The inspiration for this beer was my first taste of Ithaca 13 (info can be found here http://ithacabeer.com/category/beers/excelsior/
). I absolutely loved how the citrus zest interacted with the Citra and Sorachi Ace hops, so much so that I think I've bought more bottles of 13 than all other beers combined this past year. It didn't take long before I decided that I had to develop a recipe based on the same ideas. It came out so well that it's something I'll be making regularly.
I wanted it to be something I could have a few pints of so kept the ABV to around 7%. The defining feature of the beer is a massive 5min addition of fresh citrus zest (edit: I usually go with flameout and a 15min rest before chilling nowadays for the zest). I zested the entirety of 17 pieces of fruit (listed below) and wound up with a tennis ball sized ball of zest, all of which went into the beer. It seems like a LOT of zest... well, it IS a lot of zest!
(the fruit to the left was extra, it has not been zested)
The bitterness in this beer is very smooth as it is derived entirely from a small first wort hop addition and late additions. Citra provides tropical fruit notes while Sorachi Ace complements it with lemoney and slight peppery notes. Palisade works to enhance the pepper and a bit of tropical fruit. The actual zest can be varied depending on what is available and to your tastes. The recipe as written below will come out with a distinct orangey flavor.
From my experience, I've found that I really love the flavors of this beer when it's as fresh as can be. The hops and citrus work really well together. As it gets a bit older it naturally loses a bit of brightness, but at 4 months or so a new balance of flavor develops when the zest flavors are more prominent.
Any clean ale yeast should work great.
Oh, and don't let all that delicious fruit go to waste! If you have no other use for it, squeeze it all for juice! It goes great with 'breakfast for dinner' after brew day!
Recipe: Citrus Wheat Pale Ale
Style: American Wheat/Pale Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.060 SG
Estimated Color: 4.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 59.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amt Name Type %/IBU
7 lbs 8.0 oz - Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) - Grain - 62.5 %
3 lbs - Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) - Grain - 25.0 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz - Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) - Grain - 12.5 %
0.50 oz - Palisade [8.00 %] - First Wort - Hop - 13.9 IBUs
1.25 oz - Citra [12.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min - Hop - 24.1 IBUs
0.50 oz - Sorachi Ace [10.80 %] - Boil 15.0 min - Hop - 8.3 IBUs
1.25 oz - Citra [12.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min - Hop - 9.7 IBUs
0.50 oz - Sorachi Ace [10.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min - Hop - 3.3 IBUs
0.50 oz - Palisade [8.00 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days - Hop - 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz - Sorachi Ace [10.80 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days- Hop - 0.0 IBUs
1.00 oz - Citra [12.50 %] - Dry Hop 7.0 Days - Hop - 0.0 IBUs
a lot - Citrus Zest (Boil 5.0 mins) - Spice - (See Notes)
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 12 lbs
Mash @ 152.0 F - 60 min
Fermented at 62*F
Citrus zest: 3 minneola oranges, 3 blood oranges, 2 limes, 2 honey tangerines, 3 lemons, 3 navel oranges, 1 white grapefruit.