brewing with honey - weird taste

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dennyluan

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alright, so im on my 3rd real batch of brewski and i have a serious concern.

my favorite beers have always been honey ales or lagers, because i particularly like the sweetness and mellowness of honey. so for my first ever batch, i made a light honey lager. i ended up using way to little malt, and it just had a weird acidic, kind of metallic taste, really unpleasant.

so i recently made another batch of a honey wheat ale. i bottled half of it, and decided to secondary ferment the other half. after one week of bottle conditioning, i tried a bottle (i couldnt wait) and it had the same exact taste as my first batch. really gross, kind of sour/tangy, kind of acidic. i began thinking that this may just be how honey brews, but im not sure. when i looked at the bottle (12 oz) there was a good amount of yeast cake sitting at the bottom. could it be yeast bite, and that it just needs more time? if so, how much longer should i secondary ferment? i have a deadline for august 15th, and am hoping to bottle condition for at least two weeks.
 
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dennyluan

dennyluan

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this batch, if i remember correctly...

2oz 10 degree
2oz honey malt
2.5 pounds honey
4lbs dry wheat extract
normal packet of american ale yeast
oh and some hops, cascade i think

4 to 5 gal batch.

i added the honey and boiled for probably 5 minutes max.

one week primary fermentation
one week bottle condition (so far when i had tried a sample)

still secondary fermenting for two weeks now, going to bottle the rest this weekend.

pretty much the same process ive done before. i did a batch without honey that was delicious, so im pretty certain ive got the sanitizing down fine.
 

beerocd

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In any event, no beer left behind! It must be consumed!

I just think you're impatient though. Just let it sit a while, if it's already gross, metallic, weird, sour and unpleasant - it can only improve from there. :D

-OCD

Edit: Wow - one week to bottle! just read that - what's the hurry? slow down and you'll have decent beer....
 

Benjibbad

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Honey takes a while to completely ferment out so you might be tasting the yeast and sediment. Give it more time. I would say let that one secondary for at least a month before you pass judgement.
 
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dennyluan

dennyluan

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i only tried it at one week just for a taste test. impatient, yes, very. i know i know :p

anyways. my first batch i tried at various points as well. i even had bottle conditioned for a month, and the taste was still present. i guess it just requires more secondary fermentation? thats why i am confused, because i dont see the taste leaving.

and its kind of unpleasant. the last thing i want is to force myself to drink stinky beer.

oh yeah. the other thing. after bottling it smells funny, but when i was racking it smelled GLORIOUS, like honey, malt, and hops all coming together. which i guess is why i got impatient and had to try some.
 

Nurmey

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Two thing pop out at me and that is quarter of your fermentables are honey and one week is really pushing it on a "normal" beer much less one with 2.5 lbs of honey. Honey takes weeks to ferment out.
 
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dennyluan

dennyluan

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Two thing pop out at me and that is quarter of your fermentables are honey and one week is really pushing it on a "normal" beer much less one with 2.5 lbs of honey. Honey takes weeks to ferment out.
is that weird that so much of my fermentables is honey? what kind of stuff does this result in? i guess i shouldve used more wheat base...
 

Nurmey

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It is a lot of honey for such a light beer. I think it is going to end up very dry and you don't have much in there to offset the dryness. If you like sweetness and mellowness (is that a word?) increasing the crystal, honey malt, and wheat malt would have given you some of that.

Who knows? It may end up being a beer you love. Give it a few weeks, bottle and age it and see how it is. You can never judge a beer until it's been in the bottle long enough to carbonate and age.
 

JeepDiver

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Two thing pop out at me and that is quarter of your fermentables are honey and one week is really pushing it on a "normal" beer much less one with 2.5 lbs of honey. Honey takes weeks to ferment out.

I'd be worried about bottle bombs, since he bottled after 1 week.
 

Edcculus

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is that weird that so much of my fermentables is honey? what kind of stuff does this result in? i guess i shouldve used more wheat base...
Ever had mead? Thats what honey tastes like when its fermented. Just like wine doesn't really taste like grapes, and beer doesn't resemble the sweet wort we put into the fermenter. Crystal malts are going to give you that residual sweetness. They have a lot of longer chained dextrins that aren't fermentable by brewers yeast.

Take a look around here for some recipes. First, you should leave it in the fermenter for longer than 1 week. Secondary fermentation is a bit of misnomer that gets put into a lot of kit instructions. When you cool your wort, you should rehydrate the yeast, then let it sit for up to 3 weeks. Put it in a closet and don't even look at it.
 

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