Ape-Rah-Hop: A Summer IPA Bursting with Fruit Flavor

by Jason James | Last Updated: June 2, 2016

Summertime… and the living is easy!

After 16 years in education, I have learned to truly cherish my summers and time away from students. Do I count down the days until the last day of school? You bet your ass I do!

During the summer I have more time to brew and I fire out some experimental recipes as well as tweak old favorites. In my household, summer is also the time for lighter….citrusy beers. This recipe is one that I have modified over the years that produces a good crushable beer. Its something you can enjoy on the beach or by the pool. Brew it this weekend and kick off summer right with a hazy tropical IPA.

DISCLAIMER: This beer uses fruit. Throwing fruit into beer is not for everyone, but I think the sweetness of the apricot balances out the bitterness nicely.

The Apricot IPA Recipe

Grainfather Mashing

Recirculating the wort during the mash

Stats

Batch Size = 6.5 Gallons

OG= 1.047

FG= 1.007

ABV= 5%

IBU = 96

Mash @ 154 for 1 hour

Efficiency =  73% (Not great because it was the first time using The Grain Father)

Grain Bill

5 Pounds Briess 2-Row

3 Pounds White Wheat

8 oz  Flaked Wheat

3 oz Crystal 20L

Hops

1 oz Magnum @ 60 minutes

1 oz Citra @ 30 minutes Grainfather boiling

1 oz Galaxy @ 30 minutes

1 oz Cascade @ Flameout

1 oz Citra @ Flameout

1 oz Galaxy Dry Hop 5 days

1 oz Mosaic Dry Hop 5 days

1 oz Citra Dry Hop 5 days

Yeast

Safale US-05

Adding the fruit

There are many schools of thought when using fruit in beer…..

  • Throw it in the boil
  • Add during primary fermentation
  • Use frozen fruit
  • Use an extract

I’m not saying that these techniques don’t work, however after different trials and errors I found a way that works best for me: Making a puree that I pasteurize and freeze, which pulls out the fruit sweetness I want. Here is the process:

Apricots

  1. Use 1 – 2 pounds per gallon of Apricots. Peaches and Apricots are both liquid rich fruits so you might have to use a little more than you would for other fruit beers.
  2. Blanch the apricots in boiling water for one minute, remove and let cool. This will help with the skins.
  3. Blanched and Sliced ApricotsRemove the skin, cut in half, and remove the pits.
  4. Food process the apricots with a 1/2 cup of water. You will have a apricot puree when you are finished.
  5. Add to a pot and slowly bring the temperature up to 170 degrees, string often. Hold this temperature for 5-10 minutes to kill anything that could potential infect your beer.
  6. Allow puree to cool to room temperature.
  7. Transfer fruit to a sanitized container and place in freezer for 12-24 hours.
  8. Move puree to refrigerator and allow to thaw for 24-48 hour.
  9. Add puree to beer after primary fermentation is finished.
  10. WARNING….the sugar in the fruit can spike fermentation again, make sure to monitor daily and add a blow off tube if needed.
  11. Use a sanitized paint strainer or muslin bag when transferring to the bottling bucket/keg. This will filter out the fruit chunks.
  12. Drink a homebrew and reflect back on how you wisely chose this hobby over collecting stamps.

Wrap up

You can add as much or as little apricot as you want to this recipe. Some people like a hint of fruit while others like a shandy-style beer. I think for this recipe, 1.5 pounds per gallon is the sweet spot.

This beer has been a hit in the past and hope it kicks of your summer right. Cheers!

Jason will talk your ear off about three things....movies, music, and beer. He has been brewing beers since 2012 and hasn’t looked back since. After converting a spare bedroom into a “beer room”, and a basement into a beer drinkers paradise, he quickly turned his hobby into an all out obsession. Conducting mad scientist beer experiments have become a norm in his brewing repertoire. There is nothing he won’t put in beer, including bacon.