How to Brew Dank West Coast IPA & Dose with CDB

by Karl | Last Updated: May 20, 2021

Smells like dank. That must mean it’s time to brew up a West coast IPA that’s loaded with dank hops.

And if you’ve ever been curious about dosing your beer with CBD, stick around and learn how. I’m Trent Musho, and this is the bru sho.

Let’s brew this dank IPA.

These high school boys and girls are having a hop at the local soda fountain, innocent of a new and deadly manners lurking behind closed doors. The burning weed with its roots in hell.

Did you know that cannabis and beer actually have one major thing in common? It comes from one of the Brewer’s favorite plants, hops, or a scientist call it humulus lupus. Both weed and hops come from the cannabacae family, and they both have a common ingredient called turpines.

Turpines are responsible for producing some of the flavors and aromas found in both. So it makes sense why sometimes you hear similar descripted words used for. Dank, earthy, skunky, caddy, even citrusy and floral.

But the major difference obviously is that cannabis has THC, which is responsible for the psychoactive properties. While hops just brings bitterness, flavor, and aroma to our brews.

While you could technically add THC into your beer in legal States and call it cannabis infused beer. The worry might be that after beer, number three you might not be able to get off the couch to reach your munchies.

So today I’m going to play with those turpines and hops to get the most in character without the mind altering effects. And additionally, at the end, I’ll talk about dosing your brew with CBD to bring the sticky-ickey IPA full circle.

Sit back on your Papasan chair, toss on your favorite Bob Marley record and get ready for 420. Before we get started, hit the light button for more brewing recipe videos. And lastly, subscribe, if you haven’t so you can stay up to date on all that’s happening on the bru sho.

Now let’s brew. For this recipe, I’m making a five gallon batch using the brew in a bag method. To start I heat up six gallons of water to about 156 degrees. For the water adjustments. I’m in pretty good shape since I live here in California and I have pretty hard water, which makes for great West coast IPA’s.

But I’m going to add a few salt adjustments to get myself at levels up to promote a more crisp, prominent bitterness. Here’s the water profile I am aiming for.

Once the water is heated up, I had the grain bag and next I’ll add the grains. For the malt, I have a pretty simple grainbill: 87.3%, two row 7.3%, crystal 40 for some added color and a such a caramel flavor that’s common in the style. And 5.4% carapils for improved body and head retention.

My plan is to mash if 152F for 30 minutes or so stirring occasionally to even out the mash temp and make sure everything is mixed in. After about 30 minutes, it’s time to pull the grains and squeeze the bag. Take about a gallon of warm water and pour it over the bag to sparge or rinse the grains.

The amount of sparge is usually determined by my boil off rate. I take a measurement of how much wort I have after the mash and knowing my boil off rate, I do some quick calculations to determine how much I need.

So if I have five gallons in the kettle after mashing, and I know I’ll boil off a half gallon in order to hit five and a half gallons into fermenter, I’ll need six gallons before boiling. So I just add one gallon into this barge and I should be all set. It’s a good idea to know your system and know your efficiency so you can hit your target gravity and volume, but if not, no worries. You can always boil longer or toss in some DME to make up the difference.

Once the grains are out of the way, I bring the wort to a boil. I’m going to boil for 30 minutes. Now, this is where the fun comes in.

Adding the hops. At the start of the boil, I’m going to add my main charge of bitterness in the form of CTZ or Columbus Tomahawks Zeus, for a majority of the IBU’s. CTZ is quintessential flavor, classified as pure dank, and while they won’t be getting a ton of dank aroma, since I’m adding it earlier in the boil, my hope is that since I’m doing a shorter boil, also get some of those characteristics.

By the way, if dank is not a word that you’re familiar with or that you can’t relate to, then probably the best way that I can describe it as almost as a skunky smell. Like sticking your head in hop freezer at the local home brew store or walking into a pot shop in California. When, you know, you know.

With about 15 minutes left in the boil, I had a whirlfloc tablet, and a wort chiller.

The rest of the hops will not come until the end of the boil for what is called Whirlpool hopping. This is when you toss in hops after the flame has been turned off and he is no longer being applied to the wort. The Whirlpool temp can range anywhere from one 50 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher the temp, the more hop oils will be boiled off. And the more bitterness you can still extract, while the lower the temp, the more hopper owners will be preserved and not as much bitterness will be added.

I’m aiming for about one 75 and I’ll let it sit for about 15 minutes. For the hops in the whirlpool, I’m using some outer space named hops to keep it in the theme 420; a half ounce, each of Apollo and galaxy. In addition to their dank characteristics, these hops will also add notes of tropical fruits and citrus to balance out the overall dankness.

Be sure to give a good stir and mix in the hops to help them get fully saturated in the wort.

There’s so many great hop varieties out there, and I’m excited to play around with more. What are some of your favorite hops to use? Throw some good recommendations in the comments I’d love to hear from you.

I take an original gravity rating and get 1.065. And after the 15 minute timer, I turn on the wort chiller to cool things down to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, and then dump into a fermentor.

With the wort in the fermentor. It’s not time to add the yeast. I’m using SafAle US-05, a classic ale strain perfect for our West coast IPA style. But any of your favorite ale yeasts will work great here.

I made a yeast starter from a previous yeast slurry to ensure I have a lot of strong yeasty boys ready to go. For most beers over 1.060, I like to make starter as reassurance that I’ll have a healthy fermentation. With the yeast in, I get the fermenter a good shake to mix it up to incorporate oxygen before adding airlock and placing it in a cool dark place.

A day later, fermentation activity was popping off. So much that I decided to switch to a blow off tube. Since my air lock literally popped off. A blow off tube is as easy as putting some tubing connection to your air lock on one end and put the other end into a jar with some sanitizer.

With that set in place, I let this ride for another week to fully ferment. Now at the end of the week, the blow off to stop bubbling in the krauzen on the beer had fallen. So I took a final gravity reading and got 1.011, meaning this beer comes in at 7.2% ABV. We officially have beer.

Before kegging this up, I got a new tool that I wanted to try out a floating dip tube. I’m going to replace my dip tube in the keg with this and hopes that getting a clear beer faster. The idea is that this tubing gets attached to the ball and it floats at the top of the beer taking from the top instead of the bottom, which is where most of the yeast settles out.

So to install this, I just take out my dip tube and lay next to the tubing and trim it to size. Leaving a little bit extra for safety. Then you need one of these extra gas side tubes for your keg. Just place that in the liquid side and then slip the tubing over the end from the inside of the keg. It can be a little bit tricky and dipping your tubing in warm water makes it slide on a little easier once it’s on there, you have it.

Just make sure to test it first with some water. Once that was good, I sanitized the keg and then I decided to add in some dry hops.

For that I’m using the same hops I used in the Whirlpool an ounce each of Apollo and galaxy. If you’re concerned with hops, clogging your dip tube, you can always use a hop sock, but I just tossed mine in loosey goosey. And I don’t mind it for the first couple of pours I get a little hop pattern.

I also add a clarifying agent. My go-to bio fine clear. I’m adding about six milliliters. Lastly, I closed the keg up, purge the oxygen with CO2, and then fill it up with beer.

Once it’s on the keg, I set it in the fridge and add about 30 PSI of CO2 to burst carbonate for 36 hours before reducing down to 10 PSI for serving.

How to Dose Beer with CBD

If you’re looking to add a little more of a twist on this 420 themed IPA, then you could try adding some CBD into your brew. The simplest ways to individually dose each glass with your CBD of choice. You could also dose the whole keg if you want.

But the big thing to know about CBD is that you need to find one that is water soluble. Most CBD’s out there come in some form of oil concentrate, and oil and water don’t really mix.

So if you add a bunch of your keg, not only will all be sitting at the top of your beer, you could potentially destroy any head retention you have. That’s why individually dosing is a good way to go. You can just add a little bit to your drink, and if you don’t want any CBD, you can just have a regular beer.

And some people might be thinking, why not just add liquid THC? Well, I’m not saying you can’t do this, but this beer is so good that there’s no need to get launched into space about every time you want to pint. In my opinion, some things are just better kept separate. When the beers dosed with CBD to my liking, this dank IPA is officially ready to drink.

The color is a beautiful gold with just a slight bit of haze. If anything, probably chill haze since this was recently kegged, but with some time, this would definitely clear out. I don’t mind if my beers aren’t perfectly clear or perfectly hazy, for me it’s about the taste and this deserves to be drank quickly, to get the most out of those dry hops.

On the first smell I get that caty dankness almost immediately followed by some earthiness and slight passion fruit rum. It really smells amazing and it makes me want to dive right in.

Tasting it, I get the up-front bitterness followeed by a more fruity hop character, reminiscent of orange and even a bit of pineapple. There’s also some piney notes coming through. The basic grain profile is really the perfect platform to lift these hop characteristics to the foreground. But damn, this is so easy to drink.

“Hands down, dopest, dope I’ve ever smoked.”

Almost goes down like a session IPA, but at 7% it definitely packs a punch. I love the flavor combo that Apollo and Galaxy add. You can almost say that it’s out of this world.

But really you could change the hops around and this was still make a great IPA. Experiment and see what you prefer.

Real quick. I want to give a shout out to SGJ park on Instagram for sending me some pics of their chocolate peanut butter porter. Love seeing a group of people making great beer together. This is what the home brewing community is all about. Keep it up.

If you make this dank IPA recipe or any beverage inspired by something I’ve made, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a pic on Instagram @ the Bru Sho and maybe I’ll give you a shout out on a future episode.

Consume responsibly, have fun, and cheers. Thanks for watching. And I’ll see you on the next brew day.

Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy.