How to Brew a Brut IPA
And BTW, What is a Brut IPA?

Updated on June 12, 2019

How to Brew a Brut IPA: And BTW, What is a Brut IPA?

Extremely dry, super bubbly and brimming with hop aroma. That’s what we’re looking for when we’re tasting a Brut IPA. And up until recently, we weren’t looking for anything called a Brut IPA. A couple years ago, nobody was. It didn’t exist. Folks were still wrapping their heads around New England IPAs (Have you checked out our New England IPA Beer Making Kit?). But the beer scene is always changing, and we’re constantly looking for something new to try. Brut IPAs are not only new, but they’re tasty and unlike anything you’ve tried (either to drink or to brew yourself).

Brut IPA, as a style, was created by brewer Kim Sturdavant of San Francisco’s Social Kitchen & Brewery. The beer style’s signature dryness arose from the addition of an enzyme called amyloglucosidase to an otherwise normal (if not a little dry) IPA recipe. The amylase enzyme can be added during the mash — when you’re adding grain to water while brewing. This enzyme effectively helps break down the grains’ non-fermentable sugars — making the sugars fermentable.

Non-fermentable sugars help a finished beer taste sweet—because they’re not fermented by yeast. The sugar just hangs out as residual sweetness. Since the enzyme used in brewing a Brut IPA helps convert unfermentable sugars into fermentable sugars, the result is less residual sweetness and more alcohol. The effect is a very dry (not sweet) beer. Think extra brut champagne.

With a beer that dry, balancing flavor and bitterness can be tricky. Adding bunch of hops to a beer with such little sweetness and apparent body can potentially result in an incredibly bitter, muddled hop soup.

So when adding hops to a Brut IPA, a little bitterness goes a long way. Most of the hops going into a Brut IPA should be added late in the process — both late in the boil and into the fermenter as a dry-hop addition. This results in a beer that’s hoppy but not terribly bitter.

You can totally make a Brut IPA at home. You don’t need a brewery to brew a batch yourself. Our Brut IPA Beer Making Kit makes it quite easy to brew your own Brut IPA. It’s packed with Ahtanum hops for an aroma-filled hop finish. And it even includes amylase enzymes that you add to your mash for a fun take on a new and evolving beer style.