Adding Fruits + Spices to a Brew
For my next brew I am going to be making a Belgian blonde ale, and the recipe I have doesn't call for any fruits or spices in particular. However I am a fan of citrusy Belgian style ales, so I wanted to go ahead and spruce my brew up with some sort of a citrus, and also some ginger. I was thinking orange would complement a Belgian blonde very nicely. My question is how do I incorporate fruit and spices into the brewing process? I'm new to home brewing, so I'm kind of lost lol. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!
Here is the recipe I will be using, if it helps at all:
Everyone is going to say something different, but when I add orange rind, I do it at flameout. Ditto on ginger, but I do ginger somewhat differently than most. Rather than shred it or chop it (which has caused clogged kettle drains for me big-time in the past), I run about 1/2 lb per 5 gallons through my juicer and add pure ginger juice at flameout.
If you're new to brewing you might want to keep it simple and skip the fruit and spice for now. Just sayin'.
If you're really set on it, though, then the answer is, as always, "it depends!"
If you're going to add whole fruit or fruit puree, you want to add that in a secondary or your primary fermentation will blow all the aroma away. Throw it in your secondary vessel and rack on top of it.
If you're going to use orange rind and for spices in general, some people add it at the end of the boil and others steep it in the secondary. You just have to be careful with adding it to the boil since all the compounds that add flavor are rather volatile and can boil away very quickly.
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