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Old 10-12-2006, 08:14 PM   #1
simzy
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Default Honey's affect on ABV

I want to add 1.5 lbs honey to my nut brown ale (my 2nd batch). I'm wondering how much that will increase my ABV?

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ABV to be between 4.0-5.0%

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Old 10-12-2006, 08:20 PM   #2
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No way to know for certain as the fermentables can vary for honey.

We made a honey wheat that at first was almost too sweet to drink while in the keg. After a while it must have worked itself through and ended up being good towards the end of the keg. It also packed a punch, I noticed by my ears getting warm after the first pint or so.

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Old 10-12-2006, 11:40 PM   #3
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Figure about 80% fermentables for honey, although it varies a lot. It will probably push your ABV enough that the alcohol flavor will dominate. Plan on aging this an extra month.

If you want a solid number, dilute the honey to 1 gallon with warm water & measure the specific gravity.

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Old 10-12-2006, 11:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
If you want a solid number, dilute the honey to 1 gallon with warm water & measure the specific gravity.

That will give you the SG of the honey addition, but it still won't tell you how much of it is fermentable. Just so we're clear on that.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
It will probably push your ABV enough that the alcohol flavor will dominate. Plan on aging this an extra month.

Alcohol flavor is good , but I'm not really looking for it to dominate. I am planning on pasteurizing the honey at 175 degrees in the oven, then adding it to the secondary, hoping that I will get some of the honey's sweetness in my final product, and not getting the dominate alcohol flavor one might get if adding the honey to the wort boil.
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Old 10-13-2006, 05:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simzy
Alcohol flavor is good , but I'm not really looking for it to dominate. I am planning on pasteurizing the honey at 175 degrees in the oven, then adding it to the secondary, hoping that I will get some of the honey's sweetness in my final product, and not getting the dominate alcohol flavor one might get if adding the honey to the wort boil.
It doesn't matter when you add the honey. The yeast will eat it. I think you'll have to sweeten it with an unfermentable sugar.

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Old 10-13-2006, 05:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simzy
Alcohol flavor is good , but I'm not really looking for it to dominate. I am planning on pasteurizing the honey at 175 degrees in the oven, then adding it to the secondary, hoping that I will get some of the honey's sweetness in my final product, and not getting the dominate alcohol flavor one might get if adding the honey to the wort boil.
I've tinkered with honey a little bit... what they said is right about letting it condition longer. My honey-added ales typically take about 5-6 weeks to carbonate in bottles. Can't speak for kegs personally.

If you want some of the honey flavor to come through, add it about 5-10 minutes before the end of the boil. Takes on a similar characteristic to finishing hops. There is a TON of fermentable sugar in it though so it will up your alcohol levels.

Bottom line: if you're looking for higher ABV, add it when you add any extract, or at 60 minutes if you're going AG. If you're looking for some honey flavor too, add it with between 5-10 min left in the boil. It won't be a LOT of honey flavor, but depending on how hoppy the beer is, you'll taste it creep through in the background.
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Old 10-13-2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simzy
Alcohol flavor is good , but I'm not really looking for it to dominate. I am planning on pasteurizing the honey at 175 degrees in the oven, then adding it to the secondary, hoping that I will get some of the honey's sweetness in my final product, and not getting the dominate alcohol flavor one might get if adding the honey to the wort boil.

I've made many batches with 1 to 2 lbs of honey. The alcohol is definately overpowering. I like it, others don't. You will not get any of the honey's sweetness in your final product. Too many fermentables in honey and it has no residual sweetness in the final product. The one's I've brewed definately pack a whallup.
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Old 10-13-2006, 01:53 PM   #9
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My main goal is to increase the ABV about 2%. I was hoping to get some residual sweetness from the honey, and to have it ready by thanksgiving, so it sounds like I'll have a more desireable results by adding a different sugar.

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Old 10-13-2006, 03:21 PM   #10
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You'll definately get the 2% with the honey. Probably one lb for 5 gallon batches. Thanksgiving would be pushing it as adding honey takes more time. You should try it, though. Good stuff.

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