Recipe: Grapefruit Sculpin Clone

Grapefruit Sculpin

Grapefruit Sculpin

Note: this is an updated recipe based on several attempts. I have made adjustments, and added some recommendations just above the recipe below. If you brew this based on the recipe below and the notes, you will have an unbelievable grapefruit IPA that is nearly identical to Grapefruit Sculpin!

We are now drinking one of our favorite brews from the tap, Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin. This recipe yielded a result that is about as close as you can get to the original. I kegged this brew right before leaving for a trip to San Diego, and while in San Diego had a chance to drink both Sculpin and Grapefruit Sculpin. I got back home to try this, and it tasted just like the original, with plenty of crisp and clean citrus/grapefruit taste and aroma. The key to the citrus and pine taste/aroma are the hops: Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, with Amarillo adding some citrus and grapefruit character, along with some grapefruit peel and chunks added to the boil and secondary (more below).

Secondary Additions

Secondary Additions

Brew Day

Brew Day

If you like Grapefruit Sculpin, or clean west coast IPAs, you will not be sorry giving this a try. The only downside is your final product will not be around long. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: I added 1/2 oz. of grapefruit peel and juice squeezed from 1 large grapefruit to the boil. I added the peels from 2 large grapefruits (minimize the white pith) to secondary (after soaking them in vodka to kill any bacteria), as well as one large chunked up grapefruit, which infused into the beer over 5 days (along with the dry hops listed in the recipe). This time, at kegging time, I also added just a bit of Brewers Best Grapefruit Extract to taste. Be careful, a little bit goes a very long ways, and it is intended to give the beer a little longer lasting grapefruit flavor. You do not need it to brew this beer though.

Brewers Best

Brewers Best

I did a single infusion mash at 150 for 60 minutes.

Good luck and let me know if you have questions!

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.5 gal 60 min 47.7 IBUs 5.5 SRM 1.068 1.013 7.2 %
Actuals 0 1.01 -75.8 %


Name Amount %
Pale Malt (2 Row) US 13 lbs 94.55
Carared 8 oz 3.64
Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L 4 oz 1.82


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Chinook 0.5 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 13.1
Cascade 0.5 oz 20 min Boil Pellet 6.5
Chinook 0.5 oz 20 min Boil Pellet 13.1
Cascade 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 6.5
Chinook 0.5 oz 5 min Boil Pellet 13.1
Amarillo 1 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 8
Chinook 0.5 oz 0 min Boil Pellet 13.1
Cascade 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 7
Simcoe 1 oz 7 days Dry Hop Pellet 13.1


Name Amount Time Use Type
Grapefruit Peel 2.00 oz 7 days Secondary Flavor


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
California Ale (WLP001) White Labs 77% 68°F - 73°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 150°F 60 min


Add a Comment
  1. Just brewed a pilot batch of this last night. How long did you let it sit before bottling/kegging? I don’t keg yet, just bottle condition, so curious on my time frame. I hit the OG mark and am excited to try this one!

    1. Hi Jason – I left it in primary for about 14 days, then dry hopped/added grapefruit to the primary bucket (you can also transfer to a secondary if you want – but I’ve largely stopped doing that). I let the dry hops/grapefruit infuse in primary for 5 days then kegged. Congrats on hitting the numbers – hope this helps and I will be curious to hear how yours turns out.

      1. So I racked to the secondary and dry hopped this past Saturday. Gravity was 1.022, so hoping to get down another couple of points. Flavor is phenomenal. Probably looking at bottling Friday. Man, I need to get a kegging setup!

      2. Drank my first one last night. Pretty much spot on. Delicious. Will be brewing a bigger batch for the summer.

        1. Awesome – thanks for following up Jason. Glad to hear yours turned out very close to the original as well! Did you follow this recipe pretty close or make any changes?

          1. I followed close. Opted for more grapefruit instead of the extract. That was the only difference. Thanks again for the recipe!

  2. Hi, how much flavour extract did you add?

    1. Andrew – less than an ounce. I slowly added to taste because you don’t want to much. A little goes a long way.

      1. Thanks Brett, I dont have access to any extract here in the UK. Ive added 1 oz zest and juice of 1 grapefruit to the boil 10 mins from the end. Wondering how much to add to secondary when I dry hop in a couple of days – any idea? Thanks again.

        1. In that case – I would go with the secondary ingredients in the recipe. It still has lots of grapefruit taste. The only reason I added some extract this time was to prolong the flavor. After the first 3-4 weeks in the keg last time, my batch lost a fair amount of citrus flavor. The grapefruit extract will help it last longer. If anything I might add another ounce of grapefruit peel/zest – but you will be happy either way!

          1. Thank you, I was tempted to add more to compensate for the lack of extract but dont want to go too mad. Ill have to keep a look out for the extract. Cant wait to try it. thanks for the recipe!

          2. I bottled mine last weekend – I cannot do full all grain so used a modfied extract recipe with a mini mash. Im struggling to find the grapefruit flavour so far. I think the extract would definitely lift it 🙂

          3. I should point out also I used just Mosaic hops, maybe a bad idea!

  3. Hey, I just made a batch last night and am rather excited to try it. However, I neglected to add the juice during the boil. Would it be cool to add it to the secondary? And if so what should I do about sanitation? Maybe boil it first? The same goes for the chunked grapefruit, how did you sanitize it? Did you soak it in vodka along with the peel? I really appreciate the recipe upload by the way.

    1. No issue with not adding to boil. Also – the inside of the grapefruit should be protected by the peel – so I did not sanitize the chunked up grapefruit (only the peel). Let us know how it turns out!

  4. I’m trying this out today. Thanks for the recipe and experimentation!

  5. My brew shop guy said to add the whole five oz bottle of extract into the bottling bucket, btw.

    1. Keny – it never hurts to add the extract incrementally. When I do my apricot blonde I put all five ounces in. The grapefruit extract is very potent and I added incrementally – I would not want more than is in there now, which was about half the bottle.

      1. Thanks. Good to know.

  6. Hi, I’m a novice and have only done partial mash method. Is there a simple way to convert this recipe into partial mash recipe and come to a similar end product? I was looking at this recipe in the following link, however there are no reviews from brewers:

    Thanks for any help!

  7. New to fruit infusion… How long do you soak the peel in vodka? Any special procedures before cutting into it, eg dousing with boiling water etc?

  8. Hey man…most excellent. I wan’t to make up a batch of this for 7/4. Not sure if this is enough time. How much total time in primary(including your “secondary”) and bottle conditioning?

    1. Jo – that is a tight schedule! If you are kegging it might be doable – but bottle conditioning is about 2 weeks. I would give it 7 days primary minimum – and you can dry hop/add grapefruit to the primary on day 7(ish) for 4 days or so. I would double check gravitates to make sure fermentation completes. If you keg you can use the shake method to carb, or just force carb until the 4th. If you want a clearer beer I would add time to primary and cold crash after dry hopping. Others may have an opinion and can weigh in as well; good luck!

  9. One more question. I noticed the IBU is pretty low at 47.1 (according to BeerSmith)…whereas Grapefruit Sculpin is 70 IBU. Not sure how accurate BeerSmith is at calculating the IBU though.

  10. Just brewed this one today. I will let you know how it is!

  11. I brewed it a couple weeks ago. Primary went WAY fast and got down to 1.008 FG. Dry hopping now with the inclusion of the grapefruit. Smells amazing. Bottling this baby on Friday.

    1. I’m looking forward to the review!

      1. So after bottle conditioning for 2 weeks I took a couple 750ml bottles to my brothers. We were drinking Sculpins and my brothers buddy tried this homebrew and said he liked it way more than Sculpin. Everyone loved it. High praises. This is a great recipe. Very fresh citrus notes, good balance of bitterness. Look forward to trying this after it’s been in the fridge a few days and settled out. I didn’t use extract at all…just hops, and the zest in boil and zest and the fruit in primary (I don’t rack the secondary). I also substituted centennial for chinook. Will go back to this again and again.

        1. Jon – this is great feedback; thanks!

  12. The beer came out good but it didnt have the grapefruit flavor I was wanting so I will probably try doing it with the extract next time. But over all it tastes like a really good IPA. I do like this recipe.

  13. “Recipe Notes: I added 1/2 oz. of grapefruit peel and juice squeezed from 1 large grapefruit to the boil” Hi what time during boil did you do this?

  14. also im from NZ btw so i can Acess nz Casacade hops much cheaper than its usa counter part. does it matter which one i use?

  15. Just brewed up a very similar version of this. OG came at 1.070. I did not add grapefruit juice to the boil. Other than that everything is the same. Will transfer to secondary with grapefruit peel and some juice in 6 days and keg a few days after. Will keep you posted as to how it comes out!

  16. followed the recipe, although forgot to add the Amarillo hops at flame out. My OG was 1.040, why could it be so low?

    1. If it was a 5 gallon batch, and you added 13 lbs of 2 row…it has to be an efficiency issue. So that 1.040 was post-boil?

      1. It was a 4 gallon batch, and was OG 1040 post boil. Low efficiency, next time I am going to try and take more time sparging and keep my mash temp closer to 152, as it dipped below 140.

        1. Wow that is really low. Was it a batch sparge? I only did batch once and got pretty low efficiency (65%). I have fly sparged all other times and get about 80%. Even at 65% though you shouldn’t have been almost 30 points off. Maybe the fast sparge caused too much channeling. And perhaps the low temps as well.

          At least you learn something every time. I’ve learned more from my mistakes than successes for sure. Hope you adjusted the hops accordingly 🙂

  17. Hi Guys – I’m going to give this brew a shot. A couple of questions I have. 1 – at what point of the boil should the grapefruit items be added? 2 – when adding grapefruit to the secondary, do you put it in some type of bag or stainless screened container or just drop it in the bucket loose?

  18. I just ran an ex-beer-iment with two batches of Grapefruit IPA. One with grapefruit zest added to the boil (10 min mark) and in the secondary and one without grapefruit zest added during the boil, ONLY in the secondary. Nobody could tell the difference between the one with twice the grapefruit zest (boil and secondary) vs. only the secondary. I use the peal/zest of one grapefruit, soaked in just enough vodka to cover (in a ziplock bag, in the fridge, for 4 days to sanitize), dump the grapefruit AND the vodka in the “secondary” (or primary, if you don’t rack to secondary, I’m no critic of processes) when you dry hop. I also add fresh grapefruit juice (from a newly opened bottle of juice) no more than a pint to a 5 gal batch. The sugars in the juice kick off a short fermentation. My next ex-beer-iment will be between batches with and without the added grapefruit juice as I believe 90% of the flavor is coming from the zest. According to my wife, “This is the only beer I need to brew!”

    1. I’ve brewed this about 4 times and the last 2 I did not add zest to boil as well. The first time I just forgot…couldn’t tell the difference. So yeah I just add to primary after about 11 days now. Soaking them in vodka I think not only sanitizes, but helps extract more flavor out of the zest I’ve found.

      1. Hi Jon – can you please advise on how you prepared the Grapefruit peel pre-vodka soak (I get that part). Did you shave the peel or peel it like normal and remove the pulp from the other side. Or did you just leave the pulp? Thanks – this is going to be my first all grain brew and I want to know as much detail as possible.

        1. Steve, you want the oils from the “skin” but as little of the white pith as possible. We have a kitchen hand-tool that strips the peal off but doesn’t allow the cutting blade to get too deep. You can use a sharp paring knife and shave off narrow bands of skin. You just need to be patient and not dig too deep (a little pith is going to come, you just want to leave behind as much as you can). There are kitchen “rasp” type file-like tools that folks use as zesters, too. Oh, and vodka… I buy the cheapest vodka on the shelf.

          1. Exactly. We just use a common peeler that you would use to peel potatoes or carrots. The skin is tough so it takes a little pressure to get that first strip off. After that it’s pretty easy. You just want as little of the white pith as possible, but you’ll get some…not a huge deal.

            By the way…the last batch I also added a little orange and tangerine zest…it really gave it a little extra Citrus punch. You should try it.

          2. Thanks for the guidance gentlemen!

  19. Getting ready to try this recipe. Any suggestions on fermentation temps I should set at?

    1. I do pretty much all my ales at 65. After a few days when it starts to settle down I goose it up to 68 just to help keep thinks moving a little more and to help attenuation. Unless the yeast recommends different temps (some english go lower…and saisons go WAY higher) I do this every time.

    2. Had this in my brew fridge at 20c for a week. Checked gravity last night (6 days) and it was at 1.014 and tasted great. Going to dry hop sunday and let it sit till Friday. Looking forward to this.

  20. I have had great success with Safale-05 in my Grapefruit IPA (GIPA). Jon’s temps are spot on. I’ve brewed several GIPAs, all but one had solid grapefruit flavor. I add the zest of one grapefruit and about 0.5L or a pint of fresh grapefruit juice, straight from a new bottle of juice. The zest is placed in a zip-baggie and just covered with vodka for a few days prior to pouring in, vodka and all, as a “dry zesting” along with the dry hop addition. The one not-so-sharp GIPA was a result of using a different variety of grapefruit. The zest just wasn’t zesty enough. Perhaps that’s why commercial brewers use grapefruit extract (available from your LHBS). I will brew one soon with commercial grapefruit extract, just to see the difference. Godspeed with your brew day!

  21. What is the Pre-Boil/post boil size supposed to be?

  22. Great recipe. brewed it last month and kegged it. Great beer. Thanks for sharing

  23. How much Yeast did you pitch? Just one vial? all the calcs state you need about 2.8 bil and with each vile only being roughly 1 bil…multiple viles?

    1. If you’re using 001…you should really use a starter. I pitched 1 vile into a 1.5 liter starter and put it on my stir plate for 2 days. If you don’t have a stir plate you can swirl it around frequently, but it’s not quite as good as a stir plate. I’ve also made this beer by just pitching 2 packs of US05…there isn’t much discernible different at all. Spending $$ on 3 viles of 001 is just out of the question 🙂

  24. Really want to brew this…newish to all grain (only 2 under the belt) and have only used kits with exact instructions…please tell me if this correct, im putting X’s in where im not clear and need justification.

    Equipment: Using 2 10 gallons coolers and 10 gallon boil kettle:

    Put the fermentables in the mashtun
    Put 165 degree water in HLT (i get about 15 degree loss)
    Mash in at 150 for 60 min.
    Fly sparge to 7 Gal (1 gal loss for 60 min boil, .5gal loss to trub, i catch alot of crap for fly sparging but im not worried about time and its how i was taught)
    Follow hop schedule
    At 10 min left mark in boil add in 1/2 oz zest and squeezed juice from 1 Grapefruit
    After X amount of days dry hops (I don’t plan on moving to secondary) for roughly 5-7 days
    At X amount of days add zest of 2 grapefruits and 1 peeled grapefruit for X amount of days
    Ferment for a total 14-21 days ? ( do i remove the fruit or let it sit)
    I plan on kegging….at roughly 38 degrees, set PSI to X amount for X amount of days…

    if anyone could fill in the blanks, that would be great…Morebeer sells a clone thats slightly different and i spoke to a couple of people who used it and they didn’t think it was too great so after reading this review, i want to go this route this weekend. Thanks again.

    1. Without knowing your specific equipment profiles your numbers sound pretty close. I use BeerSmith so my numbers are:
      Mash In – 6.5 gallons at 161 degrees – I usually go a degree or 2 higher figuring I’ll lose heat by pouring from kettle and stirring.
      Once temp is at 150-151 deal it up for 60 minutes. I don’t do mash-out
      After 60 minutes I vorlauf 3-4 quarts until wort is clear and start running into kettle while fly sparging. Sparge should take 45 minutes.
      Follow hop schedule (I’ve tweaked this a bit over a few batches as I’ve learned a little more about late addition hopping and whirlpool additions.). But as listed it pretty darn good.
      I don’t add kettle the zest or fruit to the fermenter
      After 3 days fermentation (as activity winds down) I add the first half of dry hops (.75 oz. of each)
      After 8 days total I add the second dry hop addition. (there is some good ExBeerements showing benefits of adding hops during primary)
      I never transfer to secondary
      At the 11-12 day mark I lower my fermentation fridge to crash cool for 2 days
      At 2 week mark I transfer to keg, add 1 tsp gelatin to fine, purge the keg of oxygen, and carb it up.
      If you are bottling, just transfer to bottling bucket, add priming sugar and go from there. But definitely crash cool first. Makes a huge difference.

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