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Imperial IPA

What dog (or dragon) doesn't wish for never ending brew? It's about time that Falcor gets his own bowl of never ending Imperial India Pale Ale and we found it only appropriate to use hops that sounded like they came straight from the movie like Falconers Flight and Zythos. The dragon-dog taxis princes and princesses around all day in the classic NeverEnding Story, so he most certainly needs some 100 IBU Imperial IPA to put out the flames.

Falcor Imperial IPA

Double/Imperial IPA is an American craft ale that originated around 1990 in California. The flavor has plenty of malt, but is massively hoppy. The aroma gives you a huge hit of American hops and a nice backup of rich caramelly malt. The balance is rich and fatty, but always ultra hoppy and dries out as it ages. Imperial IPA is brewed year round thanks to IPA pros like Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, CA and Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada. Double IPAs are great with sweet desserts like carrot and cheese cake, but usually too hoppy for pairing with food.

The normal gravity range for an Imperial IPA is 1.080 -1.100 with an ABV range of 7.9 - 10.5%. Bitterness is extremely high on this beer around 65-100 IBUs with color 6-14L (gold to amber) and attenuation/body crisp and dry. [Check out our brewing calendar to see when you should brew an Imperial IPA]

We chose a few newer and exciting west coast bittering hops for this recipe including Falconers Flight, Zythos, 7 C's and also ending with a blast of Sonnet™ Golding with low alpha acid (4%) for flavor and aroma. This hop is a newer baby hop similar to a Golding. As for the yeast, we recommend a classic California ale yeast like WLP001 as it finishes with clean flavors, balance and has the ability to be used in almost any style ale. This yeast accentuates the hop flavors and cultivates well for large yeast starters.

Double / Imperial IPA - All Grain


Batch size 5 gallons
Boil size 7.4 gallons
Boil time 90 minutes
Grain weight 15.85 pounds
Efficiency 70%
Original gravity 1.083
Final gravity 1.019
Alcohol (by volume) 8.4%
Bitterness (IBU) 136
Color (SRM) 8.8°L
Yeast
3 liquid packs
White Labs
    WLP001
California Ale

Grains/Extracts/Sugars
15.85 pounds
2 Row Base
    37ppg, 1.5°L
12.1 pounds
    76.3%
CaraVienne
    35ppg, 20°L
0.8 pounds
    5.0%
Maris Otter
    38ppg, 4°L
0.8 pounds
    5.0%
Carastan (Dark)
    28ppg, 35°L
0.8 pounds
    5.0%
Dry Sugar - Corn
    42ppg, °L
0.75 pounds
    4.7%
CaraPils
    33ppg, 1.5°L
0.6 pounds
    3.8%

Hops
11.75 ounces
Sonnet Golding hops
    4%, Pellet
4 ounces
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
3.25 ounces
7 C's hops
    9.9%, Pellet
2 ounces
Zythos hops
    10.9%, Pellet
1.5 ounces
Amarillo hops
    7.7%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
Warrior hops
    16%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
Simcoe hops
    13%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
Total Hops Used in the Recipe
Additions
0.16 ounces
Irish moss
    Fining
0.16 ounces

Mash
60 minutes, 9.9 gallons
Strike
    Target 152°F
5.7 gallons
163°F
60 minutes (+0)
Sparge 4.2 gallons
170°F

Boil
90 minutes, 7.4 gallons
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
1 ounce
90 minutes (+0)
Warrior hops
    16%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
60 minutes (+30)
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
60 minutes (+30)
Simcoe hops
    13%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
30 minutes (+60)
Zythos hops
    10.9%, Pellet
0.25 ounces
30 minutes (+60)
7 C's hops
    9.9%, Pellet
0.75 ounces
20 minutes (+70)
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
0.75 ounces
15 minutes (+75)
Irish moss
    Fining
0.16 ounces
15 minutes (+75)
Zythos hops
    10.9%, Pellet
0.75 ounces
10 minutes (+80)
7 C's hops
    9.9%, Pellet
0.75 ounces
10 minutes (+80)
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
0.75 ounces
5 minutes (+85)
Sonnet Golding hops
    4%, Pellet
4 ounces
0 minutes (+90)

Ferment
19 days @ 68-73°F
Rack to secondary 7 days (+12)
Falconers Flight hops
    11.4%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
7 days (+12)
7 C's hops
    9.9%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
7 days (+12)
Zythos hops
    10.9%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
7 days (+12)
Amarillo hops
    7.7%, Pellet
0.5 ounces
14 days (+5)

Directions
Mash the grains at 152° F (67° C) for 60 minutes or until starch conversion is finished. Mash out at 168° F (76° C) and sparge. Collect 7.4 gallons (28 L) of runoff, pour in your dextrose, and bring everything to a rolling boil. Drop in your hops as directed in the recipe. After a 90 minute boil, chill the wort down to 67° F (19° C) and transfer to your primary fermenter. Pitch your yeast, whether it be a yeast starter, liquid or dry yeast and aerate well. We suggested 3 liquid vials of White Labs WLP001 in the recipe. Ferment the Imperial IPA at 67° F (19° C) for 7 days or until fermentation activity subsides, then rack to secondary. Drop in your first round of dry hops and age 7 days, then add the second round. Age 5 more days then bottle or keg.

Here we look at the build of the total IBU as each hop addition is added during the boil. Notice dry hopping adds no bitterness to the finished brew, but only aroma. IBUs are calculated using Rager's hop utilization method.

Imperial IPA Hop Utilization Chart

Related Recipes:
Imperial Brown Pumpkin - Imperial pumpkin brew has a nice spice, rich caramelized brown sugar and traditional grains for an imperial brown.
Pecan Doppelbock - A recipe for a strong Bavarian style Doppelbock with roasted pecans that will warm you up pre-winter.
Toasted Coquito PorterUsing Coquitos (Baby Coconuts) in this Silky Porter recipe, the HomeBrewing.com home brewers spin the traditional Coconut porter.

Published: March 14, 2012

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