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Old 09-26-2011, 10:23 PM   #1
WhineinAlbany
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Default NB instructions

I have been ordering kits from AHS to get a feel of the styles I can make. I'm tempted to buy the NB honey brown ale kit, but I'm not so sure about their instructions. Here's the link:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/defaul...act-kit-1.html

1) It says to steep the grains in 2.5 gallons until it reaches 170 or for 20 mins then add extract and heat to boiling - Since I don't think the steeping temp makes much of a difference and they're trying to accommodate those with smaller pots, I will probably just heat 2 gallons to 155, turn off the heat and steep 25 mins then add another gallon of water to boil and add extract and boil (as the AHS kits advise you to do). So 3 gallons partial. I can't do a full boil but 3 gallons is no problem.

2) Here's the thing that really bugs me - It says to add the honey at the end of the boil then cool. Doesn't this increase the risk of an infection? Wouldn't it be safer to add in during the last 10-20 mins? I'm guessing they're trying to keep keep the color of brew lighter (since LME darkens everything a bit).

I also wouldn't just cool to 100 degrees F as the instructions suggest. It seems a bit crazy to pour hot wort into my glass carboy. I try to get my wort to around 78 and top off with room temp water.

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Old 09-26-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
jaycount
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1) It works either way. Do whichever you're comfortable with.

2) No, any baddies in the honey will die on contact although honey is normally considered a "safe" sterile substance anyways. Mead is made with honey dumped straight into the primary all the time. The real reason they suggest adding the honey at the end is because it gives more aroma/flavor than if it is added earlier in the boil.

3) 100*F is fine, I wouldn't want to pour it into a carboy thats sitting on a cold concrete floor though...

I've brewed this exact kit and loved it. In fact I think I might do the AG version soon. Good luck!

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:22 AM   #3
WhineinAlbany
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ah good to know about honey. I've never actually tried mead before, but I thought it involved either boiling or adding a crushed campden tablet.

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Old 09-27-2011, 12:38 AM   #4
Yukmay
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Just to add a bit about honey.

Due to honey's high osmolarity and acidity spoilage organisms cannot work to decompose it. However, this does not mean honey is sterile, it is actually full of wild yeast which are in 'suspended animation.' As soon as the honey is diluted to a lower concentration of sugars these yeast can work to ferment the honey. Some theorize that early meads may have been made by chance when a honey store in the bole of a tree collected rain and began fermenting. Early man then ate/drank the fermented mixture and... viola!... the elixer of the gods.

Or so the story goes...

For the same reason it is not appropriate to use honey as a cough remedy for infants/children under 2 years of age as the organisms located within it can cause intestinal issues. Its fine in adults because our intestinal defenses are fully developed.

However, in relation to your question, adding honey to water at say 205F will still kill all the spores by the time you cool. So add away at flameout. Just be aware that unpasteurized honey added to cool wort will innoculate it with wild yeast!

Who knows, could be good? or terrible...

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Old 09-27-2011, 03:07 AM   #5
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Northern Brewer's instructions will make a tasty brew. Try it and see.

1. They're just steeping grains. It's not a big deal. You don't need to be at perfect mash temps with specialty grains to get the color and flavor. Also, the water amount isn't critical either. I would steep with the boil amount.
2. Honey has been covered.
3. 100* wort plus 40* top off water will easily get you to pitching temps.

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