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Old 03-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #1
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Default Honey addition

My latest recipe is intended to be an imperial IPA where I want to add honey at high krausen. I see there are different types of honey available (primarily clover and orange blossom). Anyone have opinions as to what (if any) different flavor profiles are given off by these variable products? Does one ferment better than the other? I'm assuming that the fermentation should be similar if not the same.

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Old 03-13-2013, 03:48 PM   #2
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You're right, fermentation should be about the same. Not exact, because different varietals have varying water content and that sort of thing, but pretty close.

Most of the super-market-available honey is a blend of clover honey and whatever else made it to the mixing plant. Generally lighter colored honey (sweet clover based) is delicate with a very light aroma and will generally be undetectable after fermentation other than to raise your gravity a bit. Again, GENERALLY, the darker the honey the more funky the odors and they might come through fermentation a little bit better.

I'm lucky that my sister is a commercial beekeeper so I get all the water-white sweet clover I can handle, so that's what I have the most experience with. It works great in beers like big IPAs because it doesn't contribute all that much to the actual flavor of the beer other than to "dry" it out. I have had the best results adding at high krausen- like your recipe says, and that method does (in my opinion) give just the slightest bit more honey aroma than adding at the end of the boil. Your mileage may vary and you really probably won't be able to detect it in a IIPA anyways.

Good luck! (And don't forget to support your local beekeeper!)
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