Rainy Day IPA

As we head into the second week of March, the California brewing season is drawing to a close. In order to stock the shelves for next seven or eight months, it’s time to put together that final batch. Given the success of the season’s first IPA, and my personal affection for a good IPA, I wanted to finish off in that vein. So, I put together this little recipe. We’ll see how it turns out! Because I started it on a rainy day, and because I’m going to save some of this “for a rainy day,” the recipe gets a creative name.

Ingredients for Rainy Day IPA

  • 10 oz. 20° crystal malt
  • 1 lb. 60° crystal malt
  • 3 lbs. golden light dry malt extract
  • 3 lbs. sparkling amber dry malt extract
  • 2.1 oz. whole Cascade hops (bittering)
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops pellets (5.4% alpha acid; second addition for bittering)
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops pellets (5.4% alpha acid; aroma)
  • 1054 American Ale Yeast (Wyeast brand “smack pack”)


  • I heated 2.5 gallons of tap water to 158°, and steeped the crystal malt for 30 minutes.
  • I gently rinsed the malt (in its nylon steeping bag) with warm water, to bring the volume up to 3 gallons
  • I heated the liquid up to boiling, and then turned off the heat. I added the dry malt extract, and stirred it until dissolved. Then, I turned the heat back on. No issues with boil-over! I’ll have to try this procedure (rather than just adding the DME to boiling water) again. It probably results in a very slightly darker wort, but I think it’s worth the reduction in hassle!
  • Once the wort was back at boiling, I added the whole Cascade hops. I let it boil for around 18 minutes, before realizing I should add a few more hops in order to get to the desired bitterness. So, I then added an ounce of the hops pellets.
  • After 55 minutes of boiling, I added 1 oz. more of Cascade hops (for aroma), and boiled this for 5 minutes more. Then, I chilled, decanted into the secondary fermenter, and topped it up to around 4.5 gallons with distilled water. Finally, I pitched the yeast.
  • Starting gravity was 1.056, calculating out to 7 percent potential alcohol content. This will probably translate, when all is said and done, to about 5 percent alcohol content. The wort is a nice straw color. . .somewhere between amber and golden.

I found a very handy IBU calculator here. Assuming 6 pounds of DME in 3 gallons of water ([6 lbs * 43 points per pound]/3 gallons = 1.086 s.g. during the boil) and 5.4% alpha acids for all hops, the resulting black-box calculation showed an IBU yield of 108.4 for the 3 gallons. By the time this gets diluted out to 5 gallons, I would predict a specific gravity of 1.057 and an IBU of 72. My actual gravity (1.056) was a little higher because I only filled to about 4.5 – 4.75 gallons.