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Old 03-18-2010, 06:14 PM   #1
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Default Orange Honey Wheat

I am looking to brew a wheat beer with MILD orange flavor. Something dry, and easy drinking for the summer.

There are lots of recipes around (I know, I've been looking at the recipes on this site for a week or two), and I'm looking for a opinions:

Yeast: Since I'm basically looking at an american wheat, should I use american wheat yeast, or a neutral american ale yeast, or consider using a wit yeast (since wits are wheat beers with orange flavors).

Honey: Honey vs Honey malt vs both. Add the honey at flameout, at 150-180 degrees or to the fermenter (the threads are all over the place on that one).

Orange: Dried peel vs fresh peel vs a small jar of orange marmelade.


I'm thinking 50/50 two-row/white wheat + 1# of honey (orange blossom?) added while cooling the wort + 6oz of orange marmelade added while cooling the wort + amarillo at 60 min to hit 17 IBU and a little more at 10 min or so. Thinking wit yeast, but still undecided.

What do you think?

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Old 03-19-2010, 01:23 AM   #2
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I would go for orange zest rather than marmalade.

Safale-05 works great for American Wheat's. Good luck!

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Old 03-19-2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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I'd go with orange blossom honey rather than honey malt. Throw it in as you're cooling the wort. You want to add it when the temperature is below 170 degrees F.

Go with sweet, rather than bitter, orange peel.

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Old 03-19-2010, 03:33 PM   #4
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I would also go with the fresh orange zest (sweet). The more of the rind you zest in, the more bitterness you will get from the peel. As far as yeast, I would go with a wheat yeast as these are designed to throw off some fruity type esters which will add to the style and the orange flavors you are looking for. Also, like egghead said, add the honey at the end of the boil. I personally like to boil a few minutes to kill any potential bacteria, but if you boil more than a few minutes you will start to lose the flavor of the honey in the beer.

Good luck!

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Old 03-19-2010, 05:02 PM   #5
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i thought bacteria couldn't really survive in honey, something about the extreme sugar content that pretty well keeps everything bad from growing in it.

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Old 03-19-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techrunner View Post
i thought bacteria couldn't really survive in honey, something about the extreme sugar content that pretty well keeps everything bad from growing in it.
I think this is correct. I think I will pitch the honey when the wort is cooling, but still 150-160 degrees to help it dissolve and not just settle to the bottom of the kettle.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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I think techrunner is correct that bacteria has a hard time growing in honey, though I don't know how clean the honey container is, or if something else has gotten in it and I guess I am just so anal about cleaning and sanitizing that boiling everything helps me sleep better at night.

So either way will work, it's just as easy for me to add the honey 5 min early but probably doesn't matter that much.

I would also say if you do add while boiling, be careful to stir so sugars dont scorch at bottom of pot.

Happy brewing!

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Old 03-19-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
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I've made several honey wheats and in my experience the honey ferments out pretty completely and you don't end up with much "honey" flavor in the end product. For the most part it just adds to ABV which is fine if thats what your going for. Orange blossom honey may leave some residual flavor, but I've never used it so can't really say. I add the honey shortly after flameout, before I start chilling.

If your looking for an american style wheat, you really want to stick with a neutral yeast. US-05 is my preference.

If you are using bitter orange, dry is probably all your going to find, if your doing sweet orange grating it yourself is probably better in the end. Dried sweet orange zest just doesn't have that same aroma to it.

10min hop addition is really your own personal preference. I make my wheats for swmbo so I stick with only a 60minute to keep it clean with just a hint of orange.

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Old 03-20-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techrunner View Post
i thought bacteria couldn't really survive in honey, something about the extreme sugar content that pretty well keeps everything bad from growing in it.
Bacteria cannot grow but the sugar does not outright kill them. Bacterial spores are readily capable of surviving in high sugar/salt environments. But that being said I doubt that honey would have very many if any of those spores.
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