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Old 05-20-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
djprogin
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Default Brewing with Honey

Planning on brewing a honey ale with some local, unpasteurized honey.
What, if anything should I be concerned with using this honey?

What about timing of addition-beginning/end of boil.
What about adding some additional to the primary to get some of the honey flavor?

Thanks

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:24 PM   #2
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I've used honey in the boil to boost the abv of a couple of brews. I usually put it in with 30 minutes left in the boil. You'll get no honey flavor from a boil addition though. I have heard adding honey to the primary at high krausen will impart some mild honey flavor. Problem is that pretty much every bit of honey is fermentable.

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Old 05-20-2013, 11:57 PM   #3
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Yeah you're not going to get much honey flavor from honey. As stated above its nearly 100% fermentable. If you're lookin for some honey flavor use honey malt.

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Old 05-21-2013, 12:20 AM   #4
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Thanks. So it sounds like it doesn't really matter when it is added as it will ferment anyway.

Anyone prime with honey? Possible to get honey flavor that way?

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Old 05-21-2013, 12:41 AM   #5
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I did a honey cream ale (1 gallon batch). I had seen other recipes that use a pound of honey for a 5G batch, so I figured I'd do roughly 1/5 pound and see what happened. I waited until secondary fermentation and mixed 1/5 pound honey with about 1/4 cup of water (boiled and cooled). Then I racked the honey on top of it into secondary. Fermentation started again and continued for about another week. The finished product was significantly sweeter and had a very nice honey flavor in it. My friends preferred it over the regular cream ale. A boiling addition will not give you much flavor or aroma because you boil off the volatile compounds that give you flavor and aroma. If you add it after the boil you will get noticeable flavor and sweetness if that is what you're going for.

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Old 05-21-2013, 01:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djprogin
Thanks. So it sounds like it doesn't really matter when it is added as it will ferment anyway.

Anyone prime with honey? Possible to get honey flavor that way?
IME priming with honey provides the most flavor and aroma.

I brew a honey ale that I use 1lb at flame out and the beer carries a subtle flavor and aroma to the finish.

Honey will dry out the beer so I also add back 4 oz of malto dextrin to add a little body back.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:30 AM   #7
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WARNING: you are using raw unpasteurized hone which is not only riddled with every bee-fouling bacteria under the sun, but it has all sorts of enzymes that will break down the complex sugars that add flavor and body to the end of the beer. So proceed with caution.

The best way to add unpasteurized raw, straight from the hive honey is to pasteurize it WITHOUT boiling. Unionrdr will tell you, pasteurization occurs at like 162 F in a matter of seconds, and boiling occurs at 212 F. Just heat the honey water mixture to 170 and you will keep a lot of the honey flavor. Now, I have no clue at what temp the enzymes denature, so as said this likely WILL significantly dry and thin out your beer. Make sure to add crystal malt or equivalent to retain residual sweetness.

Also, fermented honey tastes a lot different than regular honey. If you like mead you'll like adding honey to your brew, but just know that this is the flavor your imparting tithe beer.

Now, I'm goofy but my favorite sugars to add are grade B 100% maple syrup and molasses. I've carved with both and it takes more than you think.

Google search "Priming sugar calculator" and it should link you to Northern Brewer which will tell you the priming rates for like 20 different types of sugar. Good luck man. Report back with tasting notes!

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Old 05-21-2013, 03:55 AM   #8
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I use natural unpasteurized honey in several of my favorite beers and usually add it at flameout. It's enough to pasteurize it but not boil away all the favors. I'll also add it to secondary by bringing it just to a boil with equal parts water then let it cool before adding it.
And I disagree that the flavors disappear in fermentation. Honey, like wort, is far more than just ferment able sugars. I definitely get the flavors in the finished product. If you want a strong honey flavor them add some honey malt to the mash.

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Old 05-21-2013, 11:04 AM   #9
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I bottle everything with honey...honey is delicate and it won't come through in most beers that have strong flavors. Honey is NOT 100% fermentable...more like 85-90% So you will see some residual honey in your beer but the beer must be light for it to come through.

Also, there is a lot of honey on the market that is literally not honey...do a google search for a listing of honey that is proven to be fake...not really talked about in the news. I switched to raw, unpasteurized and have had no issues with it

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Old 05-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calichusetts
I bottle everything with honey...honey is delicate and it won't come through in most beers that have strong flavors. Honey is NOT 100% fermentable...more like 85-90% So you will see some residual honey in your beer but the beer must be light for it to come through.

Also, there is a lot of honey on the market that is literally not honey...do a google search for a listing of honey that is proven to be fake...not really talked about in the news. I switched to raw, unpasteurized and have had no issues with it
Thanks. When do you add the raw honey? Do you do anything to prepare it before adding?
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