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Old 12-28-2011, 01:40 AM   #1
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Default Adding Honey To Increase ABV

My LHBS gave me some info on how to make cider. In there info it said that honey could be added to the cider at the beginning of the primary fermentation to increase the alcohol content, and it had a table that laid out how much the alcohol would increase depending on how much honey was added.

Today I was at my LHBS and was talking to one of the employees about my cider I brewed about 3-4 weeks ago and I mentioned adding honey. She goes on to say, "Yes, honey can be used to increase the alcohol, but you want to boil it first in water to pasteurize it." NOWHERE in the instructions that they gave me beforehand did it say anything about using pasteurized honey or pasteurizing it myself BEFORE putting it in the cider.

So, my question is...if I just added regular honey that I bought from the grocery store, will that affect my cider at all?!?! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't waste the last month for nothing.

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Old 12-28-2011, 01:42 AM   #2
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Some mead makers never heat their honey.

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Old 12-28-2011, 02:20 AM   #3
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Nothing grows on honey. It is naturally pasteurized. You can get some wild yeast or other undesirable bugs on its surface, but they will be in such small numbers that providing the main yeast gets going quickly, or as in your case, you have alcohol already, they will not be a concern.

Heating the honey can remove some of it's flavors.

Adding honey to beer, with lots of residual sugars could be a problem.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:18 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Nothing grows on honey. It is naturally pasteurized. You can get some wild yeast or other undesirable bugs on its surface, but they will be in such small numbers that providing the main yeast gets going quickly, or as in your case, you have alcohol already, they will not be a concern.

Heating the honey can remove some of it's flavors.

Adding honey to beer, with lots of residual sugars could be a problem.
Basically I threw together some apple juice, apple juice concentrate, some other juice concentrate, sugar, water, and then honey. Once all of it was mixed together very well, I pitched the yeast. And it started fermenting very rapidly (based on the airlock) in just about 24 hours, or a little less.

I'm thinking it will be fine, other than the fact that I will need to backsweeten it and also maybe add some acid blend.
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Old 12-28-2011, 03:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Twtr25 View Post
Basically I threw together some apple juice, apple juice concentrate, some other juice concentrate, sugar, water, and then honey. Once all of it was mixed together very well, I pitched the yeast. And it started fermenting very rapidly (based on the airlock) in just about 24 hours, or a little less.

I'm thinking it will be fine, other than the fact that I will need to backsweeten it and also maybe add some acid blend.
sounds like prison hooch.
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Old 12-28-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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Sounds like a real dry cider with a high ABV. Wine conditioner works good for sweetening cider and time after bottling.

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Old 12-28-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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Sounds like a real dry cider with a high ABV. Wine conditioner works good for sweetening cider and time after bottling.
I expect it to be very dry and I'm guessing it will be somewhere around 10% ABV. My plan was to backsweeten it with one or two cans of frozen apple juice concentrate, and I'm also going to add some acid blend to add a little bit of tart.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twtr25 View Post
I expect it to be very dry and I'm guessing it will be somewhere around 10% ABV. My plan was to backsweeten it with one or two cans of frozen apple juice concentrate, and I'm also going to add some acid blend to add a little bit of tart.
Unless you kill the yeast it is just going to ferment the concentrate. The alternative would be to pasteurize it (see sticky in cider forum), but that seems risky to me.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:09 PM   #9
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Unless you kill the yeast it is just going to ferment the concentrate. The alternative would be to pasteurize it (see sticky in cider forum), but that seems risky to me.
I stove topped pasteurized a cider, no mishaps and I'm an idiot. My flaw is the pasteurized cider tastes "tinny/metalic" compared to the un-pasteurized cider I had in plastic pop bottles. Might not be related, but it's the only thing I can think of.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twtr25 View Post
I expect it to be very dry and I'm guessing it will be somewhere around 10% ABV. My plan was to backsweeten it with one or two cans of frozen apple juice concentrate, and I'm also going to add some acid blend to add a little bit of tart.
Wine conditioner is used to back sweeten cider by alot of people , because it sweetens and contains the sulfite and sorbate needed to halt fermentation when bottled.You can find more info here on HBT as to how much to use. I personally like the convenience. I would have used the acid blend at the beginning of fermentation, if at all. Cheers
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