One of the most popular IPAs on the market is Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, brewed by Bell’s Brewery of Comstock, MI. The beer scores a 95 on Beer Advocate, and if you’ve had it, you know the score is well deserved. In 2011, the American Homebrewers Association ranked Bell’s Two-Hearted IPA the second best beer in the country, second only to Pliny the Elder. All this makes this Bell’s Two Hearted IPA clone recipe a must-brew.
Two-Hearted is hopped with exclusively Centennial hops, an American hop variety that provides a piney, citrusy, and floral character, and is often called a “Super Cascade”. The Centennial hops are added both to the boil kettle and to the fermenter. Bell’s uses a house ale yeast, but California Ale Yeast will work just fine.
The extract beer recipe below comes from the American Homebrewers Association, originally publishing the AHA’s magazine, Zymurgy. I always enjoy seeing proof that simple clone recipes can make beautiful beer.
To brew this Bell’s Two Hearted IPA Clone recipe, you’ll need to review dry hopping techniques (don’t worry – it’s easy!). A full 3.5 oz. of Centennial hops are added to the fermenter for about a week, giving this Two-Hearted clone that spicy, citrusy, super-addictive hop aroma that makes the beer so popular. Give this partial mash clone recipe a try, or see the all-grain recipe below it.
Bell’s Two Hearted IPA Clone Recipe
(five-gallon batch, partial mash)
6.6 lbs. Steam Freak Light Malt
2.5 lbs. Light DME
8 oz. Briess Caramel 40L malt
2 grams gypsum
1.2 oz. Centennial hops at :45
1.2 oz. Centennial hops at :30
3.5 oz. Centennial hops dry-hopped
Wyeast 1056: American Ale Yeast
Steep the crushed caramel malt in one gallon of water at 150˚F. After 20 minutes, strain grains from the wort, pouring the wort into a boil kettle. Add enough filtered water to make 6.6 gallons. Mix in malt extracts and gypsum and bring wort to a boil. Boil for 75 minutes, adding hops according to schedule above. At the end of the boil, cool wort, transfer to a clean and sanitized fermenter, and pitch yeast.
Ferment at 66-70˚F. until fermentation slows. Dry hop the beer for one week, then rack to another fermenter and cold age for one week. Bottle or keg as you would normally.
Replace the malt extracts with 10 lbs. two-row brewers malt and 2.83 lbs. pale ale malt. Increase the gypsum addition to 4 grams. Use a step mash procedure, starting with 4.5 gallons and holding at 150˚F for 45 minutes, then increasing to 170˚F by adding 2.5 gallons boiling water. Hold for 25 minutes, then mash out and sparge to collect 6.6 gallons of wort. Proceed with recipe as above.
If you’re in love with IPA’s, then this Bell’s Two Hearted IPA clone recipe should be your next brew. It’s an inviting brew with a judicial balance of malt and hops that make it pleasing to the palate.
David Ackley is a beer writer, homebrewer, and self-described “craft beer crusader.” He holds a General Certificate in Brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and is founder of the Local Beer Blog.