Make Your Best High­lights

Go­ing beyond the sim­ple ques­tion of “what” and in­stead ex­plor­ing the “why” will help you un­der­stand how to de­sign and brew bet­ter beers.

Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine - - Contents - By Josh Weik­ert

White IPA

The White IPA func­tion­ally up­dates a clas­sic style in a way that em­pha­sizes the re­gional par­tic­u­lars of the orig­i­nal beer while in­cor­po­rat­ing up­dated in­gre­di­ents. The re­sult is an “iden­ti­fi­able” style in the best sense of the word: the de­scrip­tion has in­ter­nal logic, and the re­sult is worth em­u­lat­ing and repli­cat­ing. Style: I sup­pose White IPA tech­ni­cally is a “Bel­gian” IPA, but it de­rives much more from the “wit­bier” half of “Bel­gian Wit­bier.” The char­ac­ter­is­tics are those of the wit­bier: a blend of Pil­sner malt and un­malted wheat, a spice-and-fruit fla­vor pro­file, a lively ester and phe­nol con­tri­bu­tion from the yeast, and a mod­est level of al­co­hol. To that, add a hops pro­file that de­rives its fla­vors from Amer­i­can or Aus­tralian/ New Zealan­der hops va­ri­eties and in­creases bit­ter­ness sub­stan­tially. Be­ing an IPA, this is ob­vi­ously go­ing to be more hops-for­ward than the tra­di­tional Bel­gian Wit­bier, but it doesn’t leave it be­hind. Hops should ac­cen­tu­ate, not over­shadow, the clas­sic style. Recipe: This recipe wan­ders into the higher end of the ABV range for the style, but not ab­surdly so. Pil­sner malt and flaked wheat lay down the grainy/wheaty base that we’d ex­pect from a wit­bier. Me­lanoidin malt adds more, and a dif­fer­ent ex­pres­sion of, “bready” fla­vor, and acidu­lated malt cre­ates an im­pres­sion of le­mon/cit­rus. Start­ing grav­ity should be about 1.063. You’ll want some rice hulls for the mash, or you run the risk of stick­ing.

Hop­ping is my fa­vorite part of this beer. Part stays as it is in my Bel­gian wit recipe: enough Pa­cific Jade (which ac­tu­ally tastes like pep­per, co­rian­der, or­ange, and more that we’re not go­ing to add) to get 20–25 IBUS from an ad­di­tion with 10 min­utes left in the boil, then more at flame-out. To those flame-out hops, we add Amar­illo pel­lets, which will in­crease the fruity char­ac­ter and make it a bit less Con­ti­nen­tal and more clas­si­cally Amer­i­can. The stone-fruit fla­vors are a great com­ple­ment to the lime-and-pep­per of the Pa­cific Jade. Fi­nally, re­turn­ing to the top of the boil, add 25 IBUS from any high-al­pha hops va­ri­ety.

For yeast, I rec­om­mend the more con­ven­tional Wyeast 3944 (Bel­gian Wit­bier) yeast. I find spice and herb ad­di­tions un­nec­es­sary, given the hops used. You can add them at your own peril: spic­ing in­creases the risk of as­trin­gency, and es­pe­cially in an IPA vari­ant, that’s some­thing to avoid. Process: Mash at 152°F (67°C) for 90 min­utes for a healthy and com­plete mash/con­ver­sion even in the ab­sence of a pro­tein rest. Boil as usual, and let your hops sit in the whirlpool for 15–20 min­utes to ex­tract as much of their oils, aro­mas, and fla­vors as pos­si­ble! Chill, pitch, and fer­ment this beer at 67°F (19°C) for the first 4–5 days be­fore let­ting the tem­per­a­ture free rise to about 72°F (22°C). Fer­men­ta­tion should fin­ish up quickly—within 10 days. Pack­age it as early as you can (48 hours af­ter air­lock ac­tiv­ity falls way off ) and car­bon­ate to 2.25 vol­umes. A bit of haze is typ­i­cal in the style, so there’s no need to wait for it to clear.

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