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Old 03-27-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
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Default Christmas Ale Help

This is my first year brewing and I am currently working on my Christmas Ale recipe. I am hoping to brew it this summer to give the flavors/spices time to mellow and blend.

I want to use some orange peel and cranberry to dry-hop. I was thinking to zest 3-4 oranges and use 1-2 ounces of whole cranberries for a citrusy/tart flavor & aroma.

I've seen a lot of people who dry hop with orange peel, but haven't seen any combination of cranberry and orange peel and I was wondering if anyone has tried this before and any thoughts/ideas of me using this in my beer.

I can post the rest of my recipe if needed.


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Old 03-30-2009, 11:55 AM   #2
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Zesting should be a lot more efficient at getting the flavour out of an orange as at it breaks up the surface and allows the flavours to diffuse out more readily. Similarly, with the cranberries you may want to burst them somehow to get the juice out? I know that with sloe gin a common technique is to freeze the sloes to get them to burst, then when they are soaked in the gin all the juice comes out. Bear in mind though that both of these techniques will give you an awful lot of flavour! How big is your batch?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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A few approaches you could try.

- Zest 3-4 oranges. Freeze the cranberries and then thaw them, this will break down the cell walls. Add that goop to the secondary and let it sit for 7-10 days before racking or bottling. I would use more than two ounces, I would use at least a half pound if you really want the fruit flavor in there...

- You could use Everclear or Vodka etc. to soak the orange zest and some dried cranberries for 2-3 weeks. Strain and use this extract to flavor the beer. The advantage of this method is you can create more than you think you need, and add the extract to taste, giving you more control over the flavor balance. Flavor it about 20% more than you think you need since it will fade with age.

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