NEIPA Ingredients: Grains, Hops, Adjuncts, and more!

In the following article, we are going to dive into the style that has gained the most ground in terms of popularity in recent years, which is none other than NEIPA (New England IPA).

This style was born on the East Coast of the United States, in Vermont to be precise, and is characterized by its freshness and drinkability despite the large number of hops it contains.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started!

What is a NEIPA beer?

NEIPA beers are characterized by being hazy types of beer, of the hazy IPA family, with a very bright yellow/orange color and an almost non-existent and short-lived head.

In terms of aroma, citrus and fruit predominate thanks to absurd amounts of hops in late additions. In terms of mouthfeel, silkiness and smoothness predominate, having a very low bitterness, and you can even perceive them as sweet thanks to the use of low attenuation yeasts.

Best Grains for NEIPA Beer

In NEIPA’s, drinkability is absolutely fundamental, so the choice of malts is essential to achieve a good balance in the face of such large quantities of hops. As for the base malts, like most IPAs, Pilsen or Pale malt is used, and to achieve the characteristic body and silkiness, adjuncts such as oats, wheat, and rye are used.

The following is a list of the most commonly used grains and their percentages for a typical NEIPA:

  1. Base malt: Pilsen or Pale 70-80%.
  2. Wheat or rye 10-20%
  3. Oats 10-20%


To make a good NEIPA, you need to rely on adjuncts to be able to achieve that silky smooth body and mouthfeel that they are known for. These are usually wheat, rye, and oats.

These cereals provide a high protein load which is responsible for the haziness and juicy character of this style.

As mentioned above, approximately 10-20% of adjuncts are used.

Hops most commonly used in NEIPA Beers

In NEIPAs, the use of fruity and citric varieties is excluded and the so-called “new world hops” are generally preferred, which come mostly from North America and also some varieties from Oceania. In this style, hops are not selected for their bitterness, but rather for their aroma and flavor profiles.

Here is a table with the most commonly used hops and their substitutes:

NameTaste and AromaUtility% Alpha% BetaSubstitutesBeer Style
CitraCitrus, tropicalAroma,bitterness12,53,8Simcoe, mosaicIpa, apa, neipa
MosaicResin, tropical, citrusAroma, bitterness12,53,6Citra, simcoeIpa, apa, neipa, stout
Simcoeberry, citrus, tropicalAroma, bitterness134Summit, magnum, AmarilloPale ale, ipa, lager, neipa
AmarilloCitrusAroma96,8Cascade, centennialPale ale, ipa, porter
ColumbusHerbal, spicyAroma, bitterness165,3Ctz, tomahawkIpa, apa, stout
El DoradoTropical, citrusAroma, bitterness157,2Citra, nelsonIpa, neipa, lager
ChinookCitrus, resinAroma, bitterness133,5Nugget, ColumbusIpa, apa stout
GalaxyCitrus, tropicalAroma, bitterness13,57Simcoe, citraneipa, ipa, barley whine
Idaho 7Tropical fruit, stone fruitaroma12,24,3Azacca, el doradoIpa, neipa, wheat
Vic secretCitrus, tropicalAroma, bitterness17,97,2galaxyPale ale, ipa, stout
azaccaCitrus, tropicalAroma, bitterness154,8Amarillo, citraPale ale, ipa
MotuekaCitrus, tropicalBitter aroma6,85,3Saaz, sterlingIpa, pale ale, neipa
ekuanotCitrus, herbalaroma14,34,8Chinook, summitIpa, apa, saison, sour 

Single hop NEIPAs 

This new trend called single hop beers is about beers in which only one hop variety is used throughout the brewing process, be it for adding bitterness, flavor, or aroma.

That said, at what point can the additions be made when brewing a NEIPA?

The additions are generally made very late in the brewing process, that is to say, a small amount is added during the whirlpool, and the rest is added in different stages as dry hop.

The most commonly used are:

  1. Citra
  2. Yellow
  3. El dorado
  4. Galaxy
  5. Vic secret
  6. Motueka

NEIPAs with various types of hops and their combinations

Generally speaking, the most common NEIPAs tend to have 2, 3, and even 4 hop varieties since this allows you to choose the right combinations to create the perfect flavor and aroma profile.

Most commonly used hops:

  1. Citra
  2. Simcoe
  3. El dorado
  4. Yellow
  5. Mosaic
  6. Galaxy

Although you can, and should, create and discover different combinations yourself since this will allow you to create the perfect beer for YOU, there are proven combinations that work and which are used in most of the beers due to their well-known characteristics.

Here you ca see the most typical hop combinations for NEIPAs:

Hops 1UseMode of useHops 2UseTime of addition
citraAroma and bitternessallmosaicAroma and bitternessall
CitraAroma and bitternessallsimcoeAroma and bitternessall
YellowaromaLate boil, hopstand, dry hopsimcoeAroma and bitternessall
yellowAromaLate boil, hopstand, dry hopcitraAroma and bitternessall
mosaicAroma and bitternessallsimcoeAroma and bitternessall
citraAroma and bitternessallEl doradoAroma and bitternessall
Citra Aroma and bitternessallgalaxyAroma and bitternessall
centennialAroma and bitternessallchinookAroma and bitternessall
El dorado Aroma and bitternessallmosaicAroma and bitternessall
yellowaromaLate boil, hopstand, dry hopmosaicAroma and bitternessall
galaxyAroma and bitternessallmosaicAroma and bitternessall
chinookAroma and bitternessallsimcoeAroma and bitternessall

Best Hops to Generate Bitterness in a NEIPA Beer

Although when brewing NEIPA beer hops are not chosen for their bitterness qualities, there are some that provide a neutral, smooth, and pleasant bitterness without affecting the flavor and aroma profile too much.

Here is a list of the most recommended ones:

  1. Columbus
  2. Citra
  3. Magnum
  4. Apollo
  5. pahto

Best Hops to Generate Aroma in a NEIPA Beer

  1. Citra
  2. Simcoe
  3. El dorado
  4. Yellow
  5. Motueka
  6. Idaho 7

When to add Hops

There are hopping techniques throughout the brewing process, each with its own rationale, pros, and cons. 

The following is a detailed list of the most commonly used ones, going from the beginning to the end of the brewing process.

  • Mash hop: this is one of the oldest techniques and fresh hops (flower) were used to give flavor and aroma. Nowadays it is not used because it wastes a great part of the hops’ properties.
  • First wort hop: addition of hops in the boiling pot during the grain filtering process. According to several studies, adding hops at this time generates a more pleasant bitterness.
  • Addition of bitterness in the boil: The optimum moment to isomerize the greatest amount of Alpha-Acids possible is 60′ before the end of the boil, and this way we are taking advantage of and optimizing the bittering qualities of the hops to the maximum.
  • Adding bitterness, aroma, and flavor: by making the hops addition between 40′ and 25′ before the end of the boil, the aromatic, bitterness, and flavor characteristics of the hops are equally taken advantage of, which is why balanced varieties are generally used.
  • Addition of aroma during the boil: this addition is made 10 minutes before the end of the boil since a large part of the essential oils are solubilized and retained in the wort, providing mostly aroma.
  • Hop stand: once the boil is finished, the temperature of the wort is lowered to approximately 80/90 degrees, and the hops are added while the whirlpool is done. This technique extracts all the qualities of the hops, but especially aroma since the least amount of aromatic compounds are volatilized.
  • Hot dry hopping: this addition takes place inside the fermenter in the first 24 hours of the main fermentation starting or during the last moments of fermentation, or when the attenuation is at around 60%. This way, we get the most amount of flavor and aroma out of the hops since all the compounds are retained inside the tank and are not volatilized. A great advantage of this method is that the yeast is still active, so it will process any oxygen that may have entered during dry hopping.
  • Cold dry hopping: it has recently been discovered that this is the way in which the aromatic compounds are best exploited without generating any bitterness. The hops must be added to the fermenter during the cold maturation stage, which makes the beer quite prone to oxidation and contamination, so special care must be taken.

As far as NEIPAs go, hop additions are made after the boil in what is commonly referred to as “late additions”. For example, a small amount can be added during the whirlpool or hopstand, then you could add some more by dry-hopping during and then after the primary fermentation.

Quantities to be used

Although NEIPA is a style that gives us the possibility to play and explore until we find the types of hops as well as the quantities we like the most, as a general rule it could be said that for beginners it is not recommended to add more than 20 grams per liter total (not during the boil, otherwise the bitterness will be extreme). 

For example, a hop stand addition of 5 g/l could be made, and then the remainder distributed in 1 or 2 dry hops. Currently, in microbreweries that boast an important infrastructure, hopped styles with 40 grams per liter or even more have been achieved.


Ale yeasts with a highly esterous profile are used for this style. The most commonly used is “New England”, developed by the Lallemand laboratory, which produces a unique fruity profile. 

Fermentis also has 3 strains that go perfectly with this style of beer:

  • SafaleTM S-33: has a strong fruity character and enhances the tropical qualities of hops
  • SafaleTM K-97: enhances herbal and citrus character
  • SafaleTM S-04: produces notes of peach, mango, apricot, etc.

What is IBU and what does it represent?

The IBU (International Bitterness Unit) is a value that quantifies the bitterness of beer. It represents the amount of dissolved alpha-acids in the beer, so 1 IBU is equivalent to 1 milligram of alpha-acid per liter of beer.

Something very important to take into account when calculating this is the time of addition of the hops, as the optimum time to extract all the bitterness possible is at 60 minutes of boiling them. However, if what we want is to take advantage of the aromas, the addition should be done 10 minutes before the end of the boil.

In essence, the longer the hops are boiled, the more bitterness they add, and since bitterness is the main characteristic we want to extract from the hops when brewing a wheat beer, you should aim to boil the hops for at least 60 minutes.

That said, how do you calculate IBU?

This would be very simple to do if you just take into account the Alpha Acid content that a hop variety has and how much of it is added to the beer, and then simply calculate the IBU using the number of liters left after the boil and the number of grams of AA according to the percentage of AA of that specific hop, but this isn’t the most accurate way.

If we want to make a more accurate calculation, we must calculate the amount of AA that are isomerized in the wort, and for this, we must add to the equation the utilization coefficient.

To measure this coefficient, the most commonly used method is the one created by Randy Mosher (See the graph below): It is a graph where different curves show how boiling time affects bitterness, aroma, and flavor, and when those hops additions should be made in order to extract those characteristics.

As we have seen throughout this article, for a hop to generate bitterness and be measured by calculating IBU, it needs to spend a certain amount of time in the boil. As in NEIPAs, all additions are usually made after the heat has been turned off, it will not be possible to make this calculation, nor is it relevant.

It is also worth clarifying that, even if hop additions are not made strictly during the boil to generate bitterness, any addition made above 60°C, i.e., in whirlpool as well, will generate bitterness, i.e., they will add IBUs.


As we have seen throughout the article, the NEIPA is characterized by its high drinkability, which is strange considering the amount of hops it contains.

To achieve this high drinkability it is extremely important to choose the right malts, to have the right water profile, and, last but not least, to have equipment that allows us to carry out the process safely, since, as we know, hops are very sensitive to oxygen and contamination. 

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