On February 23, 2009 I brewed up a batch of Blood Orange Hefeweizen using a recipe that I found in Extreme Brewing [Amazon]. The recipe, photos, and details of brew day can be found in this previous post. After 3 weeks in the secondary fermenter and 2 weeks in the keg, it was finally ready to drink.
I poured the beer from the keg into a glass and the following is what I experienced.
Appearance. This beer has a yellow tan head that doesn’t last very long. It is hazy, as a hefeweizen usually is, the has a deep red-orange amber color.
Smell. The blood orange hefeweizen that I brewed has a strong clove smell and a hint of banana. It has a citrus and dark ripened fruit bouquet, which, for me, seemed to be a characteristic of the blood oranges. The smell is not terribly sweet and I was expecting a lot more of the blood orange smell.
Taste. The banana aspect of the blood orange hefeweizen is more prevalent in the taste. The yeast also gives it a clove spice quality. When the clove flavor is combined with the unsweetened blood orange flavors, it reminds me just a little of orange-spice herbal tea. Where the tea is very in your face with the flavors, in the beer thse flavors are more subtle.
Mouthfeel. This batch of homebrew did not reach the target final gravity. It ended up with a little more body than I wanted creating a slight surup-like sensation on the tongue. It seems to leave a bit of a yeasty aftertase in your mouth.
Drinkability. Despite the fact that this homebrew recipe wasn’t quite what I expected, it is a drinkable beer. Especially while is cold out of the keg, it has a refereshing quality to it. The uniqueness of it is a drawback, however, to having more than two at a time.
All in all, I thought this was an interesting beer to brew and drink. I’m not sure that I would brew it again any time soon. If I did try brewing it again, I would use a more neutral flavored yeast. I think the hefeweizen yeast might have overpowered the taste and smell of the blood oranges.