, we must take into account some fundamentals in its preparation. On the one hand we can not use normal water for the extraction of the bitterness of the hops. We’ll need to use low mineralized water, at least containing the same chlorides as sulphates, but even better if it has twice as much chloride as sulphates. The hops we’ll use must give fruity essence. Another quality this beer has is its cloudy appearance, almost as if it were a juice. To achieve this look, we must use a yeast that has little attenuation/flocculation and gives a fruity character.
The NEIPA should be silky, creamy and soft on the palate. We can add oatmeal flakes and even wheat malt to the recipe to achieve this. That said, and being a beer with relatively little history, we will go directly to the recipe designed to make 25 liters.
RECIPE for 25 LITERS
The recipe data is calculated for a device with a yield of 72% and an evaporation of 4 liters per hour. It is calculated for 25 liters because with so much hop addition, it will lose some liquid by hop-absorption and in the transfer.
- The initial density is 1,055 reaching a final of around 1,012 and 1,010.
- Bitterness: 35 IBU
- Alcohol in volumes between 5.75 and 6%
Once you have made the mix, control the pH so that it is around 5.5 and if you have to lower it, use phosphoric acid. The water used for the washing also has to be at 5.5 pH.
If you use bottled water look for one that contains more chlorides than sulphates, and if you use osmosis water treat it with a ratio of 1: 1 or 2: 1 in favor of the chlorides.
For bitter hop, if you want to add it in the First Wort Hop to get a more integrated and rounder bitterness, you can do it without overdoing the IBUs.
After boiling, we cooled our wort to 176F, at which point we added the hops, starting with the whirlpool for 15 minutes. As always, I accept advice and opinions that we can put into practice for our next batch. I love this style of beer, so will surely repeat it very soon.