New brew – Krispy IPA


I’m in the process of brewing another ale, probably the last of this batch (due to it getting to warm to brew in my kitchen!).

It’s all my own recipe this time, so fingers crossed!  I’ve gone for an IPA style ale – and a proper one, rather than some of the beers which use IPA in the name and end up nothing like the style should be (Green King IPA for starters – what makes that an IPA?).

So into the boiler went;

  • 90g of crystal malt grains (crushed) – steeped at 65c for 30 mins (for colour and body)
  • 3 x 1.5 kg of light malt extract (to give the ale a good strength.. 6.5-7% probably)
  • 80g of Northern Brewers hops, 60 min boil
  • 20g of Northern Brewers hops, 40 min boil
  • 50g of East Kent Goldings 5 min boil (for the hop aroma)

Once boiled and chilled down using my wort chilller, I transferred to my fermenter, with the air pump on getting loads of oxygen in (make sure the wort is 25-20c during this process).  The wort definitely had a much stronger hop smell than any ale I’ve made so far – it really did smell good (I LOVE hoppy beer).

Then pitched in two 11g packets of Nottingham yeast (double up to make sure.. as this is going to be an expensive beer to make.. nearly £40!).  From what I’ve read, the Danstar Nottingham yeast is a real beast – has a high attenuation (can turn more sugar to alcohol than a lot of other yeasts), and is very good at its job.  I’ve read it’s pretty neutral, and won’t add much personality of its own to the ale, but I’m not too worried at this stage in my brewing.  Anyway it’s fermenting fairly warm, which will add a little bit of a ‘fruity’ note, which might be welcome in such a strong and hoppy beer.

The first 24 hours saw an explosive ferment – I had to swap from normal airlock to a blow off tube (some tubing stuck in the rubber bung to a container of water) – as the head was blowing through the airlock, and it looked like a scene from a horror movie 🙂  Airlock re-fitted about 36 hours in.. and its calming down now, only 3 days in.  Seems a little early, for so much sugar to get through, but it might be ok, as this yeast does its thing pretty quick I’ve read.  I’ll take a gravity reading tonight, and if needed, stir up the yeast from the bottom to wake it up a bit.

I’m thinking about dry hopping the beer when I transfer to the secondary fermenter (adding a small bag of hops to the ale ‘dry’), to add even more hop aroma… but I’m worried I could introduce some external bacteria and spoil the beer.. tough call!

EDIT: Well I’ve transfered to the secondary fermenter.. I mis-calculated on the darkness (or lack of) of the crystal malt, so the beer is a lot lighter in colour than I expected, looks like it will be quite a golden IPA rather than a dark colour.  The beer transfered looking like toffee – which should change as the yeast falls out (it better!).  I did add a small bag of aroma hops to the fermenter.. so fingers crossed that goes well, and just adds a nice hop aroma to the beer, rather than a bucket load of bacteria!  🙂

Author: Krispy

Webmaster of this and many websites over the years. I've been a Senior developer (Java JEE and Oracle DB, specialising in SEAM/JSF/Hibernate web development). Ex Lead Developer at New Scientist magazine, where I worked on creating a new WordPress based website, using almost 100% custom created widgets, plugins and theme. My own projects include websites created in WordPress and custom written with PHP and MySQL, and have my own dedicated linux server to run them from. Currently proud of; Mags Direct - a site I created for my work at the Frontline Group. An online magazine shop, which I created with almost zero budget within a week (since had a full theme upgrade). Found at Married, one cat. Beer fanatic (wife probably says bore) - real ales and craft beers. I have spent for too much on home brew gear, I create full mash craft beers. I spend a lot of time either going to gigs or organising them - I'm part of a small bunch of friends putting on DIY Punk shows called "The Scary Clown Presents..." our website can be found here; Also a fan of the local footy team - UP THE POSH!

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  1. well I think I’m going to bottle tonight – things have been very quiet in the secondary – been in there about 12 days I think – just conditioning a bit, cause there’s been few bubbles. The yeast did seem to do all the work in 3 days anyway, so I’m not worried. I removed the hop bag a couple of days ago – so they were in about 9 days, fingers crossed they added a bit more hop aroma.

    I compared a glass of IPA from the Greenwich meantime brewery to the colour of my IPA, and from what I could tell, mine is pretty much the same colour – a bit darker than it originally looked like (which was too light – probably the yeast in suspension lightening it up). So that made me feel better – I just hope my IPA tastes just as good.

    So into bottles tonight – and I guess I should leave for at least 4 weeks before daring a taste (especially as it’s a strong beer). My problem is I NEVER leave my beer long enough before trying, so it’s never quite crystal clear, and it always tastes a bit too ‘yeasty’. I’ve still got a lot of my golden special bitter left – I’ve tried 4 litres.. about 16 still sitting there maturing – it’s nearly properly clear now which is great news. The london bitter (much darker) is also begginning to clear a little, just needs another week in the warm to carbonate, then another week or two to condition I reckon. I don’t think i’ll ever add finings again, that London bitter being the first and last time – it’s made the carbonation take a lot longer, and it looks touch and go in a couple of the bottles.

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  2. Bottling done – after about 15 days fermenting. I didn’t have any of the Aussie ‘sugar drops’ (Coopers fermentation ‘sweets’ or whatever they are called), so luckily still had some brewing sugar (good in emergencies). 200g of that disolved into boiling water (about 1/2 pint). Obviously the glass jug I did it in was steralised first 🙂

    let that cool (temp foil lid on it to keep out airbourne nasties), and then used a steralised spoon and small funnel to let me dish out the very sugary syrup into my freshly steralised 2 and 1 litre bottles.

    Then using the better bottle tap and a small amount of tubing, filled each bottle up (well leaving about 3-4cm gap of air in each one).

    I tasted the beer.. tasted very good! that’s both the ‘real’ beers I’ve made without a kit tasting really good even at this stage – without any maturing of time for the yeast to properly settle out.

    Bottles now upstairs covered by black bin bags.. it’s quite warm now so the yeast should be kicking in nicely – in fact I give most of my bottles a daily ‘squeeze’ to test for carbonation, and things are obviously already happening.

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