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New England IPA: Brewing tips and References

April 16th, 2021

New England IPA: Brewing tips and References

Many of you want to brew a New England IPA (and we understand you!) Some of you have probably realized that it’s not the easiest style of beer to brew! Here are few tips and references to help you brew a New England IPA (NEIPA) successfully.

When you think IPA, you immediately think of the bitterness that comes with it. You probably also know that the bitterness comes from the alpha acids in the hops. Well in a New England IPA, it is not the case! Technically, there is little or no alpha acid in a NEIPA! To obtain the bitterness of a conventional IPA, the alpha acids must be modified during boiling. In a NEIPA, hops are usually added after boiling. The temperature of the wort should be lowered between 70 and 80 degrees Celsius and a whirlpool should be created for 20 min. Below 80 degrees Celsius the alpha acids will not be modified, but other components that give bitterness to the beer will still be present in the beer giving us bitterness. Moreover this technique allows us to get some of the aromas of our favorite hops. The rest of the hops will be added in dry hop (the biggest you’ve ever seen!) and even more aromas will be added to the beer. If you look carefully at your NEIPA recipe, you may have noticed that the dry hop is not added a few days before packaging, but in the middle of active fermentation. Here we want to do more than just extract the aroma from the hops. We also want to biotransform the hops. We  want the active yeast to modify the hops in order to produce new aromas.

Another important aspect of a NEIPA is the water profile used. Usually in IPAs, salts containing sulfur compounds are added to accentuate the bitterness of the hops. In a NEIPA you want to accentuate the roundness of the beer (like in a stout). Chlorine is added for this purpose. The Sulphur/Chlorine ratio should be around 1:3. Be careful with the total amount of minerals so you don’t get a bad surprise! The temperature of the mash will also have an impact on the roundness of the beer (more around 68 degrees Celsius).

The choice of yeast is also very important. A yeast with low flocculation (that stays in suspension) is generally recommended to accentuate the haze characteristic of the style. Good choices would be Wyeast London Ale IIIFoggy London Ale from Escarpment lab, S-33 from Fermentis or Verdant IPA or American East Coast Ale Yeast from Lallemand.

Finally, oxygen is the worst enemy of hops! If you don’t have a system that allows you to transfer your beer without contact with oxygen, you risk ending up with a dark brown beer tasting like cardboard (and very little like hops).

We also offer NEIPA beer kits

If you want more information here are some interesting references:

J. Palmer, J., How to Brew Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time, Fourth Edition, Brewers Publications, 2017. (online consultation 2021/01/20). (online consultation 2021/01/20). (online consultation 2021/01/20). (online consultation 2021/01/20). (online consultation 2021/01/20). (online consultation 2021/01/20).