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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Tip about brewing with honey
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Old 02-05-2007, 06:22 AM   #1
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Default Tip about brewing with honey

I was just watching a video over at www.basicbrewing.com and they said that you shouldn't add honey to a boiling brew or boil a mead because boiling drives off the honey's flavors and aroma. It isn't like a hop that you have to extract anything out of ! Makes perfect sense to me.

They said that if you want to sterilize the honey in the brew, to steep it in the brew at 140 or 160F for a period of time to kill off the nasties. It doesn't need to be boiled. And when making a mead, some people don't boil.

I can dig up a link to the video if someone needs it.

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Old 02-05-2007, 06:26 AM   #2
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I think the best advice I have heard is add the honey at flame out.

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Old 02-05-2007, 06:44 AM   #3
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What's flameout exactly? I've heard the term in these forums a few times. I'm guessing it has to do with the end of the boil?

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Old 02-05-2007, 07:38 AM   #4
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Yes flameout refers to the end of the boil--when the flame from the burner (if using a propane burner--obviously electric stoves do not have flames) is off or "out".

You'll see it referenced here on the board a lot as some recipes call for hop additions at flameout.

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Old 02-05-2007, 03:05 PM   #5
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Flameout is also referred to as a 0 minute add. Which is pretty fast.

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Old 02-05-2007, 05:37 PM   #6
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According to basicbrewing.com and mead makers one could wait to add the honey until the wort temp reaches something lower, like 140F. Supposedly retains the honey flavors better.

Heck, some mead makers don't boil their must. (must = honey + water)

I make wines with fruit all the time. I've never had a bad batch. All my fruit is added to room temperature water for fermentation. The fruit is never steeped.

Most commercial honey is pasteurized too.

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Old 02-06-2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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I just made a "Black Honey Ale", that I may deem as Buckwheat Black. It used 2lbs of Buckwheat Honey in it. It required me to add the honey at high krausen, but first i had to heat treat it. I had to keep the honey at 176 degrees for 2.5 hours, then add to water, let cool, then put in the fermenter.

I've read some reports on the internet and they say pretty much the same. The later you add the honey, the more honey flavor will come through. I just transferred the beer last night to the secondary, and it tastes pretty good for only being a little over a week old.

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Old 02-07-2007, 03:47 AM   #8
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Here is my take on honey. The advice is free, so take it or leave it:

Honey has natural preservatives. It won't go "bad" in it's natural form. When making mead, you are dilluting it, but also adding Pot. Met., and getting the alcohol in the 10%+ range. The Pot Met will keep the nasties away until the ABV gets high enough to kill it.

For making beer, how much time do you have between flame out and temps < 140? I probably have 10 to 15 minutes by the time I get my wort carried into the house, hoses hooked up, and immersion chiller getting temps to that level. That should be long enough to knock out the bee's knees and other undesireable stuff.

Adding to the secondary, high krausen, or at bottling? You are really dilluting it, reducing the "anti-nasty" power of the honey, while still possibly introducing nasties. Potentially bad juju.

My thoughts may be flawed. I have never had a batch go bad. In the only beers I have made, the honey has been added at FO. There is little honey flavor left. My cysers and meads I bring to 170 degrees for 15 minutes.

I am finding that in this hobby, it is tough to screw up a batch of anything. The only near screw up I have had is a batch of apple wine that I followed someone's recipe for. It is drinkable with sprite and ice, but it's 17% ABV makes it tough to drink straight.

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Old 02-07-2007, 04:19 AM   #9
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Pot. Met.?

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Old 02-07-2007, 05:47 AM   #10
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POTassium METabisulfite.

Not to be confused with SODium METabisulfite, or Sod Met.

(Both of them will do the same thing, but the K-met doesn't have nasty sodium molecules in it.) (Potassium has a periodic table abbreviation of "K.")

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