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Old 05-10-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
scottyg354
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So guys, I have a another question. When is the best time to add flavoring additives (if this is the correct terminology) to your brew, such as Fruits, Coffee, Chocolate/Cocoa, Honey, ect. Should you steep this? Put them in your fermentor? Does it work differently for each style?

Also, is there a way to figure proper amounts for different styles of beers?

I would actually like to buy a basic wheat beer kit and add some sort of fruit flavoring to it. I would actually like to try blueberry. Also would a touch of honey work with something like this as well?

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #2
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depending on what you're adding... if you're adding coriander or grains of paradise you would add them to the boil. If you're making a fruit beer you could add the fruit during the fermentation process... either in the primary fermentation chamber or in a "secondary" fermentation chamber, racking the beer on top of the fruit. Honey is a fermentable sugar so if you want to add it to your beer, be sure you're not running the risk of "thinning" your beer too much as honey will certainly ferment out a bit.

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:05 PM   #3
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I know that fruit can sometimes be on the sour side, will the fermentation process make the flavor in the beer a little bit sweeter? This was the main reason why I was ask about honey.

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:06 PM   #4
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If your adding actual fruit you want to add in in the primary if it has fermentable sugars, Then transfer it to secondary when you get the fruited taste you want.
As for additive flavorings, they can go into the secondary or primary or at bottleing.
For fruit additives, flavoring, I always did 4oz/5gallon.
Wheat is a good beer to fruit as its lightly hopped.
Honey will add very little honey flavor and will just add more alcohol to your brew. For honey flavor you want to add Honey Malt

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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So let's say that i wanted a higher ABV on my Hefe, could i add some honey to my secondary after dissolving and heating on stove?

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:15 PM   #6
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the fermentation process doesn't "sweeten" as I believe you are implying. In fact fermentation basically UNsweetens as it eats sugars and converts them into other things - alcohol and CO2 being the primary components here

honey has unfermentable components that will add SOME sweetness, but the untrained pallet will likely not pick up on this and it won't be very reminiscent of a sugary sweet honey flavor at all.

if you're looking to add sweetness, you're better off picking up some crushed grain to steep in your beer before boiling... honey malt or a crystal malt should do the trick. if you do this you will also want to increase the amount of water you use or decrease the amount of malt extract you use so that your target gravity is still met. i think this would be a good idea to pair with fruit additions so they can balance out the sourness in the fruit and make for a tasty fruity beer.

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:23 PM   #7
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Zixxer: generally speaking I don't like to tamper with the sugar profile of a beer once it has been boiled and transferred to the fermenter unless it is part of a larger plan... there are a couple reasons for this.

That being said, if you think you really must increase the ABV on your Hefe you could add some fermentables to your secondary to achieve this (like honey). Sugar would also do the trick but be warned that this will thin your beer and the final product will likely not be a sweet hefe with good body and lots of flavor, but will be a rather dull hefe that is thin and a bit hot with alcohol.

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightynintendo View Post
the fermentation process doesn't "sweeten" as I believe you are implying. In fact fermentation basically UNsweetens as it eats sugars and converts them into other things - alcohol and CO2 being the primary components here

honey has unfermentable components that will add SOME sweetness, but the untrained pallet will likely not pick up on this and it won't be very reminiscent of a sugary sweet honey flavor at all.

if you're looking to add sweetness, you're better off picking up some crushed grain to steep in your beer before boiling... honey malt or a crystal malt should do the trick. if you do this you will also want to increase the amount of water you use or decrease the amount of malt extract you use so that your target gravity is still met. i think this would be a good idea to pair with fruit additions so they can balance out the sourness in the fruit and make for a tasty fruity beer.
Would brewing software help me calculate items like this?
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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I'm sure brewing software would do the trick. Or, you could just do the calculations by hand (way more fun!)

Honey malt has a PPG (parts per pound per gallon) of 37.

So let's say your original recipe has an original gravity of 1.050 in 5 gallons of wort. 1.050 is another way of saying 50 PPG. So this 5 gallons of wort has 5*50 = 250 points of sugar.

Now let's say you want to add some sweetness by steeping the honey malt in hot water before adding the malt extract and boiling, but you want to keep your sugar point value at 250... and let's say you want 5% of the sugars to come from the honey malt. 5% of 250 is 12.5, so to get 12.5 points of sugar from the honey malt, you will need:

12.5 points / 37 ppg = 0.34 pounds of honey malt.

So now you have 250 - 12.5 = 237.5 points that still need to be filled. If you're using liquid malt extract (LME), you know that LME also has a PPG of 37. So, to fill 237.5 points you will need: 237.5 / 37 = 6.42 pounds of LME.

EASY!!!

Oh, and one more thing: you need to account for water absorption by the steeped honey malt. Grain absorbs water at a rate of 0.125 gallons per pound of grain. So 0.125 * 0.34 = 0.0425 gallons of water absorbed by grain which is about 2/3 of a cup of water. So just add that much more water to your recipe and you'll be set.

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Old 05-10-2011, 08:34 PM   #10
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Oh, and you will also need to add about another half cup of water to make up for the reduced LME volume.

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