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Old 07-23-2009, 12:35 AM   #1
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Default Add honey to keg for sweetness?

I brewed a Belgian Wit a couple of weeks ago...it's sitting in secondary right now. Tastes great but it came in with a slightly lower OG than the recipe specified (only my 3rd all grain batch so I'm still not as efficient as I'd like to be...I think I was at about 70% for this one).

Anyway...the beer tastes great but it's not as sweet as I had hoped. To remedy this, I've been thinking about adding some honey when I keg.

My theory is that the honey will boost the sweetness and bring the flavor to where I want it...and it will be too cold in the kegerator (38 degrees F) for the yeast to ferment the added honey (I do NOT want the honey to ferment).

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated...thanks.

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:54 AM   #2
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I understand your theory, it kind of makes sense in principle, but I'm not sure that some of the yeasties still wouldn't wake up an attempt to ferment the fresh food...

For the Noobs looking in, that's the thing with people adding honey to beer, you really AREN'T getting much honey flavor in yourr beer, because it is fermenting away to alcohol, like mead. Which unless you kill fermentation and back sweeten with honey that won't ferment, really doesn't have that much of a sweet honey flavor. (To get a real honey flavor, use the darkest you can find, with the most concentration of flavor, or even better, use Gambrinus honey malt ProBrewer Interactive - View Single Post - Honey Malt)

Now in your case, I don't know if simply having the beer cold would be enough to keep them from processing the food...and what's going to happen if the glass of beer gets up to 55 degrees, is it going to start fermenting on the spot?

I dunno...

How bout using lactose instead? Boil up some lactose in a couple cups of water and add THAT to the keg....we know that that is unfermentable.

Just a thought.

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Old 07-23-2009, 12:59 AM   #3
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ditto on lactose. It's a good backsweetener.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:10 AM   #4
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lactose +1

There's no way I would put fermentable sugars in there for the purpose of sweetening.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:47 AM   #5
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I'd go with "the beer tastes great" and leave it at that. Sometimes, well almost always when you tinker with something great you wind up with something not so great.

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by samc View Post
I'd go with "the beer tastes great" and leave it at that. Sometimes, well almost always when you tinker with something great you wind up with something not so great.
Yeah, that's a good point.

THat tends to be my philosophy as well....after the beer is bottle, or kegged, it's done...and if it's good enough, enjoy it...and fiddle with the recipe for the next time you brew it.

There's a lot of batches on the horizion....
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:19 AM   #7
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A glass of beer in front of me wouldn't last long enough to start fermenting, but I wouldn't add honey to a keg. The only reason I can see for using honey in beer is to lighten the body and increase ABV...

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Old 07-23-2009, 01:58 PM   #8
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You are almost correct. The yeast won't ferment the honey quickly, but they will ferment it, even at 38F.

More to the point, it is tough to judge a Wit before it is carbonated.

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Old 07-23-2009, 02:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Now in your case, I don't know if simply having the beer cold would be enough to keep them from processing the food...and what's going to happen if the glass of beer gets up to 55 degrees, is it going to start fermenting on the spot?
Revvy, please, please, PLEASE tell me that you are not serious. You're just kidding around with the guy, right? RIGHT?

Hey, OP, the idea of it spontaneously launching into fermentation in the glass as you drink it is, well, I mean, that HAS to be a joke. Sweeten with honey if you want, or use lactose if you have it or are worried about spontaneous fermentation in your glass...but if you want to use honey, it's not going to hurt anything.
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
You are almost correct. The yeast won't ferment the honey quickly, but they will ferment it, even at 38F.

More to the point, it is tough to judge a Wit before it is carbonated.
You sure about that? I've never seen an ale yeast ferment at 38...
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.primary | bright:
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