A New Take on Single Tap IPA

Hops!Update: Single Tap IPA Reviewed

In the past, I’ve had good luck brewing my IPA. My standard recipe has won a number of awards and tastes great. That being said, my attention span is short and it is time to change things up. Between the fresh 2013 hops I had ordered in bulk (from Hops Direct) and capabilities built into my current brewery, the time was nigh to make some tweaks to Single Tap.

On the brew house side, I am now able to do a pump-driven whirlpool. This allows me to better simulate the extended whirlpool often done with the best commercial IPAs. Additionally, I now have a hop back that allows for one last infusion of hops directly before going into my plate chiller to cool. Finding Amarillo hops during the 2013 brewing year was nearly impossible. I’ve overcompensated this year by purchasing massive amounts of the 2013 Amarillo crop, which this recipe has been built around. I’ve also included a small charge of Sterling hops — a tip I picked up from Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing during last year’s National Homebrewers Conference. (The idea is that the Sterling will add a bit of complexity and nuance to what is otherwise a citrus heavy hop bill.)

Single Tap IPA Recipe

Size: 4.32 gal – My goal is to net just under 3 gallons into the fermenter.
Efficiency: 70% – Calculated
Attenuation: 75.7% – Calculated based off of OG and FG readings.

Original Gravity: 1.066 SG – Measured
Terminal Gravity: 1.016 SG – Measured
Color: 10.78 SRM
Alcohol: 6.58% ABV – Calculated
Bitterness: 63.2 IBU – Actual measured IBUs will likely be a bit higher. My software doesn’t account for the whirlpool hop contribution of bitterness.

4.5 lb (38.3%) 2-Row Brewers Malt (Briess)
4 lb (34.0%) Golden Promise Malt (Crisp)
2.25 lb (19.1%) Vienna Malt (Weyermann)
8 oz (4.3%) White Wheat Malt (Briess)
6 oz (3.2%) Caramunich® TYPE II (Weyermann)
2 oz (1.1%) Acidulated Malt (Weyermann) – for pH adjustment

6 g Columbus (15.0% AA) – First Wort
20 g Sterling (7.5% AA) – 15 m
14 g Centennial (10.5% AA) – 15 m
1 oz Amarillo® Leaf (9.6% AA) – 10 m
12 g Columbus (15.0% AA) – 10 m
1 oz Amarillo® Leaf (9.6% AA) – Whirlpool 20m
14 g Centennial (10.5% AA) – Whirlpool 20m
8 g Sterling (7.5% AA) – Whirlpool 20m
3 oz Amarillo® Leaf – Hop Back

1 oz Centennial (10.5% AA) – Dry hop 3 days
2 oz Amarillo® (8.7% AA) – Dry hop 3 days

Kettle Additions:
0.5 ea Whirlfloc Tablet – 15 m
0.5 tsp Wyeast Nutrient – 10 m

1 ea Wyeast 1056 American Ale™ – 1400ml starter on stir plate

Mash Regiment:
Saccharification Rest – 150 °F – 60m
Mashout – 168 °F – 5m

1. Chill to 62 °F and keep at 64 °F until activity slows (4-6 days).
2. Raise temp to 68 °F until fermentation stops.
3. Crash to 32 °F (2 days)

8 thoughts on “A New Take on Single Tap IPA

  1. Hi Nick – i’ve been reading more on the Whirpool process and hopback stands. Is this equipment mostly fabricated on the homefront? Trying to locate a good source on the equipment and process. I guess I am a little confused when you are whirlpooling for 20 minutes is this at flameout before cooling or are do you have your wort chiller running at during this time. Same question for the hop back. The more I read the more confused i usually get at the beginning. Greatly appreciate the input!

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Michael. I built my boil kettle with (2) ports. The out is simply a 90 degree elbow pointing down. The inlet back has a nozzle that runs tangentially to the kettle wall which helps spin the wort and creates a nice whirlpool. This is all driven by a pump. The basic design is here:


      All of my whirlpool is done hot. I typically cut the heat, add whirlpool hops, actively pump (spin) the wort for 5 minutes, and then let it rest hot and settle for another 10-15 minutes.

      When I use my hop back (Blichmann Hop Rocket), it sees hot wort (maybe 190 degree or so) and is inline directly before my plate chiller.

      Hope this helps clear things up!

      • Great information! Your drawings really helped me get an idea of the process. I’ve been researching this week, creating a whirlpool affect (pump driven) prior to dropping the immersion chiller in the pot with a whirlpool arm.
        Basically, thinking of drilling a hole in my kettle, installing and using the MoreBeer Weldless Whirlpool fitting and wanted your thoughts. Also is there a recommended pump for this process?

        Thanks Nick!

      • i decided to go with the March Pump and Weldless fitting to recirculate wort. One thing i noticed on your pump drawing was you had a Tee – one direction to Kettle (assuming for whirpool) and one direction to chiller. I’m also thinking about purchasing the more beer whirlpool chiller kit to attach to my immersion chiller but not sure if this will fit with a Hop blocker inside the kettle.

        When you use your chiller are you placing it inside your kettle and using this same technique? Also am still trying to figure out how you are using the Hop Rocket (i assume after the whirlpool you are attaching it to the outtake on the pump?
        -Thanks Nick and great design!

  2. Hi Michael,

    The tee is does a couple things on my system. First is acts as a bleeder valve so that I can more easily flood and prime my pump head. Second, it acts as a dedicated recirc loop so that I don’t have to move hoses around too often. It is a little extraneous, but a nice feature.

    I don’t use an immersion chiller with my setup, I have a plate chiller. May basic setup when using a hop rocket is:

    Kettle > Pump > Hop Rocket > Plate Chiller > Fermentor

    Here is a pretty good picture of it:


    Hope this helps!

  3. Pictures always tell a thousand words and yes that clarifies a ton for me. Looking forward to implement a similar process in the near future. Thanks again!

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