Key Lime Pie Berliner

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italarican

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I've been wanting to do a key lime pie beer for a while now. After doing my first sour mash, I thought a sour mash berliner would be a good base for key lime pie additions. I'm thinking of giving this beer a shot in a few weeks. Any suggestions or comments are welcome!

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Safale S-04
Batch Size (Gallons): 3
Projected OG: 1.033
Projected FG: 1.010
IBU: 6
Boiling Time (Minutes): 30
Color: 3
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68F

Mash
2.0 lbs Pilsner (57%)
1.25 lbs American Wheat (36%)
0.25 lbs Biscuit (7%)
1 box (14 oz) graham crackers, crushed

Sour Mash Steps
Mash 150F for 60 min
Sparge 168F for 10 min
Chill to 105F, add uncrushed grain and let sit at 105F for 48 hours

Return to pot, 30 min boil

Hops
0.25 oz Hallertau, 30 min

Extras
Zest of 2 key limes @ 5 min boil
Juice of 2 key limes @ secondary (7 days)
5 oz toasted coconut soaked in marshmallow vodka @ secondary (7 days)
 

pdietert

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This sounds interesting, I love key lime pie. Also, watch out for the fat in the Graham Crackers, one box has a lot, about 10% by weight.
 

SpeedYellow

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Wow, a Key Lime Pie is difficult enough, but a sour mash to boot? Too risky IMHO. Ditch the lactic sour idea and just figure out the Key Lime part first. If you want to sour it, then add some lime juice after primary -- this citric acid would be the type of sour you'd want anyway. I've been kicking this around myself.

Oh, and you need vanilla too, no?


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Urkelbot

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Maybe some crystal for some sweetness. Probablly more limes also key limes being small and all.
 
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italarican

italarican

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Probablly more limes also key limes being small and all.
Thanks for the reminder! I may double the key limes used in that case.

I may add some vanilla beans. In that case, I'd lower the toasted coconut a tad.
 

SpeedYellow

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Based on research into Key Lime Pie, there's neither vanilla nor coconut in it.


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italarican

italarican

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Based on research into Key Lime Pie, there's neither vanilla nor coconut in it.
Interesting on the vanilla. I sort of just assumed.

Although perhaps not the norm, many bakeries top the pie with something like toasted coconut for a little sweetness contrast. That's what I was picturing here.
 

kempshark

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Been hanging out in the Keys for about 24 years. Have never seen Key Lime Pie topped with coconut....is either topped with whipped cream or meringue. No vanilla either......just key lime juice, eggs, and condensed milk in a graham cracker crust. Personally like to add some pureed toasted pecans to the graham cracker crust for a little nuttiness and crispiness (spelling?)........and don't try to make it green either!!! ;)

Have only had one key lime Berliner and it was disappointing....just didn't deliver on the tartness of the pie.....then again, guess it wasn't a "Key Lime Pie Berliner" and I always associate the creaminess from the eggs and condensed milk with a Key Lime pie.
 

jmg727

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I love brewing with graham crackers!!

When brewing with graham crackers, make sure to use a brand without preservatives. Nabisco Honey Maid works great.

The graham crackers from Aldi have preservatives and will inhibit yeast activity.
 
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italarican

italarican

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I have this fermenting right now. The wort was delicious! Nice lime aroma, moderate tartness, and a cookie like finish from the graham crackers. I stayed with the weights of the grains above but made a few changes:

1. I sour mashed just the pilsner and wheat malt together for 48 hours.
2. Prior to boil I then mashed the biscuit and graham crackers together at 154 for 60 minutes and sparged at 170 for 10 minutes.
3. This was then blended with the soured mash in my brewpot and brought to a boil.
4. I couldn't find key limes, so I zested 3 regular limes for the 5 minute boil addition and bought a bottle of key lime juice concentrate for the secondary. I'll taste before secondary to decide how much juice to add.
 
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italarican

italarican

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Update: This will be bottled tomorrow after 3 weeks in primary and two weeks in the secondary with 10 tbsp (5 oz) of Key Lime Juice and the toasted coconut.

At 3 weeks this was a nicely tart berliner with a moderate lime presence but only a hint of sweetness at the end. Since I couldn't find key limes, I used Nellie & Joe's Key West Lime Juice. For what it's worth, on their webpage they estimate 1 tbsp is equivalent to 1-2 key limes.

I'm very pleased with where this beer is now but think some tweaks can be made to nail that key lime pie taste. The coconut/marshmallow vodka mix has balanced the tartness well. It's tart but not puckering, the key lime is definitely there, and then there's a nice light sweetness at the end.

So far I'd consider it a success for a first draft. I'll probably tweak things on the sweetness side the next time I brew this.
 
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italarican

italarican

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Oh: this also only ended up having 2/3 of the graham crackers I thought it did. I went to take the empty box for recycling the next day, and there was another wrapped package of graham crackers in the box! I thought there were only two packages in the box, but it turns out there were three. Woops!
 

SpeedYellow

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How will you revise the recipe to give it a sweeter finish? I'm considering a similar beer and have been pondering this.
 
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italarican

italarican

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How will you revise the recipe to give it a sweeter finish? I'm considering a similar beer and have been pondering this.
The level of sweetness is actually pretty good, but I don't think the marshmallow vodka imparted a lot of flavor onto the coconut, so the coconut sweetness is what stands out instead of a true pie-like sweetness.

Marshmallow is basically vanilla, gelatin, and sugar, but key lime pie's sweetness really comes from condensed milk, which is basically sweetened milk. With that in mind I'm considering various combinations of vanilla bean and/or lactose and either reducing or nixing the coconut. Once this carbonates I'll have a better idea of what I would change next.

Also, putting the actual amount of graham cracker I'd intended may help!

If you try something similar, I'd love to hear how it turns out!
 

rawdanny

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I'm gonna so something but adding like zest @ last 5mins also graham cracker extract In secondary plus the crackers in the mash.
 

SasquatchSmith

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Bump, anyone else have any tips on this? Looking to try something very similar within the next couple weeks
 
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italarican

italarican

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I'm curious, why the Marshmallow Vodka?
Sorry for the delay: the marshmallow vodka was a two-birds-with-one-stone thing to sanitize the coconut while imparting a little marshmallow flavor. The idea was to have this dumped after the yeast had done its thing so some sweetness would stay.

I haven't done this again but will give it another go eventually. Next time the plan will be to mash higher, remove the coconut and marshmallow vodka, and instead add lactose and vanilla.
 
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italarican

italarican

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I cracked open a 2+ year old bottle for a homebrew friend. This has held up with age, and discussing what we both liked & weren't crazy about reaffirmed I'd like to give this another go, with a couple of changes:

--Mash higher (154)
--nix the coconut/marshmallow vodka
--add a vanilla bean 1 minute before flameout
--replace the lime juice in the secondary with a ton of lime zest (I think this will get closer to the lime notes I'd want)

The lime zest and blending the sour mash with a graham cracker/biscuit malt wort are what really make this. Hopefully these changes improve the overall product.
 

anteater8

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Great Notion Brewing made a pretty good key lime berliner, simply called Key Lime Pie. Here's the description: Tart wheat beer aged on Key Limes, vanilla beans and brown sugar.

I think if I were to try this I'd skip the brown sugar, add zest from 3 or 4 limes at 5 min and age on 1 or 2 vanilla beans in secondary for a week right before packaging. I've also brewed the Lemon Lime Hefe recipe which uses Simply Lime juice during primary, that could also be a pretty good option.
 

bolus14

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Little thread revival.

I just made a hibiscus like wit that the wife and neighbor "lady" love!! So, with summer approaching I started thinking of making a key lime pie With and found d this thread. Many of my thoughts are mentioned here, Im thinking of sticking with the base Wit recipe and then add some biscuit or victory, uses maybe .5lb lactose, and then either toss the like zest and juice with a couple vanilla beans in the primary close the the end of fermentation or transfer to secondary. Only reason I would transfer to secondary is to get a good chunk of the yeast cake to use in a Troegs Mad Elf like clone. I'd be using wyeast forbidden fruit, which is different than the what Troegs uses but I don't get a lot of yeast driven flavor in Mad Elf so it might work.

Question is how much Biscuit or Victory for a detectable "crust" flavor? I'd prefer to avoid using Graham crackers.

The lactose is a guessing game for the first time, after brewing once it could be dialed in. Using a couple vanilla beans for 5 days or so I think will impart some sweetness and bring out some of the lime.
 
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italarican

italarican

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I think not going overboard with lactose (your amount is good), adding vanilla beans in the secondary, and loads of lime zest in the secondary (rather than the juice) will get you where you want.

For the biscuit/victory malt, I'm imagining the 7% rate here wouldn't cut it for your wit (particularly w/o graham cracker). I'm thinking closer to 12-15% honestly.
 

AleInAPale

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Have you tried this since? Do you mind editing your instructions with the latest and greatest if you have?
 
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italarican

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Have you tried this since? Do you mind editing your instructions with the latest and greatest if you have?
I haven't tried again yet, but I'm leaning heavily toward it for my next brew day this summer.

I'm considering letting the sour mash portion and clean, graham cracker portion ferment by themselves first before blending at secondary with more lime zest and vanilla. Either way, I'll report back.
 
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italarican

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I did a new version of this. It's much closer to what I was envisioning and was a massive hit at a get-together I just had! Sour and non-sour lovers both loved the sweet & mildly tart combo. Someone who said they'd never had a beer they liked said, "wow; this actually tastes like pie!"

This version was a blend of a clean "graham cracker" beer and a lime sour. I thought a ratio of 60% clean beer to 40% sour was the right balance.

SOUR MASH
Yeast:
Safale S-04
Batch Size (Gallons): 3 (only 2 put into final beer)
OG: 1.038
FG: 1.014
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68F

Mash
2 lbs Pilsner
2 lbs White Wheat

Mash 147F, 60 min
Sparge 168F, 10 min
Chill to 110F, add uncrushed grain and let sit at 110F for 72 hours

Return to pot, 60 min boil

Hops
0.25 oz Hallertau Traditional, 60 min

Extras
Zest of 4 limes @ 1 min boil
Zest of 5 limes @ secondary (7 days)
0.75 oz Mexican vanilla extract (the real stuff!) @ secondary (7 days)

CLEAN MASH
Yeast:
Safale S-04
Batch Size (Gallons): 3
OG: 1.078
FG: 1.010
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68F

Mash
2 lbs Pilsner
2 lbs White Wheat
2 lbs Biscuit
8 oz flaked oats
1 box (14.4 oz) Honey Maid Graham Crackers

Mash 154F, 60 min
Sparge 168F, 10 min

Hops
0.25 oz Hallertau Traditional, 60 min

Extras
Zest of 5 limes @ secondary (7 days)
1.25 oz Mexican vanilla extract @ secondary (7 days)

Beers blended in the keg: 3 gallons clean beer, 2 gallons sour mash
 
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italarican

italarican

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Brought the version from Post 29 to my local homebrew club last night. The pie creaminess has faded from where it was when I kegged 2.5 weeks ago, but it got excellent response from everyone. It's really drinkable: strong lime flavor, tart but not obnoxiously so, with a light sweetness at the end.

One guy whose opinion I particularly respect thought it was a success and recommended I mix my secondary ingredients in 2-4 oz of lactose (boiled in water) prior to secondary in order to boost the creaminess and preserve the pie flavors longer. I'll probably try that for the next version.
 

chrisbrew

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I'm trying out a similar recipe. In your post #29 version did you use key limes or regular limes? I picked up a bag of key limes and am trying to gauge how much zest I need for the boil for a good lime flavor.
 
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I love seeing this! My daughter just came back from Canada where she had a Key Lime pie beer she fell in LOVE with and asked me to brew her 1. Not having ANY IDEA what the hell would go in a beer like this I am glad to see somone already did the leg work and the firs ( now second) go at it. I will have to put this on the brew schedule and give it a go.

Cheers
Jay
 
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italarican

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I'm trying out a similar recipe. In your post #29 version did you use key limes or regular limes? I picked up a bag of key limes and am trying to gauge how much zest I need for the boil for a good lime flavor.
I used regular limes in this latest version b/c that's what I had that was fresh. I didn't measure the weight of the zest unfortunately, but I believe there are rough conversions for lime vs. key lime out there. The limes I used were fairly standard sized for limes.
 
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italarican

italarican

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I love seeing this! My daughter just came back from Canada where she had a Key Lime pie beer she fell in LOVE with and asked me to brew her 1. Not having ANY IDEA what the hell would go in a beer like this I am glad to see somone already did the leg work and the firs ( now second) go at it. I will have to put this on the brew schedule and give it a go.

Cheers
Jay
Nice! I'd be interested to hear how it goes whether or not you do the lactose thing.
 

chrisbrew

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I used regular limes in this latest version b/c that's what I had that was fresh. I didn't measure the weight of the zest unfortunately, but I believe there are rough conversions for lime vs. key lime out there. The limes I used were fairly standard sized for limes.
Thanks I think I went heavy on the key lime zest but I want it to really pop. I plan to add more as a dry hop addition with vanilla beans. Using lactose as well so there is a lot going on with this one which always makes me nervous...I'll report back with how it turned out.
 

ryking13

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I did a new version of this. It's much closer to what I was envisioning and was a massive hit at a get-together I just had! Sour and non-sour lovers both loved the sweet & mildly tart combo. Someone who said they'd never had a beer they liked said, "wow; this actually tastes like pie!"

This version was a blend of a clean "graham cracker" beer and a lime sour. I thought a ratio of 60% clean beer to 40% sour was the right balance.

SOUR MASH
Yeast:
Safale S-04
Batch Size (Gallons): 3 (only 2 put into final beer)
OG: 1.038
FG: 1.014
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68F

Mash
2 lbs Pilsner
2 lbs White Wheat

Mash 147F, 60 min
Sparge 168F, 10 min
Chill to 110F, add uncrushed grain and let sit at 110F for 72 hours

Return to pot, 60 min boil

Hops
0.25 oz Hallertau Traditional, 60 min

Extras
Zest of 4 limes @ 1 min boil
Zest of 5 limes @ secondary (7 days)
0.75 oz Mexican vanilla extract (the real stuff!) @ secondary (7 days)

CLEAN MASH
Yeast:
Safale S-04
Batch Size (Gallons): 3
OG: 1.078
FG: 1.010
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 14 @ 68F
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 7 @ 68F

Mash
2 lbs Pilsner
2 lbs White Wheat
2 lbs Biscuit
8 oz flaked oats
1 box (14.4 oz) Honey Maid Graham Crackers

Mash 154F, 60 min
Sparge 168F, 10 min

Hops
0.25 oz Hallertau Traditional, 60 min

Extras
Zest of 5 limes @ secondary (7 days)
1.25 oz Mexican vanilla extract @ secondary (7 days)

Beers blended in the keg: 3 gallons clean beer, 2 gallons sour mash
Really interested in brewing a similar beer here. I'm curious why it needs to be split into a sour and clean beer? What would/could happen if you did one brew with the biscuit malt/oats/graham crackers in one batch?
 

chrisbrew

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Really interested in brewing a similar beer here. I'm curious why it needs to be split into a sour and clean beer? What would/could happen if you did one brew with the biscuit malt/oats/graham crackers in one batch?
I think he split it in order to balance the sourness and other flavors where he wanted it. I did it as one brew and that's how I would recommend it personally. You can monitor the sourness with an accurate pH meter and kill the lacto when you hit your desired sour level.
 
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