Optical Air is my fourth attempt at a soft and juicy IPA with a tropical fruit-forward hop flavor and subtle bitterness. The name is an anagram of Tropicalia, an American IPA from Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens, Georgia. I’ve never tasted Tropicalia, but I was inspired to make my own version after hearing the head brewer describe their recipe on a podcast. It turned out to be one the best IPAs I’ve made.

Optical Air

Batch Number: 053
Style: American IPA
Brewed: April 10, 2016
System: BIAB Electric 240V
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Gravity: OG: 1.062, FG: 1.010, ABV: 6.8%
Bitterness: 67 IBU
Color: 8.2 SRM


Mash: 150°F for 60 mins
Boil: 60 minutes
Ferment: 65°F for 7 days, 70°F for 5 days
Packaging: Keg

Grain Bill

11 lbs Belgian Pilsner (75.9%)
2 lbs Belgian Munich (13.8%)
1 lb White Wheat (6.9%)
8 oz Caramel/Crystal 60L (3.4%)

Boil Additions

0.5 oz Apollo 18.5% AA @ 60 mins
1.5 oz Citra 12.7% AA @ Flameout
1.5 oz Centennial 8.5% AA @ Flameout
0.5 oz Galaxy 15.2% AA @ Flameout
1 whirlfloc @ 10 mins

Water and pH

Mash pH: 5.05 pH
Water Volume: 30 quarts (BIAB)
Gypsum: 5 g in mash
Lactic Acid: 1 tsp in mash


Yeast: Wyeast 1968 London ESB (1L starter)
Dry Hop: 1.5 oz Citra, 1.5 oz Centennial, 0.5 oz Galaxy for 5 days