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Union IPA

I'm coming to the end of my current 25kg sack of Crisp Maris Otter and have decided to go out with a hoppy IPA that will use up both the remaining malt and some English hops that won't be appropriate for the next run of beers that I'm planning to brew.


With brewday scheduled for a Sunday I got my 1.5 litre starter of Brewlab Yorkshire yeast on the go on Tuesday evening, not forgetting to add two drops of Brupacks Antifoam to tame this highly aggressive yeast.

By Friday morning it had fermented out and I transfered 500ml back to a Kilner jar to keep in the fridge for next time and the remaining litre will go into the beer on Sunday

Brew day

I treated the full volume of my water on Saturday evening, separated off 5 litres for the sparge and set the automatic kettle plug socket for 5:35am the following morning.

Here's the recipe I came up with.

Recipe Specifications
Date: 2 October 2022
Batch Size (fermenter): 24.00 L
Estimated OG: 1.044 SG
Estimated Color: 15.2 EBC
Estimated IBU: 44.0 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 75.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Water profile: Ca:82 Mg:13 Na:9 SO4:103 Cl:101

Amt         Name                                             Type          %/IBU    
29.57 L     Tesco Ashbeck                                    Water         -        
3.40 g      Calcium Chloride (Mash)                          Water Agent   -        
2.70 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Mash)                        Water Agent   -        
2.20 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash)                  Water Agent   -        
0.90 ml     Lactic Acid (Mash)                               Water Agent   -        
3.980 kg    Crisp Maris Otter (7.9 EBC)                      Grain         87.9 %   
0.350 kg    Cara-Pils/Dextrine (3.9 EBC)                     Grain         7.7 %    
0.200 kg    Crisp Light Crystal (150.0 EBC)                  Grain         4.4 %    
0.70 g      Calcium Chloride (Sparge)                        Water Agent   -        
0.60 g      Epsom Salt (MgSO4) (Sparge)                      Water Agent   -        
0.50 g      Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Sparge)                Water Agent   -        
25.00 g     Target [8.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min                  Hop           25.4 IBUs
11.00 g     Challenger [6.10 %] - Boil 10.0 min              Hop           2.8 IBUs 
11.00 g     East Kent Goldings (EKG) [6.80 %] - Boil 10.0 mi Hop           3.1 IBUs 
11.00 g     Fuggles [5.00 %] - Boil 10.0 min                 Hop           2.3 IBUs 
1.00 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins)                 Fining        -        
16.00 g     Challenger [6.10 %] - Boil 5.0 min               Hop           2.2 IBUs 
16.00 g     East Kent Goldings (EKG) [6.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop           2.5 IBUs 
16.00 g     Fuggles [5.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min                  Hop           1.8 IBUs 
23.00 g     Challenger [6.10 %] - Boil 2.0 min               Hop           1.4 IBUs 
23.00 g     East Kent Goldings (EKG) [6.80 %] - Boil 2.0 min Hop           1.5 IBUs 
23.00 g     Fuggles [5.00 %] - Boil 2.0 min                  Hop           1.1 IBUs 
1.0 pkg     Brewlab Yorkshire (Brewlab #Yorkshire)           Yeast         -        

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 4.530 kg
Name     Description                    Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In  Add 24.57 L of water at 70 C   67.0 C        90 min        

Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5L

I was up at 6:00am and the water was already at 60°C which meant I had about 10 minutes to grind my grain before the strike temperature of 70°C would be reached. I mashed in at 66°C and left it for an hour, after which it was at 63.5°C. After sparging my pre-boil gravity was 1.040.

Everything went well with the rest of the brew-day and I collected about 24 litres into the fermenter. The wort did seem a little more 'trubby' than usual, probably because I was down to the bottom of my sack of grain where the dust tends to gather.

The OG was 1.042, two points below the estimate which I'm actually quite happy about. I prefer my ales around the 4.5% mark. Any stronger and I can't really enjoy more than a few pints of them in an evening.

I was able to get the wort down to 23°C in about 15 minutes with my Klarstein 12 chiller which meant that I could pitch the chilled yeast starter right away and get it all tucked up in the brew-fridge and set it to 20°C for the fermentation. I was all finished and washed up by 10:30am leaving the rest of Sunday to spend doing other things... like ordering more grain!


Today was kegging day after a total of 3 weeks in the fermenter. My new regime of a 3 week fermentation regardless of whether it's a lager or an ale appears to be paying dividends because the beer straight from the fermenter is incredibly clear.

The final gravity is 1.005 which gives an ABV of 4.9%. I got one keg and two bottles from the fermenter which is about the same as usual. The trial jar tasted really nice and I've got high hopes for this user-upper IPA.

Tasting notes

For a bit of a random user-upper of hops this has come out really well. Malt and hops are well balanced. The crystal flavour is noticeable but not too in-your-face (I'm not a big crystal fan). The Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles hold their own in the flavour department against the assertiveness of the Target used for bitterness.