Not too long ago I bought a 6-pack of Oranjeboom lager from Trader Joe's. It is a Dutch beer that is very clean and crisp. The web site description says it is a strong yet mildly bitter beer. I didn't find it strong at all, and not that bitter either. But I really liked it. On a hot summer day it hit the spot. The beer isn't made with oranges and doesn't have an outright orangey taste, though it is a bit citrusy. The beer is named Oranjeboom due to the significance of the orange blossom as a symbol of the Netherlands and the royal family.
Drinking the Oranjeboom got me thinking about brewing a beer with orange flavor. I wanted to make something clean and crisp like the Orangjeboom, but I can't really do a proper lager here in the hot summer. So I thought I would give a try making a Kolsch style beer and adding some orange peels to secondary to give some orange taste and aroma. Kolsch yeast can withstand higher fermentation temperatures and still give characteristics of a lager. Here is my brewsheet:
Add water to achieve boil volume of 5.72 gal
Estimated pre-boil gravity is 1.042
Cool and Prepare Fermentation
Cool wort to fermentation temperature
|Transfer wort to fermenter|
|Add water to achieve final volume of 5.00 gal|
|Measure Actual Original Gravity ___1.042____ (Target: 1.048 SG)|
|Measure Actual Batch Volume ___5____ (Target: 5.00 gal)|
8/24/2008 - Primary fermentation (10 days at 80.0 F)
|9/3/2008 - Secondary fermentation (5 days at 68.0 F) |
|N/A - Tertiary Fermentation (0 days at 68.0 F)|
|Prepare for Bottling/Kegging|
|Measure Final Gravity: ___1.014______ (Estimate: 1.012 SG)|
|9/8/2008 - Bottled beer at 75.0 F with 4.9 oz of corn sugar.|
|Age beer for 28.0 days at 75.0 F|
|10/6/2008 - Drink and enjoy!|
For the orange peel, I took the zest from 3 tangelos. These are a cross between a tangerine and an orange I think. No real reason behind using the tangelos except that they smelled nice at the grocery. Oh, and I washed the tangelos and them gave them a few minutes in a collander steamer in order to kill any fungus or bacteria hiding out on the skin. Careful balancing act here to not steam them too much so that the oils are removed from the skin. But you don't want to introduce anything not sterile into your secondary if you can help it. I think some brewers will put the peels into the boil instead and I may try this sometime though I've heard that a vigorous primary fermentation can expel any aroma from the peels.
The beer has only aged about three weeks, but it has come out very interesting. It definitely has orange aroma and flavor, though not overpowering. I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin due to using all wheat extract. The Kolsch yeast adds a fruity character as well. And the beer is not as clear as I would like it to be, though I think if I condition it a few more weeks in the fridge it may clear up some. Right now it is almost like e hefeweizen, though not as tart. Overall, I am very satisfied with the beer. It is a great summer beer. I think next time I brew it though I will use some Munich Malt instead of pure wheat to give it a bit more color and flavor - more like a traditional Kolsch which isn't 100% wheat.