Making a double IPA

11 March 2021

I have heard good things about the much hyped Heady Topper, and given that it's so incredibly difficult to get a hold of, I thought I'd try to recreate it with my beer buddy, Johannes.

Heady Topper is a double india pale ale created by John Kimmich of The Alchemist, Vermont. It has an abv of 8%, and it is recognised for its wonderful hoppy taste, and for establishing an entirely new style of beer, known as the New England IPA.

I should mention that this is not a faithful clone of the beer but instead an amalgamation of recipes I have collected online, with some ingredients substituted due to a lack of availability at the time.

Part 1: brew day

Ingredients (ca. 20 L batch size):

Procedure

Tap water (17.4 L) was heated to a strike temperature of 74°C and poured into a pre-heated 56 L mash tun. Crushed pale ale malt (6.8 kg) and carared malt (0.17 kg) was added to the mash tun with consistent stirring, leading to a mash temperature of 67°C. The lid was then screwed on the mash tun to avoid heat loss.

After 1 h, several fractions (ca. 1 L) of wort were poured from the mash tun's ball valve into a measuring jub. This process was repeated until the wort was free of grains and looked clear. The wort was then transferred to a large boil kettle. The grains were then (batch) sparged with hot liquor (18.8 L, 77°C), which was then combined with the wort already in the boil kettle.

The wort was heated to boiling point, and maintained at a rolling boil for 1 h. The following boil additions were added:

The wort was cooled to room temperature, at which point it was transferred to a clean fermentation bucket. Imperial Yeast A04 Barbarian Ale (liquid yeast) was added to the bucket and then the wort was aerated. The bucket lid was then sealed and an airlock was attached.

Original gravity reading: 1.071

Part 2 coming soon...