First Gold IPA

Or, Need a Bigger Boat Bitter.

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Took an evening and brewed my first English IPA in a very long time. This recipe will look very familiar to those of you who tried out the Boat Bitter – grist composition, water treatment, BU:GU ratio, mash regimen, yeast and planned fermentation schedule are all the same. The gravity is bumped up for an abv that should be somewhere between 5.5% and 6%, plus the final addition of kettle hops is doubled and there will be dry hopping. I’m excited for this one.

First Gold IPA
Target OG: 1.056


  • 98% Floor-malted Maris Otter
  • 2% Simpson’s Dark Crystal


  • 152F for 75′
  • 170F for 10′

nb: As with the Boat Bitter, I Burtonized my soft water with CaSO4 (gypsum) and MgSO4 (Epsom salts).


  • First Gold (whole, 8.6% aa) at 60′ to 43 IBU
  • First Gold (whole, 8.6% aa) at 15′ to 11 IBU
  • First Gold (whole, 8.6% aa) at 0′, at a rate of 4 grams/gallon


  • Chill to 68F, O2 and pitch with Wyeast 1026 Cask Ale
  • After attenuation reached, dry hop with First Gold (whole, as above) at a rate of 8 grams/gallon for 7 days or so, then fine and keg.

21 thoughts on “First Gold IPA

  1. Awesome!
    Just wanted to share my excitement as well.
    Its great I finally found you after the BTV exodus …haha. Good stuff man! I was wondering if there was an email you’d be interesting in sharing, just wanted to send you a couple thoughts…



  2. Awesome!
    Just wanted to share my excitement with you!
    Great to have finally found you after the BTV exodus…haha.
    I was wondering if you had an email that you’d be willing to share, just to send you a couple of thoughts?



  3. You know what I really like about your style, MD, you’re not afraid to explore your brewing space with the same ingredient. IIRC, the last three beers you posted about were with 1st Gold hops. Gotta ask a question, though, why such a short turn around with this beer?

      • Yeah, the 4-6 weeks folklore seems to permeate the American homebrewing literature. I was surprised to learn that many commercial ale brewers (i.e. “craft brewers”) typically have short schedules (ca. 12 days) for their modest gravity ales. In fact, I was surprised to learn how fast healthy yeast can actually attenuate wort en route to beer!

        I guess my question was directed more at the use of a fining agent in MD’s notes. Why not give it a little more time to drop bright? I always get mixed results with Isinglass/gelatin/BioFine/etc. Likewise, knowing nothing about First Gold (so disregard this comment if I’m being totally naive here), will extra time file away the rough edges on the finished beer? Evidence, article 1: I cite Chip Walton’s Burton Ale webisodes (i.e. “some other podcast” episode 40, a short pour and a Chop&Brew lagniappe). Apples to oranges, for sure, but I’m still curious to get people’s take on this.

        Back to S.M.A.S.H.ishness: If variety is the spice of life, then versatility must be the stock, or, considering the venue here, the base grain of life.

        • Re: the 4-6 weeks folklore – Agreed. I’m not totally sure where or how it got started, but I think it’s perpetuated, probably justifiably, out of a need to hit all the lowest common denominators of a wide range of skill and experience – varying pitch rates, fermentation and conditioning temps, packaging methods …

          Re: fining agents and time – to reiterate from my response to the first post in the thread, it’s mainly about being able to get the beer packaged promptly and free up the big fermentor. I have many kegs but only one conical, so it’s more efficient to let the bright beer sit in a keg and keep the fermentor free.

          Re: First Gold and roughness – FG is high-ish alpha but mild in terms of flavor intensity; like a lot of traditional English varieties I personally find it pretty mellow. Even though this won’t be very bitter or hoppy by American IPA standards, it will definitely benefit from a few weeks of aging post-packaging. Unlike the bitter, I don’t have the dual deadlines of Chip’s block party and the waning fishing season hanging over this batch.

    • Yep! I try to buy versatile hop varieties in bulk and then use the heck out of them. Plus I tend to brew in stylistic waves, so there’s always a theme going on.

      The turnaround is mostly due to my system: I have one 14 gallon conical, which is what I use for the majority of my batches, so that’s the bottleneck in my pipeline. The goal isn’t necessarily to drink the beer sooner but to get it packaged promptly and free up the fermentor space. I don’t expect this one to be ready as quickly as its ordinary bitter precedent.

  4. Mr. Dawson,

    I have one pound of Centennial hop pellets (2012) in my freezer. I also have 30 lbs. of Rahr 2 row waiting to be used.

    What would you do with them?

    • Man, so many possibilities … that could become 15 gallons of pale ale, or a smaller volume of Imperial IPA or an American golden barleywine; or with some roast malt, a black IPA or Imperial stout.

      • Thanks for the reply. The BIPA/Imperial Stout suggestion has convinced me to do a big, hoppy American Stout. That will take care of about half of the grain/hops. Do you have any recipes that fall squarely outside of the BJCP guidelines that will take care of the remainder?

  5. I’m excited to see what 1026 Does. I have some beer to bottle Friday that was brewed with 1026, a Second runnings for a heavy barley wine that was 2 pounds of Briess special roast 50L, Four pounds of Briess cherrywood smoked and 14 pounds Rahr Pale ale. Excited to have a session-able ale to try out that yeast!

  6. Pingback: TMBR: First Gold IPA | the beer engine

  7. Thanks to this very simple IPA recipe I picked up my first second place in the ventura county fair. Unfortunately I omitted the dark crystal from the grain bill and I used wlp 002. I also aged it on an ounce of medium french oak cubes but everything else was spot on. I got tons of oranage marmalade and vanilla+citrus notes. Thanks Dawson.

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