English IPA

Two years ago I made a down-the-middle English IPA, which was a super satisfying beer. I decided it was time to do a re-brew, with slight modifications for my upgraded brewing system as well as ingredients on-hand.

deep gold beer in clear glass

English IPA

  • 12 lb. Maris Otter ale malt (Crisp)
  • 10 oz. white wheat malt (Briess)
  • 8 oz. biscuit malt (BlackSwaen)
  • 6 oz. crystal 120 malt (Great Western)
  • 6 oz. crystal 60 malt (Great Western)
  • 1 oz. Magnum hop pellets (10.1% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. East Kent Goldings (EKG) hop pellets (5.0% alpha), 15 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Fuggles hop pellets (4.7% alpha), 15 minute boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. East Kent Goldings (EKG) hop pellets (5.0% alpha), 10 minute whirlpool
  • 2 pkg. Nottingham ale yeast (Lallemand)
  • 3 oz. East Kent Goldings (EKG) hop pellets (5.0% alpha), dry hop in keg

Target Parameters

  • 1.063 s.g, 1.016 f.g., 6.2% abv, 51 IBU, 12 SRM
  • Full-volume infusion mash, 154° for 60 minutes
  • Water built from Claremont tap water with mineral additions.


  • I heated 7.5 gallons of water to 163°, adding 8 g of gypsum and a Campden tablet.
  • I mashed in with the grains, maintaining the temperature at 154° for 60 minutes. Next, I raised the temperature to 168° for the mashout.
  • In total, I collected 6.4 gallons of runnings with a gravity of 1.054, for 67% mash efficiency. This is pretty close to my target, so I’m quite happy with this result.
  • I boiled for 60 minutes, adding hops and kettle finings per the recipe. After the boil, I chilled and transferred to the fermenter.
  • I brewed this beer on 16 January 2021. It had a starting gravity of 1.064. I fermented at 66°.
  • I kegged the beer on 13 February 2021, putting the hops in a baggie in the keg. Final gravity was 1.019, for 5.9% abv.


  • Appearance
    • Clear with a deep gold color; the thin white head is moderately persistent.
  • Aroma
    • Malt, light caramel character, with a low level of fruity yeast character. The hop aroma is a bit underwhelming, with little to speak of.
  • Flavor
    • Moderately high, slightly herbal bitterness, but not over the top. It is a moderately-high malty beer, with a bit of caramel and toffee in the malt character. The bitterness is really smooth, and very nicely balanced against the malt.
  • Mouthfeel
    • Medium-full body with moderate carbonation and an off-dry finish. The beer is very smooth for the level of bitterness!
  • Would I Brew This Again?
    • This is a pretty good beer overall. The color and clarity are gorgeous, as is the malt character. I would like a bit more hop aroma in the nose and a bit more hop flavor, beyond just the bitterness. I might try switching up the dry hop combination for future versions.
  • Overall
    • 7/10

Equinox IPA Kegged

Today I kegged the Equinox IPA. It had been in the primary fermenter since 27 August, just a little over two weeks. After the first week, on 3 September, I moved the beer out of my fermentation chamber (which was getting switched over for a lager), and let it ride at ambient temperature for a week or so. I figured this would be OK, because the main run of the yeast had presumably wrapped up by this point, so the risk of getting off-flavors from a hot fermentation was quite low.

Final gravity was 1.010, down from 1.062, equating to 6.8% abv. I added the dry hops (3 oz. of Equinox hop pellets) at this time; they’re in a bag, weighted down with some stainless steel washers and suspended in the keg via unwaxed and unflavored dental floss. I will leave it at ambient temperature for a few days, before tossing it into the keezer to carbonate at the lagering temperatures.

Equinox IPA

I have been seeing a fair bit about Equinox…err, HBC 366…hops during the past year, and wanted to try them for myself. Like many of the recent American varieties, it is supposed to pack quite an aroma and flavor punch. Even if it’s totally stereotypical for a homebrewer, I do like big, aroma-rich hops, so a batch with Equinox made it onto my “brewing goals” list.

This was also an opportunity to continue my exploration of Vienna malt, so I crafted a SMaSH-ish recipe that had a decent late-hopping dose of Equinox. The only minor deviation from a true SMaSH is that I threw in a touch of de-bittered black malt for color.

Finally, I am using this batch to recalibrate some of my brewing parameters. For a few batches now, I have noticed that my wort volumes and starting gravities are a touch off, so I am going to adjust the mash and boil-off assumptions accordingly in BeerSmith. Additionally, the night before brewing, I completely disassembled and cleaned my mill (a Monster Mill 2). There was some grain dust worked into places, and as a result it wasn’t holding the gap as well as it should (hence my low mash efficiency on some previous batches). After reassembly, I set the gap to around 0.039″. As noted below, I had incredible mash efficiency (84%!), but the mash itself was a little slow to drain. So, after this brew I widened my gap to 0.041″.


Equinox IPA

  • 12 lbs. Vienna Malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 oz. de-bittered black malt (Dingemans)
  • 0.5 oz. Equinox (HBC 366) hop pellets (14.2% alpha), first wort hop
  • 0.5 oz. Equinox (HBC 366) hop pellets (14.2% alpha), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Equinox (HBC 366) hop pellets (14.2% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Equinox (HBC 366) hop pellets (13.4% alpha), whirlpool
  • 0.5 tsp. gypsum, added to boil
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet, 10 minute boil
  • 2 pkg. Safale American dry yeast (US-05)

Brewing Targets

  • Mash temperature = 149°
  • Original gravity = 1.067 (actual = 1.062)
  • Color = 8.5 SRM
  • IBU = 63
  • Note that I originally targeted this for a lower gravity, ~1.058. Because I ended up with very high mash efficency (~84%), I had to adjust the recipe per the above. If I brew this again, after adjusting my mill gap, I’ll need to tweak the malt bill to reach the same gravity.


  • I mashed in with 4.6 gallons of water at 159°, to hit a mash temperature of 151°. The mash was down to 147° after 30 minutes, and 146.5° by 60 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, I added 0.7 gallons of water at 190°, to raise the mash bed to 148°. After 10 minute, I vorlaufed and collected the first runnings. Due to the fine crush, it took awhile to drain the mash bed.
  • I then added 3.75 gallons of water at 182°, to raise the mash temperature to 160°. I let it sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the second runnings.
  • Wow! I collected 7 gallons of wort at a gravity of 1.055, for 84% efficiency. As a result, I adjusted my original recipe to the one above.
  • As soon as the wort was on the flame, I added hops. At the boil, I added the second addition, and everything else was dropped in at the appropriate time.
  • After flame-out, I chilled the wort to 84°. This wasn’t quite cool enough to pitch the yeast, so I transferred into my fermenter and put it all into the fermentation chamber for a few hours. Once the overall temperature had come down, I pitched in the two packets of yeast.
  • Starting gravity was 1.062, a little lower than expected (probably due to a slightly lower boil-off rate than assumed by BeerSmith). I brewed this on 27Aug2016, and am fermenting at 66°.