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Old 03-23-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
MrNic
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Default Honey Wheat advice please

Until now I've been brewing Coopers kits with less-than-desirable results, so I decided to go extract with hops and specialty grains. I'm brewing this recipe in hopes to have it ready for my birthday and I want I don't want to be disappointed. Here's the recipe I have in mind:

6# - Briess Bavarian Wheat LME
6 oz - Gambrinus Honey Malt (Steeped)
1 oz - Hallertau (60 min)

I have a couple of questions. Should I use Nottingham yeast, or go with US-05? Also, should I add some honey, or just stick with the honey malt? Does the honey malt give much of a honey flavor or is it completely different?

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Old 03-23-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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Congrats on upgrading from Coopers. The difference will be just crazy.
I would add some honey at the end of the boil for some true honey flavor. It'll also bump up the alcohol a bit and add a dryness, if you're interested in that.

I would use US-05 for a more neutral yeast flavor, British yeast might be a bit odd with a wheat beer. Actually, US-06 (Wheat Beer) would be even better.

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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I am working out a honey wheat recipe too.

Adding honey is going to dry out the beer and from what I have heard, will not add alot of residual sweetness. I'm going up the honey malt to 1LB and mash it with a few LB's of wheat malt. Doing a small mash isn't really any different than steeping effort wise and the honey malt is going to be best used that way as I understand it. I'll mash around 155 or so

The rest of my fermentables will be 3.3 LBs of wheat LME and I will add probably 1 LB of orange blossom honey at the end of boil. I expect the honey sugar to ferment out but hopefully will leave a trace of the orange. I am mashing higher to balance the extra booze and drying effect of the honey

My hops will be same as yours

I plan to use US-05 as well. I don't want a german style wheat, just a crisp american with some honey sweetness up front and a tiny hint of orange at the end

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Old 03-23-2011, 06:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kopher View Post
Congrats on upgrading from Coopers. The difference will be just crazy.
I would add some honey at the end of the boil for some true honey flavor. It'll also bump up the alcohol a bit and add a dryness, if you're interested in that.

I would use US-05 for a more neutral yeast flavor, British yeast might be a bit odd with a wheat beer. Actually, US-06 (Wheat Beer) would be even better.
How much honey? Would .5# be enough? Is it going to add anything besides alcohol? I'd rather leave it out if I can, just because it's kind of expensive. I think I'll go with the US-05 yeast then. I don't want any weird flavors from the yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Badranath View Post
I am working out a honey wheat recipe too.

Adding honey is going to dry out the beer and from what I have heard, will not add alot of residual sweetness. I'm going up the honey malt to 1LB and mash it with a few LB's of wheat malt. Doing a small mash isn't really any different than steeping effort wise and the honey malt is going to be best used that way as I understand it. I'll mash around 155 or so

The rest of my fermentables will be 3.3 LBs of wheat LME and I will add probably 1 LB of orange blossom honey at the end of boil. I expect the honey sugar to ferment out but hopefully will leave a trace of the orange. I am mashing higher to balance the extra booze and drying effect of the honey

My hops will be same as yours

I plan to use US-05 as well. I don't want a german style wheat, just a crisp american with some honey sweetness up front and a tiny hint of orange at the end
Is there really any difference between steeping the honey malt and mashing it? I've been reading up on honey malt and I've heard some people say that 8oz is too much, I can't imagine using a whole pound. I saw a lot of people saying that 8oz was too much and 4oz was too little so that's why I decided to go with 6oz.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:33 PM   #5
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In my experience honey will add a nice honey bite in the finish, and .5-1# should be enough.

If you can find a good price online it can be relatively inexpensive (like a lb of light amber from NB for $4 ) though you probably don't want such a dark one.

But sure you can leave it out -- I'm not certain how much honey flavor the honey malt will impart, but it'll be interesting to find out.

Mashing will let you convert and extract sugar from the malt instead of just getting flavor. I'm not sure how much more flavor you would get from mashing. But doing a small mash does add time and effort to the brew day, plus you may need to use some base malt in the mash.

Not trying to discourage you from partial mashing -- that's how I brew and it is awesome. Just not sure it's worth it for a few ounces of honey malt. Best description of partial mash procedures: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

I wouldn't worry about adding a bit more honey malt either, by the way. Up to a pound would be fine, I imagine.

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kopher View Post
In my experience honey will add a nice honey bite in the finish, and .5-1# should be enough.

If you can find a good price online it can be relatively inexpensive (like a lb of light amber from NB for $4 ) though you probably don't want such a dark one.

But sure you can leave it out -- I'm not certain how much honey flavor the honey malt will impart, but it'll be interesting to find out.

Mashing will let you convert and extract sugar from the malt instead of just getting flavor. I'm not sure how much more flavor you would get from mashing. But doing a small mash does add time and effort to the brew day, plus you may need to use some base malt in the mash.

Not trying to discourage you from partial mashing -- that's how I brew and it is awesome. Just not sure it's worth it for a few ounces of honey malt. Best description of partial mash procedures: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

I wouldn't worry about adding a bit more honey malt either, by the way. Up to a pound would be fine, I imagine.
If my birthday's on the 26th of May, how early would I need to brew to have it done by then? 4 weeks? 6 weeks?
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:08 AM   #7
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f70/oran...pecial-122554/

Look at this recipe. I brewed it and it is very nice. Some honey flavor but not too sweet. Slight orange flavor.

I am probably am going to brew this again.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
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If my birthday's on the 26th of May, how early would I need to brew to have it done by then? 4 weeks? 6 weeks?
I think for a small beer like this you could do 1-2 week primary and 2-3 weeks for bottle conditioning/priming. Probably don't need a secondary (make sure it ferments fully before bottling!), but it'll probably peak ~5 weeks after bottling I imagine, so 6-8 weeks would be best.

Wide range of opinions on these issues, of course, but my beer comes out pretty decent with these times.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kopher View Post
I think for a small beer like this you could do 1-2 week primary and 2-3 weeks for bottle conditioning/priming. Probably don't need a secondary (make sure it ferments fully before bottling!), but it'll probably peak ~5 weeks after bottling I imagine, so 6-8 weeks would be best.

Wide range of opinions on these issues, of course, but my beer comes out pretty decent with these times.
I'll brew mid-April then. Thanks for the help guys. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #10
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I brewed this today. The whole process was flawless, which surprised be since it was my first extract/specialty grain/hop addition brew. The honey I used was local, unprocessed honey from Colorado, so I thought it was pretty cool that I got to use that.

OG was 1.052. I tasted the hydrometer sample and it was pretty tasty. The hard part is going to be waiting a month...but I think it will be worth it.

Thanks for the help guys.

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