Adding citrus zest

I have 10 gallons of Speckled heifer almost ready to keg. I was going to add a little citrus zest at flame out but forgot. Could I add the zest to the keg and get the same effect?


you may want to make a tincture with the zest submerged some decent vodka.

The advantage to adding zest after boil/ferment is that you can dial it in exactly to the level you want flavorwise. The disadvantage is that the skins of most fruits are crawling with all kinds of microbes, most of which will see your beer as a great place for a feast/orgy. The vodka will kill them before they have a chance to get dirty in your beer, and act as a solvent to pull the aromatic compounds you want off the zest.

I would zest a couple different fresh fruits (don’t bother with the dried crap you buy from homebrew stores): oranges, tangerines, tangelos, cover them in vodka in a covered container, give it a shake every time you walk by it for a week-week and a half. put it through a fine mesh strainer, add a small measured amount to a pint of the beer, then scale up to the volume in the keg once you figure out how much you want.

Thanks Pietro, that’s great. Just the answer I was looking for. Do you have any idea how much zest? I was going to start with maybe a couple oranges and a couple grapefruits but that’s just a guess???


Yeah, thats a good start. Again, the good part of doing it this way is you can add it to taste.