The Essence - IPA - an obscenely hopped ale

This recipe was loosely based on the Pliny the Elder clone recipe many have brewed. I didn't want a syrupy DIPA, but still wanted the beauty of the hop profile of Pliny. I went with the following recipe and I think it'll have a bit of a dry finish, very bitter, and a crazy hop flavor and aroma of straight up dank nuggets. The essence of hop nectar!

10 - Gallons

malt & fermentables
%     LB OZ  Malt
82% 18  0    Organic Two-row Pale
9%   2    0    Honey
5%   1    0    Organic Crystal 60L
5%   1    0    Dextrin (Cara-Pils)
        22  0
Original Gravity
Final Gravity

6° SRM / 12° EBC (Yellow to Gold)

use        time        oz   variety

FWH     60 mins   3.0 Columbus
boil       45 mins   1.0 Columbus
boil       20 mins   2.0 Simcoe
boil       1   min    4.0 Simcoe
boil       1   min    2.0 Centennial
dry hop 7 days    2.0 Simcoe
dry hop 7 days    2.0 Centennial
dry hop 7 days    2.0 Columbus
total hops            18

150 IBU

I brewed this last night with the single tier set up. I had some issues using the pump for the sparge so I ended up using gravity for that portion of the process. Otherwise the single tier set up was frickin awesome. Still need to dial it in though! Guess I have to brew another beer.

I did a ton of PH readings and came to the conclusion that my PH strips are bad. They literally give me the same reading every time. Minneapolis water report states that the water profile is a PH of 8.6. Strip reads 4.4. I used 5.2 PH buffer in the mash. PH strip still reads mid 4's. So my only conclusion is that the strips don't work.

I double crushed the grains and used 5.2 PH buffer to help my effeciency and I ended up with 67-70% effeciency which I feel is pretty good. I didn't quite max out my equipment on this 10 gallon batch.  I had a little bit of room in the Mash, but was pretty dang close to the top for my sparge. 

Hear are some notes from the Brew night.

Kevin stopped by to help a bit at the start because I was nervous using the pump.
We mashed in and the pump pushed 8 gallons into the Mash tun from my HLT in about 1.5 minutes. That was pretty awesome. I mashed at 154 for 60 minutes. Used gravity to drain and collected 6 gallons of first runnings. First Wort Hopped. I sparged at exactly 170 degrees for 30 minutes. Tried to transfer the sparge water with the pump, but couldn't get a good prime. Drained using gravity and then had to lift 14 gallons which proves that I'm a big strong man. Boiled for 60 minutes. Used a hop bag for the last two hop additions. Cooled to 68 degrees in about 20 minutes and pitched my yeast.

12.12.10 - Sampled as I transferred to secondary.  Great bitterness.

12.27.10 - Fully carbed and in kegs. Pours crystal clear with a slight yellow-orangish hue. Nice head, with an amazing aroma of pine, and citrus. The CTZ hops come through nicely. Bitterness hits you right away and let's you know you're in for a ride. It has a smooth medium mouthfeel that just bursts with hops. Slight caramel honey flavors hit you amongst the waves of piney and citrus hops. Finish's with a bitterness that lingers and makes you go back for another sip. It's bitter, but it's not cloying sweet. Fantastic IPA on the extreme end of the hops spectrum. This truly is the essence of hop nectar!

4.16.11- Next time I'll probably hop burst this. Also I'll mash at 158 and add the honey in at the start of the boil, or at least half of it.   


  1. 150 IBUs! That is obscene.

    Man, sorry to hear about your march problems. They can be a bitch, but they are well worth it once you find that groove.

    Do you have a ball valve on that thing? If not defiantly put one on the liquid out side. That can really help getting it primed up better.

  2. yeah. man. I was looking at the Pliny Clone that most people seem to do, and when I calculated the recipe on hopville, it came out to 260 ibu's or something. I know that's not actual, but still. Maybe I should be using brewing software for a more accurate picture. I really haven't brewed anything yet that's been overly bitter. This may be a first in that category. We shall see.

    I installed a ball valve on the out side of the pump last night. Now I can restrict flow from that if I need and still maintain prime when draining my mash tun...hopefully.


  3. I want some of this.... and I want all the chronic you have left.... I loved that beer

  4. forgot i have a new name... your hop lovin uncle


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