By Paul Lawson
American IPAs are the stars of the craft beer boom. Those hoppy, bitter beers are the staple of most craft breweries.
IPAs have a low malt flavor and a prominent hop aroma of citrus, pine, floral and other fruit-like characteristics. When drinking one, you should experience lingering bitterness, but nothing harsh or long-lasting.
Besides sanitation, the most important factor in brewing an American IPA is monitoring and ensuring the proper mash temperature. Lower temperatures produce more fermentables and a higher ABV; higher temperatures produce less fermentables that are sweeter and more full-bodied.
By getting your mash temperature in a range somewhere between the two you ensure a more active fermentation combined with the flavor and mouthfeel you desire.
When mashing at home, you must be prepared to increase or lower temperatures accordingly. Have a timer ready and add hops to enhance flavor and aroma after fermentation begins.
There are thousands of all grain recipes for you to choose from. There are even clone recipes of your favorite beers. Find one that appeals to you and over time tweak to suit your taste.