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Honey - Boil or not to boil?

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the_wickster

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If I remember correctly I've read in a couple books that honey should be added to the primary post boil at or before pitching.

This makes me a little nervous so whenever I use honey I put it in near the end of the boil. Like a late LME addition. (reduce heat add the honey stir and bring back to a boil)

What does everyone else do? And what difference does it make.
 

Kai

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You lose a lot of flavour by boiling honey. I've never brewed beer with honey, but I'd add it at flameout.
 

sirsloop

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no boil!

If you are really concerned... warm up a little water, mix in the honey, and add a campden tablet to it. You gotta do that 24 hours before pitching your yeast... but that should kill off most bacteria and wild yeasts. Add that mixture to the wort after its under say 160°F.
 

jmalex

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I've nailed down a Honey Porter recipe and in my experience the best way to handle it is to dilute it with some water and bring it to 170° for 10 minutes then add it at flameout. If you're feeling bold go ahead and add it without having pasteurized it (though that seems a bit too risky for me), but avoid boiling it. In my opinion, it ruins the flavor.
 

Boerderij_Kabouter

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Pure honey is almost always safe to add. The honey has such a high sugar content it is very inhospitable for yeasts and other nasties. This is why mead makers must use yeast supplements and nutrients. That being said I always pasteurize my meads before fermentation. I would do the same thing for a honey beer (note I have not done this as I do not care for honey beers):

Dilute honey so it is more fluid, bring to 170 degF and hold for 15 minutes. You will not loose much of the honeys subtle aroma and you will have no bugs. Then add this directly to the primary. I think this would give you the best honey flavor and aroma.

If you are going for more of the sugar from the honey, and less of the "honey" flavor, just add the pure honey to the boil.

Good luck, let us know how it turns out!:drunk:
 
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