Last month the Cambridge, MA homebrew club Post Modern Brewers hosted its annual showcase event. The Home Brew Showcase is a chance for the hombrewers - myself included - to show off their skills and share their beer with friends, family, and the public. Among the English bitters, porters, sours, saisons, and imperial amber ales was my contribution: a west-coast style IPA dubbed “Battle Armadillo.”

Most of the club had off-the-wall styles, so I kept it simple with a west-coast IPA.

This recipe is one of my own design. Battle Armadillo is made with Warrior and Amarillo hops (get it?) then dry-hopped with Citra for an extra boost of orange flavor. Balancing out the citrus and bitterness is a grain bill that includes Munich and Vienna malts for a sweet, bready body. It’s an easy-drinking but full-bodied IPA, coming in at 6.7% and 60 IBUs.


Style American IPA (BJCP 21A)
Recipe Type Partial Mash
Batch Size 5 Gallons
Original Gravity 1.066
Final Gravity 1.017
ABV 6.7%
IBUs 60
Color 6.6°L


This recipe is a “partial mash.” The procedure is the same as all-grain - use a full 60-minute boil for the mash - but it includes malt extract in the grain bill as well. For “brew-in-a-bag” brewers like myself, partial mash is a great way to make full 5-gallon batches on a kitchen stovetop. There’s only so much grain that can fit in a kettle! If you wish to do all-grain, replace the 4 lbs of DME with another 6.67 lbs of pale malt.

Everything you need for the Battle Armadillo IPA.

Kind Amount Color
Light Dry Extract 4 lb 8°L
US 2-Row Pale Malt 4.25 lb 2°L
Munich Malt 12 oz 9°L
Vienna Malt 12 oz 3.5°L
Dextrine Malt 4 oz 2°L
Kind Amount % AA Time
Warrior 1 oz 15% 60 min
Amarillo 1 oz 9% 15 min
Amarillo 1 oz 9% 0 min / Whirlpool
Citra Cryo Hops 1oz 25% Dry Hop, 5 Days
Kind Amount
Juice (Imperial Yeast #A38) 2 pouches
Kind Amount Time
Whirlfloc Tablet 1 tablet 15 min

I used Amber Dry Extract in my batch, since the local homebrew shop was out of Light Dry Extract. No big deal, but my beer might appear darker than yours. Also, I stumbled into using Citra Cryo Hops because the shop was out of standard Citra hops. Through the use of cryogenic processing, the lupulin in the hop cones can be extracted and concentrated, resulting in more good stuff (a technical term) per ounce. If you can’t find Citra Cryo Hops, use 2 oz of standard Citra hops instead.


Bring 3.25 gallons of water up to 155°F. Turn off the heat and steep the grains for 60 minutes, checking the temperature every 15 minutes and reheating if necessary. When 60 minutes has passed, remove the grains and bring the wort to a boil. Stir in the malt extract while the wort is heating up.

Once boiling, add the Warrior hops. After 45 minutes, add the Whirlfloc tablet and one ounce of the Amarillo hops. After another 15 minutes, add the rest of the Amarillo hops. Optionally, you can whirlpool (a fancy word for “stir”) the hops for 15 minutes before cooling. Next, cool the wort down to about 72°F and transfer it to your fermentor.

The wort, topped back up to 5 gallons.

You’ll be well under volume, so top up to 5 gallons using cool water. Check your gravity as you go to make sure you don’t water down the wort too much. Once you’ve hit your target, pitch the yeast and seal your fermentor.

When vigorous fermentation has settled down (after 3-5 days), transfer the beer to a fresh fermentor for secondary fermentation. Add the Citra Cryo Hops for the last 5 days of fermentation. After two weeks total the beer should be ready to bottle, and ready to drink two weeks later!

Battle Armadillo bottled and ready for the Home Brew Showcase!


Some last-minute recipe changes in the extract and hops made me worried, but Battle Armadillo was a hit at the Home Brew Showcase. The citrus and tropical hop aroma draws you in, and the sweet-yet-bitter flavor seals the deal. It’s a classic west coast-style IPA, balancing the different elements of the hops against a sturdy malt backbone.

The final product, slightly darker due to the Amber DME but otherwise just what I wanted it to be!

Appearance Light amber, opaque but not hazy, white head.
Aroma Citrus, tropical fruit, malty, effervescent.
Mouthfeel Full-bodied but not heavy, fizzy, dry.
Flavor Fruity and sweet, fades to lingering bitterness. Grapefruit, papaya, orange, malt aftertaste.
Overall A classic IPA balancing all the elements. Would happily charge into battle with.

IPAs are fertile ground for experimentation. To modify the aroma and flavor, swap out the Amarillo or Citra for different varieties. I’ve never made a New England IPA, but skipping the Whirlfloc and adding the dry hops during primary fermentation should help get that distinctive “hazy” appearance. Flaked grains can also add some haze, so maybe swap out some of the pale malt with flaked oats.

I’ve been leaning towards lighter styles lately, but classic IPAs will always have a place in my heart (and my fridge). I’ll definitely be revisting Battle Armadillo again soon.