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Old 09-02-2014, 02:20 AM   #11
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This may be a dumb question but how long can you keep orange zest before you should use it to brew, or are the ways to keep store it? I am curious if I need to go crazy with oranges right before I brew or if I find specific oranges can I keep the zest for a bit? I want to make a Witbier and I want to experiment with the zest from different kinds of oranges such as clementine, blood, etc... and I was curious if I can keep it in the freezer or somewhere else before I use it. Any feedback would be awesome, thanks!
Whatever route you take, be sure to use the Microplane Classic Zester. It removes a huge amount of zest in no time.
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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While I'd recommend just zesting them right before use, you can store orange zest or orange peel in your freezer with no issue. Just bag it up and squeeze most of the air out.

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Old 09-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #13
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Also, should be able to zest the oranges and put them in a little bit of vodka (or other neutral spirit) to sanitize, so that would probably keep in the fridge.

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Old 09-04-2014, 11:05 AM   #14
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Wouldn't the vodka extract all the flavor of the zest?

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Old 09-04-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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Wouldn't the vodka extract all the flavor of the zest?
Possibly, but you can put both the vodka AND the zest in there. Chances are there's going to be some flavor left in the zest, unless you keep it in the vodka for weeks, in which case, you could still dump it all. A couple ounces of vodka or other neutral spirit isn't going to change the gravity of 5 gallons of beverage in any measurable way (at least not "measurable" by homebrewer standards... scientifically measurable, sure, but we're not going there! )
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:26 AM   #16
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I've zested oranges a week before brewing and froze them without issues. Beer came out nice and citrusy.

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Old 09-05-2014, 01:50 PM   #17
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I dry and vacuum seal the blood and valencia oranges. I have used them a year later with no problem. Those 2 oranges are only here for a few weeks. Sure I can get the slightly bitter navel oranges year around, but prefer the other two when making an ale with orange zest.

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Old 09-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #18
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I dry and vacuum seal the blood and valencia oranges. I have used them a year later with no problem. Those 2 oranges are only here for a few weeks. Sure I can get the slightly bitter navel oranges year around, but prefer the other two when making an ale with orange zest.
Thanks for the input, great idea!
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