The Beginner Brewer: Small-batch Recipe: IPA

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Small-batch Recipe: IPA

In a previous post, we discussed the equipment you'd need for small batch experiments, and with hope, you've tried a few batches already. If you're a hop head like me, you're going to have to try and brew an IPA, so today's post covers a reliable recipe for this super-hoppy beer. Enjoy!

Humulone-Head IPA

For a 3 liter extract batch (that's a 6-pack of 440ml bottles) you will need:


5 liters of H2O.

Extract and Specialty Grains

485g Dried Malt Extract
32g Caramunich I (50 SRM) Malt (steep at 65-70C for 30 minutes)
21 g Carared or similar (20 SRM) Caramel malt (steep at 65-70C for 30 minutes)


3g of Apollo @ 60 minutes
3g of Warrior @ 10 minutes
4g of Cascade @ 1 minute
4g of Warrior: Dry hop for 7 days before bottling.


A third of a packet of US-05 dried yeast (or similar American yeast)


A third of a teaspoon of Irish Moss @ 10 minutes.

For a 3 liter full-grain version:

You will need:
708g of Pale 2-row Malt
69g of Caramunich I (50 SRM) Malt
45g of Carared or similar (20 SRM) Caramel malt 

Use the same hops, Irish Moss, and yeast.

Mash Schedule (using the BIAB method):

Get your water to 72 C, then add the grains to achieve 66.7 C.

Mash the grains at this temperature for 75 minutes, then mash out at 75 C for 10 minutes and lift the bag. 
Do not squeeze the bag.

Your pre-boil gravity should be close to 1.036. Boil for 60 minutes.

Fermentation & Bottling

Ferment at 16-18C for 2 weeks. 
Bottle with 18g of dextrose or keg for 2.5 vols.

Technical Notes

Pre-boil Gravity: 1.036
OG (Original Gravity): 1.060
FG (Final Gravity): 1.014
ABV (Alcohol): 6.0%
IBUs (Bitterness Units): 65

Some Experiments to Try:

Small-batch brewing can be an excellent opportunity for the homebrewer to experiment. Here are some suggestions for this recipe:
  • Hops: Substitute the Warrior with a different hop, I recommend Centennial, EKG, Amarillo, or Chinook
  • Sugars: Try adding some Maple Syrup (about 60g) in the boil for a dry finish and wooded taste.
  • Other Flavors: Try adding some honey in the primary fermentation (50g) or chuck some juniper berries into the boil at 10 minutes (a handful should do).



  1. Finally a SA based Blog with instructions and ingredients that i can get hold of. Appreciate the effort and the information !


    1. Thanks Neil! And thanks for reading the blog--watch this space for more recipes and tips for better homebrew, SA style!

    2. Hi Harper. I went to your Beer School 101 at The Beer Keg. We are currently brewing a 20 liter APA and were wondering if we could add Honey to the secondary fermentation before bottling. I did some research and there were a lot of comments aboit wild yeast and other enzymes thqt could spoil your batch and some recommended addidng it to the last 15 minutes of the boil to sterilise the honey without boiling off all the flavours and aromas. What we would like to do is add it instead of sugar or glucose as a cabonate in the bottling tank. Wouls you advise against it and do you have any other ideas

    3. Hi Martinus! Thanks for coming to Beer School and thanks for the question.

      Your question references two different things: The secondary fermentation that occurs in the fermentation vessel, and bottle conditioning, that leads to the natural carbonation of your beer. I'm going to deal with both separately to avoid confusion.

      1. Secondary fermentation: You can certainly add honey to the fermenter at this stage. It will definitely result in a fresh honey taste. Other consequences will be drying the beer out, perhaps quite a bit. My recommendation: experiment, but sterilize the honey by boiling it in some water for about 10 minutes.

      2. Bottling: you can replace priming sugar with honey. But, the carbonation will be different, and it might result in a slight (perhaps very slight) honey flavor. Assuming that you're aiming for about 2.5 volumes of carbonation in a 20 litre batch, I'd go for 150g of honey. Again, boil for 10 minutes in water before adding to your bottling bucket.

      Good luck with the brew, and let me know how it turns out!


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