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Old 10-04-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
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Default Brewing with Honey - Maximizing Flavour

Gentlemen and Gentlewomen,

I have been home brewing beer for nine months now and have thus far mainly focused on working with honey. My current project is a honey back lager and I am currently working on a third batch. Obviously the problem I am having is getting the honey flavor to come out more and not be overshadowed by the dark beer. I am getting small improvements with each attempt but am now seeking advice from others. So far this is what I've tried:

Adding honey later in the brewing- The idea here is that the yeast fill up on grain and so less honey is fermented leaving more taste

Scaling back on specialty grains- the first batch ever used a lot of grain, with the addition of honey it made for a really strong beer (I think that's whats caused it anyway)

Trying new yest- This is what I'm currently doing, Im still a novice and would like to choose a lager yeast that will die off around 5% alcohol. I would love recommendations

Using honey as a bottling primer- Still tinkering with how much to add but I use plastic bottles so now damage has happened...yet (about 100-100g for 23L seems to work well)

I want to try adding more honey, right now I've been adding 2kg to each 23L batch. I'm worried this might have the same effect the grains did and make it stronger (law of mass action). I also wondered if it would be worth it to brew the honey into mead first, then add it to the beer (I kind of doubt this will work).

I don't want to share too many specifics of my recipe, but will answer any questions people might have.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #2
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try using honey malt to complement it. honey is nearly 100% fermentable so its hard to get some flavor left behind. you could maybe try making candi syrup with it in hopes the maliard reactions leave more flavor behind http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/

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Old 10-04-2012, 08:43 PM   #3
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I've had good results with honey malt- just don't use too much of it! Another method I've found works well for honey is to dilute it half & half with water and then pour it into your fermenter around day 3 or at high krausen. I've done that a couple times and perceived a lot more honey-sweetness-aroma than adding the honey at the end of the boil. Your mileage may vary. Gluck.

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Old 10-04-2012, 11:23 PM   #4
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Have you tried using honey combs (obviously with honey in it) during a secondary fermantation? I have yet to try it but in theory it should extract theory

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Old 10-05-2012, 10:39 AM   #5
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I only bottle prime with honey. I was never impressed with honey malt but at the same time, I really only wanted a hint of honey. Its very important to consider the type of honey you are using. Clover honey is pretty useless for flavor. I really like orange blossom as it ends up giving me what I feel is a "true" honey taste. There are some many types but you should do some experimenting.

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Old 10-05-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
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There's something called brewer's honey a few HBS sell. It's a powder and I'm not entirely sure what it is (maybe dried honey?) but it definitely contributes a huge honey flavor.

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Old 10-05-2012, 11:26 PM   #7
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What kinds of honey have you been using? In my experience you need to use a really strongly flavored honey for it to really shine in a beer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmyg316 View Post
I don't want to share too many specifics of my recipe
Why not?
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:31 AM   #8
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Im in the process of putting together a honey brown for the holidays. It will be a tribute beer for Gpa and using honey collected from his hives. I considered several options to keep the abv down around 5%. I think that i will cold crash or lager WL Burton ale yeast and then add honey after transferring to secondary. Bring temp back up, prime and bottle. I, too am looking for a pronounced honey flavor. Looking forward to the replies.

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Old 10-06-2012, 02:33 AM   #9
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Why not?[/QUOTE]

Because he will have to kill you afterwards.

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Old 10-06-2012, 03:59 AM   #10
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As a Beekeeper I would use buckwheat honey! Nice and dark, not too sweet but it has a strong flavor.

Dave

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