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Making A Citrus Beer

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ryanator

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Hey everyone,

Sometime soon I will be making a citrus brew. To get a nice citrus, bitter taste, I was thinking of using kumquats. These are small fruits with a strong citrus taste which can be eaten whole. They should be ideal to cut in half, boil, and add to secondary.

I was just after some suggestions regarding:
- What kit to use? (Lager, Bitter, Ale etc.)
- What hops would be good with citrus flavours?
- Amount of fruit to add?
- Any additional/alternative fruit to add?
- What yeast to use?

Below is a pic of some kumquats compared with an orange. Anyone ever eaten one of these little guys?

Cheers! :beer:

Kumquat.jpg
 

peas_and_corn

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot mash that
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Well, it really is a great idea, making it with kumquats. I mever really think of them when I think of citrus fruits, and really you're going for a fruit that isn't normally used.

Now, I haven't really made a citrus beer before, but your idea of boiling and adding to secondary sounds like a good idea to me. You just need to make sure that it gets all the flavour out of the fruit.

Oh yeah, I don't think I have eaten one before.
 

Justin

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When I was at More Beer in the states they gave me a sample of a citrus beer (orange). It was basically an american pale ale, lightish in the hops and a dark coppery, ruby colour. The guy said that he just quartered up the oranges and threw them in the boil 5 mins before flame out. The citrus came through nicely and I was quite surprised.

If I remember the quantities they were something like 5lbs for 5 gallons. But take that quantitiy with caution, it was 12 months ago now. Check and see if that compares to what others have used.

Hope it helps. Justin
 

RobW

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I have 3 biggish cumquats which yield several kilos of fruit each year. Never eaten them by themselves but I suspect they may be a bit sharpish - we use them to make marmalade. I know some people make cumquat liqueur too but I haven't tried that. Might be OK in a beer though.
 

Jazzafish

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I'm not completely sure here, but I think when the juice is fermented, alot of the sweetness from the sugars is eaten up by the yeast???

May leave an extra bitter flavour, so secondary would be the way I go with it.

This link may help a bit...using lemons in a brew for an old fashion lemonade:
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...780&hl=lemonade

It is a citrus topic I guess!

However, I think you should go with it however you want... It will teach us something!
 

Justin

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I think it's the oils out of the skin that is going to leave you with the most perceivable citrus flavor. Like adding orange/lemon zest to a cake. The juice will ferment out, but it will also ferment out in secondary too. I think if you weren't to boil them your going to run into infection issues with wild yeasts on the skins. So you'd at least have to boil/pasterize before adding to secondary.

I do remember for certain that the more beer guy added his to the boil in the last 5 mins so that all the aroma wasn't boiled off. Search some american sites, they love thier fruit beers so your bound to find something.

Cheers, Justin
 

PostModern

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I can't imagine kumquats in beer. I've eaten them as a snack. One or two is about my limit. They are sweet and bitter. Nice if dipped in salt, but with malt and hops... I'd be trying them with part of the batch at first and see if you can get what you're looking for before committing a whole brew to them.
 

tangent

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ive done a lot of citrus and fruit beers with varied results
PostModern has a very good point, make a small batch and try a little 1st.
I also have had better results with citrus in hersbrucker laden lighter beers rather than thick ales which overpower it.
Also don't forget that some fruits really take a long time to settle down so long term bottle maturation is reccomended. (bottle some small bottles and try 1 per month)
also, regarding the orange, only add some zest with a zester or small grater, otherwise the pectin will thicken your beer in a gluey manner.
I reckon this is the best part of homebrewing - experimenting!
Good luck.
 

ant

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Wicked Ale Micro down in Yallingup WA make a citrus brew - you could give them a call and maybe get some ratios for fruit addition off them?
 

Goat

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Its been many years since I ate a kumquat but I seem to remember that the skin (yes I ate that too) was a lot less bitter than the pulp and juice - and not all that bad at all.

It has a unique kumquaty taste (does that help?) but is definatley very citrusy
 

ryanator

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Thanks for the help guys. It'll probably be a while before I put this brew down as I've been hell busy lately. When I've got a recipe sorted, I'll post it.

Thanks again!
 

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