An American IPA has much the appearance of a pale ale, with a color range from burnt gold to an orange tinted copper. It will be clear unless dry-hopped and unfiltered; something becoming more and more common as brewers try to pull every ounce of flavor they can out of their hops. Head will be white to off-white, retention can be variable (lots of hop oils will reduce head retention somewhat).
Aroma will run the gambit of what American hops impart. Expect prominent, occasionally very intense citrus, floral, and fruity characters, sometimes bordering on perfume-like. Some pine and resin may also be noted. If dry hopped the IPA may also have an aroma of fresh-cut grass. Low tones of malty sweetness may be discernible but won’t be as prominent as in an English IPA. Fruitiness from esters or hops is common, but it can also have a cleaner fermentation character.
Body will be less full then in English IPA’s. A smooth medium-bodied mouthfeel is common, with little astringency from hops. Alcohol warming should be noticeable in the higher ABV versions. Carbonation runs moderate to medium and can combine with hop astringency to create a drying impression on the palate.
Medium-high to very high hop bitterness is likely, though the best of these beers will have enough of a malt backbone to provide some balance. Hop flavor will be the citrus, floral, fruity, piney and resinous qualities of American hops, with certain flavors shining more than others depending on hop selection. Malt will be a hidden low to medium presence with a little sweetness and possible caramel or toasty flavors bolstering. No butter-like notes derived from diacetyl should be present, though some low fruity esters and low sulfur (though uncommon) are acceptable. Bitterness will likely linger through the swallow and into the aftertaste but should not be harsh or unpleasant. Finish will be somewhat drying.
This kit contains all the ingredients you'll need to brew your own 5 gallon California Common Ale.
*Please Note: This kit only includes the recipe ingredients. Equipment sold separately.