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Old 06-16-2012, 05:52 AM   #1
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Default Adding honey during secondary

I'm brewing up a honey wheat beer kit I purchased from Adventures In Homebrewing. The instructions say to add the honey during the last 15 minutes of the boil, but after talking with people I've decided to add the 1lb of honey during secondary. I was just wondering if this warrants the use of a blowoff tube? I use a 5 gallon carboy during secondary.

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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Doing a secondary is unnecessary for a wheat beer and risks infection. the primary goal of a secondary is to clear the beer. Wheat beers aren't clear to begin with so don't bother. As far as the honey goes you can add at flameout but during the secondary it will restart fermentation. Not a good idea as it can lead to bottle bombs. So my advice for max honey flavor add honey at flameout and dont do a secondary at all, ever. IPA with dry hop? just throw it in the primary after fermentation is finished. Leaving the beer on the cake longer 3 to 4 week will let the yeast cleanup and do its job. Unless your trying to trying to really clear a beer for competition or something of the sort dont secondary.

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:21 AM   #3
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blowoff tubes are usually for the first several days of fermentation but you can use use them until you rack to bottles or keg as long as you ensure the blowoff water is sanitized.

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Old 06-16-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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adding it to secondary will NOT result in bottle bombs, as long as you give the yeast a few days to munch through the sugars you've just added. honey is highly fermentable so the yeast shouldn't have any problems working through it.

transferring to secondary is indeed unnecessary in this case, IMO. leave the beer in primary, add the honey to primary shortly after fermentation has peaked, give it 5 days minimum (longer would be better), then bottle.

there are valid reasons for secondary other than clarity, like adding fruit or bulk aging. but more often than not it isn't needed.

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Old 06-16-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elshauno View Post
Doing a secondary is unnecessary for a wheat beer and risks infection. the primary goal of a secondary is to clear the beer. Wheat beers aren't clear to begin with so don't bother. As far as the honey goes you can add at flameout but during the secondary it will restart fermentation. Not a good idea as it can lead to bottle bombs. So my advice for max honey flavor add honey at flameout and dont do a secondary at all, ever. IPA with dry hop? just throw it in the primary after fermentation is finished. Leaving the beer on the cake longer 3 to 4 week will let the yeast cleanup and do its job. Unless your trying to trying to really clear a beer for competition or something of the sort dont secondary.
The risk of infection by racking to secondary is next to zero. The beer has alcohol to protect it. I've done hundreds of secondaries with no issues.

I regularly add additional fermentables in secondary and it does not result in bottle bombs ..... I can't figure out your reasoning for this statement.

There are very good reasons to use a secondary. My two reasons are:

1) To harvest the yeast. The yeast decays quickly with the pressure of a couple of feet of liquid above it. I generally wait 2 weeks before racking.
2) I brew a lot of Belgians, and ramp the temperature up high. High temperature accelerates yeast decay. I don't want to leave the beer on that yeast for any length of time.

........ and then there is fruit, dry hopping, oak, etc; don't want to harvest yeast with any of this stuff in.
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Old 06-16-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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I tried a honey wheat at a local homebrew festival and was told to add the honey once the initial fermentation died down (~a week). It was a great beer BTW. But I don't know what difference it makes adding it upon flameout or waiting a week, which is what makes me a novice.
I've also been advised to use it for bottling too.
I just received my ingredients for my revised honey wheat and will be trying the honey addition after a week of fermentation and also for carbonation.

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Old 06-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #7
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Boiling and violent primary fermentation will drive off the aromatics of the honey. The later in the process it is added, the more honey flavor and aroma will be retained.

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Old 06-27-2013, 06:28 PM   #8
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I am doing a wheat from AIH also and the OG was lower than expected 1.034 the FG after about 9 days was 1.006 which is only 3.68%ABV. I wanted to boost it up so I decided to add 1.5 cups (reading forums say a pound of honey is ~1.33 cups) of Clover honey. I added the honey to a carboy and racked 5.5 gal on top of it. It completely blew up into the airlock and foamed all over my towel overnight so the addition of honey warrants a blow-off tube for sure which I did this am. I added similar amount of honey in a raspberry honey ale last summer and it turned out great. Not too dry and just a hint of honey taste. I hear if you add in the boil you lose the flavor. Never tried at flameout.

So I have another question I will probably post as it's own topic since it doesn't fit well here. What estimate of ABV did I increase to by adding over a pound of honey?

Thanks

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