Brew Day 4 18 May 2015 – American IPA

I’m having a go at an extract brew today. My aim is a simple hop forward American IPA. I used the Kit & Extract Beer Designer from the Aussie Home Brewer forum to design the beer. The beer includes the following ingredients.

1.5KG Briess CBW Golden Light LME
0.5KG Light DME
0.3KG Brown Sugar
Briess Light Crystal Malt 0.25KG
21g Simcoe @ 60 mins 14%AA
21g Simcoe @ 5 mins 14%AA
48g Simcoe dry hopped after 4 days for 3 days.
11g SAFALE US-05 Dry Yeast

Brew Type : 3 Gallon Extract

Simcoe hops pellets, Bairds Crystal Malt, Bairds LME, Brown Sugar

Simcoe hops pellets, Bairds Crystal Malt, Bairds LME, Brown Sugar, Yeast

OG: 1.068
FG: 1.014
ABV: 7.4%

I chose a single hop recipe with a decent late boil addition and dry hop to bring out the piney/fruit aromas of the American Simcoe hop. It was a little expensive ($12 for 90g) but I think it’s better to go for quality.


1. Steep the crystal malt in 1L of 65-70C water for 30 minutes.

Steeping the Crystal

Steeping the Crystal

2. Drain into boil pot and sparge with 1L of 65-70C water.
3. Make up boil pot to 5L and bring to boil switch off and add 400g of DME mixing to make sure it dissolves fully.
4. Put heat back on and bring to rolling boil. When boiling make first hop addition. Boil for 55 minutes and make second addition. Boil for a further 5 minutes before plunging pot into ice bath to bring down to 20-25C.

First Hop Addition - Smells Good!

First Hop Addition – Smells Good!

5. While wort is boiling bring 2L of water to boil and dissolve remainder of DME and brown sugar and cool rapidly in ice water.
6. Pour cooled wort, cooled sugar/DME solution and LME into FV. Add cooled water to bring volume to 12L.

Aerated wort at 24C prior to pitching yeast.

Aerated wort at 24C prior to pitching yeast.

7. Pitch yeast at 20-25C, seal FV, put airlock in place and commence fermenting.

I ended up getting the wort to 24C in the FV. I took a gravity reading (1.071) which wasn’t too far off target and pitched the yeast. After the FV was sealed I put the airlock in place and moved the vessel to my temperature controlled refrigerator. Set temperature was 18.5C.

Fermentation Notes

I’ve only used the US-05 yeast once and it was slow to start. The reading I’ve done suggests that’s fairly common and that it can be sped up by re-hydrating it before pitching. This brew showed the first signs of active fermentation after about 12-18 hours with the barest hint of a krausen ring appearing on the inside of the vessel. The airlock became active sometime between 24 and 36 hours after pitching the yeast. The fermentation fridge smells like pine trees!


Made up a muslin bag, sterilised it and half a dozen marbles (for ballast) in StarSan. Put 48g of Simcoe hops and the marbles in the bag tied it off and dropped it into the fermentation vessel. You can see the hop bag sinking in the image below.

48g of Simcoe pellets sinking into the beery depths.

48g of Simcoe pellets sinking into the beery depths.

Took sample at same time and measured gravity at 1.018, four points above target. OG was 3 points above target so I wonder if I got more un-fermentable sugars from the crystal than expected. Will measure again when bottling. Drank the sample, it had a lot more odour and flavour from the hops than I was expecting. Very piney/resinous on the nose without much fruit. Will be interesting to see if the dry hopping adds more fruit. Not unpleasant at all for a warm, flat half glass of beer!

Current plan is to fine with gelatin on 28/5/15 29-5-15 and cold crash for three days before bottling on 2/6/15.

29/5/15 9:00AM – Mixed half a teaspoon of gelatin into 100mL of 70C water and stirred until completely dissolved. Dropped the lot into the fermentation vessel. The FV was at 14.5C. I’ve turned on the refrigerator and will cold crash until next Tuesday (2/6/15) and will bottle then. I need to work out the bulk priming rate before then.


3/6/15 – After 5 days of cold crashing I bottled this brew today. Mixed 65g of brown sugar with 250mL of water and brought to the boil to dissolve. Add the sugar water to my bottling container and then racked off the FV to the bottling container ensuring a good swirl so that the sugar was well mixed. Bottled into 12 750mL PET and 1 500mL glass bottles, with about 400mL left over for SG testing and drinking! Yield was a bit under 11L which isn’t great. Final SG was 1.018 at 5C, which included the priming sugar. Once corrected for temperature and the sugar the FG was 1.015, only two points from estimate, so things have fermented out nicely.

There was a huge passionfruit aroma from the dry hopping, even my young kids who hate the smell of beer commented on how strong the passionfruit was. The sample was a dark amber with a strong mouth feel, strong malt, which tempered the lingering bitterness. It was, in short, delicious. Easily the best brew I’ve done to date! The beer had no real clarity so I don’t perceive any benefit of using the gelatin to fine the beer. However, this could be due to the fact that when I steeped the crystal malt I only strained it with a fine colander which could easily lead to fine particulates in suspension. Next time I’ll make sure to steep the grains in a muslin bag and see if that helps with clarity.

As an aside I harvested some of the trub and put it into a sterilised glass jar with cooled boiled water. I’ve put it in the fridge to keep the yeast dormant. I plan to make a starter from this and pitch this into my next brew. As a note to myself I’ll make the starter from 1L of water with 100g of LDME. You can see an image of the jar below.

Harvested Yeast/Trub

Harvested Yeast/Trub

And here it is after 12 hours in the cold to settle out:

Harvested Yeast after 12 Hours

Harvested Yeast after 12 Hours

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About markn

Mark is the owner and founder of Timesheets MTS Software, an mISV that develops and markets employee timesheet and time clock software. He's also a mechanical engineer, father of four, and a lifelong lover of gadgets.