Thanksgiving IPA 2017: Recipe & Tasting

I wanted to have a nice IPA on-hand for Thanksgiving. So, I brewed up a recipe based on my Centennial IPA, first brewed last year. The base beer is a favorite of mine, so it seemed like an easy choice. I did modify it slightly to use crystal 20 and Victory malt instead of Caravienne and Carahell. I also mixed the hopping up a little bit, maintaining focus on the citrus/pine American hops. This was combined with Mandarina Bavaria hops, to add an interesting twist that I hoped would play well with everything else.

Thanksgiving IPA 2017

  • 10.5 lbs. California Select 2-row brewer’s malt (Great Western)
  • 1.75 lbs. Vienna malt (Great Western)
  • 0.5 lb. 20°L caramel malt (Briess)
  • 0.25 lb. Victory (biscuit) malt (Briess)
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (7.6% alpha), first wort hop with 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (7.6% alpha), 15 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (5.5% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (7.6% alpha), 10 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.2% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Mandarina Bavaria hop pellets (9.5% alpha), 5 minute whirlpool
  • 1 oz. Centennial hop pellets (7.6% alpha), 6 day loose dry hop in primary
  • 1 oz. Amarillo hop pellets (9.2% alpha), 6 day loose dry hop in primary
  • 1 oz. Mandarina Bavaria hop pellets (9.5% alpha), 6 day loose dry hop in primary
  • 1 pkg. California Ale yeast (White Labs WLP001), prepared in starter


  • I mashed in with 4.25 gallons of Claremont tap water at 161 degrees, to hit a 150° mash target. After 60 minutes, I added 0.75 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed and drained. I then added 3.5 gallons of water at 185°, let sit for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and drained.
  • In total, I collected 6.75 gallons of wort at a gravity of 1.050, for 71% efficiency.
    I brought the wort to a boil, and added hops per the schedule.
  • After a 60 minute boil, I chilled to pitching temperatures and added the yeast (which was prepared in a starter).
  • Original gravity was 1.062.
  • I brewed the beer on 7 November 2017, and fermented at 66° for 6 days. On 13 November, I added the dry hops directly to the primary fermenter. On 19 November, I cold crashed the beer.
  • On the morning of 20 November, I accidentally added 0.25L of lager yeast pitch intended for another beer. Oops.
  • On the evening of 20 November, I split the beer into two kegs (2.5 gallons each). The more full keg received 1 tsp. of gelatin in 1/4 cup of water, heated to 150 degrees. The other (less full) did not get gelatin. I force carbonated the kegs.
  • Final gravity was 1.008, for 7.1% abv.


  • The Basics
    • 1.062 o.g., 1.08 f.g., 7.1% abv, 62 estimated IBU, 6 SRM
  • Appearance
    • This beer is a deep gold, with a modest haze (it looks a bit darker in the photo due to the lighting). The head is exceptionally persistent and off-white, with beautiful lacing on the glass.
  • Aroma
    • Light yet rich citrus aroma from the hops, with a light malty aroma with a slight hint of caramel behind that
  • Flavor
    • The beer has a bready malty character, with a firm and persistent malt bitterness. The hop flavor is piney and citrusy, tending towards a grapefruit character. The bitterness is perfect, with a smooth quality and smooth finish.
  • Mouthfeel
    • The beer has a medium body and has a moderately dry finish with moderate carbonation.
  • Would I brew this again? 
    • Yes! This recipe once again satisfies, and I’m quite pleased with how the hops turned out. This is a classic west coast American IPA. The hop aroma could maybe be a touch stronger, but that’s a minor complaint overall.
  • Overall
    • 9/10

Beer Tasting: Transatlantic IPA 1.1

TIPAI kicked the keg for this batch a few weeks back, but luckily did a tasting before that happened. Results are below.

  • The Basics
    • Original gravity = 1.060; final gravity = 1.015; abv = 5.9%; estimated IBU = 60
  • Aroma
    • Light fruity background, with the hint of peach that I would expect for Conan. Slightly citrusy with minor floral hint, too. Very nice aroma, but not overpowering.
  • Appearance
    • A decent but not overwhelming haze to the beer; this has definitely cleared up over the past few weeks, from the initially murky impression. The head pours fairly high and fine, but settles down to a moderate but uniform, ivory-colored blanket across the top of the beer. The beer is a medium-amber in color.
  • Flavor
    • This is hops-dominated, with a notable bitterness at the forefront of each sip. This persists on the finish. The hops character is fairly piney, with a bit of citrus and faint earthiness behind that. The malt character has a slight breadiness to it, but is definitely at the background (which is fine for this beer).
  • Mouthfeel
    • The beer has medium-light body and a dry finish, with moderate carbonation as appropriate for the style. The bitter finish carries through smoothly. It is maybe a touch thinner than I like, but that’s fairly minor.
  • How does it compare to version 1.0?
    • This is a pretty good beer, but I think I liked the first version just a bit better in terms of its hops character. The main difference, to me, is probably the swapping out of Simcoe and Columbus for Falconer’s Flight 7C’s and Fuggle. It’s not flawed by any means, but I think my preference tips towwards the initial combination. Simcoe just does a bit better here, for what I have envisioned in my head. Once again, the Vermont Ale yeast rocks out. I do like this strain! I can fairly safely say this recipe is a solid one. I sampled it first when it was very young–within a week or two of kegging–and can say that a few extra weeks in the keg have been a good thing. The beer is at its peak!
  • Overall rating
    • 8.5 / 10

Transatlantic IPA 1.1

My Transatlantic IPA recipe turned out really well–in fact, I probably count it as the best full-strength (non-session) I’ve ever brewed. I wanted to give it another go, both to keep my yeast culture active and also to use up some of the hops I have on-hand. Although I really liked the

This batch is slightly modified from the last version, with the modifications nearly entirely in the hops. I also added a bit of gypsum to the boil.

Transatlantic IPA 1.1

  • 9 lbs. Maris Otter malt (Thomas Fawcett)
  • 3 lbs. Vienna malt (Weyermann)
  • 1 lb. Caravienne malt
  • 0.15 lb. pale chocolate malt
  • 1 oz. Bravo hops pellets (13.2% alpha, 3.5% beta), 60 minute boil
  • 1 oz. U.S. Fuggle hops pellets (4.5% alpha, 3.1% beta), 20 minute boil
  • 1 oz. Cascade whole hops (est. 5.5% alpha), 5 minute boil
  • 2 oz. Cascade whole hops (est. 5.5% alpha), steep/whirlpool
  • 2 oz. Falconer’s Flight 7C’s hops pellets (13% alpha), 2 week dry-hop in keg
  • 1 oz. Galaxy hops pellets (13.7% alpha), 2 week dry-hop in keg
  • 1 tsp. Irish moss (10 minute boil)
  • 1 tsp. yeast nutrient (5 minute boil)
  • 1 tsp. gypsum (added at beginning of boil)
  • 1 pkg. Vermont Ale Yeast (The Yeast Bay), prepared in 1 L starter


  • I made a two-step yeast starter, with the first step initiated on 14 February, 2016. This used 0.5L of water with 55 g of extra light DME and a bit of yeast nutrient. On 16 February, I cold-crashed the starter. On 17 February, I decanted most of the spent wort and then added another 1.5L of starter (165 g DME dissolved in the appropriate amount of water). On 20 February, I decanted 0.6L of the starter to a jar for storage (assuming this reached a little over 100 billion cells), and the remainder was set aside for the beer.
  • Because my software calculated such a small addition for the first round of batch sparging (0.43 gallons), I figured I would just skip the first sparge round. I did notice that my wort had a little more grain material coming in from the mash tun than normal; I will have to check my crush. I also noticed on the past few batches that I’ve been drawing off a bit more water than anticipated (approximately an extra half-gallon); I’ll have to adjust my dead-space downward on the software, too.
  • I mashed in with 5.3 gallons of water at 165°, to hit a mash temperature of 152.5°. The mash was down to 149° after 40 minutes.
  • After 60 minutes, I vorlaufed collected the first runnings.
  • Next, I added 3.75 gallons of water at 185°, which raised the overall mash temperature to 165°. I let it rest for 10 minutes, vorlaufed, and collected the remainder of the wort.
  • All together, I collected 7.1 gallons of wort with a gravity of 1.050, for a mash efficiency of 73%.
  • I added all of the hops and other goodies per the schedule above, and turned off the heat after 60 minutes.
  • I chilled the wort down to 76°, transferred it to the fermenter, and pitched the yeast starter. Approximately 6 gallons of wort went into the primary.
  • The starting gravity for this beer is 1.060, a bit lower than calculated. I had the boil set a bit less vigorous than typical, so that along with the larger-than-anticipated wort volume likely contributed. I’m starting fermentation at ambient (65°), and will move it to my fermentation chamber once that frees up. I brewed this on 20 February. When I checked on the beer the next morning, about 8 hours after pitching the yeast, fermentation had already started.


Beer Tasting: Transatlantic IPA

My Transatlantic IPA seems to be at its peak–no better time to give it a close look!

  • The Basics
    • Original gravity = 1.064; final gravity = 1.015; abv = 6.5%; estimated IBU = 64
  • Aroma
    • The aroma is very hop-forward and pleasant, but not overwhelming. I pick up citrus (orange) and floral aromas, with a hint of fresh apricot. There is a faint malty aroma that comes through as the beer warms up.
  • Appearance
    • Relatively clear, with a minor bit of haze. The head is quite prominent, white in color, and fine-bubbled, with excellent retention. The beer itself is a beautiful gold color.
  • Flavor
    • This is a pretty well-balanced IPA. There is a low degree of malty flavor, with a slight caramel note to it, but not enough to take it out of character for what I intended. The hops are of course prominent, tending towards the floral and piney side of things. The bitterness is strong but not over the top, and it definitely has a piney and slightly resinous finish. I detect a very modest ester background, perhaps some of the stone fruit (peach/apricot) that characterizes the yeast strain.
  • Mouthfeel
    • The beer has a medium body, with an appropriately moderate degree of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry, but not ridiculously so.
  • Would I brew this again?
    • Yes! This is a really nice “winter IPA”, and nails pretty much everything I was hoping for in the beer. I really like how the Conan strain plays against the hops and malt. Additionally, the hops combo stands up pretty well too. It’s complex, but not muddled. The beer is probably a bit heavier than I would want outside of the cold months, but that isn’t a flaw in my view. I was a little curious when formulating this recipe as to how much the Maris Otter base malt would show through–not much, in the end! It provides a good base, but doesn’t get in the way of the other ingredients.
  • Overall rating
    • 9/10