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Old 05-02-2012, 09:17 PM   #1
StuckBrauer
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Default Recipe Help - Honey Wheat

Ok so I have a ton of questions for this one. I will try to ask as few as necessary.

This is going to be my first partial mash. I figured it would be a good one to start with since there are so few ingredients, and I don't want to make a beer almost entirely from barley and wheat extracts. The problem I'm having is that I don't know how much wheat and 2 row to use. My malt bill looks like this.

OG ~1.050

Wheat - 35% = 3.2 lbs wheat
Barley - 45% = 4.46 lbs 2 row
Crystal - 5% = .52 lbs
Honey - 15% = 1.14 lbs

So I plan to use the full amount of crystal, a portion of the wheat and barley, then supplement the rest with malt extract. What portion of wheat and barley should I use in my partial mash? Should I use as much of the wheat as possible say 2 lbs wheat and maybe 1 lb of 2 row? Or should I do half and half? Something else?

My other question involves working with honey. In designing great beers by Ray Daniels, Ray mentions flavor loss issues with adding honey to the boil kettle. He mentions holding honey diluted with water at 176F under a Co2 blanket and then adding to the beer at high kraeusen. I really don't know what holding it under a CO2 blanket would involve, but would it be possible to essentially dilute my honey in water, leave it covered at ~175F while I'm brewing, and add it to the kettle at knock out? Would this pasteurize it enough and minimize flavor loss or am I running the risk of contaminating my beer?

Last question. Does the amount of honey I'm using seem ok? Too much? Not enough? Maybe a better way of asking is how much impact should this amount of honey (~1 lb.) have on my beer?

Thanks guys.

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Old 05-02-2012, 09:33 PM   #2
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Honey is a simple sugar, and is going to dry out your beer. It also ferments out 100%, and only leaves the florals from whatever plant nector made the honey. Sometimes this gives you a good honey flavor in the beer, sometimes it doesn't.

Most brewers will use about 5-8% of the grain bill in honey MALT to get a good honey flavor.

If you do want to stick with actual honey, I've had much better luck with wildflower honey from the whole foods store than I have with the typical honeybear from the grocery store. I add my honey at flameout. Honey is like 99.99% sanitary, so no real need to pasteurize.

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Old 05-02-2012, 10:57 PM   #3
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+1 on the above use of honey or malt, typically a wheat beer is 60% wheat malt or more so I would flip the amount for the wheat and the 2 row and add some rice hulls to the bill to help with the sparge.

You can also add 1/2 lb malto-dextrin powder to the bill to counter act the thinning the honey will do.

IMO less than 2lbs of honey won't give you much, I will usually use 3lbs for a 5G batch

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:09 AM   #4
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Yep, add up to 10% honey malt for a nice honey like sweetness.

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:25 AM   #5
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I agree with everyone else, ditch the honey and do a a grist of something along the lines of 60% 2-Row 30% wheat 10 % honey malt. Keep it simple and use some nice citrus hops to compliment the sweetness from the honey malt.

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Old 05-03-2012, 02:24 AM   #6
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I don't have any experience using honey malt, but I think you will get more honey flavor with it rather than liquid honey. Be advised that honey malt has a very strong flavor - a little goes a long way. Get some honey malt and taste, I've tasted it and it has a super strong honey flavor. I'm going to make a honey wheat over the summer and I'm not going to use more than .5 lbs in a 5 gallon batch. Once again, I'd use too little rather than too much.

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Old 05-03-2012, 03:15 AM   #7
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Something to consider since you are only doing a partial mash is the percentage of wheat in the extract you are using. I believe most wheat extract is around 50-60% wheat.

Also if you aren't force carbing you can prime with honey at a ratio of 4.7 oz honey to 4 oz corn sugar.

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Old 05-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Alright sounds like I will go with the honey malt then. Any suggestions on what percentage wheat and 2 row I should use in my partial mash?

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Old 05-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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I'm thinking about doing a Honey-Wheat Double IPA with Columbus, Chinook, Summit, and Centennial. I think there will be enough sweetness for my palate from the malt sans the Crystal...

29% Simpsons Golden Promise
29% Muntons Xtra Light DME
14% Muntons Xtra Light DME
14% Orange Blossom Honey
14% Rahr Red Wheat

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I want to go with real honey for this beer. I want that dryness and subtle floral character, not that honey sweetness. I was thinking about adding the honey when the wort was approx. 150 F, and let it slowly cool in the ice bath to 65 F before pitching the yeast. Wondering if I would have better luck pitching it at high krausen? I'm not racking to secondary so that's out of the question.

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Old 05-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #10
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Honey malt starts to give a subtle honey flavor at about 5% of the total grain bill, and is in your face prominent at about 10%. I typically add 0.5 lbs per 10.0 lbs total grain bill to a few of my recipes. Bump it up slightly from there is you want it to stand out, but don't go above 10%.

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