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Using Blood Orange Pulp in a Big Saison?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by MinorThreat, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. MinorThreat

    MinorThreat Devotee (488) Apr 7, 2008 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    I brewed a Big Saison a few weeks back (switched to a new system and planned on a much lower efficiency so it's a thumper), OG: 1.068 currently floating in the 1.006 range, fermented with 3711 and an SRM of approx 3. I really want to add some blood orange pulp and rind to the secondary. Aside from knowing to remove the pith I am clueless as to the proper way to use fruit in a beer. I would prefer to not cook the oranges as to not change their flavor. So I guess my questions are:

    -How much fruit to use to get a moderate fruit taste that will not overpower the base beer
    -Does washing then freezing the fruit work to cut the risk of infection to negligible
    -I assume since the yeast eats Monosaccharides that the pulp will spark a small secondary fermentation. Ideas on flavors associated with fermented blood orange.

    Any advice is appreciated!
  2. Rosty

    Rosty Initiate (0) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I have brewed lots of beers with lots of different fruits. Buddha's hand being one of them. Sounds like you ahve little to worry about with the ABV so high. More than likely any bugs on the rind with get pickled and die. Freezing, I have read from many different sources and I have done it myself, does not sanitize the fruit. It does break down the cellular walls and allows the yummy flavors to get into the beer. As to the amount I would suggest you just try it out. I put about a pound and a half to two pounds of rind for buddha's hand in 5 gallons. But BO might be a little more potent. Oh and if you are worried, before you put the rind and fruit in you can soak it in Star San. That would also work but take away flavors. Good luck!
    Beerontwowheels and MinorThreat like this.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,334) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    If you add rind, you're adding pith. A better way IMO is to use the zest, carefully shaved from the rind to avoid pith. I've never used pulp, but I'm interested to hear the results from someone who has.
  4. MinorThreat

    MinorThreat Devotee (488) Apr 7, 2008 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    Yeah I misused "rind" in that statement. I hear the pith gets pretty rough. So my plan is/was to clean the oranges then zest them, remove the pith and take the inner segments free of pith and freeze them for a few days to rupture the cell walls as well as set some of the bugs dormant (not sure if that is an old brewers tale or not). Then add the defrosted pulp puree with the zest to my secondary and rack on top of it.

    Any thoughts on how long on the oranges? I was thinking 7-10 days but again, I've never brewed with fruit in the +/-150 batches I've done in the past 10 years.

  5. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,334) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I haven't used the fruity part of oranges, but I'd say at least until the sugars from the orange are done fermenting. In other words, treat it like fermentation/attenuation rather than like a dry hop with a predetermined number of days.
    MinorThreat likes this.
  6. memory

    memory Initiate (0) Oct 2, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I've brewed a couple times with blood oranges. Once I froze them and just sliced up a couple of them non peeled in the primary. Big mistake, the pith is really bitter. Last month I used them again in a barleywine in primary but just the zest and mashed pulp. So far very fragrant. Last weekend I decided to add them at flameout in a stout. I haven't experienced infection with them from freezing to primary. But as mentioned stay away from pith.
  7. DrewBeechum

    DrewBeechum Meyvn (1,235) Mar 15, 2003 California
    Supporter Subscriber

    The blood orange saisons I've done I made like this:

    - Zest the oranges
    - Juice the zested oranges.
    - Freeze both separately and wait for the secondary.
    - Add the juice, boil the zest in some water add the strained water. (alternatively - tincture that zest)

    One word of note: It takes a hell of a lot of juice to make a real impact on the color.
    Thorpe429 likes this.
  8. MinorThreat

    MinorThreat Devotee (488) Apr 7, 2008 Nebraska
    Beer Trader

    My gravity has been holding at 1.006 for a week so I dove in last night with 6 medium-small sanguinello blood oranges. I washed/sanitized my sink, all tools used and plastic cutting board then thoroughly washed the oranges. I used a microplane on the blood orange rind then peeled with a tomato knife removing all of the exterior pith and removed all of the internal pith. I took an immersion blender to the segments, not to a puree but broke them up well. I then added all of the pulp and zest to my secondary and racked on top of the fruit. Once complete I took another gravity reading, 1.007ish. It may have raised the gravity ever so slightly. The color had changed quite a bit, The non-fruited beer on the left; given this picture was taking midway through the transfer:

    This morning I checked the secondary and the airlock was slowly bubbling (probably just off gassing some of the suspended co2 from primary fermentation). I will keep updating the progress.
    Thorpe429 likes this.
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