What’s the Correct Temperature for Mashing IPA (Tried and Tested Temp) 

Until recently, I’ve always followed tried and tested recipes from homebrewing books and websites. Earlier this year I decided to start experimenting and try to develop my own IPA recipe.

As most homebrewers know, a beer’s taste, appearance and mouth feel depend on a combination of factors including the grain bill (mix of malts used), variety of hops and when they are added, as well as the mash temperature.

For my early attempts, I decided to stick to a proven selection of malts and then experiment with different types of hops. This led me to think about what is the best mash temperature for making IPA.

I compared more than eighty different recipes and found that the most popular mash temperature for IPA is between 65 and 67ºC (149 – 153 Fahrenheit). Most English IPA recipes recommend a mash temperature of 65ºC (149 Fahrenheit) whereas the majority of American IPA recipes favour 67ºC (153 Fahrenheit).

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Checking that the mash is at the correct mash temperature for ipa using a thermometer
Measuring the mash temperature

The origins of IPA

IPA (India Pale Ale) is probably the most popular style of craft beer. The style was developed during the nineteenth century as a way to preserve beer that was shipped to British troops overseas (mostly to India).

The most popular beers in the UK at the time were pale ales and porters. Unfortunately, these beers weren’t suited to being stored at higher temperatures and by the time they arrived in India, they had gone off.

British brewers found that if they added more hops to pale ale, it would survive the journey intact. To offset the excessive bitterness caused by the extra hops, they also added more malt. This not only helped balance out the hops but also increased the alcohol content, also helping preserve the beer.

The new India Pale Ale style of beer was so popular among the troops that soldiers continued ordering it when they returned home.

During the American craft beer revolution of the 1980s, US brewers began reinterpreting traditional IPAs and developed a whole range of styles. Different strains of hops and brewing techniques such as dry hopping have brought a whole new mix of flavours and appearances to IPA.

Extra hops are no longer synonymous with bitter as brewers have developed recipes which bring out citrus, fruity and pine flavours. Today, more than just a style, IPA is a diverse subset of beers.

Effect of mash temperature on IPA

Last month I wrote a post discussing the effect that mash temperature has on the taste and alcohol content of beer.

In that article, we saw that the optimum temperature for single-step infusion mashing is between 63ºC and 70ºC (145-158 Fahrenheit).

We said that mashing between 63 and 65ºC (145-159ºF) yields more fermentable sugars and produces a beer with a dryer taste and higher alcohol content. Whereas mash temperatures between 66 and 68ºC result in more long-chain sugars and a fuller-bodied ale.

Most IPAs fall somewhere in the middle as far as mouthfeel and alcohol content are concerned, so it makes sense that the best mash temperature lies in the middle of this range.

The fact that most of the English IPA recipes listed below recommend a mash temperature of 65ºC (149ºF) and most American IPA recipes recommend 67ºC (154ºF) is probably just a coincidence. Either temperature will work well for any style of IPA.

I don’t think that a two-degree temperature difference is really noticeable in the taste of the finished beer. The differences between the different IPA styles are due to the types and quantities of hops used, when they added and the grain bill.

Rinsing the mash is part of the brewing process for making IPA
Sparging the mash grain bed to extract sugars

Recommended mash temperature for IPA

This table shows the recommended mash temperature for eighty-seven different IPA recipes.

Name Style Mash temperature
Alaskan Red IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Alpine Duet American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Alvarado Street Brewery Expressive IPA Double IPA 65.5ºC (150ºF)
American Imperial IPA Double IPA 64.5ºC (148ºF)
American IPA American IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
American IPA American IPA 65.5ºC (150ºF)
Arbitrary Force Apricot Hazy IPA New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Arriaca IPA American IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Bell’s Two Hearted IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Black IPA English IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Block 15 Alpha IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Bloody Orange IPA English IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Boss Tweed (Clone) New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Brambling Cross IPA English IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Breakside Brewery IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Brewdog, Hardcore IPA (Clone) Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Calling Bird IPA English IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Captain Cook’s Strait Up DIPA Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
CB&B Hopback IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Citra Burst Triple IPA Double IPA 64.5ºC (148ºF)
Citra Double IPA (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Citrum IPA American IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Dark Sumo Imperial IPA Double IPA 63ºC (145ºF)
Dead President Double IPA Double IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Defiance IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Desintegrate American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Dogfish Head, 90 minute IPA (Clone) Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Door County Brewing New England IPA New England IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
English IPA English IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Extra IPA American IPA 64.5ºC (148ºF)
Fermentation in Motion IPA New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Firestone Walker DJ (Clone) Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Fort George Fresh IPA American IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Foundation Brewing Co. Epiphany (Clone) Double IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Freestyle IPA English IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Hill Fsrmstead Abner (Clone) Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Historic Burton IPA English IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Hop Warrior IPA American IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Hoppy Thing American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Imperial IPA Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Insane Chayenne Pineapple IPA English IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Jedi Juice (Clone) New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Juicy Fruit IPA New England IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Juicy Juicy NEIPA New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Julius (Clone) English IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Keelhaul IPA English IPA 69ºC (156ºF)
Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA (clone) Triple IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
La Cumbre Brewing’s Elevated IPA American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Lawson’s Double Sunshine IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Lawson’s Double Sunshine IPA (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
LH Brewing Twin Sisters (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Legendary Weapons IPA (Clone) New England IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Maine Beer Co. Dinner (Clone) Double IPA 64ºC (147ºF)
Mango Maya Milkshake IPA New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Maplewood Brewery Son of IPA New England IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Middle o’Next Week American IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Midwest Cashmere Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
New England IPA American IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
NoDa Brewing New England Style IPA New England IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Oldy Worldy English IPA English IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Out of this world IPA English IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Peachtree IPA American IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Pineapple Milkshake IPA American IPA 72ºC (162ºF)
Pirate Life Mosaic IPA (Clone) American IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Riverwards IPA American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Rock Art Brewery Limited Access (Clone) Double IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Rogue Ale. Imperial IPA (Clone) Double IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
Russian River Pliny the Elder (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Sam Smith India Ale (Clone) English IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Torpedo (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Simtra Mosalaxy IPA American IPA 68ºC (154ºF)
SMASH Citra IPA American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Smashed it IPA English IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Sonoma Pride IPA English IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Star of Citra American IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Stone Brewing Ruination IPA (Clone) Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Surly Brewing Furios IPA (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
TCB Imperial IPA Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
The Alchemist Heady Topper (Clone) Double IPA 67ºC (153ºF)
Three Floyds Brewing Dreadnaught (Clone) Double IPA 71ºC (160ºF)
Trillium’s Dialled in IPA Double IPA 66ºC (151ºF)
Uberbrew CC7 IPA English IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
Uberbrew Humulus Insani Double IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
WeldWerks Brewing Juicy Bits New England IPA 65ºC (149ºF)
White Dog IPA American IPA 64ºC (147ºF)
Wormtown Brewery Double IPA Double IPA 68ºC (154ºF)


The recipes listed in the table above are from a few of my favourite homebrew books and websites including: