Author Topic: The citrus from the coriander?  (Read 3932 times)


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The citrus from the coriander?
« on: September 24, 2009, 10:01:49 PM »
I read somewhere that when making a Belgian Wit style beer, that it's the Coriander that gives it the citrusy flavor, not the bitter orange peel so much.  Anyone willing to back this up?

I ask because I've got a wit with almost no real citrus flavor.  I made the mistake(?) of cutting down on the coriander just because I didn't want it to be so spicy.  Next time I was gonne use from fresh oranges and zest them for a bit of that bitter flavor (maybe even into the secondary) but wondered if I should up the amount of coriander that I'm using as well.

Any opinions?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: The citrus from the coriander?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 06:41:52 AM »
I would disagree on the coriander bringing in the citrus... SWMBO's wit (Wife's Wit) started out with 1/4tsp coriander. I have slowly increased this and now I add .75oz (5.5G batch). The increase's have been slow and steady, and I'm about where I want it to be. The citrus flavors come from types of citrus used. IMO, fresh zest in the last 15 min of the boil is the way to go. I have tried the dried bitter orange peel in my first attempt at a wit, and the fresh is so much better. I use the zest of: 1 Grapefruit, 3 oranges, and 2 lemons, per the recommendations of a book I read on the subject. If you want the book name I will need to dig it up. I don't remember which one right now.

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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: The citrus from the coriander?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 07:08:44 AM »
Agreed on fresh zest (JZ podcasts and his book I think).  I've overdone the coriander at about two oz in a smaller batch, and it was sharply citrus/bitter when young.  The fresh zest is pleasantly citrusly, while TOO much coriander is sharp and almost astringent.  Both sources fade over time.  I think the coriander effect lasts much longer than the zest, so it's a balancing act. 

I think I'd use between 0.75 oz and 1.0 oz of coriander in my next one, and about the same fresh zest as UB.  I use some grapefruit, some lemon, and the widest mix of orange-colored fruit I can get, including tangerine, mineola, etc.  All organic from EarthFare.  (I like this type zester, which I happened to own, but it's much better than those zesters that bartenders use for cocktails.)  micro zester at Amazon


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Re: The citrus from the coriander?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 06:00:28 PM »
I figured that sounded bizzare.  Definitly gonna try with the fresh zest, because I really do want that citrusy flavor.  I want a good bite too it though, so I'll work on my coriander as well.  Got only like, .25 oz in my first 5 gal batch.

As for the zesting, has anyone ever actually located bitter oranges?  I've looked around a bit with not much luck, using the grapefruit and the lemon for extra tart seems a real good way to go, but it would be nice to play around with staying style specific and actually get hands on some fresh bitter orange.  Heard they're really ugly suckers.

Thanks ya'll.

Offline t2000kw

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Re: The citrus from the coriander?
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 08:50:26 PM »
The coriander has a large input on the citrus flavor, even though it's not citrus itself. Are you crushing the coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or some other way to get the flavor and aroma from them?

If you want to pay a lot less for it, buy it in a grocery store that caters to people from India, or an Indian section in a large grocery store. You'll pay only a few dollars (USD) for a pound of it vs. a couple of dollars for a couple of ounces. Store it in an airtight container and you should have some for a lot of future beers. Freezing it might even make it last many years.

It's also useful in a pumpkin ale as one of the spices in it.