An IPA is a popular style of crafting beer that gives a bitter and fruity hop flavor. IPAs are one of the most talked-about beers in the Craft Beer movement. Although IPAs are often bitter and hopped, they are not always like that. Some of the best IPAs are balanced with hop and citrusy tropical flavors. First, let us understand what an IPA is.
What Is An IPA?
IPA stands for India Pale Ale, this prioritizes more on the hop flavors and aromas. IPA beers are available in different styles and a world of fruity, citrusy flavors that come from the hop. here today we will look at some popular brewed IPAs and what a DIPA and TIPA are.
Why is it called an IPA and its history?
The history of IPA dates back to the British colonial era when, while the beers were too hot and humid to be brewed in India so they formulated a new heavily hopped beer that could survive months-long shipment from British isles to India. Although this has changed a lot in terms of procedure and taste compared to its roots.
While a heavily hopped or high alcohol-by-volume beer is more suitable for long-term storage, the modern IPAs are best enjoyed when they are brewed fresh and served chilled instead of in old oak barrels. While IPAs are pale ales some brews are not even pale and most modern American IPAs have an ABV of 6-8%. There are different styles of IPAs:
As that name suggests, hazy IPA is a hazy drink that is filled with flavors and can be brewed in any ABV range. more about it will be discussed below.
These IPA brews generally have an ABV of 8% or higher and are referred to as triple IPA when the brew ABV is close to 10%
As the name suggests, these are poured during one of your sessions with your friends or family. Since they tend to have a lower ABV, you end up drinking them more than once.
Why Are IPAs So Strong And What Do They Taste Like?
While there are different types of Pale ales, IPAs are stronger because they have more hops and therefore have a stronger taste. In terms of alcohol, they were generally not the strongest drinks but Americans adapted to the system and added more ABV percent to the volume, making it stronger and giving a better buzz. Have you ever wondered what a higher ABV or hop will make the drink taste like?
While IPAs do have different flavor elements to them, they are made to have a hop-forward taste which means they will have a bitter, fruity and citrusy flavor on top of other flavors they are made with. IPAs also have an aroma of sweet, fruity and candy-like notes to the hop.
What Is a Hazy IPA?
A hazy IPA like the name suggests has a cloudy look, unlike other drinks. The reason for the hazy look is because of the grain protein. If you have ever tried a wheat beer then you might have noticed some haze to it. This is because of much higher grain protein compared to barley beers. Hazy IPAs are not just about hazy looks, the haze denotes high flavors too. The haze IPAs are carefully mixed with malt and hops and are unfiltered before packing, leaving a low bitter taste with high fruitful characteristics of hop.
How Are Hazy IPAs Brewed Differently From IPA?
IPAs today offer a wide range of beers that are created by pushing the ABV content, experimenting with the procedure, and blending various contents.
Commonly known IPAs are filtered before packing while hazy IPAs follow a different procedure. Hazy IPAs skip the filtration process, leaving behind the goodness of grain and hops that are left behind from brewing the beer.
Not all brews can be left unfiltered as the remains can settle down and create a not-so-pleasant drink. It's important to strike the right balance between the ingredients and process to achieve the right haze beer.
Beers like hefeweizens and Belgian white are a few who have mastered the process. Many brewers have mixed barley with wheat or oats or a combination of both that are made with hops of high tropical and fruity flavor that are suitable for achieving good hazy beers. It is also important to maintain the density of the beer to make sure the haze is floating is also important, which means it shouldn't be fermented too dry, which can vary based on the yeast used for fermenting.
What Does A Hazy IPA Taste Like?
Hazy IPAs or New England IPAs to be described in one word can be called fruity, But let's get into some details of how they taste and what mouthfeel they have. Commonly Haze IPAs are supposed to have medium to the full-bodied and creamy mouthfeel.
A West Coast IPA typically has the taste and aroma of citrus and piney flavors. they also lean towards a more fruity character with a bit of clean bitterness.
On the other hand, New England IPAs have a more fruity aroma without bitterness. New England IPAs are also supposed to have a soft and silky mouthfeel because of the specific grains used.
What Makes A Hazy IPA So Hazy?
A lot of work goes behind brewing hazy IPAs. There are a lot of key ingredients and procedures that have to be followed for a perfect hazy IPA.
A few of them have been explained below. One of the key factors that affect the body of the beer is the protein grain. Including high protein grains like raw/flaked wheat will help in delivering a hazy look.
Oats are also a great ingredient in changing the body of a beer they also provide a silkier mouthfeel but don't greatly affect or improve a haze. Choosing the right hop is the next important procedure in getting a perfect haze. Using hops that are high in myrcene or other non-polar is important during the addition of Dry Hopping. Some of the better options of hops are Columbus, mosaic and Simcoe. Using proper yeast will also help in having a healthy haze. When yeast is not stored properly or does not have adequate nutrients, it will end up breaking down more proteins in search of nitrogen leaving with a more foamy haze. Watching the pH level will help with a good haze. Targeting a mash pH between 5.4-5.5 and adjusting the malt pH as the desired post-boil can help in maintaining a higher protein level.
What Is A Double IPA?
When we talk about Double IPA, we might generally think of more alcohol. But in terms of Double IPA, it's talking more in terms of hops and alcohol and not exactly to be double but comparatively more than its alternative IPAs. So let us get a better understanding of what is a double IPA.
The invention of double IPA was an accident by a brewer in southern California who added too much malt to the mesh and then to balance this out he ended up adding a lot of hops which resulted in a boozy and more hoppy beverage known as a double ale. Usually, double IPA has a straw to medium amber color with hop aromas and very high flavors that are not aggressively bitter and typically with 6.0%-8.4% alcohol.
To understand what it tastes like, a double IPA like you figured will certainly be stronger than other IPAs. A double IPA has very little sweetness and the purpose of the sweetness is only to balance out the bitterness of the hops. The first thing you will taste in a DIPA will be the bitterness of the hops more than any other characteristics of the beer.
What Is A Triple IPA?
Due to the growing popularity of IPAs, people have taken IPAs to a whole new level of strength and darkness. It has more ABV% and more hope so it's going to be more bitter when compared to its alternative IPAs. A triple IPA will have an ABV of over 10%. Although it is still beer, it is not considered one, but that has not stopped it from gaining popularity in the beer world.
The triple IPA still hasn't been recognized as beer by the beer judge certification program. Typically a TIPA is a drink with more than 10% ABV so the style of brewing is a tad tricky. This is because the hop flavor, malt and alcohol need to be constantly checked to make sure that the beverage is drinkable.
Now that you have a better understanding of IPAs, make sure you appreciate them when you get yourself a fresh glass of chilled IPA. Do try out different beers so that you don't miss out on such beautifully crafted beverages. Who knows, you might end up with a new favorite.