A milkshake beer you ask? In another moment of brilliance from craft brewers, a deliciously fresh take on the New England IPA has emerged. Soft malt character with a luscious, smooth, creamy body and intricate tropical fruit flavors set the stage to recreate the characteristics of the beloved milkshake. Additions of lactose, vanilla, and blackberry construct this illusion and make this recipe truly one-of-a-kind. Milkshake flavored beer, what could be better?
- Style: Milkshake IPA
- Fermentation Range: 64 - 72°F
- Original Gravity: 1.067
- SRM: 4.5
- IBU: 38
- ABV: 6.0%
- Aroma: Low, clean grainy malt aroma with tropical fruit hop character. Medium-low scents of blackberry and moderate vanilla undertones.
- Appearance: Bright golden color with significant haze and a brilliantly white foam cap.
- Flavor: Complex flavor profile of bready malts and a kaleidoscope of tropical fruit flavors consisting of mango, pineapple, passion fruit, and bright citrus. Background notes of noticeable blackberry and a prominent vanilla character.
- Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body with considerable creaminess thanks to the addition of lactose. Moderate carbonation and offers a long, smooth, lingering finish.
Looking for the All-Grain Version?
Notes from Brad, Northern Brewer Head Brewer:
A variant of the ever-popular New England style IPA, milkshake IPAs explode with flavors you would normally find as a desert in a diner. In this particular recipe, a healthy dose of crystallized blackberry powder and vanilla powder mingle with the luscious, creamy malt backbone of this beer and super-fruity hop flavors to create the impression of a milkshake, but in beer form. The real driving ingredient in this beer is an addition of lactose (milk sugar) to lend a robust body and creaminess that really prompt thoughts of the famous ice cream-based frosty treat.
The hop addition at the beginning of the boil may seem counterintuitive in a generally low IBU style but plays an important role in balancing out the flavor profile of this beer and keeps it from coming off as too sweet due to the lactose and semi-sweet vanilla additions. Then, after the boil is complete, we conduct a hop stand (whirlpool) at 170F to extract the lovely oils from the hops, but not cause the alpha acids in the hops to isomerize and create additional bitterness. These high oil content hops create a wonderfully pleasing tropical fruit flavor profile that is perfectly complemented by the addition of crystallized blackberry. Rounding it all off with gourmet vanilla flavoring really brings all of these flavors together in perfect harmony and provides an uncanny resemblance to the classic milkshake.
If you are brewing the all-grain version of this recipe, it is highly recommended to add ½ lb of rice hulls to the mash to help keep it from sticking. The large amounts of huskless ingredients in the grain bill lend themselves to easily clogging up a mash tun, and the rice hulls will really help to ensure the mash remains fluid and wort can flow through the grain bed unimpeded.
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