#1 Summer Jam IPA

#1 Summer Jam IPALately Gregory and I have been honing recipes for a few different “house” IPAs.  I recently wrote a New Zealand/Australian hop-heavy session IPA recipe for the spruce tips Gregory and I foraged this past spring.  We liked the resulting beer so Gregory tweaked the recipe and brewed a version of it for the wedding of a friend.  I tried that version and liked it as well, but I decided to go back to the grain bill of the original recipe for inspiration, and make a third, PNW hop-forward beer.

I wanted to create a beer of “normal” strength that showcases the intense tropical, floral, and citrus notes of the new classic American hop varietals while remaining smooth, crisp and quaffable.  I stuck to a grain bill of pale malts with a touch of flaked oats for a silky mouthfeel and appreciable body, and rye to provide head retention and subtle grainy-spicy complexity.

I’ve also been looking forward to experimenting with blending different clean yeasts to create a more complex and flavorful ester profile, so I used two different saccharomyces strains in this brew.  I wanted to use Imperial’s A24 Dry Hop yeast, but the homebrew store was out so I opted for their A20 Citrus strain.  I pitched this first and then pitched a starter of yeast slurry 33 hours into primary from the wedding IPA — which utilized Imperial’s English A09 Pub yeast strain.

The resulting beer turned out great and the methods used to create it highlight our continual striving to craft better and better beer.  Unfortunately, I bumped the keg shortly before the photo was taken, so some hop particles were stirred up (I would have waited and taken another photo, but the beer was already almost gone)!

Below is the recipe and process that we used, as well as tasting notes:

#1 Summer Jam IPA

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.5
Total Grain (Lbs): 13.00
Anticipated OG: 1.065
Anticipated SRM: 4.0
Anticipated IBU: 58
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 75 Minutes


46.15% — 6.00 Lbs. 2-Row
23.08% — 3.00 Lbs. Maris Otter
15.38% — 2.00 Lbs. White Wheat
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Golden Naked Oats
07.69% — 1.00 Lbs. Flaked Rye


0.25 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.25 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 75 min. (First Wort)
0.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 60 min.
0.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 15 min.
0.25 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 15 min.
0.75 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 05 min.
0.75 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 05 min.
1.50 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 0 min.
1.50 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 0 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Pellet, 7.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Citra (Pellet, 14.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
1.00 oz. Amarillo (Pellet, 7.0% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. HBC 438 (Pellet, 16.6% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)
0.75 oz. Sorachi Ace (Pellet, 9.1% AA) @ 5 days (Dry Hop)


1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.
1.00 Whirlfloc @ 15 min.


Imperial A20 Citrus
Imperial A09 Pub (Slurry)

Water Profile

2.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single infusion – 60 min @ 153F
Mash out — 20 min @ 170F


07.20.16 — Made a starter of A09 Pub yeast from slurry

Brewed on 07.20.16

07.20.16 — 20 minute hop stand after flame out with 2 minute whirlpool

07.20.16 — Chilled to 72F and pitched can of A20 Citrus

07.20.16 — Signs of light fermentation 9 hours after pitch

07.21.16 — Vigorous fermentation 18 hours after pitch

07.22.16 — Added A09 Pub yeast slurry 33 hours after initial pitch

07.23.16 — Added half of the dry hops in primary in PM

07.31.16 — Transferred into secondary with remainder of dry hops

08.04.16 — Kegged entire batch and began force carbonating @ 30 PSI for 40 hours

08.06.16 — Purged CO2 and set at serving PSI

Tasting Notes — 08.16.16 (poured off tap)

Hazy yellow-orange with a moderate white head stand which laces nicely.  Aromas of pineapple with a spicy-herbal/tropical note reminiscent of mango salsa, hints of lime and dill.  Herbal and fruity flavors dominate the palate with notes of grapefruit and orange as well as pineapple, cedar and pine.  Body is lush and juicy, but crisp and finishes with a dry and resinous spicy-floral bitterness.

Calculated OG: 1.065
Calculated FG: 1.008
Approx. ABV: 7.5%

The Return of the Rain — 100% Homegrown Fresh Hop Ale

Hops 2015 02

Return of the Rain 03Thus far, it has been the most productive year for my homegrown Centennial and Willamette hops.  The bines grew up to the second floor window and then I trained them to move outwards horizontally, yielding 2.77 pounds total.  I was able to make my first 100% fresh hop ale using all of these hops in a single brew.  Since I brewed it during the week that saw the most precipitation in Seattle since April, I decided to call it The Return of The Rain Fresh Hop Ale.

Fresh Hops Second 03If this recipe had been brewed with regular hop pellets or whole leaf hops, it would have resulted in an extremely bitter (probably unpleasantly so) IPA.  I contemplated using prepared hops for my bittering addition as some brewers do to save the fresh hops for the latter flavor and aroma additions, but I had enough space in my kettle (and enough hops in general) to double up my usual bittering amount — so I opted to use all fresh hops.  The resulting beer is hop forward with a restrained bitterness and a decidedly dry finish.

Hops 2015 01When the beer was young it had a very interesting and not unpleasant umami-like note reminiscent of roasted peanuts; after conditioning in the keg for three weeks this “green” note transitioned into the more immediately recognizable herbal/spicy characteristics associated with Willamette hops.  This beer also displays incredible clarity akin to that of a lager (I couldn’t quite capture this in the photo above due to the condensation on the glass).  Though I like this beer, I’ll probably use packaged hops for the bittering and dry-hop additions in my next fresh hop ale.  See the recipe and tasting notes below:

The Return of the Rain Fresh Hop Ale

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (Gal): 5.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 9.80
Anticipated OG: 1.054
Anticipated SRM: 3.0
Anticipated IBU: N/A
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes


61.22% — 6.00 Lbs. US 2-Row
15.31% — 1.50 Lbs. Golden Promise
10.20% — 1.00 Lbs. Carapils
10.20% — 1.00 Lbs. Rye Malt
03.06% — 0.30 Lbs. Acidulated Malt


2.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 60 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 45 min.
1.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 30 min.
3.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 15 min.
6.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 10 min.
9.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
4.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 min.
7.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
4.00 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 0 min.
4.00 oz. Centennial (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 days (dry-hop).
3.40 oz. Willamette (Fresh, N/A AA) @ 5 days (dry-hop).


1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 10 min.


Whitelabs WLP051 – California V Ale Yeast

Water Profile

1.00 g Calcium Chloride
1.50 g Gypsum

Mash Schedule

Single Infusion – 100 min @ 152F


08.29.15 — Made a 1L starter with 1 Whitelabs WLP051 vial.  Brewtoad suggests 187 billion cells to ferment 5.0 gal.  Cold crashed and decanted morning of brew day.

Brewed on 08.31.15

08.31.15 — Chilled wort to 65F and pitched the California V Ale yeast

09.02.15 — Signs of vigorous fermentation activity

09.07.15 — Transferred into secondary after 7 day primary fermentation, added the dry-hop additions which were also fresh hops kept cold and covered in the refrigerator since picking them on the morning of 08.31.15

09.12.15 — Kegged the beer and began force carbonating

Return of the Rain 04Tasting Notes — 10. 20.15 (poured off tap)

As stated, this beer is crystal clear now that it has had time to condition in the keg.  Big herbal/spicy notes on the nose reminiscent of forest, earth and flowers with just a hint of that earthy peanut-like aroma.  The palate follows the nose but the Centennials offer some hints of citrusy lemon pith and a firm but round bitterness akin to, but not exactly like, chewing on pine needles and Nasturtium flower petals.  There are also some grassy notes on the back end.   Quick, refreshing finish that ends dry.

Calculated OG: 1.044
Calculated FG: 1.007
Approx. ABV: 4.8%