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Old 02-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
ALofty
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Default Adding honey to an American Cream Ale

I'm working with a Brewer's Best American Cream Ale kit and I would love to add honey to it. Here is the current recipe:

1oz. Willamette hops, boil for 40 min.
Add 2lbs of Light DME and 1lb of Corn Sugar
Boil 5 min
Add 1oz Willamette hops, boil for 10 min.
Terminate boil

So my question is when to add the honey, or could I substitute the corn sugar for honey? Or should I use the honey when bottling? Or am I crazy and should skip the honey all together?

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:12 PM   #2
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You can use it for priming...I've done that but you won't get much if any flavor contribution because you're not adding much. If you want to add enough to get a flavor and aroma contribution, I'd add it at flameout and chill quickly. The flavor compounds in honey are pretty volatile, so if you boil it or hold it at high temps too long they'll get lost.

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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I havent made a cream ale, but I usually add honey into my fermenter at high krausen.
If it is filtered and all that junk, ill dissolve it in preboiled water and throw it in. I usually use unfiltered/unprocessed honey which I dissolve in water then hold at ~160 for 10 min.
I have found adding it to an active fermentation will leave the slightest honey flavor as opposed to almost none when added during the boil. Also, I have not had any infections doing it this way.

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by microbusbrewery
You can use it for priming...I've done that but you won't get much if any flavor contribution because you're not adding much. If you want to add enough to get a flavor and aroma contribution, I'd add it at flameout and chill quickly. The flavor compounds in honey are pretty volatile, so if you boil it or hold it at high temps too long they'll get lost.
+1.

One of my first attempts at tweaking a recipe I put 2.5lbs of honey in at 45 minutes. Not one of my finest brews.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice, I will give it a go at flame out and see how it turns out. I'll try to get an update in a couple weeks at bottling.

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Old 02-27-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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I don't know too too much about it, but I've added at around flameout and nothing came through. Just boosted the gravity. I've heard at high krausen works well. I intend on doing this next time I use honey.
Other option...use a bit of honey malt.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Added 2lbs of wildflower honey at flame out, then cooled about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. QS'd to 6 gallons. OG:~1.055. It's locked away in the fermenter bucket until next week when I will rack to a glass carboy. Initial taste was very sweet (duh), but the hops mellowed it out nicely. I'm excited to see how this turns out. Thanks again for all of the advice!

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
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btw you should never get an infection from honey, it is anti-septic by nature

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:55 PM   #9
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Mostly true, except for Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is the reason that it is not recommended to feed honey to infants. Under the right conditions, it can produce a toxin so potent that a thimble full could kill 2 million people. In diluted concentrations it is the active ingredient in Botox. I'm not concerned about it with the beer though, if the brew is rank after the second week, I'll dump it. The more you know!

Source: I'm a microbiologist.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:07 PM   #10
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Its not just Clostridium spores, there can be lots of spores in honey. Honey's antibacterial properties rely on osmotic pressure. When diluted into wort it no longer retains those properties, although alcohol is usually apparent to kill most spoilage bacteria that could grow.

True though that honey is not usually a source of infection.

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