Green Flash West Coast IPA


Green Flash West Coast IPA



"I just wanted to say that this came out pretty awesome. 3 weeks after brewing and I am enjoying this great beer! It's got a great floral aroma and the hop bitterness is not very high. Granted I love DIPAs. Very good summer brew. Thanks for the great recipe Kal!" - ohararp

"Absolutely spectacular. Great water profile suggestion! I love my brewery. Thanks Kal!" - jclavel

"Thanks for a great recipe Kal ... love it. It certainly is a great big beer with loads of aroma and hop flavour without being overly bitter. Seems very well balanced." - felon

"I won first place in our club's IPA competition this year after two years of 2nd place finishes with the same beer." - rvklein



While not an official BJCP style, a West Coast IPA is an American style IPA that has been aggressively hopped, almost to the point of being overwhelming and usually beyond what the BJCP style guidelines call for in a typical American IPA (40-70 IBU).

Originally created by various breweries on the US west coast, varieties can now be found across the US and even in other countries. American hops are used throughout, often double the levels of what you'd see in a 'normal' American IPA. One of the most popular commercial beers of this style that we enjoy is Green Flash West Coast IPA, which has been available since 2005.

Rye malt (2.8-4.3L)Green Flash West Coast IPA. Image (c) American Homebrewers Association

We like a lot of Columbus hops in our West Coast style IPAs. It provides a strong earthy character with a unique pungent and dank hop-aroma, which this beer displays predominantly. Some describe the aroma as being very similar to marijuana. It pairs extremely well with Simcoe hops which add piney qualities with a bit of fruitiness. The combination is intense, for hop lovers only.

Columbus is one of the three "C" hops, which includes Centennial and Cascade. It's a dual-purpose hop that can be used for both bittering and flavour/aroma. It goes by other names including CTZ, which stands for Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus. Tomahawk is the exact same variety sold by a different producer, while Zeus is so close that it gets lumped in.

Other beers which feature Columbus prominently include: Pako’s IPA by Snake River Brewing, Bear Republic Racer 5, and Green Flash Hop Head Red.

We sometimes prefer to brew IPAs that are high in hop flavour and aroma but not as over the top with bitterness so we will at times brew this recipe by eliminating the 90 minute hop addition and increasing both 1 minute additions slightly from 1.0 to 1.5 oz. Try it both ways and see which you prefer.

We've made this beer many times now (including various incarnations) and it always gets rave reviews from IPA lovers. If you enjoy Green Flash West Coast IPA, definitely give this recipe a try. We think you'll enjoy it. Brew up a batch and let us know how you like it!


Shop heating elements made for brewing


Green Flash West Coast IPA

Size: 12 US gallons (post-boil @ 68F)
Mash Efficiency: 95%
Attenuation: 81.2%
Calories: 227.5 kcal per 12 fl oz
Original Gravity:
1.069 (style range: 1.056 - 1.075)
Final Gravity: 1.013 (style range: 1.010 - 1.018)
Colour: 8.9 SRM (style range: 6 - 15)
Alcohol: 7.3% ABV (style range: 5.5% - 7.5%)
Bitterness: ~90 IBU (style range: 40 - 70)

20.75 lb Domestic 2-row malt (1.8-2L) (84.5%) 
1.9 lb Carapils or Carafoam (1.4-2.9L) (7.7%)
1.9 lb Carastan (or other crystal malt in the 30-40L range) (7.7%)

1 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 90 min [19 IBU] 
0.5 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [9.6 IBU] 
0.5 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 60 min [9.5 IBU] 
0.5 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min [6.9 IBU] 
0.5 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 30 min [6.9 IBU] 
1.5 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [13.8 IBU] 
1.5 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 15 min [13.7 IBU] 
1 Whirlfloc tablet (Irish moss) - added during boil, boiled 15 min
2 oz Cascade hops (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 10 min [7.5 IBU] 
1 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min [1.2 IBU] 
1 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added during boil, boiled 1 min [1.1 IBU] 

Fermentis Safale US-05 dry yeast* (48g recommended or make an equivalent starter)

Dry hop: 
1 oz Columbus hops (12.3%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days
1 oz Simcoe hops (12.2%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days
1 oz Centennial hops (9.2%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days
1 oz Cascade hops (12.3%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days
1 oz Amarillo hops (8.2%) - added to fermenter near end of fermentation, steeped 3 days

*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 ~764 billion cells (7-8 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.
  • 1.5 qt/lb mash thickness.
  • Single infusion mash at 150F for 90 mins.
  • 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 14.9 gallons.
  • Boil for 90 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and hops per schedule. Lid on at flameout, start chilling immediately.
  • 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 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 Green Flash West Coast IPA forum thread


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Pictures / Videos

Interested in seeing what we're brewing right now? Follow us on Instagram for pictures and videos of our brewing activities as they happen.

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Call me old school, but I’m making one of my favourite beers tomorrow: A clone of Green Flash West Coast IPA, but this time with double the amount of dry hops. That’s a lot of hops! Just because. Recipe on my website. (Just make sure to double the dry hop amounts!) P.S. My lager in the fermenting fridges is close to target so it’ll get warmed up now for the d-rest so the fridges are free to use - I will be using my old plastic (gasp!) buckets however on this new beer. Results will be identical. Brewers and good process make great beer. Not equipment. Cheers! 😉🍻 . Visit 👈 A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #homebrewery #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #brewday #ipa #westcoastipa

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Brew day well underway - just starting the fly sparge. The wort heading into the boil kettle is really clear due to the long, constantly recirculating mash. Brewing an amped up version of Green Flash West Coast IPA with double the amount of dry hops and increased flameout hops for extra hop flavour and aroma. Original recipe and complete brewing process on my website.🍻 . Visit 👈 A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrewingonly #homebrew #homebrewery #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #basementbrewery #controlpanel #brewday #westcoastipa #ipa

A post shared by The Electric Brewery (@theelectricbrewery) on

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Making a starter for a 7.3% ABV West Coast IPA to be brewed on the weekend. Going to try Denny’s Favorite 50 Ale yeast (WY1450) for the first time. The yeast is pretty old, so making a big starter fairly early. Equipment I use and steps I take to make starters (newly updated!): 🍻 . ... A step by step guide to building your own brewery . #theelectricbrewery #electricbrewery #electricbrewing #homebrewing #homebrew #brewing #craftbeer #beer #dohomebrew #homebrewer #nanobrewery #picobrewery #pilotbrewery #homebrewporn #buildingabrewery #brewery #brewyourown #yeast #yeaststarter #beerrecipes #westcoastipa

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Competition results

We entered this Green Flash West Coast IPA along with our Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA at an American IPA brewing competition organized by our local homebrew club. Our West Coast IPA won first place, while our Ruthless Rye IPA placed third! Interesting to see since the beers were presented in the same flight which meant they were competing against each other.

The Green Flash West Coast IPA was kegged exactly a month before the competition to give it time to carbonate and condition a bit (but not too much as hop forward beers are best consumed young). We also had a 6 month old keg of Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA still on tap so we figured it would be interesting to enter it as well as it is completely different. The hoppiness had mellowed a bit but we were still enjoying it.

16 entries were judged. We did not use "official" Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) score sheets. This was simply a "best in show" type competition where 3 flights of 5 to 6 beers are presented and you're asked to rank them from best to worst. The only rule was that tasters be familiar with the BJCP guidelines for American IPA and that the beers be brewed (more or less) to those guidelines as well.

IPA samples were presented in small 6 oz plastic cupsSamples were presented in small 6 oz plastic cups

Colours varied greatly given that American IPAs can range from 6 to 15 SRMColours varied greatly given that American IPAs can range from 6 to 15 SRM

Brewers tasting samples of IPAsBrewers tasting samples

Samples of IPAs

We've done this sort of ranking a few times now and it's amazingly difficult to judge beers based on preference alone. We'd often find ourselves enjoying two completely different beers, but at the end of the day they need to be ranked. The organizer (who has gone through BJCP training) gave this comment as a hint: "Choose the beer that you'd want to have a second pint of - it's the beer you like the most (but may not really know why)". Unsalted crackers and water are handy tools for cleansing your pallet between samples.

Samples of IPAsVotes were cast and as luck would have it, our Green Flash West Coast IPA came in first! (Competition organizer on the left, us on the right)

Kids made their own IPA competition trophiesThe kids made their own trophies while we were at the competition (probably to make us feel better in case we didn't win)

Kids IPA competition trophies don't hold upUnfortunately their trophies of duct tape and cardboard aren't as resilient as the real thing 😉

It was an interesting event and lots of fun.

Even though it wasn't an 'official' BJCP competition we still learnt a lot and enjoyed tasting all of the samples.

If you ever get a chance to enter any competitions, go for it! (Especially unofficial ones as the informal nature can make them more fun). It's a real learning experience. To best to way to find these sorts of competitions is to join whatever local homebrew club exists in your area. There are clubs all over the world.