The new craze in craft beer is the New England IPA. If you haven’t had one yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s usually a hazy, hop aroma bomb with almost no bitterness and tons of hop-forward fruitiness. The word is that the style was started by Heady Topper, from The Alchemist.
Since it’s a relatively new style — if it is a proper style — there’s disagreement over what it really is.
Does it have to be cloudy? Should it be pale, or more amber colored?
Personally I think the cloudiness isn’t as important as the smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and I think these beers should not be too dark. But … I’m not a style Nazi, and besides, it’s your beer, do what you want.
If you’re thinking of brewing one yourself, here’s a reasonable set of guidelines.
- “First make sure to use high protein grains like oats, wheat, and rye,” says Ryan from Push Brewing.
- It’s unfiltered, so don’t use any fining agents.
- There’s not much bitterness. Some brewers don’t use any bittering hops at all.
- Aroma hops tend to be fruit forward, and you use a whole lot of them. (Think six ounces or more in a five gallon batch.) Some brewers only use hops at flame out, or they dry hop.
- You should adjust the water for your mash to favor higher chloride levels, which creates a smooth, creamy, softer mouth feel.
- You should use a lower attenuating yeast, like an east coast ale yeast. Fermentation temperature should be around 70-72 to promote fruity ester production.
- These are short turn-around beers — not something you expect to age, or brew in July for a Christmas treat.
I get my supplies from Maryland Homebrew, so here are some links that might help.
If you want to give it a try, here are some of the items you might want to consider.