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Old 11-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default Bitter or Sweet Orange Peel

Ok--I found a couple of recipes for a wheat beer with orange peel. One calls for bitter and one sweet. Other than the obvious--what exactly is the difference between the two?? Do they impart differenct flavors to the beer or is it just a bitter/sweet thing?? Also--it seems like with the bitter there is always coriander mixed in--why is that?? Anyway--just curious which one I should get as I like a bunch of orange flavor in a wheat beer and I dont want to screw it up by getting the wrong variety or doing the wrong recipe. Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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I just did an Imperial Cream ale with orange, if you are looking to impart a lot of orange flavor and aroma, I suggest that you use the orange peel and leave the bitter pith (the white part.)

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:39 PM   #3
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I have twice put whole tangerine peel in the last 10 minutes of the boil with awesome results. Not bitter. Just the right amount of orange.

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Old 12-30-2013, 12:34 AM   #4
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there did not seem to be a great answer here...so what the heck is the difference between the sweet and bitter orange peel you buy the homebrew store. Is it as simple as one has pith and the other is just zest? So if I was doing making either at home I could either peel the orange or use a zester/microplane? I am also guessing that coriander is complimentary with orange and that is why it is a co-ingredient in so many recipes....

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Old 12-30-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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I usually use both sweet and bitter orange with a hint of coriander in my Wits. I'm not fond of heavy fruitiness in my Wits, just a nuance, a hint of whatever fruit I am using. That being said, some people really like tasting the orange and I just put together a Raspberry Wit for a friend that is very Raspberry flavored. You can always add more fruit flavor, and you can't take it away, so try taking it slow until you reach the desired flavor you're looking for... Good luck and have fun...

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Old 12-30-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funkadelicturkey View Post
there did not seem to be a great answer here...so what the heck is the difference between the sweet and bitter orange peel you buy the homebrew store. Is it as simple as one has pith and the other is just zest? So if I was doing making either at home I could either peel the orange or use a zester/microplane? I am also guessing that coriander is complimentary with orange and that is why it is a co-ingredient in so many recipes....


Ok funkadelicturkey--I was the original poster. After posting this thread I did a bunch of research on the internet and the only real semblance of an answer I could find was that the bitter adds a slight orangy taste but also adds bitterness like hops. The sweet is suppossed to add a much more pronounced orange taste to the beer without additional bitterness. I guess the coriander is a traditional spice in wheat beers that does add some fruity flavor. Now--that being said--I am new to this hobby so I have no personal experience with either other than the brew I am doing now. There may be some more experienced people that may chime in here at some point with a better answer than what I found.

For the record--I ended up going with coriander and dried sweet peel in the wheat beer I was asking the question about--1oz of each added at 5mins. The wort had almost no orange flavor when I tasted the hydro sample. It is still fermenting but I have been doing an orange extract with vodka and orange zest just in case the flavor needs upped a bit at bottling. I think in the future I will just be doing the extract and skipping the dried stuff.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:01 PM   #7
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The pedantic answer is that bitter orange peel comes from bitter oranges (such as seville or curacao oranges) and sweet orange peel comes from sweet oranges like the kind you buy to eat. I believe the traditional one for witbier was dried bitter orange, but I've seen a lot of suggestions that using fresh orange zest/peel will actually get a better orange flavor in the beer.

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Old 12-30-2013, 11:23 PM   #8
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Zest will bring the orange forward and the sweet peel will be less bitter but neither add any real sweetness in my experience. I did a mix of sweet and bitter orange peel then zest from one orange in a honey orange hefe that I brewed. It is very good, a nice sweetness and good orange smell.

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Old 12-31-2013, 02:01 AM   #9
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The last witbier I brewed I used 0.5 oz each of coriander and dried bitter orange peel at 15 minutes. I then added 0.5 oz each of coriander and dried bitter orange peel to the fermenter. This gave me a flavor profile similar to Blanche de Bruxelles. For the coriander I toasted it lightly in a frying pan and then cracked it with a rolling pin. When I smelled the cracked coriander to me it had a citrusy aroma. The bitter orange peel I used was from Seville Oranges I got at the grocery store and dried myself.

I actually picked up some seville oranges today at the grocery store to dry out the peels for future brewing.

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