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Recipe – Citra Simcoe Columbus IPA


One of the better hop combinations that I’ve tried out was the Citra-Simcoe IPA. I love the tropical notes that Citra brings and this combined with the more “traditional” American Pine-Citrus (with a touch of fruitiness of its own) character of Simcoe worked well together. Still, I thought at the time that the beer could have been better with a slightly more aggressive hop character on the pine citrus side and this time I’m adding Columbus, the unsung hero of the American hop family to the mix. I like it for it’s slightly harsh nature both as a bittering addition and on the aroma side. The hops that I received from the 2013 harvest also have a very nice herbal note that I think will work well with this beer. I’m opting for a 2:1:1 combination with Citra as the star of the show and Columbus-Simcoe providing backup. I suspect that one reason why Columbus is usually so aromatic is that it’s a well established crop and so more good quality hops reaches the home-brewers here in Europe compared with some of the more “hot” varieties where the craft breweries in the states take most of the good crops.

I went back and forth with the grain bill and gravity on this one. I wanted to try something new in the form of an Amber IPA and keep the gravity on the low side but then decided to go with my now usual West Coast approach with no Caramel malts and a bit of dextrose to really drive the attenuation up. I also decided that If I’ll use 400 grams of hops including the rest of the Citra that I have I’ll go for a “normal” gravity beer. There seems to be a saturation point with session strength beers after which throwing more hops in doesn’t really accomplish much besides loss of wort. So the original gravity for this beer is a fairly modest (for an IPA) 1.054 which is still way more than the “Micro” and session strength beers I’ve done.

I’m trying a new yeast with this beer, WLP090 San Diego Super. Brulosophy recommends it for American style beers and I’m also using their starter harvesting method to keep some yeast for the next brew. True to its name the fermentation was fast but at this point the beer is still very cloudy. We’ll see if some time in the kegerator clears it up.

Here is the recipe :


Target Batch Size (Litres/Gallons): 17.00 / 4,49
Total Grain (Kg/Pounds):  3,65 / 8,04
Anticipated OG: 1,054
Anticipated EBC: 9,2
Anticipated IBU: 60,7
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes

82,2%       – 3,0 kg / 7,27 lbs Pale Ale malt, Viking
8,2%        – 0,3 kg / 0,44 lbs Munich malt, Weyermann
5,5%        – 0,2 kg / 0,44 lbs Wheat malt, Weyermann
4,1%        – 0,15 kg / 0,33 lbs Dextrose

30g /  1,05 oz. Columbus (14,0 % AA) pellet @ 60 minutes for 60,7 IBU

30g /  1,05 oz. Columbus (14,0 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes
30g /  1,05 oz. Simcoe (11,0 % AA) pellet @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes
60g /  2,11 oz. Citra (11 % AA) Plug @ Hop-stand for 30 minutes

35g /  1,23 oz. Columbus (14,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 5 days
35g /  1,23 oz. Simcoe (11,0 % AA) pellet Dry hop for 5 days
70g /   2,46 oz. Citra (11 % AA) Plug Dry hop for 5 days

35g /  1,23 oz. Columbus (14,0 % AA) pellet Dry in the keg
35g /  1,23 oz. Simcoe (11,0 % AA) pellet Dry in the kegs
70g /  2,46 oz. Citra (11 % AA)  plug Dry hop in the keg


½ Tablet of Whirlfloc @ 10 Min.
½ Teaspoon of yeast nutrient @ 10 Min.
6g / 0,21oz. of Gypsum in the mash

WLP090 San Diego Super, 1,5 litre starter on stirplate, cold-crashed and decanted.

23,5 Litre BIAB @ 64 Celsius for 60 mins (6,2Gal/147F)


7/3/15 Normal brewday. The whole hop Citra soaked a lot of wort up, collected about 16 litres. Shook for two minutes and added the yeast.

8/3/15 Yeast seemed to have formed a layer on top of the wort. Sanitized the thief and mixed carefully. Fermentation took up in the evening. This has happened once before so from now on I think I’ll add the yeast before aeration despite conventional wisdom…

14/3/15 Added the dry hops, pellets straight and Citra packed in a sanitized nylon sock. I didn’t remember to raise the temperature after the 3rd day as recommended but we’ll see how the beer turns out fermented at a steady 18C/64F.

19/3/15 Racked the beer to a CO2 flushed keg with the second dose of dry hops. Still very cloudy.

16/7/15 Somehow writing a tasting for this beer just slipped past me… The hop character was very nice tropical/pine/citrus and I think this combination of hops is one of the best I’ve tried. However it could have been a bit stronger considering the amount of hops – I don’t think that the process is to blame but rather the hops had lost some character in storage (even though I store them in a freezer in barrier bags).

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