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Old 10-15-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
RobWalker
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Default improve my honey beer recipe.

It's not bad, the colour and flavour are both okay, but its just lacking balls, truth be told. It's good enough that me and my parents have drank 20 pints in a week, but I would just like to improve this further. It's partial mash and hops are added at 60 and 15 minutes. Apologies that this is quite rough but I'm working from memory!

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Golden Honey Ale
Brew Type: Partial Mash Date: 10/09/2011
Style: Light Blonde Beer Brewer: R. Walker
Batch Size: 5.00 gal Assistant Brewer:
Boil Volume: 5.72 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 % Equipment: My Equipment
Actual Efficiency: 0.0
Taste Rating (50 possible points): 35.0

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.00 kg Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 63.8 %
0.23 kg Amber Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 7.2 %
14.17 gm Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (60 min) Hops 10.0 IBU
7.09 gm Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (10 min) Hops 1.8 IBU
0.25 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
0.91 kg Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 29.0 %
1 Pkgs SafAle English Ale (DCL Yeast #S-04) Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile Estimated Original Gravity: 1.052 SG (1.035-1.050 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.014 SG (1.008-1.015 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Color: 7.1 SRM (2.0-8.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 11.8 IBU (8.0-20.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 0.5 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 5.0 % (3.8-5.5 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 5.0 %
Actual Calories: 232 cal/pint
I believe the problems may be too much honey to malt extract, wrong type of hop (aroma) and a lack of something like wheat, oat etc. I'd like to keep this at least close to a blonde ale style.

How can I improve this?
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:32 PM   #2
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I think you're right about the honey for a 1.050 OG, maybe half of what you have, and make up with DME. And try doubling the hops. Having less than 1oz (and 12 IBUs) will leave it quite dull IMO, and EKG should fit right in. Maybe add some carapils or crystal too... Other than that, it looks like it should be a quite pleasant drinking ale.

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Old 10-16-2011, 12:37 AM   #3
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Default honey blonde ale

Overall, recipe looks pretty good and it sounds like you already have some fans!

To me, the Amber malt looks a bit out of place. If you want to add a little bit of malt flavor to the beer, I'd remove the Amber and perhaps use just a bit of Vienna malt. I also liked your idea for a bit of wheat malt too.. wheat has a nice character, and in small proportions(10%) should not overpower..

A few more IBU's with the 60-min addition would be a good idea too. I think you'd want to be around 20 IBU total when you finish..

If you like a little honey flavor, no more than 0.45 kg honey and be sure to add it after the boil. I prefer to add it when it has cooled below 125-F to preserve the aromatics.

The british ale yeast can give you some fruity esters... not sure if you tasted those and/or wanted them or not. Fermenting at higher temps with that yeast would produce more fruity esters, if I remember correctly. Go lower if you do not, or switch to US-05.

Good luck, and post your tweeks & results!
--LexusChris

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Old 10-16-2011, 02:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by RobWalker View Post
It's not bad, the colour and flavour are both okay, but its just lacking balls, truth be told. It's good enough that me and my parents have drank 20 pints in a week, but I would just like to improve this further. It's partial mash and hops are added at 60 and 15 minutes. Apologies that this is quite rough but I'm working from memory!



I believe the problems may be too much honey to malt extract, wrong type of hop (aroma) and a lack of something like wheat, oat etc. I'd like to keep this at least close to a blonde ale style.

How can I improve this?
the honey will ferment away leaving no honey flavor at all, it won't matter if you add it after the boil or what temperature you heat it up to. if you add a 1/2 lb or so of honey malt you will get a nice honey flavor in the beer. don't use too much though.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
the honey will ferment away leaving no honey flavor at all, it won't matter if you add it after the boil or what temperature you heat it up to. if you add a 1/2 lb or so of honey malt you will get a nice honey flavor in the beer. don't use too much though.
As a fan of honey, and a mead maker, I can assure you that honey does contribute flavor when properly added & fermented. Especially in a light recipe like this, it will shine through.

Honey added during the boil will lose most all of its flavor & aroma and thus leave fermentable sugar and little else. When added to the cool wort, you will retain those delicate aromatics.

Honey malt is also a nice alternate way to get some of that sweetness into a brew.


--LexusChris
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Cheers, this is all quite thought provoking! Interesting that the hops are fine, I thought i had made a mistake using aroma only hops.

Honey does definitely contribute to the flavour much like brown sugar will ferment out but change the taste too. I add mine at 2 mins to ensure its consistent in the brew and I'm not waiting for a big glob stuck at the bottom to ferment.

I will increase the ibu's for sure, the amber malt was mostly steeped for colour but I'm open minded! Crystal may be my best bet.

I'm all for fruity eaters. My sort of buzz words (hahahah) for this beer are things like sunset, fruity, aromatic, refreshing...I like to just grab adjectives in keeping with my image of what the beer should be and conjure up an idea of what I'm after overall. Hopefully that helps would using my brew belt keep s-04 still in a decent temperature range?

We can't get honey malt here sadly.

Any suggestion on honey type by the way? I just used supermarket clear but as a mead maker you may know more! I'm mainly after an aroma/aftertaste from it. I've had a few commercial types and fullers honey dew is by far the best. It's simple with slight fruitiness, and the honey aroma and aftertaste leave you wanting more without being particularly obvious. Just food for thought...

So, ill increase the ibu, maybe use a bittering hop alongside my ekg, use less honey and more malt, add some wheat and swap the amber for something else. I'll also add the honey when the wort has cooled I'll jump on my calculator later and see what I can come up with! Thanks for the advice. I realise this sounds like a lot of change but its really not - and maybe with a large number of small changes ill be able to tweak it a third time to make a great beer.

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Old 10-16-2011, 10:22 AM   #7
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I do a similar "California Common" with the addition of 1oz of coriander seeds in last 15min of boil adds a nice flavor/aroma if you like coriander. I usually use northern brewer bittering & saaz as finish for this one, but have thought about changing that up a bit. recently switched to the saflager dry yeast which came out good at low ambient room temps

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Old 10-17-2011, 04:01 AM   #8
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Default Honey

When using honey, I feel it is best to find 'real' raw honey. Some supermarket brands are diluted with simple sugar syrups... which for morning biscuits is fine .. but for brewing, not so much.

For a mead, I like ones that are un-pasturized and full of all their original flavors, pollen, etc.

There are many varieties. Orange blossum & clover are both mild tasty choices for a light bodied beer. I like sage & wildflower honey too, but they have strong flavors that may overpower a lighter beer. It just depends on your tastes....

Here in California, I order stuff from Miller's Honey quite often.

I did a quick google on 'raw honey England' and found http://www.pyreneeshoney.com/order-form.php which has a bunch of interesting varieties!

Good luck on your next batch!
--LexusChris

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Old 10-17-2011, 04:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by LexusChris View Post
As a fan of honey, and a mead maker, I can assure you that honey does contribute flavor when properly added & fermented. Especially in a light recipe like this, it will shine through.

Honey added during the boil will lose most all of its flavor & aroma and thus leave fermentable sugar and little else. When added to the cool wort, you will retain those delicate aromatics.

Honey malt is also a nice alternate way to get some of that sweetness into a brew.


--LexusChris
maybe it will add some flavor but it definitely will dry out and thin out the beer so unless you very carefully craft your grain bill it will rob the beer of body.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:11 PM   #10
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I've just gone and got some orange blossom for the next one.

Any further ideas on the amber malt swapout? Vienna and Wheat Malt sound like good ideas, and it'll be useful to buy them and build up my supplies a bit

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