I found a food-blog post extolling the virtues of burnt citrus fruit when I was doing research for my duck breast prosciutto.
Unfortunately I can’t find the blog recommending burnt citrus fruit so no link, but basically they said burning citrus fruit causes a chemical reaction that radically changes some of the flavour compounds and and kills the oils.
Being the adventurous little brewer that I am, I instantly recognised the potential for new potential brewing ingredient. I had some Belgian Witbier on so when I went to bottle it, I siphoned off a portion and let it sit on some freshly burnt oranges for a couple of extra weeks.
It’s hard to describe the flavour of burnt orange. It retains some orange flavour without the tang, but it doesn’t taste burnt.
The colour is a rich, dark, brownish-orange with a nice beautiful head that unfortunately doesn’t last very long.
Orange and caramel aromas dominate the scent slipping between subtle and bold. Maybe it’s just me but sometimes I totally miss the aroma and other times it seems plain as the snow on my porch.
The burnt orange flavours dominate, but it still retains some beer characteristics. I think the coriander in the original recipe really support the burnt orange well. The mix of orange with the bright carbonation makes this beer seem almost a little spicy. The aftertaste is rich and changes from caramelly to bitter and citric before fading gracefully over a couple of minutes.
Brewing Notes for Future Recipes
This was an excellent first recipe. So good that I’ve already started my next burnt orange beer (or citrus I haven’t decided).
So what is it? a Belgian tripel.
Burnt orange is quite robust. So I’m upping the spice a little, upping the gravity and making the beer a lot more phenolic than I normally like. I think a hint more spice would be nice and the phenols will get balanced out by the burnt orange. If you’re not a regular visitor to Life With Beer, I’m not a lover of the rubbing alcohol-like flavours imparted by phenols.
Burning Orange Belgian Wheat Recipe
|Weight (lbs)||Weight (kgs)||Grain|
|5.5 lbs||2.5 kgs||Pilsner Malt|
|2.75 lbs||1.25 kgs||Wheat Malt|
|2.75 lbs||1.25 kgs||Wheat Flakes|
Hops and Adjuncts
|Weight (oz)||Weight (g)||Ingredient||Time|
|0.95 oz||27 g||Perle 5.7%, whole||90 min|
|10 oranges||Burnt Valencia Oranges||secondary|
Wyeast 3944: Belgian Witbier harvested from lees
Racked Oranges: 11/14/2008
No water adjustments to local Pilsen-like water.
|Stage||Time / Temp|
|Mash In Temperature||140°F||60°C|
|Mash In Time||80 mins|
|1st Rest Temperature||156°F||69°C|
|1st Rest Time||40 mins|
|Mash-Out Time||20 mins|
|Sparge Time||80 mins|
|Boil Time||80 mins|
IBU: approx. 17
Ferment Temp: 71°F 22°C