How to make a Key Lime Wit beer

by | Brewing beer




If you’re paying attention at all to the beer world you’ve probably heard the lawsuit InBev and Labatts has brought against Ontario-based Brick Brewing for copyright infringement.  Here’s how Brick Brewing has allegedly infringed on InBev’s copyright.

  • The Budweiser label has the letters “BL” with a lime under it.  Brick Brewing has “Red Barron Lime” spelled out with a lime under it.
  • Both beers use a green and silver color scheme.  (Look out Philadelphia, the Eagles logo might be next)
  • Both beers use a web site featuring attractive people in swim suits to promote the beer. (Lust for Lime vs Bud Lime)

Somehow the fact Red Baron Lime costs 25% less wasn’t listed as a reason for the suit.  Here’s a recipe to piss Budweiser off.  This beer tastes far better, and you can make it at home!  Just make sure you don’t have images of limes in your logo, no green and silver, and use ugly people for your website (you can use pictures of me for that 😉 )

The Key Lime Wit Recipe

The recipe is a modified version of my Belgian Wit recipe.

4 lbs Belgian 2-row Pilsner malt
3 lbs Belgian wheat malt
2 lbs Flaked wheat
8 oz Belgian aromatic malt
4 oz Flaked oats
1.0 oz Kent Goldings (bittering for 60 minutes)
0.5 oz Kent Goldings (flavoring for 15 minutes)
0.5 oz Saaz (aroma for 1 minute)
3/4 tsp cracked coriander (for 15 minutes)
2 oz fresh Key Lime zest (for 15 minutes)
White Labs WLP400 or Wyeast 3944
SG 1.048 - 1.050
FG 1.010

Mash the grain at 150°F (65°C) for 90 minutes.  Ferment the beer at 65°F.

When looking for Belgian wheat malt, look for the white wheat malt.  It’s usually around 3°L, and makes the beer really white.  I’ve had great results with this malt, but you can use wheat malt if you can’t find the white wheat malt.

key limes

Key limes add a distinctive flavor to Belgian wit beers. Normal limes do not compare! (Image from C. Elle on flickr.com)

I use key limes instead of regular limes.  The flavor is better than regular limes.  I think the reason is the store bought lime zest tends to lack flavor, while the key limes have a better zest.  This is purely anecdotal, and if you have access to fresh limes you might get better results.

When you carbonate the beer, carbonate to 2-2.5 volumes.  If you are bottle conditioning, use 1 ¼ cups of extra light malt extract that was boiled for at least 10 minutes.

If you need an extract version of the recipe, replace the grains with 7.5 lbs liquid wheat malt extract (LME Wheat).

I’d keep this beer cold for about 2 weeks after fermentation and carbonation if you are kegging.  The beer has a slight bite at first, but mellows quickly.  You should beok if you are bottling.  When I brought this beer out to my neighborhood, the keg was drained in one night.  This is the ultimate crowdpleaser… well unless Budweiser lawyers are in the crowd.


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DJ Spiess

DJ Spiess

Beer buddy

I live in Denver, Colorado. This blog is everything about beer, wine, cider, mead and other spirits.
I am a avid homebrewer and winemaker. I’ve been making my own beer and wine for many years. I started making beer when I was in college (mostly because the drinking age in the United States is 21). My first few beers were horrible. The beers are much better now, and I often supply my neighborhood with free beer! It is a great hobby!