Brewing a Sgt. Major I.P.A. clone…

One of my all time favourite beers is Sgt. Major India Pale Ale from Scotch-Irish Brewing Co. It has a golden/copper colour and sits at the lower end of the alcohol spectrum for an IPA at 5.5%. The hops are very dominating and are the focus of the beer. I just love the smell every time I crack the cap open and give it a pour.

Unfortunately, this delicious brew has ceased being made! Scotch-Irish Brewing Co. was bought out by Kichesippi Beer Co. and they have, in turn, stopped brewing it. I’m pissed because it is such a tasty beer. Looks like I’ll just have to figure out how to brew it myself!

I tried to track down some information on what they use to make it, but there isn’t much out there. I did come across one article on “A Good Beer Blog” that quotes the original website as “using a lot of English pale ale malt and crystal malt, with a very small amount of chocolate malt.” The use of “lots of Chinook hops impart a tasty white-grapefruit/spice/resin flavour and aroma”. (See full article here) I love it, let’s get brewing!

After talking with fellow homebrewers on forums like ‘Are you an SOB?‘ and ‘Members of Barleyment‘, I was pointed to a recipe called Sister Star of the Sun. I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think someone had said that this was the original recipe for this this beer from the brewer that went on to brewing it at Scotch-Irish Brewing Co. If someone knows the proper story, please enlighten us!

Sister Star of the Sun has the following:

  • 13 lbs English Pale Malt
  • 1/4 lb crystal 135L
  • 1/4 lb wheat malt
  • 3 oz Chinook hops @ 60mins (whole flower)
  • 2 oz East Kent Goldings @ 15mins
  • 2 oz Fuggles @ 0 mins
  • 1/4 oz Fuggles – Dry Hop
  • Wyeast 1028 (London Ale)
  • O.G. – 1.060-65
  • F.G. – 1.012
  • Mash in a single infusion at 151F for 60 minutes. Ferment in a controlled environment at 65F for two weeks.

When I entered that information into my BeerSmith program, it gave me some crazy numbers. My system works at about 78% at the moment, so I was getting estimates of:

  • O.G. – 1.069
  • F.G. – 1.014
  • IBU – 156.5 (!!!)
  • Est ABV – 7.2%
  • Bitterness Ratio – 2.277  (which is CRAZY!!!!)

So taking all of that into consideration, I’ve gone and really kind of butchered this recipe into more of an American Style Pale Ale /I.P.A., but it’s what I have in stock at the moment…

Carbonation and Storage

Sgt. Major IPA (Revised recipe)
English IPA
Type: All Grain Brewer: Hoptomology
Equipment: 7.5 Gallon Stainless Steel Pot + 5 Gallon Coleman Cooler Mash Tun
Est Original Gravity: 1.052 SG Measured Original Gravity:
Est Final Gravity: 1.010 SG Measured Final Gravity:
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.5 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:
Bitterness: 38.0 IBUs Bitterness Ratio: 0.732
Est Color: 9.6 SRM Calories: 0.0 kcal/12oz

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs 14.0 oz Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 91.6 %
7.0 oz White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 2 4.5 %
5.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3 3.2 %
1.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 4 0.7 %
0.507 oz Chinook [13.10 %] – Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 28.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6
1.043 oz Cascade [5.50 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 4.1 IBUs
0.782 oz Centennial [10.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min Hop 8 5.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg Safale US-05 [1.70 oz] Yeast 9
0.500 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] – Dry Hop 0.0 Days Hop 10 0.0 IBUs
Total Grains Used: 9 lbs 11.0 oz Total Hops Used: 2.833 oz
Mash Profile
Mash Style: Single Infusion, Medium Body
Brewhouse Efficiency: 78.00 %
Mash Steps 

Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 3.28 gal of water at 170.3 F 151.0 F 60 min
Mash Out Add 1.70 gal of water at 208.9 F 168.0 F 10 min
Sparging: Fly sparge with 3.44 gal water at 168.0 F to achieve 7.00 gal
Boil Profile
Boil Size: 7.00 gal Boil Time: 60 min
End of Boil Volume: 6.00 gal Estimated pre-boil gravity: 1.043 SG
Batch Size (into fermenter): 5.50 gal Measured pre-boil Gravity:
Final Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Fermentation Profile
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage
Primary Fermentation: 10.00 days at 65.0 F
Secondary Fermentation: 7.00 days at 68.0 F
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.0
Pressure/Weight: 6.84 PSI Age Beer for: 4.00 days
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 40.0 F Storage Temperature: 40.0 F
Taste Rating: 0.0 / 50
Taste Notes:
Other: – A little about life, a lot about beer.

I brewed it up last night and hit the target Original Gravity of 1.052. My basement is sitting at a perfect 68°F, so it should ferment nicely. Here’s how it looked after I aerated it with my new wine de-gasser:


Check out the review of the original recipe here.


One Response to Brewing a Sgt. Major I.P.A. clone…

  1. Pingback: Did our Sgt. Major earn it’s rank? | Hoptomology

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