If you are looking for an ultra-refreshing, fruity beer to brew for those upcoming spring and summer months, you can’t go far wrong with a fruity IPA.
And what says summer more than the taste of mango?
IPA, or India Pale Ale, is a popular beer style that’s known for its hoppy, bitter taste. However, some brewers have added a twist to this classic style by adding fruity flavors, and Mango IPA is one of the most popular variations.
The combination of mango and hops creates a beer that’s both sweet and bitter, and the sweetness of the mango balances out the bitterness of the hops.
This results in a beer that’s refreshing, easy to drink, and has a unique flavor profile.
Mango IPA is a popular choice during the summer months, as it’s light and refreshing, and the mango flavor pairs well with warm weather.
However, it’s a popular choice all year round, as it’s a great option for those who want to try a new twist on a classic beer style.
Fruity IPAs, Aren’t all IPAs a Little Bit Fruity?
Yes, it’s argued by many beer geeks that an IPA is one of the fruitiest styles of beer anyway just because of the hop additions.
This is especially true in the American style IPAs, where bold American hops like Mosaic & Citra, Cascade, or Chinook will often add citrussy flavors and aromas to the beer.
Some of the newer hop varietals will also add either tropical or dark stone fruit notes to the taste of an IPA.
Although some IPAs like Deschutes Freshly Squeezed offer big fruit flavors without ever going near a piece of fruit, in recent years craft brewers in America have started to experiment with adding more fruit to their IPA’s fermentation process for an even fruitier flavor.
Take a look at our guide to the Best Fruity IPAs elsewhere on our site.
What is a Fruity IPA?
We’re not talking about those Hazy IPAs or New England Style IPAs which often have a fruit juice-like appearance and flavor.
We’re not even talking about the Juicy IPAs – all these IPAs get their fruitiness from fruity hops and a lighter malt concentrate.
No, we’re talking about IPAs where the brewer has either added fruit during the boil stage, perhaps in the primary fermentation stage, or even allowed the beer to age over pounds of fresh fruit in a similar way to dry hopping.
One of my favorite IPAs of all time was one which had been aged over a bed of hibiscus flowers and mango (unfortunately, I can’t for the life of me remember who brewed it or even find it on Google!).
A fruity IPA is quite simply an India Pale Ale that has been flavored with either fresh fruit, puréed fruit, or fruit juice/pulp/concentrate, etc.
This type of IPA is becoming increasingly popular, as craft brewers are experimenting with all sorts of different flavors to add to this style of beer. Some popular fruits that are used in fruity IPAs include grapefruit, orange, pineapple, and mango.
These beers can be quite refreshing and flavorful and can be a great way to enjoy the hoppy bitterness of an IPA with the sweetness and flavor of fresh fruit.
To make Mango IPA, brewers add fresh mangoes, real mango puree, or mango pulp and juice to the beer during the brewing process. This imparts a sweet, fruity flavor of mangos to the beer and gives it a tropical aroma.
The deeper mango character complements the hop profile of the IPA and makes it a popular choice among beer drinkers who are looking for something new and different.
In terms of alcohol content, Mango IPA is typically between 5-7 percent ABV Mango beer, making it a medium-bodied beer that’s easy to drink. It’s often golden in color and has a cloudy appearance, due to the addition of mango extract.
Overall, Mango IPA is a unique and delicious beer that’s worth trying for anyone who loves IPAs or is looking for something new and different. Whether you’re a seasoned beer drinker or new to the craft beer scene, you’re sure to enjoy the sweet and bitter flavors of this fruity twist on a classic style.
How to Brew a Mango IPA?
Brewing a Mango IPA at home is quite simple and definitely no more complicated than your typical IPA brew. In fact, brewing any fruity IPA is no more difficult than any other fruit beer.
The most popular fruit IPAs will use fruits that either accentuate the citrus character of the IPA hops or fruits that will build on those tropical notes found in some hops.
Normally, I start a beer recipe looking at the malt or grain bill, but an IPA, as we know, is all about the hops.
With this being a recipe or guide on how to brew a Mango IPA, we will need to use hops that have more tropical fruit character that pairs well with the tropical fruit mango flavor.
The best hops for a mango ale would include:
- Bitter Gold
- Falconer’s Flight
- HBC 366
- Southern Cross
- Zythos (a blend).
The best Mango IPAs will have enough fruit character that you should be able to tell it’s not your traditional IPA, but not so much it overpowers those hoppy flavors.
As such, you shouldn’t need to tamper too much with your IPA recipe to accommodate the fresh fruit flavor. Just decide how intense you want the mango to be – do you want a faint mango flavor or a more intense mango milkshake-like flavor?
Whirlpool hop additions towards the end of the boil or a dry hopping regime can of course boost those hop aromas and enhance the mango sections of the aroma depending on the hop used.
I would always recommend Amarillo or Centennial as a good late addition hop for the aroma of a fruit beer.
Fruit such as mango pieces or mango puree can be added either before the first fermentation towards the end of the boil, or the beer can be racked over the pieces of mango for a secondary fermentation or conditioning for an extended time.
Personally, I feel a mango beer recipe needs the fruit added to the wort towards the end of the boil as it doesn’t have the same strength of flavors as either more fierce fruit purees or the oils found in the zest of citrus fruits.
When deciding how much fruit to add, the general rule of thumb for a fruit beer would be 1 lb of fruit for each gallon.
Following this rule, 1 lb of mango per gallon should give a moderate level of fruit flavor, although, if added to the boil, many would recommend cutting this amount in half, ie 0.5 lb per gallon.
Too much fruit in the boil can sometimes make the wort go “gloopy”.
Although adding fruit to your beer will add sugars, they are all fermentable sugars – simple sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose.
It won’t affect the Final Gravity of your beer (or the body) but can bump up the Starting OG by a few points.
Acids can also be a problem if you add too much fruit to the beer. Most fruits tend to be abundant in citric and malic acid, and bear in mind too much acidity in a beer can often make a brew unpleasant to drink.
One solution to this problem that I’ve been told about, although I have never had to try it myself, is to stir a small amount of bicarbonate of soda into the finished beer. Be sure to wet the bicarb first before adding it to the beer or you will get excessive foaming.
Vorlaufing the beer (where you run the original mash out through the grain bed again for 20 minutes before the main mash out) before sparging can help remove any excess pieces of fruit before fermentation that may have stuck to some of the grain bed.
If you feel this removes a little too much of the mango flavor, you can always add some mango pieces during the dry hopping phase for an extra blast of mango.
The Malt Bill
A common mistake many homebrewers make when brewing an IPA or even a fruity IPA is to overthink the malt bill. Remember, you want the hops to shine through here with a slight mango flavor, not a deep rich caramel or toffee flavor as found in some other beers.
Most of the grains you use (93 to 97 percent) should consist of the base malt which can be made up entirely of 2-row pale malt or be a blend with other light malts such as a Canadian Pilsner malt.
Crystal malts can be added to the remaining grain bill for a little added complexity or darker crystal malts if you feel the color is going to be too light – mango puree or flesh can often add a very pale golden hue to the beer.
Keep it simple, and stay away from specialty malts such as Munich and Chocolate malts which may add too much sweetness.
A little wheat malt or flaked oats can give some more texture and body to the finished beer if you feel it may be too thin. The wheat malts can also counteract the acid of the fruit, which may result from using fresh fruit
I have included quite a basic Mango IPA recipe which should be easy enough for even the most inexperienced of all-grain homebrewers.
If you wanted to make an extract version you could always swap out the 9 lbs of 2-row malt for 6.75 lbs of domestic light malt extract (LME) and follow the other steps in the recipe after steeping the grains and adding to the extract.
A Simple Mango IPA – 5 Gallon All-grain Recipe
|YIELD||5 Gallons (19L)|
The Grain Bill and Fruit Additions
- 9 lb (4kg) 2-row malt
- 1 lb (0.45kg) 2-row wheat malt
- 0.5 lb (0.23kg) Caramel malt
- 2 lb (I kg) fresh ripe mangoes, pureed
Hops and Schedule
- 2 oz (56g) Columbus hops (60 min)
- 1 oz (28g) Centennial hops (10 min)
- 1 oz (28g) Amarillo hops (5 min)
- 1 tsp Irish moss (15 min)
- 1 pack of your favorite IPA yeast (e.g. Wyeast 1056)
- Mash the grains at 152°F for 60 minutes.
- Boil the wort for 60 minutes, adding hops and Irish moss according to the schedule above.
- In the last 5 minutes of the boil, add the pureed mangoes.
- Cool the wort to around 68°F and pitch the yeast.
- Allow the beer to ferment for 7-10 days.
- Once fermentation is complete, transfer the beer to a secondary fermenter or keg and allow it to condition for 2-4 weeks.
- Bottle or keg the beer and carbonate it to your desired level.
- Enjoy your Mango IPA!
Note: This is a basic recipe, feel free to adjust the ingredients and ratios to suit your taste.
Fresh or canned mango puree can be used, but fresh will give a more fruity aroma. Remember to adjust the amount of mango puree to your desired level of mango flavor and aroma.
Also, fermentation time, dry hopping schedule, and carbonation level can also be adjusted to your taste.
For a S.E Asian influenced IPA, you could always add a handful of Bird’s Eye chillis to the secondary fermentation stage – I’ve certainly heard stranger ideas, but be careful how much a handful is, those little blighters can be hot and I would definitely not recommend any more than 20g maximum.