How To Brew a Perfectly Balanced English IPA

English IPA

The English IPA is one of my favorite IPA variations, and it, unfortunately, doesn’t receive the popularity that it deserves! The English IPA is a moderately strong, well-attenuated, British pale ale with a dry, hoppy finish. Its spicy, floral hop character pairs perfectly with its caramel, toffee malt character. While there is still a firm bitterness, it is much more restrained than many American IPAs. The numbers for the English IPA are below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.050 – 1.070
  • Final Gravity: 1.010 – 1.015
  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.0% – 7.5%
  • Bitterness: 40-60 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 6-14

English IPA Ingredients

Malt

If possible, try to use English malts to make your English IPA. Using Maris Otter will help add malty, bready flavors, and a small amount of body. In addition to this, you will want to add English crystal malts. I like to use both a medium crystal malt around 45 Lovibond, and a dark crystal malt around 85 Lovibond. These two malts will add the caramel, toffee sweetness we are looking for.

Hops

For the English IPA, use a high alpha-acid hop for bittering and British hops, such as Fuggle or East Kent Goldings, for flavor and aroma. I add between 38-45 IBUs worth of a bittering hop at the 60-minute mark, along with 8-10 IBUs at 15 minutes and 1 ounce per 5 gallons at flameout of an English hop. You can dry hop the English IPA at a rate of around 1 ounce per 5 gallons, but that is completely up to you.

Yeast

For the English IPA:

  • English Ale Yeast – WLP002 (White Labs)
  • British Ale Yeast – WLP005 (White Labs)
  • British Ale – 1098 (Wyeast)

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. My water profile looked like this:

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

English IPA Recipe

The following is a 5-gallon batch of an English IPA. The numbers for this beer are included below.

  • Original Gravity: 1.051
  • Final Gravity: 1.010 – 1.015
  • Alcohol by Volume: 5.0%
  • Bitterness: 50 IBU
  • Color (SRM): 11.6

Grain Bill

  • Maris Otter – 8 lbs (84.2%)
  • Medium Crystal 45L – 12 oz (7.9%)
  • Dark Crystal 80L – 12 oz (7.9%)

Hops

  • 1.00 oz Magnum at 60 minutes (41.3 IBUs)
  • 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings at 15 minutes (8.5 IBUs)
  • 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings at 0 minutes
  • 1.00 oz East Kent Goldings as a post-fermentation dry hop 4 days before transfer to secondary

Yeast

English Ale Yeast – WLP002

Mash

Add your salts and pH buffer if needed, and fill your mash tun to the required volume and temperature for your mash to drop to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. For me, it was 3 gallons at 163 degrees Fahrenheit. After 60 minutes, raise your mash temperature to 168 degrees for mash out. After mashing out, begin to sparge until you reach a pre-boil gravity of around 1.045. For me, it was 5 gallons.

Boil

Boil the wort for 90 minutes. Add the hops in as necessary. At 10 minutes, I added yeast nutrients and 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 and pitch the yeast. My initial gravity was 1.051. Let the temperature free rise up to 67 degrees and hold through fermentation. Once you are within 5 specific gravity points from your target FG, let the temperature free rise up to 72 degrees. After 48 hours, cold crash to 33 degrees and hold for another 48 hours. Once your cold crash is complete, transfer it to the brite tank and carbonate it to 2.5 vols. After 3 days in the brite tank, keg it and enjoy!

If you decide to try this recipe, or another English 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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