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What Is a Juicy IPA (The Hazy Guide to the Tasty Beer)?

Imagine biting into a peach. Juicy. Light acidity. And a lingering sensation of floral sweetness. Got you in a haze? Because that’s one way of defining the term “Juicy” in an IPA. So how do we define a Juicy IPA?
What Is a Juicy IPA?

Table of Contents

What Does Juicy IPA Mean?

Now you might be thinking that Juicy IPAs are fruit juice or rather a fruit beer? Is that even possible?

With a creative mind and a couple of beer brewing experiments, it certainly is! But Juicy IPAs are simple to describe.

From the term “IPA” itself, Juicy IPAs are still about the hops, which means they’re still hoppy in essence. The term “Juicy” in Juicy IPAs relates to the taste and aroma of the beer, specifically fruit juice like stone fruit, tropical, or citrus flavors.

It’s safe to say that juicy or juiciness also refers to extreme fruitiness. That is why aromas or tastes that are reminiscent of fruity flavors gave rise to the term “Juicy.”

But the answer you’re really looking for is that Juicy IPAs use fruit-forward hops in the brewing process.

Wait…is that it?! Nah, it can’t be is probably what you’re thinking. But really, there’s no need to overcomplicate it.

Juicy IPAs use fruit-forward hops like Mosaic, Galaxy, Citra, El Dorado, and Amarillo. These hops are added later in the kettle boil and at whirlpool to maintain its fruity aroma.

What Makes a Juicy IPA Juicy?

Good question.

What makes a Juicy IPA juicy is primarily the use of hops like Citra or Galaxy that give Juicy IPAs their fruity taste and aroma.

Sometimes, it’s because of the esters the yeast creates. Another quality to expect from Juicy IPAs is the mouthfeel. Juicy IPAs have a somewhat thick mouthfeel, which is mostly due to the malts added to the grain bill such as, flaked or wheat oats.

Here’s another interesting question: Are Juicy IPAs hazy? And does that mean Juicy IPAs are also Hazy IPAs?

Juicy IPAs and Hazy IPAs: Are They the Same?

A Juicy IPA can be hazy, but not all Juicy IPAs are hazy either. You can have a Juicy IPA but the appearance is crystal clear.

This is what you should remember: Juicy IPAs lean more towards taste and mouthfeel like citrusy or tropical tastes. Hazy IPAs lean more towards appearance like the cloudy or shady aesthetic you see when you order a Hazy IPA.

But what does the Brewers Association have to say about Juicy IPAs and Hazy IPAs? In 2018, they released new BA style guidelines and added three new styles you’d be surprised to see:

  • Juicy or Hazy IPA
  • Juicy or Hazy Double IPA
  • Juicy or Hazy Pale Ale

The takeaway from all this is that the terms “Juicy” and “Hazy” are some of the newest vague terms to hit the world of beer.

Some agree Juicy IPAs and Hazy IPAs are different, while others disagree that they’re both the same. In the end, it boils down to subjectivity.

Just remember that although a Juicy IPA can be hazy in appearance, not all Juicy IPAs have a hazy or shady aesthetic.

To give you a better descriptive guide of how the Brewers Association defines a Juicy or Hazy IPA, here are the style guidelines as shown on their website:[1]

Juicy or Hazy IPA Brewers Association (BA) Style Guidelines Description
Color Straw to deep light amber
Clarity Low to very high degree of cloudiness is typical of these beers. Starch, yeast, hop, protein, and/or other compounds contribute to a wide range of haziness within its category.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor High to very high hop aroma flavor are present, exhibiting a very wide range of attributes. Especially fruity, tropical, and juicy.
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor Low to medium-low malt aroma and flavor may be present
Perceived Bitterness Low to medium. The impression of bitterness is soft and well-integrated into overall balance. This may differ significantly from measured or calculated IBU levels.
Fermentation Characteristics Medium to medium-high fruity esters is present. This can contribute to the perception of sweetness and be complementary to the hop profile. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body Medium-low to medium-high. A silky or full mouthfeel may contribute to the overall flavor profile.

How to Make Juicy IPA

Making a Juicy IPA all starts with choosing the right hops. Hops take the center stage in a Juicy IPA to give you that juiciness.

Citra, Mosaic, Idaho 7, and El Dorado are all great hops to start with. You can also use Centennial to add some earthiness and balance.

If you’re looking for tropical and floral, fruity flavors, Galaxy, Ella, Riwaka, and Motueka are excellent.

For mashing, go with a 60-minute single infusion mash at 155°F (68.3°C).

Other key aspects of Juicy IPAs are whirlpool hopping and dry hopping. This is where you get the aroma, taste, and fruity juiciness of a Juicy IPA. It’s also where biotransformation takes place, which is the process that happens when you perform hopping during fermentation.

  • Whirlpool Hopping: Add your hops at the end of the boil to extract the fruity aroma from your hops without making your IPA too bitter. A good temperature to do whirlpool hopping is 170°F (76.7°C).
  • Dry Hopping: If you choose to do single dry hopping, add your hops at a temperature of 70°F (21.1°C) 3 days before cold crashing. If you want to do double dry hopping, add 1/3 of your total dry hops during the fermentation and the remaining hops after a completed fermentation.

What Malts to Use in a Juicy IPA

There are several malts to choose from, but the best malts to start with are either 2-Row or Pilsner malt at about 9 to 10 lbs total (4.1 to 4.5 kg) of your grain bill.

2-Row malts provide a clean malty backbone, while Pilsner malts provide a cracker-like flavor and clean base grain.

Other malts you can add to your grain bill include:

  • Flaked Oats: Add haziness to your beer and a creamy mouthfeel
  • Dextrine Malt (CaraFoam): Boosts mouthfeel and adds malt flavor
  • Rye Malt: Adds spiciness and mouthfeel
  • Oat Malt: Similar characteristics as flaked oats but grainier

An example of a grain bill could be:

  • 10 lbs (4.5 kg) Pilsner malt
  • 5 lbs (2.3 kg) Flaked oats
  • 1 lb.(0.5 kg) Flaked barley or Rye malt
  • 5 lb (2.3 kg) CaraFoam

What Is a Good Starter Yeast for Juicy IPA?

A good starter yeast would be WY1318 or Wyeast London Ale III. This will give your Juicy IPA good body and fruity esters.

You might also want to try American yeasts like WY1056 American Ale and WLP001 California Ale if you want the hop flavors to shine. However, American yeasts work better with Galaxy hops.

Water Profile for Juicy IPA

Take note of your chloride and sulfate levels. Too much sulfate results in more bitterness, while chloride contributes to a softer mouthfeel.

A good rule of thumb is to keep your chloride to sulfate ratio at 2:1.

  • Chloride: 200 ppm
  • Sulfates: 100 ppm
  • Magnesium: 20 ppm
  • Sodium: 30 ppm
  • Calcium: 100 ppm (should be less than 150 ppm)

The ideal mash pH should also be 5.2. As for the water, reverse osmosis water is always ideal. But if you don’t have access to it or have a home filtration system, you can opt for carbon filtered or distilled water.

Who Makes Juicy IPA?

There are several breweries that make Juicy IPAs year-round such as:

  • Firestone Walker Brewing Company
  • Exhibit A Brewing Company
  • Voodoo Ranger
  • Squatters Pub Brewery
  • Sloop Brewing Co.
  • Sprecher Brewing Company
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Ballast Point

What Is a Good Juicy IPA?

So, you’re ready to give juicy IPAs a shot? If you’re looking for readily available Juicy IPAs to try this minute, you can go for the following Juicy IPAs:

  1. Fresh Squeezed IPA by Deschutes Brewery
  2. Juicy IPA by Sprecher Brewing Co.
  3. Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point
  4. Squatters Juicy IPA by Squatters Pub Brewery
  5. Voodoo Ranger Juicy Haze by Voodoo Ranger
  6. Firestone Walker Mind Haze by Firestone Walker Brewing Company