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Old 02-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #1
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Default Adding honey

I'm brewing an American wheat this week end. I was thinking of adding honey but I don't want the yeast to just eat it and then it does not give any flavor. When should I add it to make it have that honey flavor? Also how much should I add? I am going to be making a 5gal batch.



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Old 02-03-2012, 12:39 PM   #2
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Honey isn't 100% fermentable by beer yeast so it leaves flavor behind. Add about a 1-2lbs, depending on how prevalent you want the honey taste. Add it like you would any LME.



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Old 02-03-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Honey isn't 100% fermentable by beer yeast so it leaves flavor behind. Add about a 1-2lbs, depending on how prevalent you want the honey taste. Add it like you would any LME.
This a very misleading statement. Honey IS pretty much 100% fermentable, and not all kinds leave a flavor behind. It all depends on what type of nectar the honey is made from, and with the exceptions of a few types, the nectar source is rarely controlled.

Chances are, if you use 1-2 lbs. honey in a recipe, you are going to get a BIT of the flavor in your beer, but it is guaranteed that your are going to boost ABV and DRY out the beer. This ABV boost can throw a good beer recipe out of balance where you taste too much of the alcohol and not enough of the body and bitterness, and a dry beer is generally only a desired taste in certain styles, like some wheats, hefes, porters and stouts. If you want to go that route, add your honey at flameout after your boil is complete. I've had the best results with orange blossum or wildflower honey.

Honey MALT gives a much more controllable and definable honey taste to beer without the unwanted side effects. 0.5 lbs of honey malt per 10 lb grain bill gives a subtle honey flavor, anything over 1.0 lbs per 10 lbs grain bill is too much, so you can use to taste between 0.5 and 1.0 lbs per 10 lb grain bill (or 5-10% of total grain bill if you want to think of it that way).
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:38 PM   #4
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Honey malt...less than 5% of the grain bill

Bottle with honey, you'll get an instant honey aroma when you smell it.

Adding honey throughout the brew (mash, boil, fermantation) will leave behind some flavor but dry your beer out a lot. It could be desired it its a big beer. Orange blossom is fantastic and I also recommend it, in fact it is all I use to bottle

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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here you go:

The table in How to Brew states: (percentages are based on weight of total fermentables)

3-10% = For a subtle honey flavor in most light ales and lagers.

11-30% = For a distinct honey flavor note to develope. Stronger hop flavors, caramelized or roasted malts, spices, or other ingredients should be considered when formulating the recipe, to balance the strong honey flavors at these levels.

and 30+% = well you shouldnt be taking that route anyways.

I wouldnt just go tby "add a lb or 2" use the ratios given to addjust the flavor you want.

Also from all of the searching around I have done, it seems like adding honey after primary fermentation is complete helps to maintain a lot more of the honey flavor.

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:42 PM   #6
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Ok I think I might try adding 1 pound of orange blossom honey as I rack it to my bottling bucket. Should I still use the priming sugar?

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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I recently racked a batch with honey. Used 1 cup and added 1/4 of sugar. Took a little longer but I love the flavor and aroma.

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Old 02-04-2012, 01:02 AM   #8
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So using 1lb of honey and priming sugar would not be a bad thing. I just want to make sure that I won't get bottle bombs from the honey making to much carbonation.

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Old 02-04-2012, 01:23 AM   #9
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I think you're going to get bottle bombs. It looks like people who use it for priming use about 5 oz per 5gal batch.

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Old 02-04-2012, 01:40 AM   #10
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Midwest Supplies FAQ says to use 1 cup of honey for priming. Which is about 3/4 a pound.

Per John Palmer - the problem with using honey for priming is that the sugar content varies considerably. His online version of the book states: "To use honey, you will need to dilute it and measure its gravity with a hydrometer. For all sugars in general, you want to add 2-3 gravity points per gallon of beer to prime."

Personally - I don't do that when I use honey for priming. But I do open sample bottles every day or two to ensure I am not making bottle bombs - and I have cold-crashed a batch when I did ....



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Last edited by mid_knight; 02-04-2012 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Clarification
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