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- 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 Yield 5 Gallons Recipe and Instructions Click Here for Off the Topper IIPA Brewing Instructions Regional Style USA Original Gravity 1070 Total Time to Make 6 weeks
- 4.5 / 5.051 ReviewsexcellentI am giving this 4 stars because it is not quite the same as heady topper. It is still delicious though, and very good for an extract kit.February 4, 2018Purchased
12 months ago5 or 6 gallons?I had a blast brewing this kit up yesterday, but after I put the wort in the carboy, the directions said to fill it up with water to 6 gallons -- oh, oh! I just have a 5 gallon carboy. Is that a typo in the directions? I didn't know what to do, so I filled it up as close to the top as possible and am hoping for the best. I don't have any space in the carboy left for dry hopping, but there will be room when I transfer to secondary. I already have active fermentation after less than 12 hours, so that's the good news. Just hoping it doesn't blow out the airlock. I guess we'll see what happens!June 26, 2017Response from Northern BrewerWe suggest 6 gallons of wort/beer to help you yield the full 5 gallons of beer after all of those delicious hops get in the mix. We would suggest a blow-off assembly for any big beer. Customer Service will be in touch soon to talk about some tips and tricks for that. CheersJune 27, 2017Todd JStaffSuper fruity !Used Barbarian yeast from Omega, fermented at about 68.F. Really nice beer. I've never had the original so I can't make that comparison, but this kit is super tasty. I'm a big fan of DIPA's and this one lives up to the hype. Really hop forward flavor with just the right amount of bitterness to balance it out. A nice contrast to the more bitter West Coast style. I plan on keeping this one around frequently. Lends itself to being ready to drink very quickly as well.June 14, 2017Purchased
9 months agoSolid despite not having all ingredientsJust finished bottling a week and half ago. I didn't get the correct hops for the recipe.( No Apollo hops were included). Popped open one this weekend and it was the best home brew I've made to date. So dank and refreshing. This guy won't last long as I only ended up with 4 gallons after all the dry hopping.May 30, 2017I final dry hop sat.I final dry hop sat.September 19, 2016It's tasty, but it's not Heady.It's worth the trouble making. It's an excellent DIPA/Imperial IPA. It's tasty. It's just NOT Heady Topper. It has its own charms. Try it.September 7, 2016Off the Topper GOODThis 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, 2016Off The Topper IPAUnique process but a great IPA if you love hops.July 21, 2016Heady Topper (Clarity issues.This a great "easy beer" kit. I have had issue's with clarity with this kit, it tends to get very "muddy" in appearance without the use of fine mesh bags or other containers for your hops.June 29, 2016Excellent DIPAI have not had Heady Topper but the kit I brewed tastes incredible. I never use kits and very rarely use extract but I decided to do an extract kit while I was brewing another beer on my all grain system. I have to say that I am very impressed. No one can tell that this was an extract brew. The extract quality is fantastic and the steeping grains add enough grain character to round out the flavor. This kit has a ton of hops and produces incredible fruity hop flavor and aroma. If you love hop flavor, this is an excellent recipe. I suggest using either two vials of yeast or preferably a starter because this has a fairly high starting gravity. I also aerated with an oxygen bottle and it had excellent attenuation.June 28, 2016
- Browse 32 questions Browse 32 questions and 66 answersHi there. I ordered this kit with the dry Vermont yeast. Do i need to do a yeast starter? How do I do that? Does this kit come with everything I will need to do the starter?In the instruction it says to use a 6.5 gal carboy can I use a 6.5 bucket instead or will that have too small of a head space for the krausen? I am concerned that the krausen will all come through the blow off tube with only 1/2 gal of space left in the bucket.BEST ANSWER: I've brewed this Topper twice and only have used a standard 6.5 gal. bucket to ferment and also for secondary. No issues. The blow off tube never clogged despite a vigorous fermentation. You'll love this brew....I am brewing this batch now. It is incredible the amount of hops. I am still new to brewing this is my 5th batch and haven't invested the checking gravity. But I am very curious to the ballpark of ABV?BEST ANSWER: It is a ton of hops and I added most of the recommended sugar so my ABV came out at 9%. You can expect an 8%-9% ABV if you use all the hops.Do I need to buy a larger fermenter for this beer? I currently use a 6.5 gallon big mouth.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.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?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.Is there a big difference between using the dry yeast vs. the liquid yeast? I'm afraid to ship the liquid yeast with warm temps outside.BEST ANSWER: I have brewed this twice, both times using the dry yeast, and turned out great both times. I have never tasted it with the liquid yeast, but it has been one of the favorites of friends & family each time I made it with the dry yeast.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?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.Not seeing airlock activity brewed on Friday used the Vermont ale yeast no yeast starter. What needs to be done?BEST ANSWER: Vermont ale yeast is a notoriously slow starter. It should start within 2-3 days and usually starts slowly then ramps up into a very vigorous ferment and usually takes the same amount of time just has a slightly slow start to the ferment phase usually. You should not start to worry until 72 hours has gone by, as long as your temps are in the right range and you use fresh ingredients.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.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/I don't have what I need to make a starter. Should I pitch both bags of the DIPA ALE from omega yeast that I have?BEST ANSWER: Unclear. When in doubt I tend to over pitch instead of under. Omega says between 150 and 500billion cells. Typical tube is 100. There's a good online calculator. Look up Brewersfriend yeast pitch rate. Need to look for the og here. My thumbnail for this one is about 350/400 cells. Look at your pack. If it says 500 then you're good with one. If not I'd use two and try to reculture your yeast after ferment. Aka make a five gallon starter for next time. As yeast ages it dies off so a newly made pack vs older makes a difference. Bottom line, given the og here, I'd pitch both. But that should help you look up next timeOk to use bottled water or should I use distilled with added minerals?BEST ANSWER: Use spring water don't use distilled. My tap water is horrible and I strictly use Spring water.I have another question, I am brewing now and in the directions it calls for only one (1)- ten(10) ml hotshot. I received two (2). Is there an extra one?BEST ANSWER: My kit had two 5ml hot shots. for a total of 10 ml.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.BEST ANSWER: I brewed this kit yesterday and did not add the 2 gallons of water to the fermenter prior to the wort. Only reason is because I had to relocate the fermenter down a flight of stairs into the basement and its much easier to carry when only half full. I topped it off, measured temp, pitched yeast, and then pulled an OG sample. Something looked funny and the OG was off the charts. I tasted it and it was way too sweet. The material had stratified in the fermenter, with mostly wort sitting near the bottom. So, I quickly sanitized my brew spoon and gave the fermenter a good stir. Measured OG again at 70F and got 1.068. Lesson learned, make sure it's all homogenous!I am brewing this recipe this weekend and was wondering if I should use 1 whole whirlfloc tablet in the boil or a half? There is some discrepancy as to what to do and it’s a 6gallon recipe so not sure if that factors in.BEST ANSWER: It’s supposed to be an unfiltered New England Hazy IPA. I wouldn’t put anything in the boil that clarifies the finished product.Looking forward to making this brew and it's going to be the first brew I keg. What is the recommended PSI levels to distilling and carbonating after a few days?BEST ANSWER: It is temperature dependent. Look up force carbonation charts. If you set your PSI to about 10-12 and your keg is about 40 degrees, you will get a nice carbonation level for the beer. Most beers shoot for about 2-2.5 volumes of CO2I am 10 days after brew day and just did the first round of dry hopping in the primary fermenter according to the instructions. I took a final gravity reading and it seems to be perfect at 1.019. It also tastes and smells fantastic so far like citrus and peaches. Curiously, however, it came out considerably lighter in color than any other picture I've seen of this beer. It looks like a much lighter colored gold than the red amber I've seen in pictures. Has the recipe changed at all?BEST ANSWER: Although I used a different yeast than the Vermont Ale strain over a year ago, I don't recall it being a red amber color ever. Now I'm gonna have to brew a batch to refresh my memory and thirst.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!!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!
CharlesAre u suppost to take the Og reading at 5 or the full 6 gallonsBEST 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.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. deliciousWhats the Vermont Ale Yeast? Who makes it?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 didn't notice until too late that this was a 6 gallon recipe -- I made it in a 5 gallon carboy (see my 5 or 6 gallons question/review below). I did swap out the airlock for a blow-off assembly, and it's working great (just hope I didn't contaminate the wort). My question is about adding more water. Can or should I add more water in secondary? My plan is to purchase a 6.5 gallon carboy for secondary, then add some boiled (then cooled) water or distilled water. I'm thinking of adding about 3/4 gallon of water. Should I proceed with this plan?BEST ANSWER: I wouldn't buy a larger carboy so you could add additional water to secondary. Rake off to a 5 gal. carboy and dry hop per the recipe. That way you can avoid adding unwanted oxygen to the wort. Your beer will have a little higher ABV and the additional hop bitterness won't be that big of a issue for New England style IPA. You should still end up with a great beer. Enjoy!!!Two part question please! I have carboys, not a temperature control other than a heater in a small dark room. I'm concerned about the ability to control fermentation exactly at 68 then ramp up to 72 to get the right attenuation. My room seems to hover constantly around 66 degrees in the basement. That is concern number 1. The second part is what I am not seeing addressed anywhere and that is WATER. I saw an interview with John Kimmich who said people pay far less attention to water than they should and I'm wondering if some of the variability in results is from that. I have well water, but it's pretty alkaline. Am I best served with the extract kit using distilled or RO water? Any help appreciated before purchasing this!BEST ANSWER: Thanks for the inquiries! Holding exact temps is not required, just make sure you are within the temp range stated for the yeast. One easy way to interpret these prompts is to start a little cooler and then once fermentation starts, feel free to try and raise temp slightly - whether that is moving to a warmer spot or or turning a portable heater on for a brief period....fermentation will cause the temp to free rise anyway. Water is the difference between good and great beer so can be worthwhile looking into it - the better the water the better the beer. Unless you want to test your water, and have concerns about it, I would try spring water to see if it makes a difference. Add a little sulfate to hoppy beers, and a little chloride to malty beers.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.Off the Topper IIPA Extract KitBEST ANSWER: Hi there, we only package our hops in ounces. You will have to weigh out the grams needed for the recipe. Cheers!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.
WayneBEST 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.
Todd HHi 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.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!!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?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 BrewerI 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!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.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.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?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
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