Last year, I designed an orange wheat recipe that turned out pretty phenomenally. In an attempt to replicate that success, I brewed up the next iteration yesterday. It’s essentially the same recipe as before, modified slightly to accommodate ingredient availability.
Andy’s Orange Wheat Ale 1.1
- 8 oz. 15°L crystal malt
- 5 lbs. Bavarian Wheat Dry Malt Extract (Briess; 3.0 SRM; 65% wheat, 35% barley)
- 2 oz. Liberty hops pellets
- 1 tsp. Irish moss
- 1 package American Hefeweizen Ale Yeast (White Labs WLP320)
- 5 fresh Valencia oranges
- I heated 3 gallons of water to ~158°, and steeped the crystal malt for one hour. Then, I sparged with a half gallon of water (plus ~2 cups, to bring it up to 3.67 gallons).
- I heated the brew kettle to a boil and turned off the heat. Then, I added the dry malt extract.
- Meanwhile, I zested the peel of five medium-sized Valencia oranges (fresh-picked, without the nasty wax coating you get in the grocery store), resulting in 1.35 oz. (wet) of peel. I was very careful not to go down to the white part of the peel, which is too bitter. Then, I peeled and sliced up three of the oranges (the remainder went to make fresh juice – delicious!). I put those oranges and orange peel in a hop sack and placed them in a saucepan with 1/2 gallon of water. I heated this to just boiling, and turned off the heat to let it soak (~45 minutes).
- Once the wort mixture came to a boil again, I added 1 oz. of the Liberty hops. After 55 total minutes of boil, I added another ounce of Liberty hops. After 60 minutes, I chilled the wort.
- The Irish moss was added after 45 minutes of boiling.
- I poured the wort into the primary fermenter and added the hot mixture of orangey water, slices, and peel. I topped the fermenter up with cold water to 5 gallons, and pitched the yeast. The temperature was 78°, and starting gravity was 1.046 (adjusted for temperature).
- I plan to let this ferment in the primary for 10 days before bottling.
How did this compare to the commercial version?
I wasn't entirely happy with this version…I think I let the oranges stay in for too long (~14 days–circumstances out of my control!), and the flavor was just a little too much like the grassy orange pulp and not the light citrus aroma. So, the first version of this recipe was better in the end.