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Old 01-29-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
CreekBrewery
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Default Contribution of lemon zest

I searched around a bit and didn't quite get the info I was looking for.

I am working on a recipe for a session saison (1.04 OG) and was planning on adding 2oz of lemon zest at the end of the boil. My question is how much acid bite will I get from the lemon zest or will it mostly be aroma? I was considering adding a bit of acid malt to help with the bite. A hint of lemon and a good bite is what I'm going for as I want this to be a summer beer

I don't have much experience with additions like this. Does it work like hops where earlier additions provide less aroma and later are vise versa?

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Old 01-29-2011, 01:58 PM   #2
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If you're adding fresh zest, just make sure to get only the color from the lemon. The white part(pith) is very bitter. Just don't go too deep when zesting. It won't add any bite--only flavor/aroma. The flavor it adds is from the oil in the colored part--similar to hops.

Adding it at flameout will give the biggest flavor on the hot side. Some people have dry-zested with good results by soaking the zest in vodka or other spirits and added post-fermentation with good results too.

As far as acid malt-I haven't used it for this purpose and thus can't provide any insight on that one.

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Old 01-29-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
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Agreed that you will only get flavor and aroma from the zest, but it is definatly worth it. Add late in the boil or at flame out, I have done one with lemon zest in the boil and then a "dry zest" when there wasn't enough aroma when sampled and it turned out great.

Not sure how to get the acidic bite you're looking for.

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Old 01-29-2011, 04:43 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, I just remembered something. Awhile back I brewed a wheat with a bunch of zest. I wanted a little more kick from it so at bottling, I boiled my priming mix, took it off the burner and steeped another oz. of zest in the cooling priming mix by putting it in a small SS strainer which rested on the rim of the pot.

Worked well and all the flavor and aroma went directly into the bottle.

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Old 01-29-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Steeping zest in the primer sounds like a great idea! I found a thread about acid malt and I got mixed results. Some folks said it was just for adjusting PH but others said it would help give the beer a tang, what I meant by bite.

I'm going to try throwing 4-5oz of acid malt into the mash then 2 oz of lemon zest at flame out. If I want some more refreshing lemonyness, don't want lemon beer though, I'll use RCCOLA's steeping method.

Thanks for the tips!

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