John G’s Jibber-Jab: Triplicity IPA

Industry treasure & Drake’s Head Brewer John Gillooly has a lot of opinions. We’ve decided to share his opinions with you nice blog readers. For our perceptive Aroma Coma fans (patients?) and fans of Aroma Prieta, you may have noticed that these are studies in American and New Zealand hops. They begin with the same grain bill and brewing procedures but regionally different hops to allow the unique profiles of those varieties to do the talking of the beer. John is extending this thought into a new series of brews. He explains the new project below.


We at Drake’s are beginning a series of explorations into the nature and identity of hops under the broad rubric of Triplicity IPA.

Triplicity will be an ever-changing construct – a simple IPA featuring 3 different hops used 3 different ways. At Drake’s, we add hops at 3 different times in the brewing process. At the beginning of the boil, we add hops to the kettle for bitterness. Beers have traditionally been bittered with hops for hundreds of years, and before hops, other herbs and spices were used. Without bitterness, beer is tooth-achingly sweet. For a variety of reasons, brewers settled on hops as their preferred method for bitterness. For the purposes of this project, we are calculating our bittering addition to 50 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) – not a massive charge, but we’ll pick up a few more IBUs in the next addition. Our next addition goes into the whirlpool, which is where we transfer our beer post boil.

For the purposes of this project, our whirlpool hop addition is sized at 1 pound of hops/barrel of beer. This is a fairly brisk rate. With this addition, we expect to extract a bit more bitterness, as well as a nice hit of aroma. Hop aromas are volatile (they are in fact the product of volatile oils), so as the hops sit in the hot whirlpool they lose aromatics. Sometimes we want this – there are hops that smell a little rough when you just stick your nose in the box, but once they take a swim in the hot wort, they clean up. We also can add hops here that duplicate the ones in the dry hop to present the aromas in 2 different ways. For the purposes of this project, those hops are all of one variety that we won’t repeat in the dry hop. The dry-hop is our last hop addition – we add hops directly to the fermenter as soon as the yeast is done working, at a rate of 2 pounds/barrel. Since these hops never see heat, all of their volatiles are available to the beer, and no bitterness is extracted.

So that’s the project – 3 hops, 1 IPA, simple malt bill, 6.3% abv, 50+ IBUs (bitterness from the whirlpool addition will vary), lots of aroma. For our first batch, we are bittering with Warrior (considered a “clean” bittering variety), followed up with Equinox, a very new-school hop variety in the whirlpool, and we are going old school for the dry-hop – Chinook. Should be an interesting combo.

Check in soon at the Barrel House and Dealership  to experience this project.