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Lime in beer

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troyedwards

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I know it works. My neighbour made a mexican can kit and kilo job with the juice of 6 limes in the secondary and kegged it. Pretty sweet, but not too bad.

I am planning to do the same thing but tweak it a bit. Primary ferment kit and kilo coopers mexican (yes it's a can, but this is a trial beer and I didn't want to spend $$$ on grain to ruin it) and then split into two batches for secondary. One with the juice and rind?? of 4 limes and the other with 6 or so kafir lime leaves. From there, bottle about 60% of each and then keg the rest to see what the differences are.

I have two questions:

I am planning to use safale-US05 yeast that I have in the fridge - will this work?

And should I boil the lime leaves prior to putting into secondary? (and on that, I assume that the sugar from the limes will work for bottle priming, but I may need to add a bit of sugar for the leave batch - right?)

Thanks in advance.
 

Bongchitis

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G'Day,

Just my thoughts...

1. Yes us-05 will work a treat if its viable, clean and you pitch the right amount.

2. I wouldn't boil the leaves as you will drive off the aromatics, slice them as thinly as possible, as cleanly as possible and dry 'leaf' with them. Or soak in a small amount of vodka or tequila and then add the lot!Limes have very little sugar and thus are not adequate for priming. You will need to prime both batches, perhaps reducing slightly the amount you use for the lime batch. There is plenty of data about for sugar content of fruit.

Good luck.


Edit: Just did the maths on your packaging idea. For a standard 23L batch... 2 x 11.5L batches. Bottle 60% each is around 7L and you are left with kegging 4L of each separately.... Really? Doesnt seem worth it to me but whatever floats your boat.
 

bum

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I wouldn't put leaves from a fruit tree anywhere near a brew without boiling them unless I was hoping for a natural fermentation to occur...

I used some dried kaffir lime leaves in a GB a while back and didn't feel they added much - I always meant to try again with fresh leaves. I think it may have been 10 leaves, iirc. I think the flavour would come forward more in a mexican style k&k though.

I had a Nogne O beer the other night which used kaffir lime leaves and it was bloody delicious. Wasn't much like a corona with a wedge of fruit in it though.
 

sponge

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I've had some mates asking for something along these lines for various festivities.

Was just looking at a fairly basic lager (80/10/10 pils/wheat/vienna) and throwing half a dozen limes into the boil for 10min (cut in half).

I'm not the biggest fan of these styles of beers, but am happy to experiment for some mates, especially when they said they're willing to cover the costs of ingredients (not that bothers me at all - I'd just do it for the fun of it)
 

verysupple

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I'm with bum, I wouldn't add unsanitized leaves to my beer. If you boil the leaves in a small amount of water and add the water along with the leaves to your beer you might not lose too much flavour. You will still lose aromatics though. Give it a go and let us know.

As a side note, I'm pretty sure cerveza was never intended to be served with lime. That's just what silly white folk did because they didn't like it.
 

petesbrew

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Kits are great for experimenting with flavours.
For sure, go the US-05.
Take notes and let us know how things go.
 

Bongchitis

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bum said:
I wouldn't put leaves from a fruit tree anywhere near a brew without boiling them unless I was hoping for a natural fermentation to occur...

I used some dried kaffir lime leaves in a GB a while back and didn't feel they added much - I always meant to try again with fresh leaves. I think it may have been 10 leaves, iirc. I think the flavour would come forward more in a mexican style k&k though.

I had a Nogne O beer the other night which used kaffir lime leaves and it was bloody delicious. Wasn't much like a corona with a wedge of fruit in it though.
True Bum,

I should have said sanitised in some way and not just "as cleanly as possible" Although in the following sentence i did state to soak in vodka or tequila ....to achieve a certain level of confidence in the leaves sanitation, but I didnt state this step was for sanitation either and may be ovelooked as simply a flavour addition.

Cheers guys, we are on the same page!
 

brettprevans

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I think optikns for adding lime have been discussed somewhere on here already. U could have a search if u want.
I agree that dried kaffir leaves wont add as much flavour as fresh. U can also buy jars of sliced fresh kaffir leaves in the asian section of coles from memory. Ive got a jar I use fot cooking with and add a few leaves to my burritos for extra flavour.
 

Mr. No-Tip

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I found myself way above volume for a Waimea lawnmower over Xmas. Considering it's supposedly a 'mandarin'ish hop, thought I'd try the kaffir lime leaves and some cumquats in a 10l jerry.

I steeped them in a small quantity of just boiled water (rather than boiling them) and did not see anything that looked like wild ferment. That said, it was a pretty horrible beer. I used about 6 or 8 leaves and about 10 cumquats for 10l of beer, and it ended up with a rosey, almost turkish delight taste to it (geraniol?) and a very waxy mouthfeel. I think the latter was from the waxy kaffir lime leaves.

I think there's potential there, and I know some have used it with success - just watch quantities!
 

Rod

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I have put both lemon myrtle leaves and kaffir lime leaves in at bottling

1/2 leaf per 475 ml bottle

just gave them a good clean in warm water

works for me

just done a carona clone with 1/2 lemon myrtle leaf ,

wait and see :)
 

Pickaxe

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I cook a Thai soup with lime, galangal, lemongrass etc. To get this soup right you basically steep the ingredients for about 10 minutes to get maximum flavour. If you boil it, bitter flavours are extracted from the lime leaves. I would expect this to be exactly the same with beer. The recipe is clear that the soup must never be boiled or flavour is ruined.

@verysupple - I agree. Was just talking with the head chef where I work, lime in the neck of mexican beer is only to keep the flies out, but we aussies just suck it down over the top of it.

On reading around, trying for a radler or lime infusion seems like inviting disaster. I love Monteiths Radler in summer. Has anyone got some suggestions that way?

That, or just pour a shandy. I have a few customers at my pub that get a dash of lime cordial, some a dash of lemonade, some a trad shandy. Probably most do that to make megaswill palatable though.

Couple of ideas here http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/41600-barons-lemon-myrtle-witbier/.
Never tried the barons lemon myrtle witbier, but heard good things.

That's my 2c.
 

bum

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Do you ferment your soup for two weeks? Then store it for another two weeks before dishing it up? Potentially dangerous analogy right there.
 

Pickaxe

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@ bum - agreed there, good point.
However, I dont mean it as an analogy, but more to point out that if you boil lime leaves too long and hard it will extract a very bitter flavour, which overpowers the 'limeness' that can be extracted. The bitterness could be desirable with beer? I'm not sure. But as a flavour in cooking, it is sometimes not a pleasant one.
It might also be helfpul to note that the stems and midrib will impart more bitterness if used. Again this could work with or against you. I don't know, but it could be a consideration.
 

Pickaxe

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I'm also wondering whether steeping the leaves would be a necessity, as it is in cooking, or extracting oils for medicinal purposes etc? They are quite a waxy leaf, I wonder how much flavour they would impart just soaking in the fermenter/keg etc? Maybe that is why some have had little effect from putting leaves straight in the mix.
 

philmud

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Crushing/breaking kaffir lime leaves releases a strong scent, do those who've added them to their fermenter do that?
 

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