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Old 07-11-2011, 07:08 PM   #1
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Default Lemon Zest in an IPA

I am in process of crafting my own IPA recipe and wanted to add some sort of flavor. I thought lemon would give it a nice refreshing taste for summer, though I don't want it to be overpowering. Anyone use lemon zest at all? If so, how much would you use? And would you add it to the boil or throw it in the fermenter once FG has been reached? Any thoughts would be great. Thanks!

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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Soak a quarter cup of lemon zest in 3/4 cup of vodka for a week or so. Then either rack you beer onto the zest or just add it to primary.

But for an IPA? I'm not too sure that works out so hot.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #3
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How about dry hopping with some Sorachi Ace instead? That's a lemony hop.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:20 PM   #4
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Maybe add it to the bottles on bottling day, and do it only for some of them just to see how it goes.

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Old 07-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePro
Soak a quarter cup of lemon zest in 3/4 cup of vodka for a week or so. Then either rack you beer onto the zest or just add it to primary.

But for an IPA? I'm not too sure that works out so hot.
Why don't you think it'll work? Any suggestions on what flavors might work better?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGarnigle
Maybe add it to the bottles on bottling day, and do it only for some of them just to see how it goes.
Not a bad idea. I assume there is little to no fermentable sugars in the zest that would create a bottle bomb, correct?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Why don't you think it'll work? Any suggestions on what flavors might work better?
The primary thing you're gonna get out of lemon zest is bitterness-- and I would search for something that would maybe round out that bitterness. A drop or two of lemon juice, in my opinion, would make for a tastier, better beer. Also, some lemony hops would be a great idea too. I would just be hesitant about showcasing the bitterness of the beer.
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePro

The primary thing you're gonna get out of lemon zest is bitterness-- and I would search for something that would maybe round out that bitterness. A drop or two of lemon juice, in my opinion, would make for a tastier, better beer. Also, some lemony hops would be a great idea too. I would just be hesitant about showcasing the bitterness of the beer.
Good point. Maybe I mis-spoke when I says zest. I wanted the lemon taste, not the bitterness. How should I add lemon juice?
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Good point. Maybe I mis-spoke when I says zest. I wanted the lemon taste, not the bitterness. How should I add lemon juice?
It really depends on your baseline IPA character. I would take a few small sample volumes of your beer before bottling and add precise amounts of lemon juice to your beer and whichever tastes best I'd scale it up and go with that one!

I've had some IPA made with a tiny touch of lemon juice. It was a delicious combination. Be sure not to use too much. Ingredients should enhance the beer first and foremost, so if the lemon doesn't contribute to the beer profile, you might want to consider another route.

But it would be easiest to add the lemon juice when you boil the solution with the priming sugar-- that way it's boiled off and sanitized. Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 07-11-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePro

It really depends on your baseline IPA character. I would take a few small sample volumes of your beer before bottling and add precise amounts of lemon juice to your beer and whichever tastes best I'd scale it up and go with that one!

I've had some IPA made with a tiny touch of lemon juice. It was a delicious combination. Be sure not to use too much. Ingredients should enhance the beer first and foremost, so if the lemon doesn't contribute to the beer profile, you might want to consider another route.

But it would be easiest to add the lemon juice when you boil the solution with the priming sugar-- that way it's boiled off and sanitized. Let us know how it turns out!
Thanks. I think I'm gonna try that!
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