Orange in a Bigger Stout?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by TheGordianKnot, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    Hello All,
    I will be brewing a beer for my wedding coming up in December and decided to give my first trial run a go this weekend to see how the recipe works out. I had previously brewed a Milk Stout with Chocolate that I believe was my best beer to date and also my fiance's favorite; so she wants something similar. Being for our wedding, I'd like to make it a bit bigger and complex so I'm thinking along the lines of a Chocolate Truffle Stout. I took my original recipe and upped the quantities to make it a bigger stout (though I wouldn't consider it "imperial") and would like to do something to add a touch of orange in the background (I love chocolate orange truffles) but really don't know how that may work in a homebrew stout like this. I'm hoping someone out there has experience adding orange peel to the boil for a stout (or another method)?

    I have only once used sweet orange peel in a hefeweizen, so I'm not sure if sweet or bittering would be better for a stout and in what quantities. Here is my recipe for reference, perhaps someone will have input on that as well? And yes, I do want this to be thicker than your regular stout...

    8lbs Extra Light DME
    1lb Pale Chocolate Malt
    .5lb Roasted Barley
    .5lb Crystal 60L
    1lb Lactose
    *Will be adding a chocolate paste (8oz cocoa and 4oz sucrose mixed with warm water) to the boil at 15min

    1oz EKG (around 6-7AAU) at 60min
    1oz EKG (around 6-7AAU) at 20min

    *For this experiment/trial I may also split the batch and pitch a regular yeast and a belgian yeast to see what each does to the recipe. Also may try to add cacao nibs after primary fermentation.

    Estimated Stats:
    OG: 1.081
    FG: 1.024
    Alc: 7.5%
    IBU: 29

    I realize there are a few uncertainties I have presented here and welcome any suggestions; but I am first and foremost looking for help on adding the orange peel to anyone who can help!

  2. inchrisin

    inchrisin Zealot (571) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    Randy Mosier has a Flagship RIS that's a combination of an RIS and a wit. I believe it uses orange peel and coriander. I took a crack at it and made an extract with vodka. I soaked 1oz of bitter orange peel and it came out too orangy for me. Others liked it at the level it was at, but the orange was very front-forward. 9 months later, it's a solid beer and everything has melded together nicely. It's still quite orangy.
    You'll want to avoid boozy for any type of party. I'd use extract as a last resort. It's tough to say how much you should add to the boil. I'd try 1/2 oz at 5 min mark and make sure you remove the peel before fermentation. See if you get what you like. Since this is a test run, you can feel free to add a dry addition for more orange as needed. Bitter orange should hold up nicely against the lactose. This is coming from the guy who doesn't like Blue Moon because it tastes like orange juice. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
  3. Krankyfw

    Krankyfw Initiate (0) May 31, 2012 Australia

    Like inchrisin I've soaked orange zest in vodka but I just put a bit in at a time after I've kegged the beer, so that I don't over do the orange flavour. When using orange zest do not use ANY of the white pith.

    I've also "dry hopped" stouts with cocoa nibs to impart a rich chocolate flavour without adding any sweetness.
  4. ryane

    ryane Initiate (0) Nov 21, 2007 Washington

    there is something called orange blossom water that could be perfect for what your looking for. Its the distilled essence of orange blossoms, and is typically sold in middle eastern markets. Be careful with the stuff though as its extremely potent
  5. jessemorris

    jessemorris Initiate (0) May 27, 2009 Florida

    for a five gallon patch, you could blend up and pasteurize 1/2 lb to 1 lb of real oranges and add it to secondary. I brew a chocolate stout this way and I'm a big fan of it. I prefer it to just adding orange peel, to my tongue it's a lot more natural tasting.
  6. kjyost

    kjyost Meyvn (1,224) May 4, 2008 Canada (MB)

    One of the guys at my brew club found a (flawed) 'clone' for Central City's Red Racer IPA (Red Betty to you silly Yanks :wink: ) that called for orange blossom honey. Instead he used this stuff and is it ever potent...

    Orange came through all throughout the beer. Way too much... Be judicious with its use.
  7. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    Did you peel before blending? Also how do you pasteurize the fresh fruit before adding? My only concern with this way would be the acidity going into the beer...
  8. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    I had no clue it was best to remove the orange peel after the boil and chill. Is that to help so its not incredibly pungent or bitter or something? Great post, thanks!
  9. jessemorris

    jessemorris Initiate (0) May 27, 2009 Florida

    yep. remove the peel, blend, and bring to 180 degrees for about 10 minutes.
  10. BigJoeC

    BigJoeC Initiate (129) Jan 22, 2011 New Jersey

    I did an orange wheat by adding 1.5oz of orange zest to the last minute of the boil and then another 1.5oz in the secondary that was soaked for 2 days in a small amount of vodka. It gave a really nice hint of orange to the 5 gallon batch.
  11. inchrisin

    inchrisin Zealot (571) Sep 25, 2008 Indiana

    I'm a BIG fan of adding more later if it needs it. If you add too much too soon, you can't take it out. I think with orange peel, as any other spice, you should seek moderation. That's the only reason I recommended taking it out at all. You might get something funky out of it sitting in the fermenter for too long, but I think the same would result from soaking the peel in vodka for a week to make an extract. Maybe someone can follow up here. Again, with spices, moderation is cheaper than a new batch of beer. :slight_smile:

    Let us know what you do and how it comes out
  12. parris

    parris Zealot (545) Jan 18, 2010 Massachusetts

    I had an incredibly horrible experience making an orange vanilla ale once. Someone mentioned it was due to the white film between the peel and the fruit. It was the only beer I ever dumped out. If you can find some orange extract, I'd go for that.

    It was one of my first brews, but looking back, it wasn't a nasty flavor from an infection, and probably not from the recipe. But I easily could have messed something out.

    I'm not saying don't do it, but I think I might have clinical PTSD from how disappointed I was from that brew. Again, it was one of my first brews, so I easily could have messed something else up.
  13. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    Did you use fresh orange peel? I'm planning to use the dried bitter orange peel you get in 1oz packages from Brewers Best...
  14. axeman9182

    axeman9182 Initiate (0) Aug 5, 2009 New Jersey

    I would say definitely err on the side of adding too litttle. Too much orange flavor in a big, dark beer can be fairly unpleasant (fresh Black Butte XXIII, I'm looking at you), and since you're brewing this for a specific event, you can't just let the beer sit and mellow if you overshoot your orange addition.
  15. parris

    parris Zealot (545) Jan 18, 2010 Massachusetts

    Oh yea, added several peeled oranges to the boil. Worst idea of my life, and I have a lot of bad ideas. On the other hand, one of my favorite beers I made was a wit that included bitter orange peels.

    I think I misunderstood what you were originally doing.
  16. jlpred55

    jlpred55 Initiate (0) Jul 26, 2006 Iowa

    My favorite method is the tincture (orange zest, microplaned into vodka). Allow the oranges to soak in the vodka for a couple weeks. Strain and then pull an 8 ounce sample of the beer. Add a measured amount of orange vodka to the sample and taste, repeat until you find the balance you want then scale up for the whole batch, add before racking to the bollting bucket or keg. I like to add a little more than what the scaling says to preserve the flavor longer. But I get great results doing it this way with spices or oranges, etc. I like to use a blend of oranges, seville, blood, etc. Only takes about an ounce or two to become very potent in the tincture.
  17. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    For anyone interested in results, I only did a half batch since this was a test run, but I put about .5oz of sweet orange peel (asked for bitter peel, but lhbs gave me sweet and I didn't realize it) in a grain bag and into the boil for 5min + chill but not in fermenter... Just tasting the wort, I'm thinking I need to use more next time because this is one big rich, complex, chocolatey beer. I hope more orange comes through after fermentation, but we'll see. Thanks for suggestions/help!
  18. abu_riley

    abu_riley Initiate (0) Mar 8, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Dunno if it will help at all, but I tried this beer a month or so ago and enjoyed it:

    Seems in the ballpark of what you are shooting for. I'm not a homebrewer, but if you get stuck may be worth a call to Blue Mountain to see how they did it.
  19. DavoleBomb

    DavoleBomb Poo-Bah (2,972) Mar 29, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I can't imagine orange tasting good in a stout but then again I loathe hoppy stouts.
  20. thezach

    thezach Aspirant (262) Nov 17, 2011 Maryland

    Does anyone know how many gravity points an actual orange adds? I pasteurized the fruit of 13 naval oranges (~6 lbs) and added them to my primary. I've used the brewing recipe calculators, which attribute no gravity/fermentables to the oranges. They say the beer should be about 6% without them, but it hits a lot harder.

    Btw, it was my first beer, so I forgot to use the hydrometer, and now I'm just trying to get a feel for what to expect in future recipe calculations.
  21. Beer4All

    Beer4All Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2013

    I'm writing up a recipe for a rich orange-chocolate stout. Did you try upping the sweet orange peel in the boil? How did you final product turn out?
  22. TheGordianKnot

    TheGordianKnot Initiate (79) Apr 2, 2010 Tennessee

    I did not, that brew was for my wedding, and while I wanted something more unique, all the feedback I got was that it was a really delicious beer as is (without orange flavor) and not to change it... I think it woulda taken quite a few more batches of trial and error, so I still plan on trying to do this again, but till this fall/winter... My advice is to definitely put more orange in off the bat if your OG will be on the higher end
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