Homebrewing: Blood Orange Hefeweizen

It had been nearly 2 years since the last time I brewed a batch of beer and I was eager to start brewing again. I had recently purchased a copy of Extreme Brewing [Amazon] by Sam Calagione and while flipping through the pages I found a homebrew recipe that was both simple and interesting:  Blood Orange Hefeweizen. And so, on February 23, 2009 I brewed up a batch and took some photos of the process.



I found the recipe for this beer on page 96 of Extreme Brewing but as usual I had to substitute a few ingredients. Here is the version of the recipe that I brewed:

  • 6.85 lbs of liquid wheat extract (65 minutes)
  • 0.5 oz Liberty hops 4.5% AA (60 minutes)
  • 0.7 oz really old (but sealed and refridgerated) Czech Saaz hops 3.2% AA (20 minutes)
  • 0.5 oz Liberty hops 4.5% AA
  • White Labs WLP380 Hefeweizen IV Ale Yeast
  • 4 blood oranges
    • Grate the orange part (the white part is very bitter) of the rind of 2 of the oranges
    • Peel, section, and chop all 4 blood oranges
    • Heat fruit in 1/2 gallon of water to 160°F, cover, turn off heat, cool.
    • Add to primary fermenter
  • 2 blood oranges
    • I sampled the beer going from the primary to the secondary I added because I wanted more blood orange flavor.
    • Grate the rind of one of the oranges
    • Juice both the blood oranges
    • Bring the mixture barely to a boil.
    • Cool and add to the secondary fermenter

Yeast Starter

Three days before brew day I made a 1.25 L yeast starter with a quarter cup of light dry malt extract. I bought it to a very gentle boil on an electric stove. While wearing silicone oven mits, I pulled the flask off of the heat when it looked like it was about to boil over.


Yeast Starter for White Labs WLP380 Hefeweizen IV Yest

Brew Day

The following are some pictures that I took on brew day. The first picture (and the first picture in this post) are of the blood oranges. I used two store bought blood oranges and two home grown (by relatives, not me) blood oranges. Can you guess which were store bought? The home grown ones were blood red in color while the other oranges were more pink and brown.


Below I’m adding the liquid wheat malt extract to the boiled water. More Flavor in Los Altos, CA packages their LME in convenient bags. I thought that this wheat LME was a little dark, which will probably hide some of the redness from those really dark blood oranges.


Liberty hop pellets, measured out to 0.5 oz and ready to be added to the wort.


Liberty Hop Pellets

The boiling wort is ready for the hop pellets to be added.



The picture below is the “tea” of chopped blood orange sections, which have sunk to the bottom,, and grated blood orange peel, which is floating on the top. I brought this mixture to 160°F and left it there for about 10 minutes. After it cooled down I dumped the entire contents into the primary fermenter.


The wort chiller was one of the best pieces of homebrewing equipment I’ve purchased. I chilled the wort in about 16 minutes.


Adding the wort to the primary fermenter. I cooled it down to about 75°F.


At the time of writing, it has been about 3 weeks since brew day. The last sample I took had a gravity that was very close to the target so I’ll be kegging this weekend. After the beer is properly carbonated I’ll sample it and post a review.

Others Who Brewed this Recipe

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About David Jensen

David is a craft beer and photography enthusiast.
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15 Responses to Homebrewing: Blood Orange Hefeweizen

  1. Great photos! Thanks for including a link to the Hop Cast. Ken and I had a blast brewing ours. Hope yours turns out tasty!

  2. Chris Hubing says:

    Interesting recipe…. I’ll be curious to hear how it turns out.

    I just bought an immersion chiller and I can’t wait to try it out!

    I have a maibock and a fat tire knockoff in secondary at the the moment. Trying to figure out what to brew next.

  3. Tom Bedell says:

    Looks good! This blog, with the photos, just might inspire me to start brewing again. Plus I just love blood oranges.

  4. Bull says:

    That looks AWESOME! Likewise, I can’t wait to hear how it turns out.

    I have a fruit beer in secondary myself that has blood orange zest. For fruit I pureed 8 lbs of mango.

    I’ll have to keep this one in mind for the next time I want to use fruit.

  5. David Jensen says:

    Wow, mango sounds very interesting. I’ve found your blog posting about it, I’ll read it later tonight.

  6. Timbo says:

    Sounds good. Where does one get “Libery” hops?

  7. Proteus93 says:

    I’d be eager to hear how this turns out, too. I just finished off a bottle of blood orange juice a few days ago, forgot to buy new ones, and have left myself to crave that flavour for a few days now.

  8. David Jensen says:

    I fixed the typo. It should be Liberty hops. You can get them at a homebrew supply store they are a substitute for Hallertau hops.

  9. Keith says:

    Have you bottled yours up yet? I tweaked the same recipes, specifically racking it on top of a belgium wit yeast cake I bottled an hour before. I am curious to see how yours turns out.

  10. David Jensen says:

    I don’t bottle anymore (unless it is from the keg). I just kegged this beer on Tuesday night (March 31). It should be ready by next weekend or sooner.

  11. Keith says:

    How did yours turn out?

  12. David Jensen says:

    I’m going to post a review about how it turned out.

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