Brew The Perfect Double IPA: A Step-By-Step Guide

double ipa

The double IPA has become a staple in the craft beer community and is an intensely hoppy, bitter pale ale. It does not have much malt character, so despite the high abv, it is not a rich, malty beer. Even though there is significant bitterness, it is not harsh. While the double IPA has a higher alcohol content than a standard IPA, it is a surprisingly drinkable beer when done right. The guidelines are listed below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.065 – 1.085
  • Final Gravity: 1.008 – 1.018
  • Alcohol by Volume: 7.5% – 10.0%
  • Bitterness: 60-100 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 6-14

Double IPA Ingredients

Malt

Like the American IPA, the base of the double IPA is 2-row pale malt to give you plenty of fermentable sugars. You can add a small amount of Caramunich and a light English crystal malt (no more than 5% of both) to add a small amount of color and biscuity, toasty notes.

Hops

The possibilities for hops in this style are endless, but I will give you a list of some of my favorites to choose from. I would recommend using American hop varieties as they will give you the citrusy, floral, and piney hop flavors and aromas you are looking for. The hops are listed below.

Bittering Hops (60-Minute Addition)

For the bittering hops, try to find one that adds a clean bitterness. Our favorites are below.

  • Admiral – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 13 and 16 percent, and gives a strong but smooth bitterness with a citrus/orange character.
  • Simcoe – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 12 and 14 percent, and adds stone fruit, pine, and citrus character.
  • Warrior – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 15 and 17 percent, and adds a piney and citrusy character.

Flavoring and Aroma Hops

  • Amarillo – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 8 and 9 percent, and adds a nice citrusy and flowery character.
  • Cascade – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 4 and 7 percent, and adds a flowery, spicy, citrusy, grapefruity character.
  • Centennial – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 8 and 11.5 percent, and adds a citrusy and floral character.
  • Citra – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 10 and 15 percent, and adds a citrusy and grapefruit character.
  • Mosaic – has an alpha acid percent ranging between 11.5 and 13.5 percent, and adds a berry, fruity, and earthy character.
  • Galaxy – has an alpha acid percentage ranging between 11 and 16 percent, and adds a citrusy, peachy, passion fruit character.

Yeast

For this style of beer, you want a strain that will attenuate well and produce a clean, crisp flavor. Some of our favorite strains for this style are below

  • American Ale – 1056 (Wyeast)
    • This strain has a clean and crisp flavor and is great for a beer style that requires a dominant malt and hop character.
  • California Ale – WLP001
    • This strain produces clean flavors and accentuates hop flavors and aromas.

Water

Last but not least, the water. For all beers I brew, I use a reverse osmosis filtration system and build up my water profile from scratch. For the double IPA, I recommend going slightly higher with the sulfate. It will add a sharper, dryer, and fuller edge to highly hopped beers. My water profile looked like this:

  • Calcium: 50 ppm
  • Sodium: 15 ppm
  • Sulfate: 110 ppm
  • Chloride: 50 ppm

Recipe

The following is a 5-gallon version of a double IPA. The numbers for this beer are listed below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.078
  • Final Gravity: 1.008 – 1.018
  • Alcohol by Volume: 7.8%
  • Bitterness: 67.7 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 9.5

Grain Bill

  • Pale Malt – 14 lbs (93.3%)
  • Caramunich – 8 ounces (3.3%)
  • Light Caramel 40L – 8 ounces (3.3%)

Hops

Bittering

  • 1.00 oz of Columbus at 60 minutes (38.9 IBU)

Flavor/Aroma

  • 2.00 oz of Mt. Hood at 30 minutes (25.7 IBU)
  • 1.50 oz of Mt. Hood at 3 minutes (3.1 IBU)

Dry Hops

Add these dry hops after primary fermentation has finished and keep them in contact with the beer for at least 4 days but no more than 7 days. You don’t want to leave the hops in contact with the beer for too long or they will start to add grassy flavors.

  • 1.5 oz Columbus

Yeast

California Ale – WLP001

Mash

Add your salts and pH adjustment, if needed, and fill your mash tun to the required volume and temperature for your mash to drop to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. For me, the strike water was 4.7 gallons at 163 degrees Fahrenheit. After 60 minutes, raise your mash temperature to 168 degrees for mash out. After mash out, begin to sparge until you reach a pre-boil gravity of around 1.069. For me, it was 3.9 gallons.

Boil

Boil the wort for 90 minutes. Add the hops in at the given times. At 10 minutes, I added yeast nutrients; at 5 minutes, I added whirlfloc tablets as my clarifying agent. Once the boil is complete, whirlpool the wort for 10 minutes and then let it wind down for 10 minutes.

Fermentation

Knock the wort out in your heat exchanger so that the pitching temperature is 64 degrees and then measure the gravity/pitch the yeast. Initial gravity should be around 1.078. I let this free rise to 67 degrees as fermentation starts. Hold the temperature at 67 degrees for 5-7 days until the primary fermentation is complete, and then add your dry hops. Let the temperature free-rise up to 72 degrees to finish off fermentation. Once your dry hops have had enough contact time, cold crash to 33 degrees for at least a day and then transfer to the brite tank to carbonate it to 2.6 vols. After 3 days in the brite tank, keg it. These beers are best fresh, so enjoy it while the hops flavors are in their prime!

If you decide to try this recipe, or another double IPA recipe, feel free to send us a comment and let us know how it went! And if you want to see more recipes like this, sign up for our newsletter below to be notified when a new post is released. Cheers!

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1 Comment

  1. “Please drink responsibly” and then dude absolutely POUNDS the glass. My MAN! That’s how it’s done! You earned that chug!

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