How to Brew a Single-Malt, Single-Hop IPA at Home

on 05/02/13 at 8:52 am

Beer

imagesMany beer recipes share a common flaw: they’re just too complex. Homebrewers tend to get carried away, tossing in a few ounces of this and a half pound of that, and they end up with a recipe that calls for eight different malts and seven different types of hops. Chances are, that beer’s going to taste muddled. (There are, of course, notable exceptions.) Understanding the building blocks of beer, ingredient by ingredient, allows brewers to know what each component is bringing to the mix.

One great way to get a handle on what each ingredient adds to a beer is to try to brew a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop) beer. By focusing on just two ingredients, you can filter out the other “noise” and learn your Centennials from your Chinooks and your Munich malt from your Vienna. You’ll know exactly what each ingredient tastes like, and learning those flavor and aroma characteristics on their own will help you tweak recipes with more components later on.

 

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