How to Brew HAZY Session IPA

by Karl | Updated: August 12, 2021

If you love IPA’s and are looking for a hazy and fruity session IPA, then look no further. Today, I’m going to show you how to make this easy juicy session IPA.

It has a tropical flavor with notes of guava, pineapple, and mango.

I’m Trent Musho, and you’re watching the Bru Sho, keep watching so you can learn how to make this at home.

I love IPA’s and sometimes I create something extra bitter, but other times it’s nice to have an easy sipping session IPA. It’s lower in alcohol, which makes it highly drinkable. But that doesn’t mean we have to compromise on flavor.

Through late hop additions and dry hopping, we will preserve and accentuate those hopper aromas that are famous in hazy IPA’s. And with ingredients in mash temperatures, we will ensure this low ABV drink, still packs a full body and mouthfeel.

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For this recipe, we’re making a five and a half gallon batch using the brew in a bag method. Start by heating up 7.2 gallons of water, to 159 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m adding some water adjustments to improve the flavor of the beer, but to also help highlight the hop flavors.

If you’re interested in learning more about water chemistry, let me know in the comments, it’s a deep subject, but if you want, I can break it down for you.

Once we have reached the mash in temperature, I had the grain bag and then add the grains. For this I’m using 79% marris otter, one of my favorite pale malts. I love it because it has a nice malty, toastiness to the beer.

Then I’m adding 9% flaked oats. The oats will help contribute to the mouth feel and the haze of the beer since the flake oats are high in proteins and beta glucans, which increased the wort viscosity.

Then we add 8% carefoam for increase head retention. I plan to mash or soak the grains at 152 for 45 minutes. After the 45 minutes, I toss the grains and bring the water to a boil for 30 minutes.

Since I’m trying to focus on hop aromas, I don’t need to extract too much bitterness out of the hops. So for that, I’ll be adding one ounce of Magnum at the start of the 30 minute boil for a clean bitterness.

At the 15 minute mark, I had the wort chiller. Once the boil is ended, I turn off the plane and I add our flame out hops, one ounce Eldorado, which will add tropical citrus and stone fruit notes, and one ounce mosaic, which adds more hints of mango and tropical fruit.

By adding the hops that flame out, we’re extracting more of the aromas and flavors out of the hops and not as much bitterness. I’m really hoping to highlight more of these tropical fruity notes that are common with hazy IPA’s.

After the hops have been added, I turned on the wort chiller. You could also do a hop stand with these late hop additions, which is where the hops are added at temperatures below boiling for anywhere from 10 to 90 minutes.

That’s the fun part about homebrewing. You can experiment with different variables and see what you prefer.

Once the war has chilled down to about 70 degrees, I transfer it into a fermentor. Then using a hydrometer, I get my original gravity of 1.050. This number along with our final gravity, which we’ll get at the end of fermentation will help us calculate our alcohol percentage.

Now I add the yeast. I’m safale S-04 English ale yeast. This yeast is a powerhouse and I use it all the time and it can be known to create more esters, which are the flavor compounds that give more fruity aromas. Just another way to add to the overall fruity juicy flavor.

I set the beer in a cool dark place for about one week. After about a week, once the airlock bubbling had slowed down, I take a final gravity reading 1.013, meaning this beer has 4.9% ABV and we officially have beer.

Since we mashed on the higher temperature range, it made our wort less fermentable, meaning we ended up with a higher final gravity leading to a lower alcohol percentage, but also a sweeter fuller beer.

Before kegging this beer up, I decided to add dry hops into the keg. Dry hopping is a process of adding hops after fermentation has begun. You can add them in the fermenter or in the keg. I chose to add them to the keg because I wanted to preserve the hop aromas that are given by the dry hops and make the hop flavors taste as fresh as possible, straight off the keg.

So for the hops, I chose to use the same ones from the flame out, one ounce to Eldorado and one ounce mosaic. Additionally, I had some lemon drop hops, so I added a half ounce of that as well. These lemon drop hops are leftover from my Hibiscus Saison brew. If you haven’t seen that video, check it out.

If you’re planning a bottle, you can just dry hop into your fermentor and let them sit there for about three days or so. And then use your priming calculator and bottle your beer up.

For kegging, after putting the dry hops in, I add CO2 into the keg to protect the hops and beer from oxidizing. And then I transfer the beer right on top. I’ll leave the dry hops in the keg until the keg is kicked. After one week in the keg, it was ready to drink.

Immediately on the nose I’m hit with tropical notes of pineapple, guava, and mango. There’s also a hint of floral and citrus coming through from the dry hops. And the taste is bursting with similar flavors. I get strong passion, fruit and pineapple flavor, and the mouthfeel is creamy and goes down easily.

The bitterness is very muted, but it’s just enough. And you don’t get that chalky feeling that you can get from some other hazy IPA’s. Speaking of haze, it was definitely strongest in the first week or so, but it started to settle out with time.

I think if you wanted more haze, you could play with the yeast and find a good strain that doesn’t fluctuate as much as S-04. But experiment and let me know what you think would work well.

In the end, this was an easy sipper and this keg did not last long at all. I will definitely be brewing this one again soon and maybe trying some new hops. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up. And while you’re here, check out some of my other videos.

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