Bell's Hopslam (Double IPA)
"I have to say that in all my years of brewing, it is the best batch, hands down, that I have ever brewed! I followed the recipe (including adjusting the my water) and the final product was simply amazing: Wonderful piney, dank, citrus, grapefruit on the nose, amazingly full body with a true "hop slam" on the palate, and a surprisingly dry finish for such a big beer. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Kal... this one is a winner!" - Veritas
"Followed the recipe exactly for 10 gallons and I'd say it turned out great. Appearance: golden orange, great persistent head with awesome lacing. Hazy, but slowly clearing. Aroma: tropical fruits, melon, grapefruit, bittersweet, floral. Flavor: total hop bomb. Extremely resinous, fruity, obviously high ABV (slight alcohol bite). Quick fading bitter aftertaste. Very subtle grainy and floral tastes. Mouthfeel: silky smooth, with sort of a puckering effect from the bitterness. Great recipe! Cheers!" - tloveland
Bell's Hopslam is yet another Double IPA that brewers have been trying to clone for years, and (as far as we can tell) no official recipe has ever been provided by the brewery. While we wouldn't call the recipe below an exact clone, we find that it comes very close. If you enjoy the commercial version, you'll definitely enjoy this beer.
Hopslam is a bit higher in alcohol than Pliny the Elder but the hops are not quite as intense.
To quote the Bell's Brewery Hopslam page:
"Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style."
It is one of the few beers to score 100 on both RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.
In early 2013, a sampling of this beer we brewed was donated to a local team of homebrewers studying for the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP). We were told they deemed it the best Double IPA of the group, rated against many other homebrewed and commercial Double IPA examples they were studying that evening.
Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!
Bell's Hopslam (Double IPA)
Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 93% (lower due to the high gravity)
Calories: 287 kcal per 12 fl oz
Original Gravity: 1.087 (style range: 1.075 - 1.090)
Final Gravity: 1.012 (style range: 1.010 - 1.020)
Colour: 7.3 SRM (style range: 6 - 15)
Alcohol: 9.9% ABV (style range: 5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: 144 IBU (style range: 60 - 120) (Best to ignore as it's only theoretical)
23.75 lb Domestic 2-row malt (1.8-2L) (78.2%)
3 lb Vienna malt (3-4L) (9.9%)
1 lb Crystal malt (40L) (3.3%)
2 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added first wort*, boiled 60 min [21.5 IBU]
2 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [38.1 IBU]
2 oz Chinook hops (11.4%) - added during boil, boiled 45 min [30.6 IBU]
2 oz Centennial hops (11.1%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min [24.9 IBU]
2 oz Citra hops (11.1%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [16.6 IBU]
1 Whirlfloc tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
2 oz Amarillo hops (10.1%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [12.6 IBU]
2.6 lb Honey or regular table sugar (8.6%) - added during boil**, boiled 10 min (add slowly)
6 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days
*First wort hops are added to the boil kettle at the start of sparging (before the wort is boiled). For IBU calculations, first wort hopping is said to be similar to a 20 minute addition.
**It's been said that moving the addition of simple sugars like honey or table sugar to the end of fermentation can help if you have attenuation problems. (We've never had issues so we always add to the boil per our recipe). If you prefer to add at the end of fermentation, heat up some distilled water to near boiling (above 180F) and stir in about 1lb of honey or sugar. Let it cool and add directly to the fermenter. Repeat this process of adding 1lb every 2-3 days until all of the honey or sugar is used up. Why is this said to help with attenuation? Yeast likes to eat simple sugars (like honey or table sugar) first before it attacks the more complex ones produced by the grain. By giving the yeast only the 'less tasty' stuff (complex sugars) first they're more likely to finish it all before moving on the 'tasty stuff' (simple sugars). Giving them both at the same time is like giving your kids dinner and dessert at the same time. They'll eat dessert first and then be too full to eat their dinner. Given them dinner first, and there's always room for dessert. 😉
***If you prefer to use liquid yeast, Wyeast 1056 American Ale or White Labs WLP001 California Ale are excellent choices as they are the same clean fermenting Chico strain as US-05. You'll need ~949 billion cells (9-10 fresh packs) or an equivalent starter.
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Notes / Process
- Add 500mg potassium metabisulfite to 20 gallons water to remove chlorine / chloramine (if required).
- Water treated with brewing salts to our Hoppy flavour profile: Ca=110, Mg=18, Na=16, Cl=50, SO4=275 (Basically Randy Mosher's ideal Pale Ale numbers with slightly less sulfate). For more information on how to adjust your water, refer to our step by step Water Adjustment guide.
- 1.25 qt/lb mash thickness.
- Single infusion mash at 150F for 90-120 mins (longer is better).
- Raise to 168F mashout temperature and hold for 10 mins.
- ~90 min fly sparge with ~5.6-5.8 pH water (measured at mash temperature). Collect 13.9 gallons.
- Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at end of boil, start chilling immediately. Boil for 60 minutes, adding
- Cool the wort quickly to 66F (we use a one-pass convoluted counterflow chiller to quickly lock in hop flavour and aroma) and transfer to fermenter.
- Oxygenate the chilled wort to a level of 14 ppm dissolved oxygen. For more information refer to our Aerating / Oxygenating Wort guide.
- Pitch yeast and ferment at 66-68F (wort temperature). We use modified stainless fermenting buckets in wine fridges.
- Add dry hops once fermentation is nearing completion (i.e. 5 points from final gravity) and raise the temperature to 70-72F. In our case we simply turn off the fermenting fridges and allow the beer to naturally rise to room temperature. Steep hops for 3 days while fermentation finishes. Assume fermentation is done if the gravity does not change over ~3 days.
- Before packaging you may optionally rack to a brite tank (we use 5 gallon glass carboys) that has been purged with CO2 to avoid oxygen pickup, add 1 tsp of unflavoured gelatin dissolved in a cup of hot distilled water per 5 gallons of beer, and allow to clear for 2-3 days. Gelatin may "round off" some hop flavour / aroma so we tend to skip this step with hop forward beers like this. As well, the less you handle the beer through racking and potentially expose it to oxygen, the better.
- Package as you would normally. We rack to kegs that have first been purged with CO2, and then carbonate on the low side (around 2 volumes of CO2) to minimize carbonic bite and let the hop and malt flavours shine through. We chill the kegs to near freezing while carbonating at the same time in a 6-keg conditioning fridge. After ~1-2 weeks at serving pressure the kegs will be carbonated and ready to serve. Like all hop forward beers this Double IPA is best consumed fresh so feel free to raise the CO2 pressure temporarily to 30-40 PSI to carbonate fast over a 24 period, and then turn back down to serving pressure. Some hop bits will have invariably made their way into the keg during transfer so we use a Hop Stopper Keg Edition filter to ensure that hops do not clog the dip tube and/or end up in the glass. Force carbonating at high pressure and using a Hop Stopper filter allows us to serve this beer 24 hours after kegging. There's no need to wait a few days for any hop bits that made their way into the keg to first settle out.
For detailed brewing instructions, see our Brew Day Step by Step guide.
Questions? Visit our Bell's Hopslam forum thread.
Pictures / Videos
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