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Old 06-05-2007, 01:42 AM   #1
Apr 2007
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 109

A buddy and I are currently brewing a Belgian Wit. We added 1lb of honey and are experiencing longer-than-usual fermentation - a normal thing according to many posts on the site.

Our question is WHY? What is it about the chemistry of honey sugar that makes it ferment slower than malt?

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Old 06-05-2007, 01:50 AM   #2
Yuri_Rage's Avatar
Jul 2006
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I think it's because honey has a high concentration of fructose, which is a bit harder for the yeast to break down.
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Old 06-05-2007, 02:47 AM   #3
Apr 2007
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I recommend that instead of useing honey try useing honey malt. It's carried by most homebrew stores and it doesn't add any extra fermentation time. All you do is steep it just like you would all other grains. I add it to alot of my brews and it comes out great every time. Depending on your taste 1-1.5 pounds will give you a pretty noticeable honey flavor. I tried useing real honey in my brews before and the results were somewhat dissapointing because raw honey is almost completly fermentable so the end result usually leaves your brew a little dry and does not impart a good honey flavor. I know I didn't really answer your question but I thought I would share my opinion with you anyhow. Brew on!!!!

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Old 06-05-2007, 02:57 AM   #4
MikeRLynch's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 888
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Well, he did kind of answer your question. Honey is completely fermentable, which means that the yeast take a longer time to work on it. Meads are completely honey, and take a god-awful long time to ferment in the primary (months). The result will be a higher ABV, and a dryer mouthfeel.

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Old 06-05-2007, 07:10 AM   #5
Apr 2007
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I made a honey pale ale with a fairly short fermentation time with some unfiltered fresh from the bees honey from the in-law's neighbor's farm and it give the beer a noticable taste and a distinct flowery smell, so maybe the amount of honey flavor depends on what kind you use. If you can get your hands unfiltered/unpasturized honey, I'd definately recommend using it.
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