Your favorite IPA hop pairings/schedules?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jmich24, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    I brew a ton of IPAs, because well, thats what I like to drink. I was wondering what your favorite hop pairings were.

    So Far I have tried these combonations; Cascade and Citra / Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo(just kegged) & Centennial and Citra. The ladder is my favorite so far. I have stocked up the freezer with Simcoe, Citra, Galaxy, Centennial. I also have access to other less saught after varieties (Cascade, Warrior, CTZ, ect).

    I like 60, 10, 0 and Dryhop.

    What are your faves?
  2. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (724) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Favorite so far has been Citra, CTZ, Simcoe, and Amarillo @ FO and DH with Simcoe and Amarillo @ 10...bitter to ~50IBUs or taste.
  3. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    if this
    57%~ summit,
    43% simcoe / falconer's 7 seas / zythos
    IPA we just bottled last weekend turns out as good as tasting the un-carbed version suggests, i'll say that this is the best blend i've come up with.

    summit is a hell of a hop. making me want to stock up on gubna and devil dancer...
  4. premierpro

    premierpro Aspirant (278) Mar 21, 2009 Michigan

    For American IPA's I like Cascade and Cluster. It seems I am in the minority in liking the flavor of Cluster. I think you would be pleasantly suprised if you tried them. English IPA's I use EKG's, Fuggles,and First Gold.
  5. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    I'm not sure of the goal of this thread. Favoritism is not indicative of universal satisfaction. That said, I typically prefer high myrcene hops for late additions and CTZ for bittering. More on myrcene -

    Perhaps it would benefit you to research more about the different characters of American NW hops.

    Here are just a few helpful links:

    You are already aware of the "types" of hops to use in an American IPA as well as "timing" of additions. So if you're not utterly wowed by past results, then the areas you need to focus on are the "amount" of hops used at each stage, how well your selected yeast and malt mesh with your chosen hop profile, how long you condition the beer, oxygenation prevention, and last but not least - water chemistry.
  6. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    personally, i think "what's your favorite hop combo and why?" is interesting. other info is good too, of course, but collection of opinions amd ideas doesn't strike me as pointless.
    csoult, SFACRKnight and Cracker666 like this.
  7. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    I agree, Pahn, maybe the "aficionado's" need to stay out of the novice section, imagine if I would have posted the topic in advanced? lol

    Not going to lie I was a little drunked up last night and thought it was a worthwhile subject (my attempt to get some conversation flowing). I like the Idea of adding CTZ late in boil for some pungent dank qualities. A lot of the IPAs I have made lately are very tropical/citrus.

    I did really enjoy a few of Aficionados links very useful information. The snarkiness is just not necessary IMO.

  8. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    Would you mind elaborating on the recipe? Are those percentages late additions? I had read good(dank) and bad(onion) opinions about summit? What did you find?
  9. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader


    9lb maris otter (75%)
    2lb vienna (17%)
    8oz corn sugar (4%)
    4oz carapils (2%)
    4oz crystal40 (2%)

    mashed at 152~

    90min boil,

    0.4oz summit @90min

    1.0oz summit @15min
    0.3oz falconer's 7seas @15min
    0.3oz simcoe @15min
    0.3oz zythos @15min

    1.0oz summit @ flame out
    0.3oz falconer's 7seas @ flame out
    0.3oz simcoe @ flame out
    0.3oz zythos @ flame out

    (takes us maybe 30min to cool to pitching temp)

    used 3rd generation white labs dry english ale (WLP007) yeast

    O.G. 1.070
    F.G. 1.016


    at bottling it already tasted slightly dry (hard for me to really gauge that flat), with lots of tangerine flavor, some weedy summit pungency, and a mild sweetness. my friend says that pre-dry hop it tasted very assertively malty/biscuity.

    i'm guessing it will taste very much like tangerine and grapefruit with some pungent summit flavor. we actually wanted that powerful onion/garlic note, but i don't think we're going to get it. when it's ready to drink in 2~3 weeks, i'll post again if you want. i really like the flavor at the moment.
  10. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,353) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Nothing wrong with the question. You didn't ask 'what's the best hop pairing?' You asked for favorites. IMO Centennial and citra can be a nice combination, and you can get some interesting variation playing with the ratios between the two.
  11. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    I like the combo of amarillo and cascade personally, I also like to mix it up sometimes and blend a little goldings, fuggles, or willamette in there to give it an interesting twist. I disagree with the sentiment that British and/or Nobel type hops are universally inappropriate in American style beers, as I've had excellent results using blends of hops from various "genres".
    mnstorm99 and Pahn like this.
  12. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    i think this ties in with a larger "I LOVE HOPS!" ("EXTREME!!") phenomenon where the apparent majority don't really love hops, they love pungent citrus+pine. i love pungent citrus+pine hops too, but that doesn't even exhaust all the potential of american hops, much less the equally delicious german and british ones.

    i always think of this when i see people saying that devil dancer or 120min IPA "isn't even all that hoppy."

    on the noble hop in IPA topic, new england brewing company makes a beer called gold stock ale that they make rarely and not very much of, so it's usually enjoyed fresh. it's an IPA strength mix of some citrusy/melon-y west coast hops and some powerfully herbal/spicy noble hops. i love it. one of the best and most "a-ha!" moments i've ever had with a beer was making my way through my first growler (after being impressed by a short sample at the brewery).

    edit: incidentally, the other reason gold stock is great is that the malt character is flavorful enough to carry the beer in its own right (even though it's a dry, hop-centric beer).
  13. MrOH

    MrOH Defender (690) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    My last IPA, which is also my favorite, was all NZ-hops with Nelson Sauvin leading the way and Pacifica, Pacific Gem, and Motueka playing supporting roles. Awesome tropical/citrus/and slight berry flavors. I absolutely love the the citrus/floral match-up of Saphir and Centennial as well. I'm going to see how that works out as late additions in a table-strength saison soon. Citra/Sorachi Ace worked very well for me in an over-hopped cream ale, I can imagine them going well together in a IPA as well.
  14. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    Please reread your first sentence and think about how silly that sounds. Anyway, there was no snarkiness. If you feel that way then that sounds like a self-confidence issue...especially since you said "I brew a ton of IPAs" - which denotes an advanced IPA brewer. The only thing I'm confused about is that the three hop combos which you state that you already tried seems like you 1) only brewed three IPAs, or 2) brewed many IPAs with the same hop combos everytime.

    It's amazing how you nitpicked my assistance and overall concern into something that was 95% snarky and 5% helpful. I was trying to bring a different light on things and explain how "hop combos" are not the only thing that matter. If the rest of your recipe/procedure is lacking, then hop combos will matter least. It appears you know that already, yet you still asked the thread question. In any case, there are about 1,000 other threads in the archives akin to "What Are Your Favorite Hop Combinations". I feel that whenever someone asks about "favorites" in the homebrewer section, they're really wondering what has worked extremely well for others so that they can become a better brewer themselves. Instead of beating around the bush, next time post a recipe and ask, "How does this look? Here's what I'm looking for. Will I hit my goal?"

    Pahn's recipe is decent, but the small amounts of falconer/simcoe/zythos combo set against the large amount of summit throughout the boil may get too muddled. He will have one common tropical flavor could be got simply by using one or two of those choices late in larger amounts. Also, he's missing a dryhop... one of the most substantial requirements for an IPA with a great nose.
  15. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    oh you're right, i forgot to list that we dryhopped with 2 oz summit, 1 oz simcoe. was going to be 1oz citra, but the store ran out, and since we had an extra oz of summit anyway we did that.

    aficionado, "i don't see the point of this thread," is trashing a thread. don't be an idiot. i say that kind of thing ("what's the point of this thread? [explanation]"), and when i do, i'm chastising the OP for posting it. if you don't understand this, you're either incapable of evaluating yourself objectively, or you have some kind of disability related to communication.

    to reiterate, you can't start with "this thread is pointless" and achieve anything like a "helpful" tone unless you later undermine the original statement. think about this.
    rails likes this.
  16. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    Point taken... I felt as if you were nitpicking the difference between faves/best hop combinations. I am always looking to improve and thought the home-brew section was laking conversation. The archived thread I found via google didn't work.
  17. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    I am not sure it is possible to pick a favorite. I have probably brewed 20 IPA's by now and the top five would all have different hops. Not sure I can say which was my favorite.
    Just good

    These were both 2008 Hop Crisis Beers, forcing me to try "different" things...and two of my best IPA's

    If I had to pick one, which I am not sure about...I would say:

    Then again, there are probably 5-8 others I could easily consider to mix in with these.
  18. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    Now see, that was a bash. Not seeing the point/objective of something VS. saying this thread is useless are completely different approaches. I did not take the latter approach, nor do I feel you can gauge tone on the internet without incessant usage of emoticons. I may have a direct/blunt approach, but in no way did I mean disrespect.

    I didn't see the point because many people ask the same question about faves instead of simply asking for blunt advice. And I felt it was obvious the OP was looking for advice on hop combos that work in an attempt to better his own IPAs. But the "fave" thread title doesn't really answer his questions if you think about it. As I said, favoritism is not indicative of universal satisfaction. If you're posting in the novice section and want advice about how to brew better IPAs then say so.

    It just really seemed contradictory for the OP to say that he brews a ton of IPAs, yet he only ever worked with three hop combos. He may want something dank, or piney, or tropical, or grassy, or citrusy, or fruity, etc. ~ He may have used Summit and Columbus and got a fruity-malt bomb instead of a dank-pungent IPA because his procedure, yeast, malts, etc. were quite uncommon for the style. To support this, I mentioned that hop combos are not the only thing that will make your IPA great... in fact, in a long list of things, this is probably the least important feature as long as you stay in the American NW area. Opinions and faves are fine... I just don't see how it will help you (OP) if things are not explained beyond reading a simple "Amarillo/Simcoe has always worked for me" recommendation.
  19. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    but you're taking a stand on how your post ought to have been taken. i'm explaining to you how it *will* be taken (backed up, of course, by how it was taken). you could have accomplished the same goal without any static by just saying,

    "it seems to me that you're actually asking for [x, y, z]" which probably would have been incorrect, since it's more of an opinion solicitation, but even if it was incorrect, the OP would probably see it, take your advice into account, and be grateful, without any "he's trying to make me feel self-conscious for posting this thread!!" reaction. that reaction is *inevitable* unless you undermine it when you start a post the way you did. again, i'm an expert on this, because i start posts that way all the time precisely to get that reaction.
  20. jmich24

    jmich24 Devotee (447) Jan 28, 2010 Michigan

    I brewed a IPA yesterday with Galaxy hops for flavor and aroma and Magnum for bittering.

    1oz Magnum @ 60
    1oz Galaxy @ 20
    1oz Galaxy @ 10
    1.5 oz. Galaxy @ flameout (let sit 20 min before cooling)
    Plan to Dry hop .75 Galaxy towards end of fementation and .75 in the keg.

    Really looking forward to this one!
  21. Patrick

    Patrick Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    I feel like this is relevant:

    I was listening to BN's The Session today with La Cumbre Brewing. Their IPA took gold at GABF this year. He was talking about the first year that Summit came out it was all orange and fruit, then the next year it came out after everyone contracted for years and years of it, it was all garlic and onions. He mentioned that hop growers say if hops are left on the plant too long the flavor can change. I thought it was interesting is all.
  22. NiceFly

    NiceFly Aspirant (275) Dec 22, 2011 Tajikistan

    Pahn and Aflictionato should get a room and fuck in private so the rest of us can talk about hops we like without getting their whatever on us.

    I am a big fan of Summit/Centennial. Summit has a nice tangerine falvor and Centennial has a nice orange flavor. I find it is a pleasant change from the grapfruit. Bitter with Summit then a combo of Summit and Centennial "later". Too bad I havent had much of them this season.

    Does anyone have any input on some of the newer hops like Apollo, Bravo, Calypso, Newport or Delta?

    Edit: I shouldnt lump Pahn with Aflictionato
  23. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    @rudefly: You're drunk right?.... slightly?
  24. barfdiggs

    barfdiggs Initiate (0) Mar 22, 2011 California

    Apollo is tagged as "Super CTZ", and basically behaves as tagged (pretty dank, resinous and earthy) but with some additional citrus I don't get from CTZ hops. I've only used pellets, so the whole Apollo may be slightly milder.

    I haven't brewed with Bravo, personally, but I've had some SMaSH beers with it that were fairly nondescript.. it was almost like a slightly more herbal noble hop. I've used EKG in some pales/IPAs I've made and prefer them heavily over Bravo.

    A couple people in our club brewed Calypso SMaSHs and they were pretty nice. Some pear, apple and a little bit of citrus and earthiness. Would like to do a heavily late hopped Calypso SMaSH to see what it does when used in large amounts.

    If we're talking favorite hop combos for IPAs, mine are (Ratio of total hops used, not accounting for time of boil addition): Simcoe/Amarillo (1:1), Citra/Amarillo/Simcoe (1:5:5), Pallisade/Sorachi (2:1), EKG/Centennial (2:1), CTZ/Centennial (1:2), Chinook/CTZ/Centennial (1:1:1), Galaxy/Anything Citrus (1:3). I really dislike Cascade for anything but a late additions, as I find it gives me harsh bittering and a weird, spicy aroma/flavor when used as a dry hop (Personal Taste).

    Most of my additions are simple and tend to vary based on AA content and the flavor profile of the hops. Most commonly: FWH, 30, 10, 0, Dry.

    As far as using hops based on their oil content, choosing just based upon myrcene levels is a bit ludicrous. They're are plenty of other essential oils that provide important flavors to the beers, that vary hop to hop. Despite being a scientist, what really matters when we make beers as homebrewers is how our beers taste, so having experiential evidence is a rapid and easy way to improve the quality of our beers.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,117) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ ..choosing just based upon myrcene levels is a bit ludicrous.”

    Truer words were never spoken.

  26. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    For the large majority of the World's most highly rated IPAs/DIPAs... Amarillo, Simcoe, and/or Citra are typically featured late in the boil in some combination. These hops contain the highest levels of myrcene. Coincidence???

    Odell even went on to create Myrcenery IPA, which contains the highest myrcene hops and is a very well-respected beer. I don't see a Cohumulone IPA or a Farsnene IPA. So perhaps we can acknowledge that when it comes to creating an IPA with insane aroma, using high myrcene hops late can play a slightly stronger role than higher levels of the other hop oils. Noble hops also have a very low % of myrcene and not generally used in highly-rated American IPAs. Coincidence???

    And I never said that I choose late addition hops solely based on myrcene levels... I just tend to prefer the flavor and aroma of these types of hops in American style IPAs.
  27. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Initiate (0) May 11, 2007 Minnesota

    Just to clarify for others, I assume you meant Humulene, since Cohumulone is an alpha acid.
  28. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    Yes, I probably spelt farnsene wrong too, but that is kinda funny.
  29. tweidman420

    tweidman420 Initiate (0) Jul 30, 2005 Louisiana

    I'm a big fan of Citra/Amarillo.
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,117) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I do not have any comments relative to “Coincidence?”

    I still 100% agree with barfdiggs statement of: “ ..choosing just based upon myrcene levels is a bit ludicrous.”

  31. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    And again, Jack... I never said "just based upon myrcene levels". It just so happens that high myrcene hops tend to have lower levels of the other oils (caryophyllene, humulene, farnesene, etc.) and at the same time, they are usually high in alpha acids. All of this is good for American IPAs. Compare Tettnanger & Styrian Goldings vs. Amarillo & Simcoe and see for yourself. The reverse is true for Noble hops... low aa%, low myrcene, and higher levels of the other oils compared to most American NW hops... Coincidence??? :wink:

  32. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,117) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “And again, Jack... I never said "just based upon myrcene levels".” I never stated that you said this.

    My sole comment was that I agree with barfdiggs statement of: “ ..choosing just based upon myrcene levels is a bit ludicrous.”

    Just so we all understand each other. I was agreeing with a comment that barfdiggs made. I never commented to anything that you posted.

  33. aficionado

    aficionado Initiate (0) Jan 6, 2011 New Jersey

    Oh, stop beating around the bush. I initially brought up myrcene so in effect you were indirectly commenting/mocking. Yet you still can't think for yourself, provide an intellectual response, or help the OP. Barfdiggs made a lot of comments, but you chose to hone in on that single line. Mock away hater.
  34. JimmyTango

    JimmyTango Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2011 California

  35. SenorHops

    SenorHops Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2010 Rhode Island

    Years later and still funny!;-)
    BILF and wspscott like this.
  36. kennyg

    kennyg Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2007 Illinois

    I like Chinook/Mosaic.
  37. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,353) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Pure gold (and at least two bannings ago).
    #37 VikeMan, Jul 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2014
    SenorHops likes this.
  38. Pahn

    Pahn Meyvn (1,456) Dec 2, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    whoa necro thread. i still feel about the same re: hops (love chinook, summit, citra, amarillo).

    i will say: 1) i suck at brewing IPAs, and 2) my brewing partner/friend swears by low mash temps and dextrose for good IPAs. i defer to everyone else's judgment, and just say "dry it out, and dry hop the shit out of it."
  39. kneary13

    kneary13 Initiate (0) Jan 30, 2010 Massachusetts

    i like to start with columbus and centennial as my base, and then depending on my mood will add citra, galaxy, mosiac, amarillo or any combination thereof.

    as for hopping schedule, i'm a huge fan of FWH'ing and then 30, 20, 10, KO, DH.... i believe is sort of meets the definition of a modified hop bursting, as defined by Mitch Steele.
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