Recommendation: Aim for 10 to 15% of the total IBUs from late hop additions.
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Double IPAs (also known as imperial IPAs) are like stronger American IPAs: Higher original gravity, higher IBUs, and more hop flavor. With that said, there are some important differences. The experts recommend using smaller amounts of crystal malt, such as 0 to 5%. A simple grain bill is recommended because too much crystal malt or other specialty grains may distract from the hop qualities. The use of some sugar is used keep the final gravity low and "drinkable". Lower mash temperatures, such as 148 to 152F, also help to promote wort fermentability. Zainasheff and Palmer (2007) recommend targeting a final gravity of 1.012 to 1.015.
The hops used in DIPA beer are American and high alpha varieties. Commonly used examples include the "4 Cs" (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus), Citra, Simcoe, Amarillo, Sterling, and Nelsom Sauvin (Steele, 2012). Tomahawk and Zeus are sisters of Columbus, so these are sometimes collectively called the CTZ hops. Other possibilities include Warrior and Northern Brewer. High alpha acid hops should be favored over low alpha varieties.
A DIPA needs to be aggressively hopped. Maximize hop flavors with hops added at the end of the boil followed by a hop stands of steeping after the boil for 15 to 60 minutes. Most DIPA recipes are aggressively dry hopped in the fermenter, sometimes with two or more rounds of hop additions. A five gallon batch may need as much as a three-quarters to a pound of hops to reach the right degree of hop character (Zainasheff, 2008).
The IBU calculations in these massive beers may be hard for the standard Tinseth formula to accurately model. More hops might be necessary to reach the desired goal, so don't be afraid to be more aggressive than the calculations suggest. The default late hop additions of 10 minutes and 20% should be adjusted downward to 0 minutes and 10 to 15% of the total.
Be sure to make a batch larger than usual to compensate for the wort retained by the hops. For example, brew a six gallon batch to end up with five gallons (Cilurzo, 2009; Zainasheff, 2008).
This beer style is typically fermented with American ale yeast or similar neutral yeast strains. Cilurzo recommends fermentation at 66 to 68F to prevent diacetyl. It would be desirable to pitch a higher rate of yeast than usual to help achieve a lower final gravity.
The notable commercial example of this style is Russian River's Pliny the Elder. Vinnie Cilurzo has generously published his Pliny recipe (Cilurzo, 2009). The Pliny the Elder clone grain bill is 87% American two-row, 4% carapils, 4% crystal 45L, and 5% dextrose by weight. The actual IBUs (not calculated) are 90 to 95. Columbus and Simcoe hops are used for bittering, with Centennial and Simcoe used for aroma. There are two separate dry hop additions of Columbus, Centennial, and Simcoe. Cilurzo considers Simcoe to be the "signature" hop. Please see the recipe from his Zymurgy article for details. Two more example recipes, which are based upon Pliny but larger, include Zainasheff's Hop Hammer and Mike McDole's Double IPA.
Cilurzo, V. (2009, July/August). Brew a double IPA! Zymurgy, 22-27.
Steele, M. (2012). IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes, and the Evolution of India Pale Ale, Brewer's Publications, 223 to 225.
Zainasheff, J. (2008, November). Imperial IPA: Hoppy with a chance of hoppiness. BYO magazine, 19 - 22.
Zainasheff, J., & Palmer, J. (2007). Brewing classic styles: 80 winning recipes anyone can brew. Brewer's Publications, 188-190.
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