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The Birth of the Brut IPA

An enzyme long used to help make big imperial stouts a little easier on the palate has found a new purpose in an emerging style of IPA. The Brut IPA is a dry—0° Plato—version of the style that was created just months ago and is now spreading like wildfire.

John Holl Jul 11, 2018 - 7 min read

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The enzyme amyloglucosidase has been used in brewing for a while now. It has the ability to break down complex sugars that might not otherwise ferment, allowing the yeast a bonus meal during fermentation. As such, it has been popular with big, boozy imperial stouts so that they aren’t supersweet on the palate.

In San Francisco, at Social Kitchen & Brewery, Kim Sturdavant, the brewmaster, had been using amyloglucosidase on his triple IPA to help tamp down the sugars found in that beer. “I’ve been using it for two or three years but had it in the back of my mind to use it on a traditional IPA, to make it bone dry, a recipe with no residual sugar.”

When his brewhouse schedule allowed last November, he gave it a go. He brewed a traditional IPA and added the amyloglucosidase after the first round of fermentation. The result was a 0° Plato, bone-dry, super- aromatic, slightly hazy but still bright, IPA.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.