Claremont IPA, The Final Verdict

The Claremont India Pale Ale, after bottle conditioning for a few weeks

Tonight I tried a bottle or two of the Claremont IPA that I bottled a few weeks ago. It has conditioned nicely, with a good malty flavor and definite hops flavor. I’m quite pleased with the level of bitterness in the initial taste and aftertaste. Head retention is nice, the brew is well-carbonated, and the color is gorgeous. My only disappointment is that the dry-hopped aroma seems to have gotten lost since bottling; perhaps next time I’ll try Cascade or a similar stronger hop. Every batch is an experiment! There will definitely be at least one more IPA before the brewing season is out.

Claremont IPA, The (Semi-)Final Verdict

I’ve been falling down on the job with updating on the Claremont IPA. After one week, we transferred it over to the secondary fermenter, and added an ounce of whole, dry Sterling hops (weighted with some marbles in the hops baggie) for dry hopping. The beer sat in the secondary fermenter for around three weeks. When we pulled it out to bottle, the uncarbonated beer had a beautiful, subtle hops aroma, and the wonderful bitter taste that we all expect for a good IPA. Final gravity was 1.15, so this means an actual alcohol content of 6.5 percent. Not too shabby!

We ended up with 38 bottles – 11 of the big, 16 oz. Grolsch bottles, and 27 of the regular, 12 oz. bottles.

All signs are pointing to this being a most excellent beer, and a successful first venture into dry hopping. Nice color, nice flavor, nice finish. I’m really looking forward to trying the first carbonated bottle!

Claremont IPA

At long last, it’s here. . .the first brewing session of the season! I’m happy to be brewing with Dr. Brian, who lives just up the street and has been wanting to get back into the home brew thing. We’re working at his place for this first batch – my apartment is just a touch too warm during the day still, and he has a nice cool basement.

I’ve been wanting to do an honest IPA for some time now. . .last year’s Kamikaze Pale Ale was good, but lacked that level of in-your-face hoppiness that I crave. So, it’s time for another concoction. This one I call Claremont IPA.

Ingredients for “Claremont IPA”

  • 0.5 lb. carapils malt
  • 6 lbs. dry American light malt extract
  • 2 oz. Centennial hops (pellet form; 8% aa)
  • 1 oz. Cascade hops (whole)
  • 11 g active dry Nottingham brewing yeast (Danstar brand)


  • I heated 2.5 gallons of tap water to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, and steeped the carapils malt (in a nylon bag) for 25 minutes
  • I gently rinsed the carapils milt in warm (~158 degree) tap water, to bring the total volume up to 3 gallons
  • Then, I heated the water to boiling and added the dry malt extract and 2 oz. of the Centennial hops.
  • After another 55 minutes of boiling, I added 1 oz. of Centennial hops
  • After 5 minutes of boiling, I removed the wort from the heat and chilled it down to 70 degrees.
  • After putting the wort in the primary fermenter and topping it up to around 4.5 gallons with pre-boiled, chilled water, I pitched the yeast.
  • On measuring the specific gravity, I noticed it was quite low – only 1.025! This is probably because I had left a quantity in the pot with the worst of the accumulated solids. Apparently, just a little too much! So, I boiled up 1.5 lbs amber dry malt in 1 gallon of water for five minutes, chilled it in ice, and then added it to the fermenter. This resulted in an original gravity of 1.066 (8.5 percent potential alcohol).

Upcoming Plans

  • After one week, I’m going to transfer to a secondary fermenter and add 1 oz. of Cascade hops, for some dry-hopping action.
  • Then, I’ll probably let it condition for another two or three weeks before bottling.

Ingredients Cost Summary
A half pound of carapils malt costs $1; the malt extract (including shipping) cost around $32. The Centennial hops cost $8.75 for two ounces, and it was $1.50 for the yeast. The rest of the hops were “free” from South Dakota, so we have a total materials cost of $43.25. Assuming a typical yield, we’re looking at around $1/bottle. The real killer right now is getting the dry malt extract. . .unfortunately, my closest home brew shop (which I otherwise love) doesn’t carry the light stuff.