Strawberry Milkshake IPA – The full recipe

Today we want to show you a Strawberry Milkshake style IPA called Strawberry Silk Sheets. This is a beer that doesn’t taste like beer. It’s designed to emulate a milkshake. In this case a strawberry milkshake. With the use of certain adjuncts to increase the mouthfeel, the actual thickness, the viscosity of the beer, as well as certain flavors that are associated with ice cream and/or milkshake.

For another great fruit, beer recipe try out Pineapple Pale Ale- Homebrewing Recipe Showcase

These combinations in our case made a 7.5 % alcohol by volume milkshake with come carbonation. We will give you some general advice on the style as well as share what we did to make this beer.

A bowl of fresh strawberries

Mash and boil

The first step in getting the proper mouthfeel and viscosity of beer is to mash a little higher than you are used to. The addition of unfermentable sugars is going to make this beer thicker than average. Don’t focus too much on the mash temperature. Plan on starting at about 156 F. If you can hold it there it’s perfect. That will leave just enough unfermentable sugars to give the beer full body and really emulate that thick milkshake feel we want.

The other side is the boil. This is relatively unique. Except when it comes to hazy style or New England style IPAs. We did a 30 minutes boil. There are brewing purists which will tell you otherwise. But our beer came out just fine.

The other part that is really important is the sulfate to chloride ratio. This is important with any beer but particularly important with this type of style. The sulfate to chloride ratio we ended up with was 144 parts per million of chloride and 80 parts per million sulfate. So that is 0.55 in terms of sulfate to chloride ratio. And need to point that we are using reverse osmosis water. With absolutely zero mineral content. And then we added minerals to the style.

Boil kettle for brewing beer with a stainless steel thermometer and a brewing bag

Grain Bill

This is a 5 gallon recipe example.

9 lbs. Two Rows ale malt

3 lbs. Flaked Oats

2 lbs. Wheat malt

1 lbs. lactose per 5 gallon

This base should give you what to need to get a beer with a nice and soft texture. As well as for adding other flavors which for this beer are strawberries and vanilla.

Depending on your efficiency this will give you from 6.5 to 8% alcohol per volume. Keep in mind that you are also adding fruits to this beer during fermentation.


Hop pellets and fresh hops for brewing beer

We chose hops that we felt would work well with our base beer.

Kettle hops

0.25 oz. Magnum at 30 minutes boil

1 oz. Citra after 30 minutes boil

1 oz. Amarillo after 30 minutes boil

Keep in mind that we are doing an extremely small boil addition. We let the hops sit for 15 minutes around 190 F. We don’t add them to boil because these compounds in the hops will give us nice flavors. They are volatile and they would boil off within 5 minutes. So even if you 5 minutes addition you would end up losing a lot of character from these hops.

This style along with many other IPA really shines through in its dry hops.

High Krausen Dry Hops

2 oz. Amarillo for 3 days

You don’t have to be concerned about oxygen pickup at this point. You are still doing active fermentation so the beer is still producing carbon dioxide. It’s going to purge all the oxygen you let in out of the fermentation vessel.

Adding the strawberries


When the fermentation has slowed we added the fruit. There are many different ways you can do it. You can use real fruit or extract purees. In order to get this pink color, we needed a high concentration of strawberries. We used a 100 % crushed strawberry smoothie base. It was concentrated and it gave us the color we wanted. Also, it has no seeds.

There were no sugars added or chemicals that could interfere with fermentation. Always check the ingredients of any kind of fruit addition that you are using.

We let it ferment completly and cold crashed it to 36 F. Once at 36 F we added more dry hops.

2 oz. Comet for 2 days

3 oz. Amarillo for 2 days

Stacks of dry vanilla beans

After 2 days we transfered the beer into a keg. During that time we added some vanilla extract.

2-3 oz Vanilla Extract at packaging

or 2 vanila beans soaked in Vodka

We kept the beer in secondary fermentation for 5 to 7 days. After that was ready to to be tasted. Cheers.

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