Hippie Hill IPA

The next round in my search for the perfect IPA is a copper-colored, all-Zythos hop recipe that I’m calling Hippie Hill.

8.0 lb (80.0%) American 2-row - added during mash
1 lb (10.0%) Crystal Malt 10°L - added during mash
.5 lb (5.0%) Barley Flaked - added during mash
.25 lb (2.5%) Belgian Caravienne - added during mash
.25 lb (2.5%) Pilsner Malt - added during mash

Hop schedule:
.5 oz (14.3%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - added first wort, boiled 90 m
.5 oz (14.3%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - added during boil, boiled 90 m
.5 oz (14.3%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - added during boil, boiled 5.0 m
.5 oz (14.3%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - added during boil, boiled 1.0 m
.5 oz (14.3%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - steeped after boil
1 oz (28.6%) Zythos™ (10.9%) - added dry to secondary fermenter

1.0 ea White Labs WLP001 California Ale

The grainbill was partially improvised when the local homebrew store was out of a few malts in the original recipe, Carapils most notably. Looking to add some body and head retention, I added a half pound of flaked barley. This had the desired effect, but also contributed to a persistent haziness that isn’t really to-style. I realize now that I probably could have adjusted my mash temperature to give the wort more body.

Hippie Hill was a bit of an experiment in other ways as well. I had ordered a half pound of Zythos hops and decided to use them all the way through the hop schedule. Zythos isn’t a hop cultivar—it’s a newly-released hop mixture intended to replace scarcer IPA varieties like Simcoe and Citra.

Hippie Hill pours a deep copper color and, like its namesake spot in Golden Gate Park, is pretty hazy. A one-finger white head dissipates quickly into a ring that clings around the edges of the glass and leaves patchy lacing. The aroma isn’t very strong, but has notes of citrus and tropical fruit. The taste is of malt sweetness balanced by a bitter twang up front followed by orange and lemon flavors with a grassy, grapefruit-y, pineapple-y finish that lingers. The body is medium and the carbonation is medium-low.

Overall, it’s a nice, fruity ale that barely skirts around the traditional IPA profile. Competition judges seem to agree, noting that it’s a tasty beer, but not a classic IPA. (Scores fall into the “Good” classification of 21-29 points). I think different late hop additions could bring it more in line with what I’m after.

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