Brewing NEIPA – Tips from the Pros

The current darling of the craft beer (and homebrew) world, New England IPA (NEIPA) requires copious amounts of late hop additions, but there is a lot more to making a world class example. The right brewing water, unmalted grains, the exclusion of oxygen, and other finer points are what makes some examples stand out. Don’t take it from us — these three brewers are churning out some of the finest examples available.

Neil Fisher, Co-Founder & Head Brewer of WeldWerks in Greeley, Colorado

For most of our New England-style IPAs our water profile targets are around 175–200 ppm chloride, 75–100 ppm sulfate, and less than 150 ppm calcium. Depending on your base ion profile, strictly using calcium chloride and calcium sulfate to achieve those targets can result in too high a concentration of calcium, which may affect yeast behavior, specifically flocculation, so consider magnesium sulfate as an alternative for your sulfate additions.

We use a fair amount of flaked wheat and flaked oats in a lot of our IPAs, mainly for their contributions to the mouthfeel and body of the beer. But we’ve found that more than 15% of flaked wheat or flaked oats can lend a bit more sharp “starchiness” to the beer, and if the grist exceeds more than 20% high-protein grains, it can be difficult to maintain colloidal stability.

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