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Old 05-25-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
scottland
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Default Orange Vanilla Wheat

Ok, I'm very new to brewing, and could use a little help here forumlating a recipe.

There is a microbrew here in Phoenix called Papago brewery that makes a brew called Orange Blossom. It's a sweet wheat beer with very noticeable orange and vanilla flavors.

I'd love to make something similar to this, but I'm not sure about the vanilla and orange.

I read someone suggested brewing a light wheat beer, and adding a cup of vanilla and mandarin orange Torani syrup. That didn't sound like a good idea with all the extra sugar from the Torani, so I figured I would post the question here.

The beer is definitely sweeter than your average wheat, so maybe the syrup isnt' a bad idea. If I were to add in Torani, when would be the right time? At Flameout, in the secondary, right at bottling?


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Old 05-25-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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The sugars in the Torani will be fermented by the yeast and will not leave any residual sweetness (unless it contains unfermentable sugars). Perhaps you could add some light crystal malt to give you some sweetness?

For the orange flavor I would go with freshly zested orange peel late in the boil (and/or in secondary). Not knowing the beer, I'd start with an ounce and then add from there.

Vanilla can be added in whole bean form in the secondary. Actually, I'd soak both the vanilla bean and orange zest in some vodka for a couple of days and then dump the whole thing into the secondary.


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Old 05-25-2010, 06:57 PM   #3
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Are you suggesting to soak the peel and vanilla in vodka to essentially sanitize them?

I used about 1.5oz of bitter orange peel in a wheat I just did that fermented at about 73degrees. The peel went straight into the primary for about 2.5 weeks. The beer has a noticeable tart beginning which I think is kind of odd.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgarretson View Post
Are you suggesting to soak the peel and vanilla in vodka to essentially sanitize them?
Basically, yes. If you want to retain as much flavor and aroma from pretty much any flavorful/aromatic ingredient, your best bet is to add it post fermentation - otherwise the flavor and aroma compounds will be scrubbed out of the beer by the CO2 produced during fermentation. However, if you're going to add things post-fermentation you should sanitize them first or risk contamination - especially when dealing with fruits and other food items that are probably covered in millions, if not billions, of bacteria, wild yeast, and fungi.

When you added your bitter orange peel - did you peel it yourself? If so, did you include the white pith layer? If so, that is likely where your bitterness is coming from - the pith is remarkably bitter, while the outer zest is not.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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Ok cool, So take a good lighter wheat receipe, use a little more light crystal in the grain bill, and add orange zest and vanilla bean (infused in vodka) in the secondary? Is that ounce of orange zest by weight?

The brew is definitely quite different. It has a light wheat taste up front with a syrupy orange and vanilla (dreamsicle) like finish.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
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No, the peel I added was from a little bag I bought at the local home brew store. From my memory, there's not a ton of pith on it. I was thinking that because I put it in the primary versus the boil, that's where the greater tartness was coming from. I brewed this same beer a year ago with the same recipe but threw the orange peel into the boil and got very little tartness out of it.
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottland View Post
Ok cool, So take a good lighter wheat receipe, use a little more light crystal in the grain bill, and add orange zest and vanilla bean (infused in vodka) in the secondary? Is that ounce of orange zest by weight?

The brew is definitely quite different. It has a light wheat taste up front with a syrupy orange and vanilla (dreamsicle) like finish.
That's what I would do, though I'm not sure this will get you syrupy orange and vanilla - must admit, syrupy is not a characteristic I tend to think of nor want in my beers. Yes, the 1 oz is by weight (it's will be more than you think).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgarretson View Post
No, the peel I added was from a little bag I bought at the local home brew store. From my memory, there's not a ton of pith on it. I was thinking that because I put it in the primary versus the boil, that's where the greater tartness was coming from. I brewed this same beer a year ago with the same recipe but threw the orange peel into the boil and got very little tartness out of it.
Not sure what the issue is. I would think boiling just about anything would extract more bitterness than not boiling it. Boiling would have volatilized more of the essential oils, but those impart the orange flavor and aroma, not tartness. Perhaps there was a difference in the batches of orange peel itself (?)
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Old 05-26-2010, 03:44 AM   #8
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I'd put some orange zest in the boil, then taste it after primary and if it needs more, I'd add more in secondary with the vanilla bean. Not the only way to do it, but that's probably what I'd do.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:10 AM   #9
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Syrupy was a bad word. It's definitely sweeter than the typical orange-hinted wheat beer, though. Thanks for the help guys, I think i've got the right idea on my hands now. Assuming it turns out worthwhile, I'll post the recipe in a couple months.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:44 AM   #10
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Don't know if you feel like giving away your 'secrets', but what is the recipe you are using? It might help people give you better recomendations....


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