English IPA

English IPA Recipe

On this side of the Atlantic, we love our North American-style IPAs, but there’s still something to be said for the original English IPA. If you haven’t read up on the history of this beer, please do so. It’s fascinating stuff. During the British occupation of India, an enterprising Brit decided to develop a beer that could survive the long and hot journey to India, a journey which resulted in too many spoiled beers. A heavy hand with the hops would prove to do the trick and prove to be wildly popular with British expats in India. Can’t blame them right?

Recipe Profile

  • Method: 1 gallon BIAB (Brew-in-a-bag), single stage
  • Target OG (Original Gravity): 1.056
  • Target FG (Final Gravity): 1.017
  • Bitterness (IBUs): 53
  • Estimated ABV: 5.1%
  • Boil: 90 minutes


  • 2 lbs 3 oz  UK Pale Malt (2 row)
  • 4 oz Crystal Malt – 60L
  • 0.30 oz Challenger Hops at 90 minutes
  • 0.25 oz First Gold Hops at 10 minutes
  • SafAle English Ale Yeast (#S-04)

The Mash

  1. Bring 10.75 litres of water to a temperate of 162°F. Add your grains and give everything a good stir until the whole thing looks a bit like oatmeal. Shut off the heat, cover with a lid, and let it steep at 156°F for 60 minutes.
  2. Then you need to “mash out.” You put the heat back on, and raise the temperature to 168°F (75.6°C) and keep stirring for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the grains and prepare for the boil. If you’re using a bag, just pull it out and let it drip near-dry above the pot. If you’re using a colander, strain to remove the grains, preserving the wort, which you’ll add back to the pot.
  4. Check that your gravity is on track and correct it, if needed. You need 73 gravity points for this recipe, and our target post-boil volume is 1.3 gallons.

The Boil

  1. Start the boil by bringing your wort up to a boil. Once boiling, start your timer. Add your bittering hops, as prescribed above.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your sanitizer solution.
  3. Just before the boil is complete, make an ice bath in your kitchen sink. Load it up with as much ice and cold water as you can. Once the boil is over, transfer your pot to the sink to cool your wort to pitching temperature, as prescribed on the yeast pack. Remember to sanitize your thermometer every time you check the temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, thoroughly clean and sanitize your carboy, screw cap, airlock, funnel, and strainer/colander. You want everything to be ready to go once the wort is at the right temperature.
  5. Once the wort is at pitching temperature, transfer it to the carboy by passing it through a strainer overtop the funnel. Do not fill the carboy higher than the one-gallon mark.
  6. Aerate the wort.  Cover the fermenter with a screw cap and gently rock the carboy back and forth for a few minutes to mix in some air.
  7. Pitch the yeast! Use sanitized scissors to cut open the package and pour in only half of the yeast.
  8. Seal the carboy by filling the airlock with sanitizer. Fit it in the screw cap. Move the carboy to a dark spot, free of the home’s daily commotion for at least 14 days (but ideally not more than 21).

Bottling Day

  1. Move the carboy to the countertop, if it wasn’t already there. If the wort got lots of movement during transfer, let it sit so that any stirred-up yeast has a chance to re-settle.
  2. Sanitize everything that will come in contact with the beer: bottling bucket, auto-siphon, tubing, filler, bottles, and bottle caps.
  3. Dissolve 0.59 oz (17g) corn sugar in enough boiling water to dissolve it. Add the dissolved sugar solution to your sanitized bottling bucket.
  4. Fill your auto-siphon and hose with sanitizer before submerging in the carboy. Transfer the solution to a spare container until the beer has completely replaced all the sanitizer in the tubes. Now you can place the end with the bottle filler in the bottling bucket, which should also be on the floor and gently transfer the beer from the carboy to the bucket.
  5. Transfer all the liquid up and the point where it reaches the sediment. Leave the sediment in the carboy.
  6. Now, move the bottling bucket to the counter and siphon the beer quietly into each bottle. When the liquid gets to the very top of the bottle, remove the bottle filler, which will leave the perfect amount of headspace at the top of the bottle.
  7. Cover each bottle with the sanitized caps and cap them into place, or secure your sanitized swing-top caps if using those.
  8. Store the bottles upright in a quiet, dark corner at temperatures between at 65F (18.5C).
  9. Wait 30 days, if you can. If you’re way too curious (I can’t blame you!) try and hold out for 14 days. If you absolutely can’t wait, you can try after 7 days, but the beer really needs at least 14 days to condition.


5 responses to “English IPA”

  1. Tim

    Why does the recipe state 8.34l for the mash, when we aRe making 1gal, is this to allow for reduction during the boil?

    I recently made the ESB recipe and used 3l for the inital mash and then topped to 4.5l during the boil? Ended up with approx 2.5l after the boil and had to top up with water before filling the demi john.

    Awesome recipes and website btw – perfect for the SMbb

    1. Thanks so much for the kind note Tim! Indeed, I use larger water amounts (in fact, I’m updating this recipe in the next day or two to boost the water to 10.75 litres (and the grain levels to match) for three primary reasons:

      1. Allow for evaporation and boil-off
      2. Allow for water absorption in the grains
      3. Deliberately allow for extra wort at the end of the boil, to make transferring the wort to the carboy easier. I have found that by having extra wort, I can leave most of the trub behind in the kettle, ensuring that what I put into the fermentor is clear, leaving more room in the fermentor for beer, and less sediment build-up.

      Hope that helps.

  2. GISEL



  3. Jim Gordon

    Hi. These recipes look great and are generally easy to follow : thanks.
    What i do find confusing, though, is the hopping instructions – and Others have asked questions on other recipe threads. To be clear, when you state
    0.25 oz First Gold at 10 mins, does this mean 10 minutes into the boil – in other words, for 80 of the 90 minutes? Or is it for the last 10 minutes of the bOil?
    Similarly, 0.3 oz CHallenger at 90 mins. Does this mean they are in for the entire bOil, or thrown in at the end before cooling the wort?

  4. Jake

    Thank you very much for Compiling these Recipes. Quick QURSTION: is the gallon you are referring to an imperial gallon or a u. S. Liquid Gallon?

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