Blood Orange Hefeweizen: HomeBrew Batch #11

Last night my brew-partner and I brewed a 5 gallon batch of Dogfish Head Craft Ale Sam Calagione’s Blood Orange Hefeweizen.   I used this recipe I found online, and of course I plugged it into Hopville.

We did a simple all-extract recipe:

bring 4 gallons of water to a boil.  remove from heat and add:

6.6 lbs liquid wheat malt extract

stirring to dissolve without scorching.

Add 0.5 oz Hallertau hops

After 40 minutes, add 1.0 oz Saaz hops.

After another 10 minutes (50 minutes total) add another 0.5 oz Hallertau hops and boil for 10 more minutes.

We used a nylon hops bag again to easily remove the hops because we wanted to keep the orange in the fermenter.   Which brings me to the second part:  blood oranges are out of season here, so we used Cara-Cara oranges.

We zested 2 oranges, and used the flesh from 4.  After pureeing it all together in the blender, we heated 1 gallon of water to 160 degrees, turned off the heat, and let the zest and fruit steep.  Now, I’m not yet an expert in the science of brewing, but I read this interesting comment on Dogfish’s site which might explain why we heat the fruit up:

“Although beware of the fermentable sugars it adds as this will make your ABV shoot up. If you do not want the extra fermentable sugars then puree the orange and juice together just slightly. After this put them in a small pot letting them heat to 170 degreesF to pasturize and convert those fermentables into non fermentables. Then you can add that to the primary without worrying about ABV jumping up on you.”

What I’m unsure about is if this conversion of fermentable sugars into non-fermentable sugars also results in more preservation of the orange flavor/sweetness?  I’m sure one of my beer experts will have some insight here.   In general, is this a good way to preserve more fruit flavor in your fruit beers?  To try to do a conversion like this?  I am aware that many brewers caution that boiling the fruit will “set the pectins” and result in hazy beer.

We added the cooling fruit mixture to the cooling wort.  After some time in the ice bath (for the wort, of course, not for me), I dumped the mixture into the fermenter and topped up to 5 gallons.   OG was 1.048.

Anyway, we used Wyeast 3068, aka “The Beast.”   This Weizen yeast is known for its voracious activity and its ability to blow out airlocks (or even  blow up carboys!), so I rigged a 1/2inch blowoff tube onto my airlock, with the “exhaust” in a pitcher 1/2 full of water next to the fermenter.   This morning the top of my 6 1/2 gallon fermenting bucket is pressed up (as the yeast is active and the bucket is full of CO2), and the blowoff tube in the pitcher is belching with escaping CO2.

I’ll give this 3 weeks to ferment, as usual, then bottle.  I plan to remove the blowoff tube in a few days and re-install the normal cap on the airlock.   My basement temperature has warmed up a bit, to 65 degrees, which should be a pretty decent temperature for fermentation.



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