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Old 02-02-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
newbrew3
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Default the science of brewing with honey

I have been trying to find out information about brewing with honey for a honey ale i'm making for my girlfriend. In researching this, I came across a few things- honey is less dense than extracts (leading to lower SG's), most honey ferments out completely(95 % of honeys contents ferment completely), and lastly because of the clean ferment, many people add honey to raise the alcohol content of their beer.

Heres the question: I would like to make a lower calorie summer brew. (YES I KNOW THAT MOST LOW CALORIE BEERS SUCK BUT I WANT TO MAKE ONE ANYWAY). All my research shows that the best way to make that in homebrewing is by having lower SG's. Most people dont like doing this because lower SG have lower alcohol. Will using honey instead of or in addition to extract lower the calories in beer while maintaining the alcohol content? Theoretically, you could use honey which is less dense so it will have a lower SG (which would lead to less calories), but since most of it ferments out its has higher ABV (like a beer with a higher SG). Anyone understand the science of this that can help?

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Old 02-02-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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You are essentially talking about making mead. There is a whole section of this forum dedicated to meadmaking.

Here you go.

Try reading the sticky threads there (i.e. FAQs) first.

If you are instead interested in making a beer with some honey-like qualities, you might try using some honey malt. My wife, too, seems to be attracted to beers with "honey" in the name.

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Old 02-03-2010, 01:16 AM   #3
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Find a nice low cal recipe and substitute honey for about 10% of the fermentables. Brew your own magazine had a nice writeup a couple of issues ago on low cal beers and included some recipes.

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