Brew­ers’ Per­spec­tives

Tony Lawrence, the brew­mas­ter and co-owner at Bone­yard Beer in Bend, Ore­gon, walks you through build­ing a recipe for a clean, crisp, and very dry IPA.

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Contents - By Emily Hutto and Tony Lawrence

Brew­ers from Bone­yard Beer, Maine Beer Co., Über­brew, and Cigar City share their meth­ods and pro­cesses for brew­ing their kinds of IPA.


mu­si­cians, all brew­ers have their tem­plates they’ve es­tab­lished for them­selves through the years,” says Tony Lawrence, the brew­mas­ter and co-owner at Bone­yard Beer in Bend, Ore­gon. For him, the ideal IPA tem­plate is clean, crisp, and very dry, but not nec­es­sar­ily bit­ter, with a light grain bill that makes way for as­sertive hops aroma and fla­vor.

“Sweet­ness isn’t my thing,” he says. “The hops aren’t al­lowed to pop as much as they could if they weren’t masked by that crys­tal malt in IPA. I per­son­ally don’t like sweet, wet beers. I like them drier, crisper, and cleaner.”

As you can tell, Lawrence is not a “crys­tal malt guy.” He be­lieves that brew­ers can build body in their beer recipes with mash tem­per­a­tures, Dex­trapils, and Mu­nich malt in lieu of crys­tal malt.

Iron­i­cally enough, Bone­yard’s flag­ship RPM IPA has a sweeter, malty side cre­ated with pale malt, Mu­nich malt, Aro­matic malt, Vi­enna malt, and dex­trose. “It’s funny to look back to eight years ago when I was for­mu­lat­ing and home­brew­ing this RPM thing,” he jokes. “Then fast-for­ward to to­day, and I look at the per­cent­ages in the malts and I’m like, ‘How did that hap­pen? That’s not who I am as a brewer!’ But clearly, peo­ple have spo­ken, and they love it, so we stick with it.” Bone­yard bal­ances the malt sweet­ness of RPM with a healthy dose of hops.

With that as back­ground, let’s watch as Lawrence de­vel­ops a recipe for Free-style IPA.

Free-style IPA

So let’s make a 5-gal­lon brew recipe for an IPA. For me this starts with the con­cepts. I am Old School, so beer-style guide­lines typ­i­cally play a big role when for­mu­lat­ing my con­cepts. How­ever, th­ese days, guide­lines kind of get lost with all the mash-up recipes and styles. So on sec­ond thought, let’s just get to work and not worry too much about spe­cific style guide­lines.

First, I want to briefly ex­plain my phi­los­o­phy on brew­ing beer. It starts with my or­der of op­er­a­tions when tast­ing a beer:

1. Clean 2. Balanced 3. Interesting

That’s it! If a beer is not clean and balanced, you don’t have a good beer. I can en­joy any beer that is clean and balanced, and in my opin­ion it doesn’t have to be interesting for me to en­joy it. If the beer is interesting as well as clean and balanced, then it’s a home­run. If the beer is interesting but not clean and balanced, I dump it out. All this may seem ob­vi­ous, but I as­sure you, I fail to get clean and balanced beers all the time. I can tell the brewer put lots of hard work into recipe for­mu­la­tion and raw-ma­te­rial se­lec­tion but failed to re­spect the small things, such as yeast health or dis­solved oxy­gen. That’s all part of brew­ing, just like the recipe that we will work on next.

I am go­ing to skip all the fancy cal­cu­la­tions for pounds needed for 15° Plato or 1.060 orig­i­nal grav­ity and color or IBUS. Ev­ery­one knows a recipe needs tweak­ing 5 per­cent this way or 10 per­cent that way. If you don’t hit your tar­get grav­ity, then make your ad­just­ments. Ev­ery brew­house has its own val­ues that need to be fac­tored into the cal­cu­la­tions.

Okay, so maybe I will use a cal­cu­la­tion or two, but let’s keep it sim­ple. I will of­fer guide­lines I use with sim­ple ra­tios or typ­i­cal ac­cepted val­ues—like pounds per bar­rel or ounces per gal­lon. This is how I de­sign beer con­cepts or recipes. If you choose to brew it and wish to make ad­just­ments, then just bump it up or down as you think it needs.

I typ­i­cally for­mu­late or cal­cu­late in 50-bar­rel units. And since I am lazy, I’m sim­ply go­ing to take some known val­ues here at Bone­yard and work the math back into gal­lons or ounces or grams, etc. It should work for the most part, but if I miss some­thing or it’s not per­fect, don’t worry. Just make your ad­just­ments.

My for­mat­ting may be strange but this is how I for­mu­late. Once I like what I see and/or taste, then I will clean it all up into a stan­dard-look­ing recipe (see page 69).

Just so you know, I have never used brew­ing-for­mu­la­tion soft­ware. This recipe is free style, and I will make it up on the spot. Ob­vi­ously it is in my wheel­house, and I make up recipes all the time. It will be based off where my head is cur­rently in terms of what I am try­ing to brew for friends and my­self.

Here is what I am think­ing con­cep­tu­ally—an IPA at about 6.5 per­cent ABV.

Wa­ter. I don’t mess with wa­ter chem­istry much. We’re in Bend, and the wa­ter has a to­tal TDS of about 60 ppm. I do of­fer some sim­ple con­cepts with salts for my pales and IPAS: cal­cium chlo­ride with low ABV, cal­cium sul­fate with higher ABV, and a blend in the mid­dle at around 7 per­cent ABV. To­tal ppm is up to you.

Malt. Pil­sner malt with 5 per­cent each Mu­nich and dex­trose. If this color is too light for you, mill and sprin­kle a few black malt ker­nels on top of the mash dur­ing sparge or sim­ply mash them.

Hops. Maybe 40–50 IBUS from about 2.5 oz/gal or 15 ounces to­tal hops at a 1-to -1 ra­tio, mean­ing 1.25 oz/gal in the ket­tle and 1.25 oz/gal in dry hop. Let’s do a trop­i­cal/citrus/melon thing with a small sub­layer of pine or a lit­tle dank.

Yeast. We use Wyeast 1968 Lon­don ESB or A68 de­pend­ing on the sup­plier, but you can use any good ale yeast you can get your hands on, and all should be fine.

Other Con­sid­er­a­tions. Re­spect num­ber 1 and 2 from my or­der of op­er­a­tions above. How you get there is up to you, but keep your head in the game the whole 14–21 days it takes to make an IPA.

Okay, Here We Go.

Let’s make a 6.5 per­cent ABV IPA with 15 ounces hops for a net yield 5-gal­lon recipe. Typ­i­cally I will see 15 to 20 per­cent losses from evap­o­ra­tion, trub, shrink­age, yeast, and hops from “brew ket­tle full” to “clear drink­able beer.” So let’s make 6 gal­lons at ket­tle full.

My sim­ple math says we need about 1.7 pound of malt per gal­lon to achieve a start­ing grav­ity of 1.060. So

1.7 lb × 6 gal = 10.2 lb to­tal

I say we round down to 10 lb to­tal malt and dex­trose (I pre­fer lower ABV beers). That means we need 0.5 lb each of Mu­nich and dex­trose and 9 lb of Pil­sner malt.

Mash. Let’s mash at 150°F (66°C) for 45 min­utes and vor­lauf un­til it’s rea­son­ably clear. I would use some rice hulls with this much Pil­sner malt to help with the vor­lauf and wort clar­ity.

Boil. Fill the ket­tle to 6 gal­lons and check your ket­tle-full and last-run­ning’s grav­i­ties. This is us­able in­for­ma­tion for any ad­just­ments needed in real time or for your next brew day.

We should boil for at least 75 min­utes. I al­ways get wor­ried about DMS with Pil­sner malt.

I’m think­ing 25 grams of 6 per­cent al­pha hops at boil—just enough for sur­face tension and to keep the boil down. If bit­ter­ness is your thing, that’s cool, but we will get a lot from the later ad­di­tions. Or over­ride my sug­ges­tions and do what you want with it. The 25 grams will not be sub­tracted from the to­tal 15 ounces of hops we dis­cussed ear­lier.

Hops, Hops, Hops. We said 7.5 ounces (half of the 15 ounces to­tal) in the ket­tle for a trop­i­cal fla­vor with a pine sub­layer. Let’s rock four va­ri­eties to do this.

First, we should con­vert the weight needed into grams.

7.5 oz x 28 g/oz = 210 g÷ 4 = 52.5 grams per va­ri­ety, but let’s call it 53.

Citrus or trop­i­cal hops: 75 per­cent (159 g) of the to­tal weight will come from citrus or top­i­cal hops. Let’s do two trop­i­cal and one melon, so it’s Ci­tra, Mo­saic, and Ekuanot at 53 grams each. Pine-like: For the re­main­ing 25 per­cent (53 g) of pine or dank-like hops, I’m think­ing Cen­ten­nial or Chi­nook or maybe even Sim­coe would play well here from a sub­layer stand­point.

I’m think­ing we throw 25 per­cent of the to­tal weight in with 5 min­utes left in the boil and the rest in the whirlpool. Let’s go with all 53 grams of Mo­saic at 5 min­utes.

That means we have 53 grams each in the whirlpool of Ci­tra, Ekuanot, and Cen­ten­nial. Like I said, maybe the Sim­coe or Chi­nook would be a bet­ter play.

Fer­men­ta­tion. Fer­ment at 68°F (20°C) and if pos­si­ble try to nail that di­acetyl rest and get up to 70°F (21°C) at the end of fer­men­ta­tion.

Dry Hop, Con­di­tion, Car­bon­ate. Dry hop at day 5 or 6 or at ter­mi­nal grav­ity with 53 grams each of Mo­saic, Ci­tra, Ekuanot, and Cen­ten­nial. Con­di­tion as you feel, but I am off the dry hops in about 4 to 5 days. Car­bon­ate to 2.6 vol­umes of C02, if it were me.

En­joy with your friends and dis­cuss ad­just­ments needed for your next at­tempt.

Full Dis­clo­sure

For the su­per sci­en­tific and math­e­mat­i­cal beer geeks, you will def­i­nitely find flaws in my for­mu­la­tions or cal­cu­la­tions—like how many hops re­ally went into the brew as a func­tion weight-to-vol­ume ra­tio. Or malt needed to get the vol­ume and OG de­sired. I sim­ply scaled some num­bers from a pro­duc­tion-size batch at 50 bar­rels, and I round all cal­cu­la­tions and con­sid­er­a­tions to even num­bers.

And for the few peo­ple who ac­tu­ally read all this, I have se­cret for you. I just brewed a col­lab with Warpigs in Copen­hagen last week that is very sim­i­lar to this recipe.


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