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.
Citrus Orange Zest for brewing
- 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.
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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.