Off the Topper IIPA

SKU# UB10300

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Impossible to track down and destined to be drank from a can, this brew is a tribute to the infamous man with a head full of hops and the tenacious Alchemists that are its creators. Brew this elusive IIPA yourself with our recipe kit.

Intense hop aroma blows through with hurricane force, swirling up from a whirlwind of hazy liquid gold. Borne from a legendary Nor'easter, Off the Topper is a writhing tropical storm of fruity pineapple and dank piney-peach.

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Off the Topper IIPA Beer Kit Extract

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  • Off the Topper IIPA Beer Kit Extract
Product Details
In a true work of sorcery, the Off the Topper IIPA beer kit creates synergy between Vermont yeast and an unprecedented flood of lupulin. Overcoming its intense origins, it is a rare, harmonious pint that is extreme only in its drinkability. Beneath the frothing, massive head lies a beacon of freshness and light in each pint. At the eye of the storm is a dry and crisp body. A complex and delicious Imperial IPA, Off the Topper balances bitterness with well-attenuated yeast that work together to weather the hurricane of hops.

Preparing a yeast starter is highly recommended when using the Vermont Ale Liquid Yeast. This will help reduce the lag time before fermentation begins.
Additional Information
Beer Kit Yield5 Gallons
Recipe and InstructionsClick Here for Off the Topper IIPA Brewing Instructions
Regional StyleUSA
Original Gravity1070
Total Time to Make6 weeks
Reviews
4.5 / 5.0
47 Reviews
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Second time brewing - came out incredible
Wow! I just started brewing my own beers and this was my second brew. It came out FANTASTIC! I am absolutely amazed at how good this is. It's easily as good as the stuff (us craft beer nuts) wait hours in line for at 'special releases'. I did a yeast starter (Fast Pitch) with the liquid VT yeast. Two weeks in primary (you MUST use a blow-off - thing thing ferments like you can't believe), then two weeks in secondary. Bottled 1/3 and kegged the rest. Force carbonated the keg and I'm enjoying this exactly 4 weeks to the day that I brewed it. I followed the instructions to a tee, dry-hopped when I should, and used hoo bags to keep the extra 'debris' out of the carboy (big mouth bunker). Enjoyed side-by-side with a real Headdy Topper, and while they are slightly different, this one is a fantastic kit. A+++
March 14, 2016
Nothing but goodness!
I brewed this with a skeptical mind, after it has been bottled this brew was the fire! I actually sampled a Heady Topper and then tried my homebrew. I did switch the Vermont Ale Yeast with East Coast, it did wonders! Amazing brew recipe, will repeat shortly!
August 31, 2015
Excellent Clone of One of the Top DIPAs Out There
I used the actual yeast strain from Vermont for this beer. It was phenomenal! Definitely a crowd pleaser for the hop-heads in the room. The yeast mellows and blends with the hop flavor extremely well. Some people who tasted this one and Headytopper couldn't decide which they liked better. I ordered this a second time recently (Sep 2015) and the ingredient list looked a little different from what I remember of the original kit purchased in 2014, hopefully I will get the same stellar results. Good luck and enjoy. Cheers!
September 30, 2015
Fantastic Kit
Brewed this about 3 months ago and just finished the keg about 2 weeks ago. Excellent beer. I didn't make a starter, so I didn't quite hit the FG I was hoping for, and it was a little too sweet. On top of that, I somehow hit 1.081 OG, so it was a little heavier than it should have been. I'll be brewing this kit again with a starter this time to see the difference. I didn't think it was super close to an actual Heady, but close enough to keep making. My experience was Brewed/fermented/kegged and ready to drink in about 6 weeks, and you could probably do it in 4 if you're in a real hurry.
November 19, 2015
Never had Heady Topper But This is GOOD
I have been brewing for some time and I have brewed Dead Ringer twice, Raspberry Wheat three times, and getting ready for the third go round of Plinian Legacy, and getting ready for the first go round of speckled heifer. This has aroma all over the place opening the bottle and getting a wonderful nose full what has a very mangoes/peachy(in my opinion) easy aroma. You can tell this is an IPA for sure....I have had a few bottles and I am enjoying this immensely, and will be brewing this one again. When I picked the kit up Northern Brewer in Milwaukee was out of Vermont yeast so I went with two packages of S-05...Also used Clarity Ferm as well, and have been using that in all of my non-wheat beers. This is not a beginners recipe for sure, its not impossible but it does take time....
April 30, 2015
Almost!
Aroma is almost spot on with the real deal. Darn delicious brew, but a little more hop forward. I think an additional .5-1lbs malt may balance it out getting it closer to the 'cloned.' Definitely going to purchase again and add one more lb of malt to see if it balances it better.
November 14, 2014
Like IPA? Get this kit!
Brewed the extract version with the Vermont yeast. We had a can of the "real thing" sent to us and sampled it next to the final brew. This kit is amazing! If you like a deep IPA with a variety of flavor...get this kit! I am ordering an all-grain version right now. Can't wait to brew it!
January 10, 2015
Off the Topper GOOD
This was not a simple brew... but WOW well worth the effort. By far the best brew I have done. Full thick head, citrus almost grapefruit after tone, well balanced bitterness..This beer is AWESOME!! Definitely will be brewing this again!!!!
September 1, 2016
Awesome Smooth DIPA
Extract kit with Vermont Ale YeastO.G. = 1.073F.G. = 1.011ABV = 8.1First time making this kit, heard all kinda good things about the original Heady Topper. And a friend of mine has some he is saving to compare, so when I'm ready I will be able to compare. Just chilled one today, pop one after a week in bottles, just to try, WOW! what great Creamy Carbonation, great head retention the whole way down even though it didn't last long, lots of flavor. I'll let it sit another week for bottle condition, then chill. I will make this again, but in the mean time I have a Pliny the Elder kit. Reclaimed some Vermont yeast will use that for this kit. Excited:) And will buy Off the Topper kit again.
March 29, 2015
One smooth DIPA
Followed instructions to the letter using a yeast starter and adding yeast nutrient to the boil. Two weeks in primary and 10 days secondary. OG=1.06, FG=1.009. First 4 days fermented at 64, 68 through the end. Had a massive yeast cake in first fermentation stage and a sizable one in the second stage. End result was one incredibly smooth DIPA. I had done the BYO clone last spring and NB's kit produced a much smoother brew, though a lot less hoppier. BYO's dry hopping included Chinook and Cascade, while NB's had Amarillo and a lot more Columbus. Both used a large amount of Simcoe in almost equal volumes.I'll be brewing this kit again and again and will fool around with the dry hopping. Next time I will be putting the pellets in a bag because transferring to the bottle bucket was a royal pain. All in all, a great extract kit.
January 5, 2015
Q&A
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Browse 18 questions Browse 18 questions and 33 answers
Do I need to buy a larger fermenter for this beer? I currently use a 6.5 gallon big mouth.
N O on Feb 22, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I brewed Off the Topper IPA about 3 months ago and used my standard 6 gallon bucket for the first fermentation and a 5 gallon carboy for the secondary. I would suggest that you use a blow off tube instead of the standard airlock since the fermentation tends to be vigorous and may clog the air lock.
Just want to be sure I'm understanding the first step. I start with 2.5 gallons of cold water, add the grain, heat to 170F then remove the grain bag?
A R on Dec 6, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Hello Ari,

That is correct! Don't let the grains sit in there if it is over 170F as this can make the beer astringent and bitter tasting from the extraction of tannins from the husk of the grains.
I got the Vermont Ale Liquid Yeast as recommended. The Vial says to take out f the refrigerator 3-6 hours before use. The instructions for the "Off the Topper" recommended a yeast starter a few days before brewing. Do I need to do this with the liquid yeast? Mike D.
M A on Mar 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I would recommend a starter because of the high OG. Liquid yeast is of high quality, but does not contain as many cells as dry yeast. Using only one packet of liquid yeast in a beer of that strength would stress the yeast resulting in off flavors. Taking the vial out of the refrigerator 3 to 6 hours in advance allows the yeast to slowly warm to room temperature. To learn more about yeast starters, and to calculate how large of a starter you will need try follow this link http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/
Hi everyone- I have a question about fermentation and bottle conditioning. I just ordered this kit today and I will be starting the brew process next weekend. I have brewed 4 kit beers up to this point, and my experience is that the recommended time in the instructions for fermentation, secondary fermentation, and bottle conditioning never seem to be enough. I always end up with a beer that is barely carbonated and tastes very yeast-y. For those that brewed this beer ad loved it, how long did you ferment, secondary ferment, and bottle condition? Thanks for your help!!
D O on Jun 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hi Don,

Thanks for contacting us! I have always found that my beers needed more than the "standard" two weeks.

Primary: It is best to let it go until the beer reaches its final gravity. You can test this by taking hydrometer readings. When the gravity holds steady for at least 3 days, it is good to rack. Letting it sit longer is not a problem, as long as you get it off the yeast cake within 4 weeks.

Secondary: There's no set rule here. The longer it goes, the more clear it will be. Two weeks is fine for most beers, but some lagers or big beers may require more. If you take care of your yeast (rehyrdarate it if dry or start it if liquid), you may not need to do a secondary at all.

Conditioning: Time and temperature are the two most important factors, but there other factors to consider. You want to make sure you are getting a good seal on the caps. Test this by placing one bottle under water (be sure it is standing up, with air near the headspace), and see if you get bubbles. If so, the caps may be bad, or your capper may need to be replaced. Use the recommended dose of priming sugar for your beers style and batch size. If you did a long secondary, there may not be enough yeast left to carbonate quickly, so it may take more time. I've found that conditioning temps make a big difference too; the difference between 73f and 68f is surprising. But it is not actually that unusual for a beer to require 4 weeks to carbonate.

I hope this helps!

Cheers,

Charles
Checked my gravity after cooling the wort and adding water to bring up the volume. It came out high at 1.10. Anyone else have this issue? Or know what could cause such high gravity reading?

I did have some hoop particles floating in my sample.
J U on Apr 10, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hmmm, hard to say! That's quite a bit higher than expected, either the reading is incorrect, or more fermentables were added to the mixture, to raise the OG. We more often hear of a too-low reading, caused by not thoroughly mixing the wort in the pail after top-up, so the test sample contains too much water. If you had pulled a sample before topping up, it might be too high, but it does not make sense for it to be this high after you had topped up. ???? Are you using a hydrometer to get this reading? Let me know. - Mike W, Northern Brewer
Are u suppost to take the Og reading at 5 or the full 6 gallons
brewdog619 on Mar 20, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I measured the OG at 5 gallons (1.090) in order to figure out how much water I needed to add to get to my target OG. Then I measured again at 6 gallons before pitching my yeast. My OG came in at 1.082, a bit higher than the kit literature indicated.
Getting ready to brew this up this morning for my second time. First time I used WLP008 East Coast Ale Since it was to warm to ship yeast. It turned out great! Hazy straw color, flavor was great well balanced between hops and malt. Keg went quick.

Wanted to do this again 2 pints in with the Vermont Ale Yeast. Picked up some new equipment for whirl pooling them hops and will be using today. Looking forward to see the difference in taste form the yeast. Both used 1.5L starters. Will be interesting with this new batch as it is cold enough that i will not be using my fermentation chamber and will have it in the house. House is staying at 65 on the consistent and will let the yeast free to do its thing, hopefully I contain any blow off.
chris lay T on Jan 16, 2016
BEST ANSWER: I fermented mine at 67-68 degrees, and it turned out great. I cut back on the hops and used a pound less grain to lower the alcohol and reduce hop bitterness a little. delicious
Whats the Vermont Ale Yeast? Who makes it?
F I on Dec 29, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Vermont ale yeast is the same strain the is used in the commercial beer Heady Topper. It is produced by The Yeast Bay at White Labs.
I brewed this beer using the kit and the directions and it went very well. My OG was 1.072. I used a starter that I prepared the day before and it was active and the primary fermentation took off well. The final gravity settled at 1.021 which scared me a bit and it stayed there right to bottling day. Some of my home brew friends thought that was a bit too high and wondered if the yeast petered out too soon and it should have gone down to 1.014 or so. Should I be afraid of the final product? By the way, it smells great.
Wayne
W S on Aug 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Hi Wanye,

Thanks for the question. 1.021 is about 71% attenuation on that beer and under normal circumstances I'd say that's pretty good. However, with the plain sugar in that beer I would expect it to go a bit lower. I think 1.014 is on the very low end though at 81% attenuation. If the beer is already bottled I would suggest monitoring it closely. After 2-3 weeks taste one. If the carbonation level is good keeping the bottles as cold as possible from then on will help prevent over carbonation.

Cheers!

Todd H
Hi All,

I've been reading through some of the Q and A's of this brew and just wanted some insight on my results; My OG at 6.5 gallons was 1.08 (temperature accounted for) and my FG rang in at 1.024. I made a 2L starter and fermented/adjusted the temperature according to both NB and The Yeast Bay's suggestions of raising the temperature as fermentation progressed. So, does 1.024 after 2 weeks primary and 3 weeks in secondary seem ok or does something sound off? Thanks.
Kyle R. on Jul 15, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It does seem a little high of a finish gravity for this brew. Did you use a hydrometer or a refractometer for the gravity readings?
Hi all. I received the Off The Topper kit in the mail yesterday. The instructions only have a starting gravity. There is no final gravity listed anywhere, unless I'm blind. What should the final gravity reading be so I know when fermentation is finished? Thanks!!
D O on Jun 23, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Final gravity can vary and the number is less important than the flavor of the beer and that is why we do not pubish them. However 1.020 or a bit lower if a good final gravity for this kit.
After flam out hops and wort has cooled. Do you pour the whole wort or do you leave some of the leftover hops at the bottom? Had a OG of 1.080 Did i pour to much?
Glen E Parker G on May 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It's fine to pour in all the hops and sediment, or you can pour carefully and leave it behind. It does not make a lot of difference. The OG does sound a bit high, is that after the add-in water was added to the fermenter, or before? If it was before, it would make sense. -Mike W, Northern Brewer
I guess this is a process question. My OG was 1.06, measuring the 6 gallon batch. My hydrometer is properly calibrated. Looking at the questions and comments, it looks like some are coming up with similar OGs as mine (and some much higher). To clarify, is your 1.07 OG measured at a 5.125 gallon batch or 6 gallons? Further, could you specify that in the recipe going forward. I am sure it will taste great, just looking to lessen the beer anxiety!
J E on May 17, 2016
BEST ANSWER: This kit is designed around getting 6 gallons in the primary fermentor and yielding about 5 gallons after the volume losses. The recipe indicates to get 6 gallons in the primary. Running the math for extract and all grain the target OG for exactly 6 gallons comes out to 1.070, based on 72% efficiency for all grain. If you made an extract batch and topped up with cold water, you may have gotten stratification of sugars and so an inaccurate sample. But to clarify, 6 gallons in the primary and 1.070 gravity are the targets based on good efficiency.
Can anyone tell me if this beer is anything like hop slam. I like IPA's but anything like HOP SLAM I do not like. would like to get an opinion before I purchase this kit.
M E on May 12, 2016
BEST ANSWER: This kit shares some key characteristics with Hop Slam; both are high ABV double IPA's, both have similar grain bills, and both are highly hopped. The key point of difference would be the hop blend. Simcoe is the most prominent hop in Hop Slam, but Off The Topper has quite a bit of Simcoe as well.
I typically strain my wort into the fermenter. Given the amount of late addition hops, will straining hurt my flavor/aroma? What would you recommend?
J E on May 11, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Strainer the particulate from the kettle into the fermentor should not hurt your flavor or aroma. Just be sure that your strainer is sanitized.
My FG after 2 weeks in primary and 2 weeks in secondary is only 1.018. OG was 1.07, as expected... just finished bottling... should I expect this to be OK?
Only thing I ended up doing differently is... I did not realize a blow-off tube was required so I used the stadard small air lock that comes with the beginners brewing kit. After 1 day, the fermentation was so vigorous, the lid was pushing up and looked like it was going to blow off so I called Northern Brewer and you told me to use a blow off tube instead. I took the lid off for about 30 seconds to add the blow off tube and then sealed it. Could this adversely affect the brew?
S W on May 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: That's right about what we'd expect this to finish at, so you should be fine. Switching from an airlock to a blow-off tube should not cause any issues, as there's so much CO2 coming off of the fermenting beer, it is well protected from oxygen exposure. This will not cause any problems for your brew. -Mike W, Northern Brewer
What kind of final gravity should we be looking for? I'm at 1.020 after two weeks from the extract kit. OG was 1.070. I used the Vermont yeast and made a starter. I have a fermenting chamber that held firm around 69. Just transferred to a secondary and put the temperature up to 71.
M D on Apr 4, 2016
BEST ANSWER: That would be considered a complete fermentation. If the gravity has stopped changing, especially after a quick increase in temperature, than consider it fully fermented and proceed as normal. Feel free to contact us for ways to ensure you get a low FG number. Cheers!
Is each hop packet used for one step? They are labeled in ounces, but the recipe gives the weight in grams. This is very confusing.
A shopper on Nov 28, 2016
Off the Topper IIPA
Off the Topper IIPA
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Off the Topper Small Batch Recipe Kit

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