I brewed a 20 gal batch of wheat beer that is now in 4, 5 gallon fermentors. I thought it would be fun to do some experimenting with the 4 different batches. I have some oranges and lemons but was not sure what do to / how much to use / how to sanitize them for a secondary addition. I had read some about using a tincture by mixing the zest with vodka, any idea how much to use? Also I have some extra German Hersbrucker that I thought would be interesting to dry hop with. Anyone else tried that? Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!
Tseb, I’m not the best person to answer your question, but I’ll give it a shot since nobody else has.
I think the idea of a tincture is good, but I have never used lemons. If I were going to use oranges, I would zest three or four, put the zest in a small jar and barely cover with vodka for at least a week or so, then add the liquid to the bottling bucket (or keg) to taste. You can do this by pulling off a measured amount of the beer (maybe 6 oz.) and adding small, measured amounts of the tincture until it gets to where you like it. Then scale up to whatever amount is being flavored and put the liquid in and gently mix (along with priming sugar if you’re bottling).
I’m sure it would be possible to add some zest along with the dry hops, but I have no idea how much and the zest would still need to be sanitized. I guess you could wash the fruit in a sanitizing solution before testing, but I have no experience doing that. Hopefully some others who are more experienced will chime in.
As long as you’re experimenting, I have had great success with using the apricot extract that NB sells. Just a plain american wheat beer using the extract at bottling. I use a little less than 2 oz. per 5 gallons (about 1/2 the recommended amount). Just a good hint of apricot and no medicine taste like a lot of extracts have.