IPAs: East Coast, West Coast, and mud.
When you hear about that amazing new IPA, chances are (around here) it is a juicy, cloudy, messy beer that drinks a bit sweet. If that is what you love, and that is what you want to brew, great! That's not too hard to do... for a commercial system. Oh, right. But to home brew it... (we'll get back to that).
On the other hand, if you do get close, please remember you're going to find it doesn't quite rate in competition. Why? Because it's not an IPA per any style guides! There's no bitterness, that foundation that made IPAs what they are! They have no shelf life, so they'll usually fade by the time a judge would get to try it. Don't talk about that 0/3 points you'll get on appearance. They just aren't recognized yet.
Nor should they be: they aren't IPAs by any definition. They are hoppy ales. There is a difference! Some barely have enough bitterness to act like pale ales. They generally forgo the typical additions of hops, too. But they're very tasty, so let's examine basics of ingredients and technique.
Use basic malts. No caramel, nothing that would add astringency (roasted). Keep this really simple. 2 row (or pilsner) and ... up to 25% wheat/flaked oats/or other cereal grain. High protein helps keep that hop oil in suspension, keeps the malt sweetness present. Some people swear flour works. See notes below. Mash low, if you're an all grain brewer. You'll need that to make the yeast take it as dry as it should try...
Seems like everyone knows London ale III is a really cool yeast. Oh, you didn't? We're selling that more than even the classic US strains right now! There are others, though. Northwest Ale (comically), or... any UK ale strain with medium to high attenuation, a fruity profile, and low flocculation. Low flocculation is the ultimate key.
Calcium Chloride is your friend. If you're already building your water, or if you've never played with water, there. If you're getting into it, don't dive in head first until you've gotten a water profile report done. Wardlab.com for that ($25 I think, for a brewing profile -- note, there are other sources, this just seems to be a very reliable one).
This gets into technique more than options. Suffice to say big fruity hops are what we're going for... but bittering to tastes is ... subjective. The purist will skip any hop additions until "whirlpool." This isn't news to many hop-heads anymore (Heady Topper was the go-to gotta have when this was news!). But how?
Okay -- here's the thing: you cannot create a whirlpool at home the way commercial breweries do. Well, you can, but it'll cost you a lot of money. A whirlpool is a liquid driven ... well... exactly that: a vortex made by a feed of the circulation. It's *powerful* and meant to collect the solids into the middle as the boil kettle drains into a chiller.
So how does one do that on a home system? If you're brewing 1 barrel or more, yes, you can do exactly that. And if you invested to do that much but cannot, there's a mod coming to your rig soon! If you're brewing like most of us, 5-10 gallons at a time, mechanical assistance is needed. You really cannot stir it well enough yourself to create the force that would dislodge the oils from the hops. That's, of course, the goal of the whirlpool addition.
Mix-stirs made for degassing wine come in handy for this. Put them into the end of a drill. Insert it about half way into the kettle, spin fast enough to almost lose contact because of the vortex. That's when you add the hops and continue to spin for about a half hour. Yeah, don't do this by hand.
Dry hopping... so much to be said about duration, specific hops, etc., but... best thing is to do it all under CO2. In short: do not wait until fermentation is completely done.
Related to CO2: don't keep purging kegs if you do keg your beer, you'll lose the aromas.
In general, 3-4 days of dry hopping is enough to get an impact. You don't want to go over 2 weeks or you'll get grassy notes.
On Mud: Just because you want to keep yeast in doesn't mean you should rack every bit of trub over, that you should pump the yeast fall out from your fermenter and stir it back into each bottle. If it looks chewy and tastes like you could pitch it to a batch for fermentation, think about this again. Being clean and careful is still essential to consistent quality product.
Don't use them. That includes anything that could clarify or is meant to clarify.
Unless you're making a shandy. Go ahead, do it if you like it. But don't call it an IPA.