Homebrewing with BSG: Milkshake IPA Recipe

Close your eyes and imagine a Hazy IPA. The haziest you can conjure. Now, take that hypothetical Hazy and throw some lactose in there, just for fun. Can you picture it? Good. That’s a Milkshake IPA. Milkshake IPAs are the eccentric cousin of the IPA family, younger sibling to the Hazy IPA, and always show up to family tap gathering in flashy outfits and wild descriptors. They are a staple in the craft brewing industry of just how creative brewers can get with their creations. Milkshake IPAs were brought into the world by Stockholm’s Omnipollo and Philadelphia’s Tired Hands, and boy, are we glad they pioneered this incredible style. 

In addition to throwing in lactose, brewers toss in some fruits and fruit purees to add some texture, color, and acidity to their recipes. According to Deborha Wood, creator of today’s super-sweet beer recipe, “Any fruit can be used, but the fruit should enhance the creaminess created by the lactose.” While our homebrewing recipe doesn’t include fruit, we encourage some imagination of your own! Tell us about your creation using the hashtags #BrewBSG and #BrewingWithBSG.

Basic Milkshake IPA


for 5 gal (18.9 L)

  • 9.5 lb Weyermann® Bohemian Pilsner 1.6-2.3 L
  • 2 lb OiO Wheat Flakes 1 L
  • 2 lb OiO Flaked Oats 1 L
  • .5 lb Weyermann® Carafoam 1.4-2.9 L
  • .5 – 1 lb Lactose
  • .5 lb Rice Hulls
  • ½ tsp Calcium Sulfate (gypsum) mash water please adjust to ph to 5.2 -5.4  in the mash
  • 1 dried vanilla bean


  • .4oz Cashmere 7.7-9.9aa x 60 min boil
  • .2 oz Amarillo 9aa x 60 min boil  
  • .5 oz Amarillo 9aa  addd in Whirlpool 
  • .5oz Pacific gem 13-15aa add  in Whirlpool
  • 1 oz Cashmere 7.7-9.9aa x add on second day of fermentation
  • .5 oz Pacific Gem 13-15 aa x add on 4th day of fermentation
  • .5 oz Amarillo 9aa secondary


  • 1 x 11.5 g Fermentis SafAle K-97 ferment at 68 F (20C)


  • Original Gravity 1.062 (5.25 P)
  • Final Gravity 1.015 (3.5 P)
  • ABV 6.1
  • IBU 16.5
  • SRM 4.58


  • Single step infusion mash 155 f (68 C) x 60 min, verify the conversion of starch to sugar and then mash out at 176 F x 2 min and then sparge.
  • 10 minutes from the end of the boil, take off the heat and add the lactose. Stir in well till completely dissolved then continue to boil.
  • To use the vanilla bean, you need to macerate the bean in a neutral spirit for several weeks before adding both the bean & the spirits to the secondary. This helps create the vanilla flavors reminiscent of  ice cream to develop. The longer you let the vanilla bean macerate the more the vanilla flavor develops.
  • Using fruits those that that contain pectin are preferred because they help to build a complex, opaque haze.  Examples of fruit additions range from some homemade pureed apples, to raspberries and even kiwi’s or mangos.  Many brewers are using frozen fruit as an option, for example frozen mangos. When you use fruit, you can easily sterilize the fruit by adding it to a large pot then cover your fruit with hot wort taken directly from your kettle. Verify the temperature, and keep it at 168-170 F for 15 minutes.  Cover it and let it cool before adding it directly into the fermenter. I made a basic Milkshake IPA that does not contain fruit.
  • Ferment at 68 F (20 C.) for 5 or 6 days then transfer to secondary and add last dry hop addition.


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