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Old 02-18-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Default Can you use honey as a primer for carbonation?

Ok. I was wondering if anybody had every tried to use honey as a primer for bottle carbonation instead of sugar or sugar drops???

I purchased a small sampler pack of different honeys from Vermont and I wanted to try to see if the different honeys would impart different tastes to my beer. From experience I have noticed that when you add honey to the primary fermentor you get little to know honey taste in the beer. (I think it is due to the fact that the fermentation is so rigorous at this stage it eats up everything including taste).

So my plan was to try using honey as my fermentable for bottling. I figured that the sugar would provide for carbonation but that more of the honey taste would come thru because the fermentation at this stage is not all that rigorous.


First has anybody done this and what are your thoughts and experiences??


Second. If I want to do this how do it? Do I cook the honey with water first? Do I add any extra sugar to the honey? How much honey/water/sugar do I use and how much goes in each bottle?

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Old 02-18-2008, 12:57 PM   #2
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Yes it can be done. Yes some people like it. Yes, a lot of people think it's a waste of time since you could have just added the honey to secondary and not had to worry about inconsistent carbonation. Yes, this has been discussed hundreds of times before. Do a search, you'll find more information than you can shake a stick at!

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Old 02-18-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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I asked a question about getting a honey flavor in beer (sorry, I forget where it is exactly, but it'll come up if you search). The answer, basically, is not to use honey - because it ferments out so completely. Honey malt would be a good way of getting a honey-like flavour in there.

As for your honey-priming plan: as I understand it, there is so little sugar used in priming that I'd be surprised if you could tell what type of sugar was used. For my last five-gallon batch I used 90g of sugar to prime (I think that's about three ounces). That's pretty negligible, and is almost certainly going to be hidden by whatever else is in the beer (unless your beer is particularly light and watery). Also, for priming you'd need to ensure the sugar is mixed evenly throughout the beer before you bottle, otherwise you risk flat beer and/or explodey beer - neither of which feels like ample reward for the work you put in whilst brewing.

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Old 02-18-2008, 03:44 PM   #4
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Sorry I forgot to mention I am usign a Mr. Beer kit. So I don't do any 2ndary fermetation. Goes from the main fermentor to the botttle.

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Old 02-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #5
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i just did an experiment that actually worked well. I had a half gallon left over from the last Hefe I did. I put it into a sanitized growler and just poured unsanitized raw honey directly into the growler. I squirted 5 seconds worth into it.

It was a bit undercarbed, but it worked. I dont recommend this unless you are sure your not going to have an explosion

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Old 02-19-2008, 02:22 PM   #6
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Well I may experiment with a few bottles. My method is goign to be to get a small amount of water up to a boil and then add honey and a bit of corn sugar. Then I will add a small amoutn to a few bottles before addign my beer.

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Old 01-16-2009, 04:13 AM   #7
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Default carbonation

why dont you just mix the sugar and honey in the bucket before you bottle so its evenly distributed??

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamrd View Post
why dont you just mix the sugar and honey in the bucket before you bottle so its evenly distributed??
In my situation, I filled the kegs as normal but as always I had about a half gallon left. Why waste beer? Carb a growler and set it aside too. This works for keggers, now you can give a growler of your beer to someone or stash it away for a few months.

5-6 seconds of honey straight out of the bear works best for carbing a growler. Don't seriously squeeze the crap out of it, just a normal squeeze works just fine.
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