Tiny The Elder – Low Gravity IPA Homebrew Recipe


Sometimes you just don’t want to be drunk. I know, right? Who would say such a thing? I like to have a cold beer most days of the week but I recognise that this kind of habit could end up having a significant impact on my health and or ping pong skills.

Rather than do something stupid like, I don’t know, not have any beer, I decided to brew something with very low alcohol with a tonne of flavour and aroma. Enter Tiny The Elder, a big hop driven cross pollination of an American IPA and  British IPA. Maybe I should have called it Civil War or something.

This is me mashing in. I Brew In A Bag (BIAB) so everything is done in the one vessel.

Now there are some significant challenges when brewing a beer like this. The biggest issue is getting enough body in the beer and then balancing that with the hops. Much harder than you would expect. Murrays do a great example of a low alcohol IPA called The Retro Rocket. I couldn’t find any clones on the internet so I asked Shawn Sherlock, Head Brewer at Murray’s, for some tips. And I quote:

“Some tips for what it is worth: Go for a very high mash temp. Use more crystal malts than you would normally think of using. Basically you want to make the beer as dextriny as you can because body is hard to achieve at the very light ABV. Keep your hop bitterness to gravity ratio the same as you would for a standard IPA and go very hard with your late additions in particular. British yeasts are also good for the style as you can get some that tend to floc out quickly leaving plenty of body behind.”

What a boss. In summary:

  1. Use a high mash temp – the higher you mash, the more long chain sugars get left in the wort. Long chain sugars are harder for yeast to consume so you are left with beer that is slightly thicker.
  2. Use a decent amount of Crystal malts. Crystal malts contain sugars that are less fermentable, so you are left with a residual sweetness and body to the final brewed beer.
  3. Use the same hop bitterness to gravity ratio as you would for a regular IPA. Easy. Go hard on late additions for extra aroma.
  4. British yeasts are best. I’m going to use White Labs standard English Strain – WLP002. I chose this one because it attenuates pretty low – about 63% – 70%. Translation? More body in the finished beer.
A trend is appearing – do everything you can to get body in the beer.

And so without further adue, I present

Tiny The Elder

Ghetto Sparge! I have two buckets, one with holes in the bottom. I do a mini sparge with either fresh hot water, or hot wort from the pot.

Batch Volume: 13.00 l (This is my test batch size. Allows me to brew more and means I don’t get stuck with a crappy beer, if things don’t work out).
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.024 SG
OG: 1.028 SG
FG: 1.012 SG
Apparent Attenuation:: 65.9 %
Target ABV: 2.7 %
IBU: 46.7 IBU
Color: 13.7 EBC
Actual Fermentation Temp: 18 degC, ramped up to 21C at the end of primary

UK Pale Ale Malt – 1.800 kg (82.2 %)
Caramunich – 0.170 kg (7.8 %)
Munich Malt – 0.130 kg (5.9 %)
Medium Crystal – 0.090 kg (4.1 %)

5 g US Columbus(Tomahawk) (13.9 %), 60 Min
10 g US Cascade 6.8 %, 20 Min
10 g US Citra 13.4 % 15 Min
10g US Cascade 6.8 % 10 Min
15g US Citra 13.4 % 5 Min
18g US Citra 13.4 % At turn off
5g US Columbus(Tomahawk) At turn off

WLP002 English Ale Yeast

Mash at 69C for 60 minutes.

Citra hop edition.

Reached 1.013 SG in 2.5 days. It’s still conditioning and I may or may not dry hop. Depends what the aroma is like in a week or so. Will report back on the taste ASAP.


It’s been some time since I’ve brewed this and I actually have done a few variations since then. Firstly, the recipe above tasted great. The only criticism I had is that the bitterness was pretty intense which made the body seem a bit thinner than I think it was.

My latest version of this is the best by far and I now used mostly Munich malt, with a bit of Marris Otter and some Carapils. You could certainly replace some of these with other Crystal malts but the key is keeping the Munich edition at a fairly high %.. Normally in an American style IPA you try and reduce the malt profile so that the hops can shine through, but at this gravity it just isn’t possible to give the hops the profile they need without getting some malt complexity and depth in there.

Notes: I brew 15 litre batches but the grain %s are there and so are bitterness to gravity units so just adjust for your own system. I also changed the way I hopped this in the hope of keeping the bitterness under control and the flavour and aroma “way over the top”. To this end I “hop burst” all my additions and used a “first wort hop” instead of a standard bittering edition in order to mellow the bitterness a little.

Recipe Overview
Original Gravity (OG): 1.030
IBU’s (Tinseth): 30
Bitterness to Gravity Ratio: 1
ABV%: 2.71
The Grain Bill
30% Maris Otter (6 EBC = 3 SRM)   765 grams = 1.69 pounds!
60% Munich (15 EBC = 7.6 SRM)   1529 grams = 3.37 pounds!
10% Carapils   255 grams = 0.56 pounds!
The Hop Bill
9.3 IBU Cascade Pellets (6.5%AA)  7.9 grams = 0.278 ounces at  90 mins (First Wort Hopped)
7.1 IBU Galaxy Pellets (14.8%AA)  7.9 grams = 0.278 ounces at  10 mins
3.1 IBU Cascade Pellets (6.5%AA)  7.9 grams = 0.278 ounces at  10 mins
1.2 IBU Wai-ti Pellets (3.5%AA)  10.5 grams = 0.371 ounces at  5 mins
2.3 IBU Cascade Pellets (6.5%AA)  10.5 grams = 0.371 ounces at  5 mins
5.2 IBU Galaxy Pellets (14.8%AA)  10.5 grams = 0.371 ounces at  5 mins
0 IBU All Hops Pellets (3.5%AA)  31.6 grams = 1.113 ounces at   mins (Dry Hopped)
1.7 IBU Wai-Ti Pellets (3.5%AA)  7.9 grams = 0.278 ounces at  10 mins
Mash Steps
Mash Type: Pure BIAB (Full Volume Mash) for 60 mins at 71 C = 159.8 F
Fermentation& Conditioning
Fermention: S-04 Safale for 3 days at 18 C = 64.4 F. Conditioned for a week after that


Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures, Festival Director of Sydney Craft Beer Week, ex-artist Manager at Umbrella. Family man, dedicated home brewer. Sydney sider. All 'round rad dude. I blog sometimes but it has never really become a habit, however I'm all over the Internet and you can find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook (only if you're a mate).

12 comments: On Tiny The Elder – Low Gravity IPA Homebrew Recipe

  • I am really curious to find out how this turned out.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • So lets hear how it turned out!

  • Yeah, I’d also be interested in hearing about the outcome, because this sounds promising as a beer for boat.

    • Hey! Just updated the post. Sorry it’s taken me so long! Bottom line, the first batch turned out great but I revised it and have a better version. Malt profile is perfect and the hops were great. I would hop more next time but that’s just my taste.

  • looks really good! I’ve been looking into brewing something similar, but haven’t had time to come up with a recipe. what was your efficiency on this? thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Hey Oranjkik

    I measure efficiency at a few points and use definitions being pioneered by the folks at http://www.biabrewer.info/ and their BIABACUS software:

    OG: 1.029
    FG: 1.009
    EIK (Efficiency in to kettle: 70.6%
    EOBE (End of boil efficiency): 64.3%
    EIK (Efficiency in to Kettle): 54.9%

    For what you’re talking about it would have been low 70s I think.

  • Thanks, Joel.

    I get about the same. I”ll only have to adjust for volume then. Brewing this tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it turns out for me. Very interested in getting a recipe of this “style” in line for summer.


  • Did you end up dry-hopping this?

    • Yeah I did. From memory about 50 grams

      • Brilliant! Thanks! I’m gonna give this a go – I love the idea of a hoppy but sessionable IPA!
        I’m new to the game thought so I want to clarify a couple things before hand so I can get it spot on. Sorry if these questions seem kinda dumb but this beer is a bit different than any other beers i’ve made.

        1. Just to be sure. You primary fermented for 3 days then transferred out and dry-hopped for a week before bottling?

        2. Did you use priming sugar when you bottled or did you rely on the residual sugars that remain from such a short fermentation time?

        • Hey mate

          So primary was short because the gravity is so low. But I’ve changed my method and I no longer transfer over to secondary to dry hop. The risk of infection and oxidation is too high

          And yes I Bulk Prime :)

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Head of Community at Blackbird Ventures. Festival Director of Sydney Craft Beer Week. Homebrewer. Family man. Former Artist Manager / Founder at (The Rubens, Cloud Control, Urthboy, Winterbourne and more).

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