Centennial IPA

In preparation for my rather sporadic brewing during the summer months, I’m laying in a store of (filled) kegs for future tapping. Pannotia White IPA is going online shortly, so it seems a good idea to have another IPA waiting in the wings.

I’ve been playing a lot lately in the world of “East Coast IPA’s” (whatever those are), and three things moved me back west for this batch. First, I was getting a bit bored with the East Coast style (even though my recipe is definitely tasty!). Second, my Conan culture seemed to be wandering a bit, and I deemed it wise to dump it. Finally, I wanted to explore some classic hops–a full pound of Centennial hop pellets that recently arrived at my brewery provided incentive.

Centennial Hop Pellets

It’s been over three years since my last record of brewing with Centennial, and that seems like a bit of a shame. They are such a classic within the annals of American craft brewing (one of the “3 C’s” along with Cascade and Columbus), and I don’t really know them as well as I should. Time to rectify that with a single-hop brew.

The recipe is modified from one of Gordon Strong’s, in his excellent book Modern Homebrew Recipes. I’ve been really pleased with the beers from the book I’ve done so far, and wanted to try out another one. Ironically, this is his “East Coast IPA”–my main modifications have been in the yeast (Safale US-05 instead of Wyeast 1272 / White Labs WLP051) and also the hopping schedule. Given how the East Coast IPA “style” has developed, I can’t say I would consider his recipe to really be in the spirit of that right now. The hops and yeast are squarely West Coast (in my opinion), although arguably the malt bill could be East Coast (again, whatever that means).

Last year’s crop of Centennial from YCH Hops was on the low end of alpha acids for the variety (7.6% alpha vs. the 7 to 12% alpha considered typical for YCH). So, I modified the timing of the hop additions to get into the ballpark IBU for the recipe. Additionally, I will add a small dry hop charge (1 oz.) upon kegging, just to bump up the hop aroma a touch more.

Centennial IPA

  • 10.5 lbs. 2-row malt (Great Western Malting Co.)
  • 1.75 lbs. Vienna malt
  • 0.5 lbs. Caravienne malt
  • 0.25 lbs. Carahell malt
  • 1 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), first wort hop and 90 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), 15 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), 1 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), 5 minute steep
  • 2 oz. Centennial hops pellets (7.6% alpha, 3.6% beta), dry hop in keg
  • 0.5 tsp. gypsum (added to boil kettle)
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
  • 0.5 tsp. BSG Fermax yeast nutrient (10 minute boil)
  • 1 pkg. Safale American ale yeast (US-05)

Brewing Targets

  • Mash temperature = 149°
  • Original gravity = 1.062 (actual = 1.048)
  • Color = 6 SRM
  • IBU = 59


  • I mashed in with 4.3 gallons of water at 160.5°, to hit an initial mash temperature of 150°. The mash was down to 146.8° after 45 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 1 gallon of water at 200°, which brought the mash temperature up to 156°. I let this sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the first runnings. At this point, the first ounce of hops were in the hop spider.
  • Next, I added 3.75 gallons of water at 185°, to raise the mash bed up to 168°. This sat for 10 minutes, at which point I vorlaufed and collected the second runnings.
  • All told, I collected 7 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.052, for 76% mash efficiency.
  • I started the boil, adding the hops and other ingredients per the schedule. The wort had boiled down to 6.1 gallons after one hour.
  • After the full 90 minute boil, I removed the hop spider, added the final ounce of hops (in a small hop sack), let it sit for a minute or two, and then started to cool the wort. Once it was down to 75°, I transferred it to the fermenter. I then cooled it down to 68° in the fermentation chamber (which took ~2 hours) and pitched the yeast.
  • I brewed this beer on May 28, 2016. The starting gravity is 1.063, and I am fermenting at 66°.

1 thought on “Centennial IPA

  1. Pingback: Beer Tasting: Centennial IPA | Andy's Brewing Blog

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