Texas Two Step Double IPA

Lupulin - yellow gold

Lupulin – yellow gold

Brewing bitter extract beer can be tough. As I have described before, there are two reasons why extract beers tend to be less bitter than comparable all-grain brews. The first is that hop utilization is lowered if a high-gravity wort is boiled. (Adding your extract late minimizes this problem.)

The second problem is the dilution factor. If you want to make 5.0 gallons of double IPA at 80 IBUs, but you’re only yielding 2.5 gallons of wort from your brewpot, that wort would need to be 160 IBUs. This is higher than can be achieved through boiling hops. The only cure for the dilution factor is to boil your full wort volume. Either you need a kettle big enough to hold the full wort, plus about 20% more volume to handle the foaming — and a heat source capable of bringing this volume to a rolling boil — or you need to split the wort into multiple batches.

Several years ago, I tested a method for brewing very bitter extract beer on my stovetop. I called the method The Texas Two Step because I made roughly half of the wort one day, then the remaining wort the next. By breaking up wort production into two steps, I could boil each step at working strength, therefore getting the most from my hops. In addition, since I didn’t need to make a yeast starter for the first volume of beer, I recouped some of the extra time it takes to takes to brew two 2–3 gallon batches over two evenings versus one 5.0-gallon batch in a single evening. 

Here is my recipe for double IPA, adapted to use The Texas Two Step. Additionally, each step is a partial mash — and specifically a countertop partial mash — so the majority of the fermentables in this beer come from malted grains (as opposed to malt extract or added sugar). Essentially, this formulation of Lupulin Lightnin’ is a mostly-grain, full-wort-boil, double IPA, made with stovetop wort production methods.

I blend US 2-row pale malt and Pilsner malt, to get that nice “grainy” flavor from US 2-row with a hint of sweetness from the Pilsner malt. I add around 15% cane sugar in the kettle to dry the beer out enough to really let the hops shine through. The late hops are a blend of Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo (which I really like, and use in my pale ale as well), with Magnum hops used for bittering. Really, any relatively neutral high-alpha hop variety could be used here.

If you’ve been brewing stovetop IPAs, but haven’t been getting the hop bitterness you desire, give this a try. It is more work than producing all of your wort in one evening; but if you’re a real hophead, it will be worth it. As with any hoppy beer, use only the freshest hops and adjust your brewing liquor so that it contains a fair amount of gypsum. (See my post on the chloride to sulfate ratio for more info on this.)

You can adapt this method for any highly hopped beer. Likewise, if you have two separate brewpots, you can also split any IPA recipe down the middle and make two batches of wort in one sitting. You’ll need to make a yeast starter beforehand, though.


Lupulin Lightnin’ 

Double IPA

Partial mash, English units




INGREDIENTS (for 5 gallons)



dilute water with distilled or RO water, if needed, to below 75 ppm carbonates [bicarbonate ions (HCO3-) or “alkalinity as CaCO3”]

add calcium, if needed, to make 100 ppm Ca2+

use 3:1 ratio of gypsum and calcium chloride for adding calcium ions

STEP 1 (2 gallons)

Malts and Other Fermentables (for an OG of 1.080 at 65% extract efficiency and 7 SRM)

2.0 lb. US 2-row pale malt

2.0 lb. Pilsner malt

1.0 lb. cane sugar

0.5 lb. light liquid malt extract

Hops (for 100 IBU total)

Magnum hops

1.0 oz. (at 12% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Centennial hops

1.0 oz. (at 10% alpha acids), at knockout (or whirlpool)

Yeast (for an FG of 1.011 and 8.4% ABV)

White Labs WLP001 (California Ale) or Wyeast 1056 (American Ale) yeast

(no yeast starter required)


2/5 tsp. Irish moss, boiled for 15 mins

STEP 2 (3 gallons)

Malts and Other Fermentables (for an OG of 1.080 at 65% extract efficiency and 7 SRM)

3.0 US 2-row pale malt

1.0 lb. Pilsner malt

1.5 lb. cane sugar

2.25 lb. light liquid malt extract

Hops (for 100 IBU total)

Magnum hops

1.5 oz. (at 12% alpha acids), boiled for 60 mins

Cascade hops

1.0 oz. (at 6% alpha acids), at knockout (or whirlpool)

Amarillo hops

0.5 oz. (at 8% alpha acids), at knockout (or whirlpool)

Yeast (for an FG of 1.011 and 8.4% ABV)

from the fermenting beer in STEP 1


3/5 tsp. Irish moss, boiled for 15 mins


Cascade hops

1.25 oz., dry hop

Centennial hops

0.75 oz., dry hop

Amarillo hops

0.50 oz., dry hop



OVERVIEW — Make 2.0 gallons of wort on day 1. Aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 68 °F. On day 2, make 3.0 gallons of wort and add it to the fermenting beer from day 1. Do not aerate on day 2. Let 5.0 gallons of beer ferment to completion, then dry hop.

STEP 1 — In your brewpot, heat 5.5 qts. of brewing liquor to 159 °F. Place crushed grains in a large steeping bag and submerge in brewpot water. Mash at 148 °F for 45 minutes, stirring and heating briefly every 10 minutes to maintain the mash temperature. In a separate pot, heat 5 qts of water to 170 °F. When the mash is done, heat it to 170 °F for a mash out. Lift bag and let drip into brewpot until you can move it over to the cooler without splattering too much wort. Scoop or pour the wort from the brewpot into the cooler. Recirculate the wort until it clears a bit, then run off. Add the malt extract to your brewpot, and let the wort dissolve it. Once the extract is completely dissolved, hold the temperature near 148 °F as you collect the rest of the wort. Add small bursts of heat, if needed to hold at this temperature. (Anywhere between 145 and 155 °F is OK.) Sparge steadily over 60 minutes (collect about a cup of wort from the cooler every 90 seconds) to collect about 10 qts. of wort. Bring the wort to a boil. Add the first dose of hops and boil wort for 60 minutes. Add Irish moss at time indicated. Don’t let boil volume dip below 2.0 gallons during boil. Add boiling water to top up, if needed. Stir in remaining cane sugar in the last 10 minutes of the boil. Chill wort to 68 °F, then rack your 2.0 gallons of wort to your fermenter. (If you let the chilled wort sit, covered, for about an hour, you’ll give time for the trub to compact and yield more wort. You can also save the trub in a sanitized container overnight in your refrigerator and pour off the fresh wort the next day.) Aerate wort thoroughly, and pitch yeast (no starter is needed if your yeast is fresh). Ferment at 68 °F.

STEP 2 — Repeat what you did in STEP 1, but make 3.0 gallons of wort instead of 2.0 gallons. Collect about 10 qt. of wort from the partial mash (as before), but add about 8 quarts of water to make around 3.5 gallons of pre-boil wort. Boil down to 3.0 gallons over 60 minutes. Add only roughly half of the malt extract to the wort initially. Withhold the rest until the last 10 minutes of the boil. Chill wort and let the hop debris settle, but do not aerate it. Check to make sure the wort temperature is 68 °F (or close to that), and rack into fermenting beer from STEP 1. Do not aerate the fresh wort or the combined wort unless fermentation of previous day’s wort is very sluggish.

POST FERMENTATION — After fermentation stops, let the beer settle for 2–3 days, then rack to secondary fermenter. Dry hop for 7 days, then rack to keg or bottling bucket. Carbonate to 2.4 volumes of CO2.


Related articles

Brewing Bitter Extract Brews

Partial Mash Methods (Countertop Partial Mashing)



  1. Ah the Texas Two Step … I still have painful memories of the brew days for my just-bottled 20 litre batch of saison. My grain order was packaged incorrectly so I received the ingredients for 2 identical batches all mixed together (specialty grains and all). Instead of my normal 10 litre batches I had no choice but to do a Texas Two Step 20 litre batch over 2 evenings. I got a late start on both all grain batches and slept at 3:00 and 2:30 am respectively. Not sure how good I was at work the next days! Anyway, thank you for introducing me to the technique in your article a few years back, it certainly came in handy. But, never again …

    • Never again? Then can I interested you in trying reiterated mashing? 😎


      • Thanks for the suggestion Chris, I listened to the Basic Brewing Radio podcast where you went through this technique after I did my Texas Two Step. Certainly might have been easier, and given that it wasn’t a particularly hoppy beer the concentrated boil might have been fine. I’ve since bought a larger mash tun cooler. Can do barleywine-size mashes in this for my 10 litre batch size, or mash enough for a lower gravity 20 litre ‘double’ batch if such a whim overtakes me.

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