Posted July 23, 2013 by Zach Speers in Recipies

Ah, the IPA…(Recipe)

Ah, the IPA…


of America’s favorite beer styles. It’s almost impossible to go to any bar in the country that serves craft beer and not find a few of these delicious beers on tap. With that being said, IPAs are an easy beer to brew so let’s get started. The Fly-P.A is my first IPA. Being from the Philadelphia area I’ve grown up a Philly sports fan and named this one after the Flyers. For the IPA I used another extract kit. It had worked out well for the pale ale so I wanted to see if I could make another good beer by following the same basic steps.

Step 1: Steeping the Grains

This extract kit included 2 types of specialty grains which is where I started. I brought my water up to temp, roughly 160 degrees and added 1lb of caramel 40L and 8 oz. of Victory grains to the water. Letting these grains sit in your pot is called Steeping the Grains and is the first step in any extract brew. This is the part where you’re basically making tea. Just as your tea leaves are crushed up and in a bag, your specialty grains are the same. For this particular IPA I had to let these grains steep for 20 minutes. It’s a great idea to monitor your temps through this steeping process. Basically while the grains sit in the hot water they are losing all of their flavors and sugars. Different sugars will be absorbed into the water at different temps so it’s always good to have an idea where you’re at. There’s a ton of science behind this but we won’t get into that as the most important part in any brew is replication. So just keep an eye on the temp so when you want to make the same beer later you have a target for your temps.

Step 2: Boiling your Wort

After the 20 minutes of steeping you can remove the grains from the water that has now become your wort. Now it’s onto the boiling step. If you’re working on the stove as I sometimes have to do, be ready to wait. If you’re working with a burner, consider yourself lucky. You’ll still have some waiting time but not as much. Crank up your heat and wait until your wort is at a rolling boil. This rolling boil is especially important with extract brewing because this is the point when you are going to add your malt extract. Normally malt extract comes in two forms: dry and liquid. For the IPA I had both. The liquid extract or LME came in two cans and the dry extract or DME was in a smaller bag. As your boil is going slowly pour in all of your LME and DME but be sure to stir continuously! This is where things can get hairy. LME in particular will want to caramelize to the bottom of the pot if you only have a light boil or forget to stir. This means you won’t get the alcohol percentage that you’re aiming for at the end of the brew. Normally adding the LME and DME will cause the boil to slow a bit so wait for it to come back on in full force before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Hop Additions

Here’s the part most IPA fans have been waiting for. All extract kits come with a Brew Schedule that tells you what time to add your hops. The earlier you add them the more bitterness comes into play. For this IPA I used Cascade and Columbus hops. Cascade is great for bittering and I added it at 60 minutes. If you don’t have a timer I’d recommend investing in one. Being able to set it at 60 makes it easier to see when you need to add your other hops. Secondly I added my Columbus hops at the 30 minute mark to add some bitterness but more aroma and flavor. Lastly as I terminated the boil I added some more Cascade hops that will only impart aroma.


Step 4: Cooling, Adding and Pitching

The last few steps of any extract brew are pretty easy. First you need to cool your wort down. Bring it down either by an ice bath or using a wort chiller that any homebrew shop will have. Next, with any extract brew, you’ll never have a full 5 gallons when you transfer to your bucket or carboy. Add enough water to bring the levels to 5 gallodns. Lastly pitch your yeast and you’re finished! Congrats, you’ve now successfully done another extract brew. Get ready to learn about all grain brewing in my next post.

Stay Thirsty. Stay Foolish.


Zach Speers

Zach Speers