Session IPA 1

I have been buying way too much session IPA this summer and decided to brew one for myself. This is a light beer, in alcohol and body, but with a huge hop character from the insane amount of hops used to hopburst in the final 10 minutes of the boil.  Here is the recipe I used, originally found at, Stone Go To IPA Clone.

Expected Specs
Volume: 5 Gal
OG: 1.049
FG: 1.012
IBU: 106.6
SRM: 4.4
ABV: 4.9%
Boil Time: 60 min

Grain Bill
9 lbs Pale 2-Row
6.0 oz Crystal 15
2.0 oz Flaked Wheat

0.5 oz Magnum (14.0% AA) @ First Wort Hopped
1.0 oz El Dorado (15.7% AA) @ 10 min
1.0 oz Citra (12.0% AA) @ 5 min
1.0 oz Crystal (3.5% AA) @ 5 min
1.0 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) @ 5 min
1.0 oz Sterling (7.5% AA) @ 5 min
0.5 oz Ahtanum (6.0% AA) @ 5 min
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5% AA) @ 5 min
0.5 oz El Dorado (15.7% AA)  @ flameout w/ 30 min steep
0.5 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) @ flameout w/ 30 min steep
0.5 oz Citra (12.0% AA) Dry Hop for 5 days
0.5 oz El Dorado (15.7% AA) Dry Hop for 5 days
0.5 oz Mosaic (11.6% AA) Dry Hop for 5 days
0.5 oz Sterling (7.5% AA) Dry Hop for 5 days

0.5 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min

WLP001 California Ale

Tap Water from Longmont, CO

Single Infusion, 155 F

8/31/2014 Brewed by myself

Collected 6.5-7 gallons of wort at a gravity of about 1.037

OG was about 1.043

Chilled to about 80 F or so, transferred to 6.5 gallon carboy, and placed in chest freezer set at 62  to chill over night

My apologies for all the estimates.  It was my first brew day in 3.5 months and the first one in my new house.  I wasn’t too worried about taking good notes, just making sure I did everything correctly and hit numbers that were ballpark to the estimates BeerSmith gave me.

9/1/2014 Oxygenated for 30-45 seconds and pitched 1L starter and increased fermentor temp to 64F to allow free rise in fermentor.  Strong fermentation the next day.

9/9/2014 Primary fermentation is complete.  Dry hopped with 1 oz Citra 1/2 oz Mosaic and 1/2 oz El Dorado.  Lost track of hops at the homebrew shop and forgot to buy one more ounce of Sterling for the dry hop.  So I just added a full ounce of Citra instead.  Hope to be bottling in 5 days on sunday 9/14

9/15/2014 I kegged this yesterday and boy is it tasty.  It still needs a few days to carbonate up fully.  Since this was my first time brewing in several months I didn’t do a great job taking measurements and keeping records, so I don’t know what the final ABV is.  It does, however taste similar to other session IPA’s I’ve had.  It isn’t a clone of Go To but it’s full of tropical mango hop flavor and and aroma.  I don’t think this keg is going to last very long!IMG_0451


5 thoughts on “Session IPA 1

  1. Pingback: Finally Brewing Again | Beer Crab

  2. GFGator

    Based on the fact that “session” beers are characterized by low gravity and alcohol content, and IPA’s are characterized by (among other things) high alcohol content, what are your thoughts on what exactly characterizes the “Session IPA” style?

    1. beercrab Post author

      As I understand it, when IPAs were first brewed in England they were designed to last the long voyage around the southern tip of Africa and up to India. The English brewers of the day increased the alcohol and the hopping rates because both of those factors were, and still are, believed to help inhibit spoilage of the beer during the long voyage. The problem is that the first IPAs produced tasted nothing like the ones being brewed present day. First, we know that hop character is one of the first things to drop out of a beer and that a fresh IPA is the best IPA. Also, even if the sailors were drinking the beer in port before they left England, the quality of the hops, unless being used right after harvest, was suspect at best, so the hop character of the fresh beer probably wouldn’t resemble modern IPAs either. IPA did indeed used to be a stronger, paler, hoppier version of pale ale. But, the United States insatiable craving for hops over the last two decades, and the creative brewers happily obliging to that trend have expanded the definition of IPA to mean a beer that is hop forward with very prominent hop aroma and hop flavor. now put any descriptor, like “red”, “black”, “double”, or “session” in front of that and I think it can still be considered an IPA. And if you read the BJCP’s update to the BJCP style guideline revisions here you’ll see that they are considering a similar approach to the style.

  3. GFGator

    Interesting! I suppose I have always considered alcoholic strength to be a key feature of IPA’s, but agree that in terms of flavor and aroma, it really is more of a focus on the hops. That’s all us gators can smell anyway, we have trouble digesting most IPA’s. #GatorProblems

    Would you still consider an IPA to have relatively more alcohol than another style? As in, would you expect a Session IPA to be generally higher ABV than a Session Pale Ale? That way it would be more of a relative alcoholic strength that is characteristic of the style?

    1. beercrab Post author

      I don’t think alcoholic strength Is a great indicator of whether or not a given beer is an IPA. In the BJCP guidelines american IPA ranges down to 5.5% and English to 5.0%, on the other side american pale ale ranges up to 6.0%. That’s a fairly large amount of overlap between these two styles. Answer your second question, I do believe that alcoholic strength is one of the main components of “session” beer. My personal limit is an alcohol content of 4.5-5% or lower. So I don’t think a session IPA should higher in alcohol than a “session” pale ale. If it’s called a pale ale it should be fairly sessionable already.


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