International India Pale Ale Day up in a few days.  This year, it’s on August 7th.  It seems to move around from year to year, but in 2014 – it’s this coming Thursday.

Though we could wait for the powers that be to pick a date for IPA Day and stick with it every year, let’s turn our attention to the present and think about Belgian IPA.

A true international style, taking the roots of a British beer with the American take of hoppiness and fermented using a classic Belgian beer yeast strain, this recipe will take you on a world tour in a pint glass.

Some notes on this type of IPA: It’s going to be a challenge to keep all the flavors in balance. To accomplish your goal, you will need to keep the malts light and use hops that have citrusy- floral notes.  With these two guidelines in mind, you can make an IPA that flavors will be balanced with what the Belgian yeast brings to the party.

Here is my recipe for a Belgian IPA recipe:

Boil size: 7.5 gallons
Final batch size: 5.5 gallons
Volume for fermentation: 5 gallons


12.0 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
2.0 lbs. Belgian Pale Malt
.5 lbs Caramel Malt 60°L
0.75 oz Warrior Hops (16% AA) boiled 60 minutes
.5 oz Ahtanum Hops (6% AA) boiled 10 minutes
.5 oz Willamette Hops (5% AA) boiled 5 minutes
.5 oz Ahtanum Hops (6% AA) boiled 0 minutes
.5 oz Willamette Hops (5% AA) boiled 5 minutes

Yeast: White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale


You want to make as fermentable a wort as you can so mash your grains at 149°F for 90 minutes. Go ahead, add that extra half hour to your mash to ensure you’re getting all those starches converted.  After that is over, collect 7.5 gallons of wort and and boil for 90 minutes.  Yes, this beer will take a bit longer to brew but that’s ok.  Use a timer and toss the hops in following the times in the recipe.  At the end of the 90 minutes, turn off your burner and chill the wort to 66° F and aerate. Pitch a large amount of yeast and ferment between 66° and 72° F for three weeks. Check to make sure you have met your target final or terminal gravity. Bottle or rack as usual.


Original Gravity: 1.066
Terminal Gravity: 1.013
Color: 10.81 °SRM
Bitterness: 54.5 IBUs
Alcohol % of volume: 6.9 %

You’re looking for balance in this beer so it should be a bit tamer than the other IPAs that you have come across.  The yeast flavor will bring an interesting twist to the hop fest you are used to enjoying.