West Coast IPA Recipe and CBD Dosing

Did you know that cannabis and beer actually have one major thing in common? It comes from one of the brewer’s favorite plants. Hops or as scientists call it Humulus lupulus. Both wheat and hops come from Cannaceae family and they both have a common ingredient called terpenes. They are responsible for producing some of the flavors and aromas found in both.

So it makes sense why sometimes you hear similar descriptive words for them. But the major difference obviously is that cannabis has THC which is responsible for psychoactive properties. While hops just bring bitterness, flavor, and aroma to our brews. while you could technically add THC into your beer in legal states and call it cannabis-infused beer. The worry might be that after beer number 3 you might not be able to get off the couch. So today we are going to play with those terpenes and hops to get the most in-character without the mind-altering effects.

For more information on the beautiful world of IPAs feel free to check our True History of IPA and its Origin.

The Recipe

A glass of West Coast IPA on a table.
Credit: https://www.pastemagazine.com/drink/craft-beer/hazy-ipa-vs-west-coast-ipa-modern-hops-juicy-sweet/

For this recipe, we are making a 5-gallon batch using the brew in a bag method. To start heat up 6 gallons of water to about 156 F. Once the water is heated we add the grain bag and the grains

  • 87.3% Pale 2 Row Malt
  • 7.3% Crystal Malt 40L
  • 5.4% Carapils

Our plan is to mash at 152 F for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally to even out the mash temperature and make sure everything is mixed. After 30 minutes we pull out the grains and squeeze the bag. Once the grains are out of the way we bring wort to a boil. We will boil for 30 minutes.

At the start of the boil, we are going to add our main charge of bitterness in the form of 1 oz of CTZ (Columbus Tomahawk Zeus). With about 15 minutes left to boil we add a Whirlflock tablet and a wort chiller. The rest of the hops will not come until the end of the boil for that is called Whirlpool hopping. This is when you toss in hops after the flame has been turned off and heat is no longer being applied to the wort.

Whirlpool Hopping

A glass of West Coast IPA beer on a table.
Credit: https://sourcebrewing.com/project/west-coast-ipa/

The whirlpool attempt can range anywhere from 150 to 200 F. The higher the temperature the more hop oils will be boiled off and the more bitterness you can still extract. While the lower the temperature the more hop aromas will be preserved and not as much bitterness will be added. We are aiming for 175 F. For the hops in the whirlpool, we are using

  • 0.5 oz Apollo
  • 0.5 oz Galaxy

After 15 minutes timer, we turn on the wort chiller to bring the temperature down to 67 F and then transfer into a fermenter. With the work in the fermenter, it’s not time to add the yeast. We are using SafAle US-05 American Ale, perfect for west coast IPA style. With the yeast in, we give the fermenter a good shake to mix it up and incorporate oxygen before adding the airlock. We place n in a cool dark place at 67 F for 7 days.

After 1 week we transferred the beer to a keg. We decided to add in some more dry hops. 1 oz Apollo and 1 oz of Galaxy. If you’re looking to add a little more twist on this IPA then you could try adding some CBD. The simplest way is to individually dose each glass with your CBD. You could also dose the whole keg if you want. But the big thing to note about CBD is that you need to find one that is water-soluble. Most CBDs out there come in some form of oil concentrate.

The color of the beer is a beautiful fold with just a bit of haze. Tasting it we get the upfront bitterness followed by a more fruity hop character. There are also some piney notes coming through. The basic grain profile is really a perfect platform to lift these hops characteristics to the foreground.

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