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Orange Zest for Wheat Beer Brewing

Citrus notes are one the most sought after flavors in beer brewing especially for wheat beers and for aromatic IPA (that are not too bitter). Sweet Lime (mousmi), various types of oranges, lemons, grapefruits, etc. there are tons to choose from. Today we will discuss how to harvest the lemon peels for your home brewing needs. My personal favorite is the small Nagpur Oranges and the sweet limes. I prefer ones whose peel are tightly wrapped around the fruit rather than ones whose peels are fluffy.

For a layman orange consists of the pulp/fruit and the rind. We use the rind for brewing and making face masks and use the pulp for juices/eating. However to make a great consistent brew, one needs to pay closer attention to the raw materials and ingredients. If you use your nose as your sensory guide, you will realize that the bulk of the citrus oils and aromas are locked in the oil sacks that are present in the orange top layer of the fruit (flavedo) The pith or the white coating on the fruit is a mostly tasteless fluffy packaging material. The goal today is to extract the outer skin using the peeler.

orange slices

Citrus Orange Zest for brewing

Citrus notes from fresh oranges are lovely in most wheat beers.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine all grain beer, biab, brewing
Servings 20 liters
Calories 2 kcal


  • Grater
  • juicer


  • 6 pieces oranges
  • 1 piece ziplock bag


  • Take a fine grater or peeler and peel off the outer skin and collect them. We are interested in the orange portion of the fruit and not the white portion below it.
  • Juicing the fruit on a rotatory citrus juicer is not recommended as the oil sacs get damaged and the flavors leak into the white pith (albedo) and are lost.
  • Carefully collect the peels and introduce them in the last 10-15 minutes of your wort (along with aromatic hops). The fruit can be juiced and served as fruit. You could also use the orange juice instead of water in your wort or wine must to get extra citrus notes.


You can now store these orange peels in a freezer till your brew day. If your freezer space is running out, you can either sundry the peels or in an oven at low heat (and with the fan on). But remember drying causes oils to evaporate, so twice the fruit is needed to compensate for that. This orange zest can be added to kombucha, mead, and white wines to impart the refreshing citrus notes. Since the orange fruit was returned to you as a whole, the whole recipe did not cost you a penny and you were able to make great brews in the most economical way.

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How To Zest An Orange
Keyword all grain beer, citrus wheat beer, fresh oranges

Carefully wash the oranges/citrus fruit. discard any fruit that is overripe, bruised or otherwise damaged. Be careful of fruit with any mold damages or which looks unripe. Take a normal kitchen peeler and peel off the orange top layer.


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