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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Adding orange peel to primary
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Adding orange peel to primary

Greetings, novice homebrewer and new member to the site here. I have my second batch in the fermenter at the moment and I'm planning on adding some dry hops and orange peel once fermentation has stopped. I understand dry hopping - sterilize the bag, don't worry about hop sanitation because the acids make them practically sterile - but I'd like to know a little more about adding orange peel to the batch before the time comes.

From searching around the forums, it looks like I'll need to bake the peels at 175F (or in my case, just put the oven on warm) for 45 minutes to release the oils; add half an ounce at first, then another half ounce 3 or 4 days later. I think that sounds about right for a low-gravity beer.

My questions are about the peeling process and sanitation. What part of the peel should be used, or, how much should I peel off? I've heard that going too deep will give a bitter flavor, and I'm looking more for aroma and sweetness. This is what I imagine for the peels I'll be adding:

Or is the goal to go more for orange zest, like what you'd get using a vegetable peeler?

And with sanitation, how can I be sure I'm not risking infection when I dump the peels in? Thanks guys.

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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From my understanding (and that's all it is), you only want to use the zest. The white pith produces a very bitter flavor.

Not sure how to sterilize in the oven, although I've seen people talk about soaking them in vodka for a few days.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:32 AM   #3
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Zest only, I'd soak them in triple sec or Grand Marnier to sanitize. Vodka will also do.
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Old 03-24-2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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I used fresh orange zest from oranges growing in my backyard in my belgian dubbel-esque brew recently.

After getting them off the tree, I cleaned them nice and well and sprayed them down with starsan from a spray bottle along with the zester. I then zested them down hard just barely getting down to the pith. I used 2 large oranges in each carboy (i made 3 batches for my wedding in May). The zest went straight into the wort at flameout along with 1/2 oz of coriander seeds that were freshly crushed. No soaking in alcohol for me.

3 days in the primary and my garage smells of orange and vanilla. It's heaven.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #5
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I just bottled a batch of beer that I put lemon, limes, and oranges. I peeled them down with out leaving any white of the peel as the white will leave a bitter. I then soaked the peels over night in vodka then added the peels with the vodka as the vodka extracts alot of the flavor.

When I tasted at bottling it was good and I could tast all of the citrus flavers even though it was warm and flat.

I would say start off with about 2 or 3 oranges. Cuz I use 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 oranges and I have a lot of flavor maybe even more then I want.
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
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store bought fruit has pesticides so watch out they have a nasty flavor. i use brewers best tangerine or orange peel its 2$ for an ounce (worth the money to not ruin a beer). i just boil them in a few cups of water for a 5 min let them cool and add them to the fermenter 5 days before i bottle. this may or may not be the answer you looking for but its my 2 cents!
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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I used orange zest in my hefen I made. Added 5 mins left in the boil then dry hopped more after primary. I put about 2oz in vodka over night then put all the zest an vodka (total 2.5oz) into secondary. Came out great! Next time I might even add a little more zest.. Maybe 3oz.. Btw this was a 6gallon batch

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