Bitter Orange Peel adds a mild citrus aroma and flavour to your brew. This is the traditional ingredient used to add orange character to Belgian witbiers in combination with coriander. Bitter orange powder is generally added to boiling wort during the last 10-15 minutes.
Bitter Oranges (Citrus aurantium)
Bitter oranges represent a broad class of fruits whose aromatics delivery citrusy, herbal overtones. Sometimes called Seville oranges, the flesh of bitter oranges is rarely edible, but the peel carries aromatics and flavor compounds that can range from subtly citrusy and floral to—oddly—meaty. The orange peel used in Belgian witbier is traditionally of the bitter variety, and it’s almost always paired with coriander.
The Curaçao orange (Citrus aurantium var. currassuviencis) is a type of bitter orange that grows on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. Descendants of Seville oranges planted by Spanish explorers in the 1500s, Curaçao oranges bowed to the evolutionary pressures of island life and today are known as laraha fruit. The flesh of the laraha is completely inedible, but the peel contains wonderful aromatics.
Bitter oranges, including Curaçao, form the basis for authentic Curaçao liqueur, triple sec, and Grand Marnier, but for reasons I don’t quite understand, bitter orange peel is more generically citrusy than overtly orangey when used in beer. For intense orange flavor, we must turn to sweet oranges.
Use bitter orange peel for a pleasant citrusy character and sweet orange peel for intense orange flavor. Regardless which you choose, start small and adjust your recipe to taste. Add 0.5–1.0 ounce (14–28 grams) of dried orange peel 5 to 15 minutes before the end of the boil, or steep in hot water for 10 minutes and add to secondary.
This can also be used as a botanical in gin distilling, just experiment away.....