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Old 08-26-2011, 12:34 AM   #1
labelgique
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Default Replacing some malt extract with honey

I have a beer recipe that i like, but was thinking of replacing some of the malt extract (and other sugars) with honey.

the current recipe asks for:

8 lbs extra pale malt extract
1/2 lb clear candi sugar
4 oz malto dextrin.

I was thinking of turning this into something like:

6.5 lbs of extra pale malt extract
2 lbs of honey

so is this a good idea, or will I mess things up? I assume my SG would be affected as well, would it be significant?

appreciate any help!

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Old 08-26-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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What's the brew supposed to be?

I would advise adding the honey once the wort is below 100F. Also get some GOOD honey, not the generic store bought stuff (that's filtered to oblivion). Get raw honey if at all possible, unfiltered, or minimally filtered honey would be even better.

I've added honey during the cool-down, during fermentation (once it's slowed some) as well as for priming. Good results all around. But, I have also had great results using honey malt in brews.

Are there any other specialty grains going into this batch? If not, then you'll want honey with character, so that it really comes through.

I would also run the recipe through software so that you can get a better idea of what your alterations will do to the batch. Such as reducing the amount of DME might not mean increasing the honey amount by the same weight. You could end up needing more honey. Better to know before you start so that you're not surprised by the OG reading.

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Old 08-26-2011, 02:23 AM   #3
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This will lower your resultant FG - meaning it will dry out the beer. Since DME contains unfermentables and honey is quite nearly 100% fermentable, your beer will end drier than it would otherwise be if you did not make such a switch.

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Old 08-26-2011, 02:27 AM   #4
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Honey is only about 80% fermentable sugars... I don't know where people get the 100% figure from, but it's incorrect. Such as when you prime with honey, you use 1.25x as much sugar in honey (by weight) to get to the same CO2 volumes level. IF it was 100% fermentable, you wouldn't need to make any changes.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:59 AM   #5
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The brew is a leffe clone, so a abbey blonde.

there is about 2.5 pounds of grain (mostly belgian pilsner malt).

I've made a brew before that had the honey and malt extract both part of the boil, i was hoping to do something like that here.

what software are you talking about btw?

Also, how much honey did you use for priming, that sounds interesting to me too.

Thanks!

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Old 08-26-2011, 03:01 AM   #6
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small detail, there is no DME in this, it's liquid extra pale extract.

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Old 08-26-2011, 03:11 AM   #7
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You should always put in a recipe if it's using LME or DME, since they equate to different amounts of grain.

I use BeerSmith, and have been since about a month into my brewing life. There are other options, but I've come to really enjoy using BeerSmith. I have it on my main tower system at home, plus my laptop (and Windows tablet) computers. It makes formulating recipes easy.

For priming with honey. I simply took the amount of sugar I would have used to get to the CO2 volumes I wanted and multiplied by 1.25 to get the weight in honey to use. I use online calculation tools to figure out how much sugar to use, since it's extremely rare that one batch will match another. Either the temperature, volume, or CO2 volumes will be different (depending on what I made). You just need to make sure the priming solution is mixed fully before you add it to the batch. I wouldn't use water that's over about 110F there. IF you feel you must boil to sanitize, do that to the water without honey added to it. Then add the honey once it's cooled to about 110-100F. Once the honey is fully in solution, you can rack to the bottling bucket as you would normally.

I've also had good results using honey malt in batches (as I mentioned earlier). You won't get a specific honey type flavor, but you'll get a good honey flavor/character in the batch without potentially thinning it out any.

Oh, and if you do prime with honey, I would give it a solid month (at ~70F) before you chill a bottle down for testing.

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On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
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K1:
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:32 AM   #8
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Everything I've read (Palmer, Daniels) refer to honey being greater than 95% fermentable, not that I really care to dispute that. My question is why keep the temperature so far below boiling when we know it contains bacteria?

While I am aware of honey's antiseptic properties, how is this still not a concern?

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Old 08-26-2011, 03:46 AM   #9
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I just gave a shot to to beersmith... pretty cool stuff. Thanks for the tip!

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Old 08-26-2011, 03:52 AM   #10
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Honey is a barren wasteland for bacteria and such. It was used to dress open wounds to prevent infections for ages.

I've safely used raw honey, adding it during the cool-down phase (under 110-100F) as well as once fermentation has slowed down. A great many mazers (mead makers) use the 'no heat' method with excellent results (and zero infections/issues).

Raw honey is less fermentable sugars than the ultra-processed honey you get in the grocery store (that lacks a lot of the character it would have if left alone).

BTW, honey can last for centuries (without refrigeration) without spoiling. It's been found in tombs, in a completely usable state (although more concentrated from the moisture loss).

IMO (and many others), boiling, or even heating honey above 110F is a waste of GOOD honey. If you want to do that, grab the crap you find on the grocery shelves. But if you actually want flavors from the honey, and you paid good money for it, do NOT heat it up any more than you absolutely must (which is just enough to get it to flow).

BTW, the batches that I used honey in didn't get thin. I used 5.5# in a 5 gallon batch and it went from about 1.100 to 1.028 (3# DME, 4# LME, specialty grains, and then the honey). That was with all the honey added either when the wort was under 110F (during the cooling phase) or once fermentation had slowed down. That was also with the addition of about 6-8oz of bourbon into the batch. IMO, real world experience beats what's in books every time.

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Hopping Tango Brewery

跟猴子比丟屎 ・ Gun HOE-tze bee DIO-se

On Tap: Caramel Ale, Mocha Porter II, MO SMaSH IPA
Waiting/Carbonating: 12.5% Wee Honey II, 8.9% Old Ale, English Brown Ale, Lickah ESB, Mocha Porter II
Fermenting
K1:
K2: Epic mead
K3: TripSix
On Deck: Caramel Ale
Aging:mead
Mead [bottled]:Oaked Wildflower Traditional, Mocha Madness, Blackberry Melomel, maple wine
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