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Old 07-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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Default "Dryhopping" a Belgian Wit with Orange Peel Zest

I'm thinking about adding a touch of Orange zest aroma to my belgian wit by adding some orange zest directly to the keg and then serving it off the keg.

My plan before getting your feedback is to wash the oranges, zest them, flash the zest in a tablespoon or two of boiling water, and then add it directly to the keg -- hopefully adding orange scent and maybe a touch of flavor directly as the beer is being poured.

Any thoughts or experiences to share?

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Old 07-22-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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I just finished a Belgian Strong Ale that was pretty much a heavy duty wit with Amarillo hops, and I added both grapefruit and orange peel after primary was done. I was going for a fruity super wit, and I got it (9.5%). I grated all the fruit and soaked it in a little Absolut Mandarin. I had the vodka sitting around, and thought why not. I think I used about 1 orange and 1 grapefruit, and mixed with the hops it's very citrusy. You could probably use more orange than I did.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:13 PM   #3
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Wow, I may need to try this then. I like the citrus vodka sterilization method too

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Old 07-22-2009, 08:12 PM   #4
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I just did this and to be honest, I felt that it ruined the beer. The orange was overwelming in mine. I hope you have better luck.

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Old 07-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #5
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I think whenever you use this type of technique you just need to be careful and test the beer often. You will notice the orange flavor increasing over time. Once it has reached the point where you like the flavor yu can go ahead and keg and start drinking, or let it sit a little longer to absorb some extra flavor. That extra flavor will diminish when you let it age some, and put the flavor back to where you want it to be. I use the same technique with oak chips.

Ed

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Old 07-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catch-22 View Post
I just did this and to be honest, I felt that it ruined the beer. The orange was overwelming in mine. I hope you have better luck.
How much did you put in? I'm thinking only one orange of zest straight into the keg.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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I added the zest of two oranges and did the boiing water technique. Then I added the "liquor" and the zest into the fermenter. I got an underwhelming aroma and flavor of orange, but a good bit of bitter (maybe from the hops, maybe the zest) If I did it again, I would make sure to hop it less and do this maybe a couple of days prior to racking instead of five days.

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Old 07-22-2009, 09:40 PM   #8
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The "citrusy" flavor in a traditional witbier comes from the coriander. The peel used is bitter orange (seville or curacao), and it contributes to bitterness. Sweet orange peel would push it more toward an American wheat/wit hybrid.

That said, if you like that kind of beer then go for it! I'd start off with just a hint and work up if you like it.

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Old 07-22-2009, 11:04 PM   #9
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I am going to make an 11 gal batch of 50/50 wheat beer and put the spices in a cube. Add 5.5 gal boiling wort and cap for future fermenting. The rest will be fermented with out the spices. I like plain ol wheat beer. She likes blue moon. This may even end up being Lime moon. Corriander and lime zest.

Wheat beer yeast for me
American ale for the Lime moon.

This cube thing seems to work for me.

David

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:03 PM   #10
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I'd love to see how dry hopping the fruit will turn out. Maybe give some numbers that could be used as baseline for others. I love me some witbier!

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