The Axe Imperial IPA

I was laid off from my job in June. So, naturally, I brewed a beer to commemorate it.

The Axe is a four-hop Imperial IPA with a fresh citrus flavor and refreshingly bitter bite. Crystal 40 malt adds sweetness to keep it in balance, while a handful of wheat malt improves both head retention and mouthfeel. I fermented with a dry English-style yeast to let the hop character shine through.

7.5 lb Maris Otter
0.75 lb Carapils®/Carafoam®
0.25 lb Crystal Malt 40°L
0.5 lb Wheat Malt

Hop schedule:
0.5 oz Warrior (16.0%) - added first wort, boiled 90.0 m
0.5 oz Warrior (16.0%) - added during boil, boiled 90 m
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 20 m
0.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) - added during boil, boiled 15 m
0.5 oz Cascade (5.5%) - added during boil, boiled 10 m
0.5 oz Columbus (15.0%) - added during boil, boiled 5 m
1.0 oz Summit (17.0%) - added dry to primary fermenter

White Labs WLP007 Dry English Ale

The finished beer pours a deep copper color with a stark white, two-finger head that leaves thick rings of lacing on the glass. It’s slightly cloudy (thanks to the wheat malt) and has a bit more sediment in it than I’d like, but is nice to look at overall. The aroma is grapefruit and bitter orange, with some bready notes tucked in. The taste is citrus up front balanced by a hint of sweetness, and ends with a back-of-the-tongue hop bitterness.
I’m always looking to find perfect recipes for my favorite style—the IPA. While this isn’t quite there, I’m learning more and more about striking the perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness, character and quaff-ability, flavor and body.

And it turns out getting The Axe can be a good thing after all.

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