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Old 10-26-2009, 01:40 AM   #1
mithion
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Default Orange Blossom Water

One of our local microbreweries here in Reno produce a special Orange Blossom Ale. From what I gather, it's some kind of pale ale but with a nice touch of orange flavor. After doing some research and asking some questions at the LHBS, we were able to gather that they are using orange blossom water to achieve that flavor. I was wondering if anybody had experience using this peculiar ingredient in beers? I'm wondering what kind of quantities would be appropriate for a 5 gallon batch of beer? Thanks.

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Old 03-31-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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I am also curious about using orange blossom water. I find it hard to believe that no HBTers have used it before. Anyone?

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Old 03-31-2010, 07:45 PM   #3
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i have a bottle sitting around that i was going to use, but decided against it. i'd hate to add too much to ruin an otherwise perfectly good beer. i would go minimal and see how it is, then add more if needed. tricky situation

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Old 03-31-2010, 08:48 PM   #4
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From what I've read about it, it's quite potent. It usually goes into desert recipes and the amounts usually added is of the order of drops. I haven't tried the orange blossom water yet but it's still in the back of my mind. I've worked out a simple recipe that should be similar to the one served locally over here. Bear in mind this is still a work in progress. So here goes:

Recipe: Orange Pale Ale
ABV: ~5.7%
SRM: ~7.6
OG: ~1.056
FG: ~1.012
IBUs: ~31

Grain Bill:

8.5lbs 2-row Malt
2.0lbs Munich Malt
6oz Crystal 20L
6oz Crystal 60L

Hops:

60min Cascade 5.75 AAU
20min Cascade 5.75 AAU
0min Willamette 10.0 AAU

Yeast: Wyeast 1099 or Fermentis S-04

I would add 1oz of orange blossom water at bottling time to lock in the bottle the maximum amount of orange aroma. So what do you guys think?

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Old 04-01-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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Maybe slightly OT but FWIW there is a Good Eats episode called Switched on Baklava where Alton Brown makes his own Rose water.

I would imagine you could do it with any aromatic flower. It's basically a pot with a brick wrapped in foil and some water, place a stainless steel bowl on top of the brick. Place the lid of the pot on; but upside down, then fill the lid with ice. The aromatic steam condenses on the cold lid and drips into the SS bowl. I tried it with hops and didn't like the result, seemed like I got all those 'bad' aromatics that you want to boil off.
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Old 04-01-2010, 12:10 PM   #6
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How strong is Orange Blossom Water? What I would do is sit down with a glass of the style I wanted to put it in (doesn't have to be homebrew). Get a dropper or pipette and add one drop at a time until you reach the desired level. If you use a micropipette or some sort of precision tool, you could probably safely extrapolate (or at least make a good guess) to how much you would use in a 5 gallon batch. Also, I would probably add it to the bottling bucket to keep most of the flavor and aroma.

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Old 04-01-2010, 01:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
How strong is Orange Blossom Water? What I would do is sit down with a glass of the style I wanted to put it in (doesn't have to be homebrew). Get a dropper or pipette and add one drop at a time until you reach the desired level. If you use a micropipette or some sort of precision tool, you could probably safely extrapolate (or at least make a good guess) to how much you would use in a 5 gallon batch. Also, I would probably add it to the bottling bucket to keep most of the flavor and aroma.
That's an excellent plan that's fairly risk free to gauge how much orange blossom water is needed to created the effect I want. I could brew a batch of the recipe I posted above which should be tasty on it's own and see if it's a viable vehicle for the orange water. That way I don't risk 5 gallons of bad beer. For reference, the beer I'm trying to replicate is the one brewed by these guys. Buckbean Brewing Company

Sorry I can't provide a direct link to the particular beer. Their website is all flash so you'll have to find out about this beer by yourself .

EDIT: The beer can also be found at beeradvocate.com at this link: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/16851/43490. I'm surprised it didn't get better reviews but there are at least plenty of tasting notes to work from to try to reverse engineer this one.
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Old 07-03-2010, 12:36 AM   #8
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I had the buckbean orange blossom ale at a tasting thing a few weeks ago. It was excellent! I asked the folks at the booth (they were from the brewery) and without getting into details, they said they added orange blossoms to the mash. It was a big line and pretty crowded so I didn't want to take up time asking for more details but I was surprised - I would think it would get lost in the boil.

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Old 07-03-2010, 06:17 PM   #9
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I made a orange blossom honey wheat.... I live next to an orange grove here in central florida... I simply picked the blossoms and added at flame out with some orange blossom honey. I used 2 ounces for a 9 gallon batch with 1 pound of honey. The orange blossom flavor was awesome. Not over powering but still in your face. The only thing wrong was the lack of head retention.(absolutely none) I'm guessing that the oils in the blossom had something to do with it. Maybe making a "water" or tea might solve the problem.. I can't help but think you would lose some fresh flavor though.

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Old 07-03-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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What kinds of grains did you use in the orange blossom wheat? I would think adding some flaked oats might help with head retention.

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