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The Beer Circle » Brew It Yourself, Pizza Boy Brewing Co., Tröegs Brewing Co. » Guest Post: Homebrew Contest Winning Mango Triple IPA

Guest Post: Homebrew Contest Winning Mango Triple IPA

Editor’s Note: These guest posts come from our friends, followers, and fellow beer geeks who have something they want to share. If you’ve attended a great event, tasted a rare beer, want to give your favorite brewery some love, or anything else beer related feel free to send us an email at and let us know!

Greetings fellow beer lovers! I am honored and excited to be contributing to The Beer Circle this week and hope you all swing by my site and browse around for more craft beer news. Let me give you a quick introduction about myself: I am currently living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with my wonderful wife and fun loving brew dogs. Friends call me an engineer by profession and beer geek by night. Upon graduation, I worked weekdays as an engineer and weekends at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware as a tour guide and tasting room assistant. From there I made a huge change in my life and left the cushy office job to move back to Pennsylvania to become a brewer for Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg. The job had its up and downs but sadly it ultimately pushed me out the door due to unethical decisions being forced on me. Presently I’m back in the engineering field and enjoying being a beer geek again with no pressures of doing it as a day job.

When Jeff of The Beer Circle contacted me about writing an article, I figured I would look back to where it all began; not only for me but how craft beer became what it is today. With some shoty equipment, ingredients, and a crazy idea, this is what made me a true craft beer enthusiast and more importantly a homebrewer. More recently in my brewing endeavors I have been taking a new step into entering some local contests after many years of avoiding them. It’s not that I don’t like or support them, it’s just I never wanted to enter a beer unless I knew it was flawless. Which, if you homebrew, you know is no easy chore.

Approximately one year ago, Al’s of Hampden (a well-known pizza and beer establishment known in the Harrisburg area) presented the idea of holding a homebrew contest limited to only Triple IPA’s. The rules seemed simple: create a burly IPA with a minimum of 11% ABV. The winning beer would be brewed as a Troegs Brewing Company Scratch beer and become the “house” imperial IPA for the new and upcoming Pizza Boy Brewing, which is owned and run by Al. Originally I had no intention of entering this contest, but a friend of mine who never brewed before approached me about teaching him how to do so. So being that I love helping newbies get into the hobby, I gladly offered up my Sunday for a teaching session. We sat down midweek over a few beers and discussed what to make for his first beer. He actually mentioned to me that we should try and enter the Triple IPA contest. After some convincing, I agreed and we hit the store to gather ingredients to make one burly hop bomb. Once I had a recipe together and we looked over the hop schedule, we figured it would be a killer idea to incorporate some tropical fruits to the recipe since many flavors and aromas from the hops would complement it. And what fruit did we choose? Fresh organic mangoes! Here is our actual recipe we did:

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (Gal): 6.00 Wort Size: 6.00 gallons
Total Grain (Lbs.): 18.00
Anticipated OG: 1.091 Plato: 21.76
Anticipated SRM: 8.0
Anticipated IBU: 387.6
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes


%       Amount         Name                        Origin             Potential     SRM
83.3   15.00 lbs.     Pale Malt (2-row)    Great Britain   1.038          3
2.8      0.50 lbs.      Crystal 40L               America          1.034         40
2.8      0.50 lbs.      CaraPilsner              France            1.035         10
11.1   2.00 lbs.       Corn Sugar              Generic           1.046          0


Amount        Name             Form         Alpha        IBU      Boil Time
3.25 oz.        Columbus     Pellet        15.00       182.7    90 min.
1.00 oz.        Nugget           Pellet        13.00       48.7      90 min.
0.75 oz.        Columbus     Pellet        15.00       34.4      45 min.
2.50 oz.        Nugget           Pellet        13.00       121.8    90 min.
0.25 oz.        Centennial    Pellet         10.50       0.0        0 min.
1.50 oz.        Columbus     Pellet         15.00       0.0        Dry Hop -1
1.50 oz.        Centennial    Pellet         10.50      0.0        Dry Hop-1
1.50 oz.        Simcoe          Pellet         12.00      0.0        Dry Hop-1
0.75 oz.        Columbus     Pellet         15.00      0.0        Dry Hop-2
0.75 oz.        Centennial    Pellet         10.50      0.0        Dry Hop-2
0.75 oz.        Simcoe          Pellet         12.00      0.0        Dry Hop-2


White Labs WLP001 California Ale


Mash at 151 degrees for 90 min
First dry hop addition- 14 days long
Second Dry Hop addition- 3-5 days left
Rack off dry hops in secondary, then add 5 lbs. of mangoes in the tertiary

Artist's Rendition

Before we knew it, the night of the contest had arrived. We had no idea how many people were planning on entering this event and as more and more people poured in, I was getting more nervous. Twenty-five was the total number of entries that went before eight judges for their review. Anxiously most people waited outside and shared their creations, stories, and recipes with each other while the judges did their work inside. When the smoke cleared, it was time for a winner to be announced, and people packed the establishment to wait and see who would be the Triple IPA champion. Coming in at third place was a new friend of mine who I constantly chat with via Twitter, Joel Bigler. Rounding out second was another friend of mine who in my opinion is one of the best home brewers around, Adam Stakem. And who was the grand champion of the event? Troy and I!

Let’s fast forward ten months. After the huge move for Troegs from Harrisburg to Hershey, we got the word that their new pilot system was up and running and ready to make our Mango Triple IPA. On an early cold January morning, we met up with Chris and John Trogner to bring this creation to life. I think we actually gave the system a run for its money because it filled the mash tun to the rim and overflowed a bit when we tried to sparge out the sugary wort. After it was all said and done, we transfered ten barrels of a high gravity IPA into the tank soaking on over 120 pounds of alphonso mangoes. Troegs recorded the process and interviewed all of the players involved. Please take a moment to watch the YouTube video embedded below:

So, I must admit I had the time of my life. It really was an epic opportunity to work with Al and Troegs on this project and I hope that you all try to stop by Pizza Boy Brewing when it is recreated again. Even though it is gone at Troegs, this is a must-visit location for any beer lover. Is there a moral or lesson to take away from this story? Yes. For all of you out there thinking about entering a contest, go for it, because it is a great way to get honest and unbiased feedback on your brews. This is what will make you strive to make better beer and learn to tweak your favorite creations. If you are still not comfortable with the contest aspect, lookup and join your local brew club. They are a plethora of information and a great way to share and taste brews from other local home brewers while gaining knowledge. Again I would like to thank everyone at The Beer Circle for sharing my article with you and be sure to stop by my site and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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Written by Brad Moyer (Guest Author)

Brad Moyer is addicted to craft beer, which is why he wanted to start his Fermented Artistry blog over two years ago. An engineer by profession and beer geek by night, Brad is currently living in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wonderful wife and fun-loving brew dogs. Brad has worked professionally in the craft beer industry, and is an award-winning homebrewer. For more about Brad, be sure to visit his website below!

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