Suregork Loves Beer

Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Homebrew: Sim/arillo IPA


It has been way too long since my last brewday, so it felt really nice to brew once again last Sunday. Activity on the blog has also been low the previous months, I apologize for that. I bottled the berry version of the Sour Ale in December, so should soon be able to post some tasting notes on both versions of the beer. The base beer is actually quite nice, and am sad to say that I’m already down to my last bottle. During the spring, I will also be posting some (hopefully interesting) posts on the research I’ve been doing for my PhD thesis. I’m at least very excited about my results 🙂

Anyways, back to the beer and the brewday. My friend Marcus joined the brewday, and we decided to brew a simple IPA with whatever hops we had in the freezer. Since I’ve never brewed a beer with only base malt (I even added some speciality malts to the Pilsner I brewed 2 years ago), we decided to go with a malt bill of 100% Maris Otter (also some leftovers). For hopping, I had originally planned a combination of Citra and Simcoe, but on the brewday that changed to Amarillo and Simcoe. Apparently I had remember incorrectly, as I wasn’t able to find any Citra in the freezer. Amarillo and Simcoe should be a good combination though. We went with a 50 IBU bittering addition, and then added relatively big amounts of hops towards the end of the boil. I guess the IBUs will be in the 70-85 range. The brewday went extremely smoothly, and we hit all our numbers correctly (OG of 1.064). We even managed to squeeze out an extra liter of wort. We chilled to around 20C, pitched a packet of US-05 that I had in the fridge (Exp. 02/2015), and placed the fermenter in an ambient temperature of 17C. 5 hours after pitching there was already activity in the airlock, and today fermentation was progressing nicely. The fermentation aromas are smelling great, and the wort tasted really promising, so expectations are going up. We will still dry hop with both Amarillo and Simcoe (50g each), which should give the beer aroma some really nice citrus, resin and pineapple notes.

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
20 L 65 min 81.5 IBUs 10.3 EBC 1.065 1.011 7.1 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
American-Style India Pale Ale 52 1.06 - 1.075 1.012 - 1.018 50 - 70 11.8 - 27.6 2.2 - 2.8 6.3 - 7.6 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt, Maris Otter 6 kg 100


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Amarillo 20 g 60 min Boil Pellet 8.8
Simcoe 15 g 60 min Boil Pellet 13
Amarillo 30 g 15 min Boil Pellet 8.8
Simcoe 30 g 15 min Boil Pellet 13
Amarillo 30 g 10 min Aroma Pellet 8.8
Simcoe 30 g 10 min Aroma Pellet 13
Citra 50 g 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 12
Simcoe 50 g 5 days Dry Hop Pellet 13


Name Amount Time Use Type
Calcium Chloride 6.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 5.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Lactic Acid 2.00 ml 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 3.00 g 60 min Boil Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Safale American (US-05) DCL/Fermentis 77% 15°C - 23.89°C


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 64.44°C 75 min


  1. Hey, I’ve understood that sulfates could bring out harsh bitterness in hop-heavy beers such as yours here. Or is it more important to get the calcium into the mash/boil than avoiding sulfates? Would you like to make a comment on what thoughts went into selecting the water agents?

  2. I usually only add CaCl2 and CaSO4 to my brewing water, and then adjust the mash pH with lactic acid or phosphoric acid. For all my homebrews, I aim for a Ca(2+) concentration of around 100 ppm. This both results in a ‘better’ mash pH (i.e. one closer to ~5.3-5.4) and promotes yeast health and flocculation (i.e. it is a cofactor in many enzymes). Espoo water only has around 20 ppm Ca(2+), so I add CaCl2 and/or CaSO4 to raise it. For hoppy beers, I tend to aim for a SO4(2-) concentration of around 300 ppm, which as you say enhances the perceived bitterness of the beer. I wouldn’t say it makes it harsh, rather just enhances it, but then again I’ve never done a side-by-side comparison. I’ve seen reported SO4(2-) concentrations of 150-750 ppm for the water used to brew many commercial (and well liked) IPAs, so it definitely seems to be a vital part of the flavour. For all other types of beer, I try to keep the SO4(2-) concentration lower (~50 ppm) and use mainly CaCl2 to get a sufficient Ca(2+) concentration. I usually don’t add any other salts (e.g. MgSO4 or NaCl).

  3. Thanks for the reply. I think we’ll adjust mineral additions for future homebrews.

  4. Pingback: Tasting Impressions: Sim/arillo IPA | Suregork Loves Beer

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