Back in May we had our English IPA Group Brew.
Two of the Academy bloggers, Ryan and Billy B., brewed their own versions. Visit the original post to see their recipes, and here is how their beer turned out:
For my version of the English IPA I decided to keep the core of my recipe the same, but played with the style of hops that I used. This choice was kinda made for me when I went into my local homebrew shop and the guy working that day mentioned they had a new English hop variety in stock, Northdown. I grabbed a few ounces and was really anticipating seeing what this hop variety has to offer.
The result was pretty interesting as it was really unlike many of the English varieties. This variety gave the beer an incredibly smooth bitterness reminiscent of mint almost. The only thing was it did not have a pronounced aroma, which in my case, I don't mind. This has quickly become my second favorite hop variety behind UK Challenger.
Being pretty unfamiliar with this style, I didn't venture out too far from the base recipe. The brewing went smoothly except the yeast (London Ale III) stalled on me a few days into fermentation. It happened again with the same yeast strain a few weeks later and it appears that the strain is very temperature sensitive. In both cases I managed to get fermentation restarted so it wasn't a big deal.
The English hops definitely have a pungent, soily character compared to the bright citrusy American hops I'm used to. To be honest I prefer American hops, but this was still a great beer. The Maris Otter really pulled the whole thing together with its richness. Without it, I'm convinced the hops would be too dominant.
How about you?
If you brewed an English IPA with us, go ahead and let us know how it turned out down in the comments.
Thanks to everyone who participated. See you at the next Group Brew tasting.