At times, it’s completely unavoidable to get swept up in the hype.
I trade beers online, so I get to see a small sliver of what is hip and happening these days. I also like about an hour to an hour and a half away from Tired Hands (depending on how fast you drive). This means that I’m very well aware of the milkshake IPA hypetrain.
Generally, I’m a large proponent of “Don’t believe the hype” in regards to 99% of things in life – beer, movies, anal sex – and it very rarely ever lets me down. The higher your expectations, the easier it is to be disappointed. Conversely, the lower the are, the more easily you are impressed.
So, at some point in time last summer, I managed to get down to ol’ TH and try my first milkshake IPA – Pina Colada. Needless to say, I was pretty underwhelmed. Not that It was disgusting and that I wanted to sneak it into the bathroom and pour it into the toilet, but I certainly didn’t get why people were absolutely losing their shit over these beers (Fun Fact: I still refuse to by a ticket aboard the TH hypetrain).
Otherwise, it turned into the typical mindset that I fall into after trying something different: I could probably make that.
And so, I made a milkshake IPA.
Now, flavor-wise, there’s not much room for deviation. It’s a hazy IPA, it’s Citra/Mosaic, it’s 7%, and it gets vanilla and fruit. Fruit is totally rotational, but there’s a consistent base.
However, being the summer, Dogfish Head had just released SeaQuench and, up until that point, I had had no fucking what “black limes” were. And then I bought some from a local Middle Eastern market and got fucking obsessed with them. I was making black lime iced tea like it was going out of style and crushing multiple gallons of it a week. Once I realized how amazing the flavors were, it pretty much cemented my choice of making it the star of this rodeo.
Most likely, you haven’t had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with these marvelous little buggers. So, black limes are like black garlic in terms of how they’re produced. Basically, the force the lime to ferment on itself, and then they dry them out. You essentially strip out all the tart and sour qualities and end up with concentrated lime flavor. It’s pretty much lime jello flavoring on PCP.
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Mash Temp: 150F for 60 min.
Boil Time: 60 min.
Batch Efficiency: 70%
Original Gravity: 1.072 // 17.5 P
Final Gravity: 1.018 // 4.6 P
SRM: 10.2 EBC // 5.1 SRM
3 Tbsp Calcium Chloride to mash water
- 12# Thomas Fawcett Pearl | 73%
- 2.5# Flaked oats | 15% (TH uses malted, but I already had these)
- 1# White Wheat | 6%
- .5# Wheat Flour | 3%
- .5 Lactose (added during boil) | 3%
- 5 mL HopJizz extract pen @ 60 min.
- 1 oz. Centennial @ 20 min.
- 1 oz. Mosaic @ 15 min.
- 1 oz. Meridian @ 10 min.
- 1 oz. Mosaic @ 5 min.
- 1 oz. Centennial, 1 oz. Meridian, 2 oz. Mosaic @ Hop Steep (20 min @ 175-170F)
- Dryhop 1 (3-days, remove) 2 oz. Mosaic, 1 oz. Mandarina Bavaria, 1 oz. Meridian
- Dryhop 2 (3-days, remove) 2 oz. Mosaic, 1 oz. Mandarina Bavaria, 1 oz. Meridian
- Wyeast London III (1318) – Fermented at 70F
Spices ‘n Such
- 1/4# Black Limes (steeped in vodka, added during second dryhop)
- 1.5 Vanilla Beans (steeped in vodka, added during second dryhop)
- 2 Pink Lady apples (peeled, cored, diced, added during boil)
Honestly, there’s a lot more to making a milkshake than people think, myself included.
It’s kinda nice that, as incredibly pretentious as Tired Hands as a whole is, Jean Broillet IV’s pretty transparent about it. There’s a podcast out there (somewhere) that he pretty much tells you how to do it. Tired Hands almost exclusively brews with English pale malt and Munton’s malted oats, but beyond that base knowledge, he clarified in the interview that they add green apple puree and wheat flour to the boil to inflict a pectin perma-haze. So, I adapted.
Not being a fan of flour in the boil, I opted for putting it into my mash. As far as the apple puree, ain’t nobody got time for that, so I grabbed two apples out of the kitchen, peeled, cored, and diced ’em up, slapped ’em in a painter’s bag, and dropped them shits in the boil. My advice, don’t try eating them after the boil. They taste like absolute shit.
On the hops, though, I offered my variation to the style. I’m not a fan of Simcoe and Simcoe family derivatives, like Citra. So, I opted to try something new and used Meridian instead of Citra. It’s an awesome fucking hop, and I’d like to see it get more popular and utilized in more IPAs. Combining that with Mandarina Bavaria (dem mandarin orange tones) along side the Mosaic’s berry and Meridian’s nectarine and apricot worked some goddamn magic.
Another level of the haze induction that Jean’s figured out is also from the vanillin compound from the vanilla beans themselves. So, during the second round of dryhopping, I added both the black limes and the vanilla beans into the bag with the hops and marbles. After soaking in vodka in a small snack ziplock bag for a few days, those additions were potent (I also poured the little dribble of extract in at this point). 3 days contact before bottling was really all it needed to pull out a massive nose and flavor.
Otherwise, rules for your typical NE-style haze bomb apply: London III, no fining agents, DDH, etc. The lactose, fruit, and vanilla are pretty much what make this a milkshake IPA. For what it’s worth, I liked mine better than any of the other Tired Hands offerings I’ve had (and I don’t want to talk about the “Blueberry Pancake” abomination that they recently released). Just fruity, velvety key lime pie in a glass. I wish I made larger batch sizes for this one.