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Old 06-04-2011, 03:10 PM   #1
Heavenlybrew
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Default Where does honey fit in?

Me and a friend are total noobs to this and he has an idea to put a special honey in his beer. He also thinks he should add this special honey in as a priming sugar. I told him I have never read anything about a priming sugar adding flavor to a beer and that it should probably be added into the cardboy after 2-3 days of fermenting. But I really don't know enough to tell him anything so I turn to u guys. The question I have more specifically is when would the best time to add the honey into the brew to get the most taste from it? And since we are using honey does this make it a Meade and would that require a different kind of yeast if so? This is also my first post and I have been looking at this forum religiously. Just wanted to tell everyone on here thanks so much for all the helpful info u guys put out on a regular basis. Realizing this as my new passion I couldn't be happier to be a part of THIS community. Thumbs up for rock and roll!

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Old 06-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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Seems that people like to add it last week or once inital fermentation has stopped.Also some dont like to pasterize it just warm it to put it in but in books ive read its not reccommended.Using it for priming sugar is a small amount to add a little flavor.Adding it in the boil will not give a lot of flavor if any but some add it at knockout.Also depending how much you use it will dry and lighten the body of the beer. Also using honeymalt is sometimes preferred over honey.

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Old 06-04-2011, 03:52 PM   #3
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I used honey in my initial batches of home brew. If you add a pound, or two, once fermentation has slowed down, you have a greater chance of having actual honey flavor come through. Just use a little bit of warm (~100F) water to get the last of the honey from the jar/container. Give it a solid week, or so, to let the yeast have it's way with the honey.

If you want more actual honey flavor in the brew, honey malt is the way to go. I used just a pound in my Wee Honey (strong Scotch ale) and you get a good amount of honey flavor in it. My brew buddy wanted to know how much honey I used in the recipe. Had to tell him none. It's recommended to keep the honey malt addition to 10% (or less) of the grist. I used a hair over 8% in my Wee Honey. I'll be using a touch less the second time I brew that recipe (slated in the next couple of months).

If you have a STRONG flavored honey, chances are you'll get some flavor to come through in the final result. But, it could be very difficult to detect, depending on the honey and how much you use. Priming with it can help (use ~1.25x the amount of priming sugar you would have used in honey weight) bring some flavor to the glass.

ALWAYS measure honey by weight, NEVER by volume.

If you really want a solid use for the 'special' honey, then make mead with it. Depending on how strong you make it, you'll be looking at it taking 6-12+ months before it's ready to go to glass.

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Old 06-04-2011, 04:57 PM   #4
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Use honey malt.

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Old 06-04-2011, 05:30 PM   #5
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Read this.

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:17 PM   #6
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Wow thanks for all the help guys. We are still working on a recipe but I will post back to let u know what we decided and how it comes out!

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Old 06-04-2011, 07:52 PM   #7
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I brewed a 3.5 gallon batch (a test recipe) back in the fall - here's what I used:

6 lbs. Belgian Pils
1 lb. Carabelg (Belgian Caravienne)
.5 lb. honey malt
1 lb. local artisan honey

1 oz. Hallertau (60 min)
.5 oz. Hallertau (30 min)
.5 oz. spalt hops (15 min)
.5 oz. dried sweet orange peel (15 min)
.5 oz. dried chammomile (15 min)

The honey fermented out nicely (added it just before I pitched the yeast, gave it a quick swirl in the carboy).

The beer was a tad sweet for the first month or two, but mellowed nicely after it aged a while in the bottles.

In my limited experience, honey contributes to aroma in a good way (provided it plays well with the recipe and yeast). My friends who tried it, really liked it. The Unibroue strain of yeast probably helped somewhat, as it has a nice sourness to it.

I'm going to brew this again sometime this summer - leaving out the chamomile, maybe brewing it with the Forbidden Fruit strain instead.

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Last edited by Mermaid; 06-04-2011 at 07:57 PM. Reason: forgot something
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