Homebrew Expert: Jon Sicotte

This is the American IPA in full blowout mode. Mmmmmm yeasty!

Choosing what you are going to brew is the toughest part about home brewing.

There are 28 categories recognized by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) (http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php), with each having individual subcategories.

Of course, you don’t even have to brew to style. You can make whatever crazy substyle of a subcategory you want. The decision lies to you.

Personally, I tend to brew according to personal tastes. Others will brew to experiment with styles they don’t know much about. Yet others brew with the intention to compete in contests.

The good thing, no one is wrong in their thinking.

The past two beers I made in June were for an IPA contest being held by the local brewing club in town. We are going by strict BJCP guidelines in category 14 (with A, B and C included). We also decided to add a 14X category to let experimental IPAs in — ranging from standard black IPAs to jalapeno IPAs.

I’m not a huge IPA drinker, but I wanted to go big or go home. So I took the liberty to scour the ‘net for the best possible American and English IPAs already out there and to mimic their brews. I nodded my head in the direction of Stone’s Arrogant Bastard and Fuller’s 1845.

The American is big and bold and it cuts your teeth. It’s been impressive so far with a Best of Show in a local county fair while the English took second.

Here’s the recipe for the beer I have dubbed ‘Bastardly Arrogant’:

(3 gal boil at start, added 2 gal at flameout to help lower temperature)

10 lbs LME Light
1 lbs Crystal 10L
Hops Schedule:
1 oz. Magnum (60 minutes)
1 oz. East Kent Goldings (45)
1 oz. Cascade (30)
1 oz. Columbus (20)
1 oz. Cascade (15)
1 oz. Columbus (5)

Pitch: Wyeast 1056

Fermenter: 6 days

Secondary: Glass carboy and dry hopped 1 oz. of EKG. Dry hopped 1 oz. Columbus 8 days later.

Bottled: 3 weeks after brewing

OG: .064

FG: .010 (7.09% ABV)

Working off a calendar is a good way to brew as well. It’s summer right now, so you’re quaffing those shandys and lighter pale ales now. But in brewing time, it’s almost Octoberfest!


Always look 6-8 weeks or so down the line. That gives you time to gather your grains and hops at your local store or online provider, and still gives you time to give those brews a good amount of “bottle conditioning.”


If you are thinking of aging, then it’s a good time to think dark beers right now.
How good does a nice 45-degree pint of stout sound right now? Meh, in 90+ degree heat, but if you brew it up this month and let it sit until late November, just imagine how good it will go with that pretzel and beer-cheese dip during the Thanksgiving Day NFL games!


Raise one up!


Fermenter: Nut Brown Ale

Secondary: nothing

Bottled: American IPA, English IPA and Dubbel/Tripel hybrid
Up next: unknown, maybe a shandy…it’s hot out


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