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Old 01-25-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default Adding Honey

I'm wondering what the process of adding honey is like. Would it be "wrong" to add it to a Sierra Pale Ale?

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Old 01-26-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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Honey doesn't do much in most ales except provide an expensive ABV boost. It might work, one can only try. Split a batch and add some honey to part of it.

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Old 01-26-2007, 02:29 AM   #3
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I added a cup of honey to a 2.5 gal Mr. Beer west coast pale ale brew 3 weeks ago. It's been in the bottle for one of those weeks and I'm tempted to taste this weekend, only 1 of course.

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Old 01-26-2007, 02:39 AM   #4
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Adding honey will give you a very weak honey aroma, and even less flavor. It is almost 100% fermentable, and will make your beer lighter bodied and drier. If you want a honey flavor, use honey malt. If you want to use honey, just add it at the same time you add LME if doing extract, or before adding hops if doing all grain.

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Old 01-26-2007, 05:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchiest
Adding honey will give you a very weak honey aroma, and even less flavor. It is almost 100% fermentable, and will make your beer lighter bodied and drier. If you want a honey flavor, use honey malt. If you want to use honey, just add it at the same time you add LME if doing extract, or before adding hops if doing all grain.
I was told honey should be added at the very end of the boil. It is sterile by nature and if boiled loses it's flavor. Is this true?
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #6
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I've heard the samething Kayos. Add later in the boil so you can keep the flavor. Anyone have a good recipe for honey?

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Old 01-26-2007, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daburban
I've heard the samething Kayos. Add later in the boil so you can keep the flavor. Anyone have a good recipe for honey?
Look in the mead makers forum for some good uses of honey.

Honestly, what's been said is true: honey added to wort doesn't make it taste like honey. Honey is better off being added to fruit juices to balance out the sweetness since it ends up so dry. But as to the question of not cooking it, many meaders recommend against boiling it or even heating it past 150º.

As always, it's better to learn by your own experience than just listening to the advice of others.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:55 PM   #8
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As mentioned before, honey is almost completely fermentable and so it tends to give you a very dry alcohol addition and really doesn't contribute to a honey flavor in the end product. Gambrinus honey malt will give you more of the honey flavor you might be looking for. I recently made a honey wheat beer that used 2 lbs honey with 1/2 lb honey malt. I also added 4 oz carapils to counteract the dryness from the honey.

So if you wanted to add a little honey flavor to a SNPA recipe, then I'd suggest adding 1/4 lb. honey malt and work from there. Keep in mind for extract recipes, any honey addition is going to increase OG, while addition of honey malt to steeped grains won't really contribute any meaningful fermentable sugars.

As far as timing of honey addition, there are several ways to do it and each has their own advantages/disadvantages. Boiling any aromatic/volatile compound will result in lower levels in the end product. However, honey has wild yeast, bacteria, insect parts, etc. that would require some form of sterilization. So you can add it at the boil, you can pasteurize separately and then add to wort, or my preference is to add the honey at flameout. As mentioned before, learning by experience will be way more informative than reading about other people's preferences. Good luck!

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Old 01-26-2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool Hand
I added a cup of honey to a 2.5 gal Mr. Beer west coast pale ale brew 3 weeks ago. It's been in the bottle for one of those weeks and I'm tempted to taste this weekend, only 1 of course.
I did the same exact thing (well, a little less honey) and the Beer turned out great. Mine still aren't truly finished conditioning, but the temptation was too great so I actually threw one into the freezer, got it good and cold, and the taste was great. My base recipe was the American Light from Mr. Beer. I also added regular table sugar (not much of a American light beer fan and this was purchased by my father-in-law so I was being experimental). The taste was fantastic. Very sweet. I'm not sure what exactly contributed to the sweetness but it tasted really good.
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idkid
I did the same exact thing (well, a little less honey) and the Beer turned out great. Mine still aren't truly finished conditioning, but the temptation was too great so I actually threw one into the freezer, got it good and cold, and the taste was great. My base recipe was the American Light from Mr. Beer. I also added regular table sugar (not much of a American light beer fan and this was purchased by my father-in-law so I was being experimental). The taste was fantastic. Very sweet. I'm not sure what exactly contributed to the sweetness but it tasted really good.
Yeah, I sampled one last night and the taste was fantastic although the carbonation wasn't really there. I guess it needs a few more weeks in the bottle.
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