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Old 06-23-2011, 08:30 PM   #1
trojandux
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Default To add honey or not to add that is the question

So I made an Octoberfest/Altbier recipe almost 2 weeks ago. Here is the recipe:

Type: Partial mash Size: 5.5 gallons

Water: Tap

Grain:
3 lbs German Munich 5L info
3 lbs Light Dry Malt Extract info
1 lbsAmerican Two-row Pale info
1 lbs American Vienna info
13oz Caramunich I info

60 min 1.0 oz Tettnanger info pellet 3.9
30 min 0.5oz Hallertau info pellet 3.9
15 mins 0.25oz Hallertau info pellet 3.9
5 mins 0.25oz Hallertau pellet 3.9

Wyeast German Ale (1007)

The OG was measured at 1.043

It has been in the primary @ 64F for 11 days now and it has stoped bubbling about a week ago and it still has a creamy krausen at the top. I plan on racking to the secondary in a couple days.

I was thinking about adding a pound of local wild flower honey to the secondary prior to racking to give it a little kick in Alcohol and a little flavor boost. I was wanting an opinion since this is my first non kit batch.

Would the honey add to much of an overwhelming flavor? Would it even tast good with this type of brew?

And I was planing on adding the honey by boiling a pint of H2O and and then mixing the honey with it and letting it cool before adding it to the secondary, so i get a bt of pasturization.

Thanks for helping a newb out I am still learning tons with each batch and cheers!!!!!!

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Old 06-24-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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A pound of honey will not be noticeable, other than the ABV boost. I wouldn't bother. But if you really want to increase the ABV, cane sugar will do it cheaper.

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Old 06-24-2011, 12:28 AM   #3
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I always advocate supporting your local beekeeper! Go for it and let us know how it turns out. Better yet, if you can split the batch and do half with honey and half without...well that'd be informative.

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Old 06-24-2011, 02:20 AM   #4
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I wish I could split the batch but I don't have mulipule carboys, only one for the 2nd any ideas?

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Old 06-24-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trojandux View Post
I wish I could split the batch but I don't have mulipule carboys, only one for the 2nd any ideas?
You can... Just rack about half off into the 2nd carboy and leave the rest in primary, split the honey between the two and let them both go for another 2 weeks or so. I'd wager the half in primary will be higher abv than the other, which should have more honey flavor, but it will be interesting to see.
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:53 PM   #6
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I seriously doubt you could taste the honey in a blind taste test.

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:01 PM   #7
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honey alone doesn't add a lot to taste or aromatics because it is so volatile. it would more than likely just boost the alcohol and dry it out more.

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:21 PM   #8
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IF te honey has a strong flavor by itself, and you add it after the initial fermentation has completed, and if you do it after te yeast has done all you want (give it enough time for tha) and you rack first (one of the few times it might make sense to rack) then you have a CHANCE of getting SOME honey flavor in the glass.

IF you had used honey malt, you would have honey flavor in the brew.

You can also try carbonating with honey to see if you can get a bit more honey flavor into the glass. Unfortunately, using honey can also ferment a lot. It's about 80% fermentable, so only a little will be left behind.

I've used honey in my earlier batches using honey in many stages of the batch. Feom the boil, to post primary fermentation, and even to carbonate with. I've found that using honey malt gives better, more repeatable, results.

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:32 PM   #9
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I have used honey and noticed absolutely no "honey like" flavor. I have added as much as 2 lbs to a wheat recipe once right in the last 5 minutes of the boil and it just ferments out completely. If you after a honey flavor, I would recommend honey malt. I have tried heat treating honey but probably did it wrong (it was a PIA process)
I'm sure someone here has successfully heat treated honey and got what they wanted out of it. I still will add honey to a light wheat beer but only to lighten the body up some.

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Old 06-25-2011, 08:23 AM   #10
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Default Honey additions

A slightly counter opinion ....

I have added honey to my American Wheat beers, and enjoy the noticable honey flavor & aroma.

I agree that honey added during the boil (even a few minutes) will boil off most/all of the aroma and lots of the flavor. I add my honey after the wort has cooled down below 130-F. Stirring well in the warm wort, disolving it completely.

For after primary, I am less sure about best way to dissolve it into solution. You do not need to heat it for any particular reason. Pure honey has a low enough moisure content as to inhibit all bacteria growth. Many mead makers will just add their honey to cold water, stir & ferment. No heating at all is the best way to preserve the honey flavors.

In heavier richer beers, I would expect the subtle honey flavors to not be as noticable. For lighter beers, it is easier. I use 1# per 5 gallons in my wheat, which is 60/40 2row/wheat malt and about 5% crystal-15 (~4 SRM)

If it were me, I would add 1# of honey to the fermenter, stir gently with a long spoon. Trying to avoid over agitating the surface, as too much extra O2 may add oxidizing flavors. That should dissolve the honey, and stir up the yeast and at this low concentrations, they should have no trouble eating up the sugars.

Good luck!
--LexusChris

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