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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: goschman on January 22, 2014, 12:45:26 AM

Title: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: goschman on January 22, 2014, 12:45:26 AM
I add citrus zest to a few of my beers, normally in the kettle with 5 minutes remaining. I have had decent success but the character left behind seems to fade pretty quick in the finished product.

I am considering adding zest after fermentation has completed but am worried about overdoing it. How long would you recommend leaving the zest in on average? A few days at most?

What about adding the zest to some vodka and adding just the liquid at kegging?
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: HoosierBrew on January 22, 2014, 12:49:23 AM
You could add it (in a muslin or nylon bag) to secondary, then check it every couple days until it has the intensity you want, and remove the bag. It keeps more of the citrus character intact IMO.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: fmader on January 22, 2014, 12:56:02 AM
You could add it (in a muslin or nylon bag) to secondary, then check it every couple days until it has the intensity you want, and remove the bag. It keeps more of the citrus character intact IMO.

Yep +1... I make a lemon wheat. I add zest of about 8 or 9 lemons at 0 minutes and the zest of 3 in the secondary. I put it in a bag and take it out after a few days.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: Jeff M on January 22, 2014, 01:10:06 AM
There was a great article in Zymurgy about making Fruit flavored syrups to add face forward taste and aroma to beers. might be worth checking out:)
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 22, 2014, 11:39:53 AM
For my honey lemon Kolsch, I make an extract with vodka and add to the keg for ease of handling - but I'm using dried lemon zests from the LHBS.  Fresh might be better served using FMader's suggestion.  Try it both ways and you'll be able to decide for yourself which result is better or process is better for you overall.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: majorvices on January 22, 2014, 01:30:09 PM
I like the vodka tincture method myself as well. Even a hot "tea" tincture works well.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: goschman on January 22, 2014, 02:23:49 PM
Thanks guys.

I like the idea of the vodka just because it seems the easiest. Does it preserve the aroma reasonably well?
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: Janis on January 22, 2014, 04:38:23 PM
Hi,

I have added 1.5 ounces of fresh orange zest to my orange ale in the secondary and also in the keg.  I prefer to use it in the secondary for about a week.  I use a vegetable peeler to peel the zest in strips that are big enough to not need a bag to contain them.  BTW, it takes 3 Valencia oranges to get 1.5 ounces of zest in my experience.  I have not tried the vodka tincture, but I don't think it's really necessary.  Good luck with your efforts!

Cheers,
Janis
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: goschman on January 22, 2014, 05:24:52 PM
Hi,

I have added 1.5 ounces of fresh orange zest to my orange ale in the secondary and also in the keg.  I prefer to use it in the secondary for about a week.  I use a vegetable peeler to peel the zest in strips that are big enough to not need a bag to contain them.  BTW, it takes 3 Valencia oranges to get 1.5 ounces of zest in my experience.  I have not tried the vodka tincture, but I don't think it's really necessary.  Good luck with your efforts!

Cheers,
Janis

Thank you. I use a microplane for zesting and it usually takes me 4-5 oranges to get an oz. I am glad to hear the you leave the zest in the secondary for a week. I don't know why but I was worried that some off flavors may come through after that long.

I will be using lime zest and lemongrass in particular for my batch. I use a very small amount of the lime so I am mostly curious the difference between a kettle and secondary addition. Basically it has worked pretty but I think I can do it better. I am worried about making it worse instead of better but I guess that is what experimentation is for...
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 22, 2014, 06:34:41 PM
As to the vodka tincture or extract, I think it works remarkably well.  I typically make the beer and about the same time or shortly thereafter, I add the dried lemon to the vodka in a separate sealed container.  I leave it in there for a couple weeks to really soak it all in, but I suspect that with real fruit, the essence would come more quickly.  If you want more, of course, it can always be added later if kegging your beer.  If adding to a keg, you can also use a stainless steel teaball to avoid dip tube clogging (other methods work as well, of course).
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: Jimmy K on January 23, 2014, 01:02:29 AM
Hi,

I have added 1.5 ounces of fresh orange zest to my orange ale in the secondary and also in the keg.  I prefer to use it in the secondary for about a week.  I use a vegetable peeler to peel the zest in strips that are big enough to not need a bag to contain them.  BTW, it takes 3 Valencia oranges to get 1.5 ounces of zest in my experience.  I have not tried the vodka tincture, but I don't think it's really necessary.  Good luck with your efforts!

Cheers,
Janis
I also use a peeler to get nice thick zest strips. I found a serrated peeler at the kitchen shop that works really well. The serrated edge cuts through the skin easier than my straight edge peelers.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: gandelf on January 24, 2014, 07:13:06 PM
A vodka tincture is not not necessary. I add fruit and spices to many ales and most all brett beers and do not sanitize any of it. I have never needed the extra extraction vodka would provide. I learned the zest thing from my wife. She has been using a micro plane to zest fruit and add it to 2 quarts of water in a pitcher. It's a great flavored drink. I micro plane the zest, Starsan my hands and a fine mesh bag, secure zest inside bag and through it in at kegging. A little zest and an IPA or APA is mighty tasty IMO. Oh, a micro plane eliminates the pith, you do not want that in anything.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: majorvices on January 24, 2014, 07:17:45 PM
A vodka tincture is not not necessary. I add fruit and spices to many ales and most all brett beers and do not sanitize any of it. I have never needed the extra extraction vodka would provide. I learned the zest thing from my wife. She has been using a micro plane to zest fruit and add it to 2 quarts of water in a pitcher. It's a great flavored drink. I micro plane the zest, Starsan my hands and a fine mesh bag, secure zest inside bag and through it in at kegging. A little zest and an IPA or APA is mighty tasty IMO. Oh, a micro plane eliminates the pith, you do not want that in anything.

I don't suggest to add the zest to voka for sanitation but for flavor extraction. Seems to work better than just adding directly to wort plus, more importantly, you can add a bit at a time until you get the flavor where you want it. If you add too much zest you can't take it away.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: Jimmy K on January 25, 2014, 01:32:19 AM
A vodka tincture is not not necessary. I add fruit and spices to many ales and most all brett beers and do not sanitize any of it. I have never needed the extra extraction vodka would provide. I learned the zest thing from my wife. She has been using a micro plane to zest fruit and add it to 2 quarts of water in a pitcher. It's a great flavored drink. I micro plane the zest, Starsan my hands and a fine mesh bag, secure zest inside bag and through it in at kegging. A little zest and an IPA or APA is mighty tasty IMO. Oh, a micro plane eliminates the pith, you do not want that in anything.

I don't suggest to add the zest to voka for sanitation but for flavor extraction. Seems to work better than just adding directly to wort plus, more importantly, you can add a bit at a time until you get the flavor where you want it. If you add too much zest you can't take it away.
You can also mix and taste immediately with vodka. With zest you must wait for the flavor to diffuse.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: dmtaylor on January 25, 2014, 01:36:37 PM
Vodka tinctures are the very best way to add all sorts of flavors IMO.  It is the only method I use anymore besides adding to the boil.
Title: Re: adding zest after fermentation
Post by: majorvices on January 25, 2014, 01:39:48 PM
A vodka tincture is not not necessary. I add fruit and spices to many ales and most all brett beers and do not sanitize any of it. I have never needed the extra extraction vodka would provide. I learned the zest thing from my wife. She has been using a micro plane to zest fruit and add it to 2 quarts of water in a pitcher. It's a great flavored drink. I micro plane the zest, Starsan my hands and a fine mesh bag, secure zest inside bag and through it in at kegging. A little zest and an IPA or APA is mighty tasty IMO. Oh, a micro plane eliminates the pith, you do not want that in anything.

I don't suggest to add the zest to voka for sanitation but for flavor extraction. Seems to work better than just adding directly to wort plus, more importantly, you can add a bit at a time until you get the flavor where you want it. If you add too much zest you can't take it away.
You can also mix and taste immediately with vodka. With zest you must wait for the flavor to diffuse.

Then there's that!