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dwalsh27

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Hi All,

Still new to all grain brewing so looking for some recipe advice. I am a honey producer and looking for a way to showcase my honey in a beer. My honey is wildflower and is light and floral. I was thinking about a honey saison (sample recipe attached) with maybe some floral hops. Just wondering about the hops, which to use? Also is a saison maybe to strong in ABV to highlight the honey? Am i better off doing a honey ale maybe?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Miraculix

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Honey ist hard to show in a beer as the flavour, once fermented, is not so strong.

You need a considerable amount of honey as part of the fermentables and a clean yeast plus no strong other flavours from malt or hops. Moderate bittering would be a good idea.

Probably a lager would be a good candidate. Or a very clean ale yeast.

Basically a basemalt only lager with moderate bittering addition to about 15-20ibus would do the job. To enhance the foam and mouthfeel, I would add 20-50% of the grist as wheat malt, the rest pilsener. It would give it a little creamyness plus a milk-ish taste that should go well with the honey.

So the recipe would be 30%. Pilsener 30% wheat 40% honey. 15-20 ibus and a clean lager yeast, if possible. Otherwise the cleanest ale yeast you can get.
 
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AzOr

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I’ve never made a honey saison so I can’t speak to that.
However, I have made numerous versions of Papazian’s Rocky Raccoon honey lager. They’ve all been delicious, especially the ginger one. I think it would be a great way to showcase more delicate and floral honey. For that recipe most old school hops would do fine; mt hood, Saaz, Hallertau, Willamette, even Cascade.
In other recipes, whenever I go above 10% honey, it doesn’t taste balanced. This recipe is a good way to use a large amt of honey.
 

ba-brewer

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A saison type yeast might work well with honey but the phenolic spicy/clove flavors would be the central flavors and not the honey. I would go with something clean like wlp029 if you want to showcase your honey.

I think you could drop the carared from the recipe but it might help a little to keep some body to the beer as 3711 can attenuate very dry.

If you keg the beer and used a more neutral yeast you could try going heavy with honey up front to get it to dry out then back sweeten with more honey at kegging time to balance the beer and get more of the honey flavor.
 

Steveruch

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Probably a lager would be a good candidate. Or a very clean ale yeast.
So the recipe would be 30%. Pilsener 30% wheat 40% honey. 15-20 ibus and a clean lager yeast, if possible. Otherwise the cleanest ale yeast you can get.
At 40% honey you are into braggot territory. You might want to consider 10% honeymalt. And wait to add the honey until primary fermentation is done.
 
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dwalsh27

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A saison type yeast might work well with honey but the phenolic spicy/clove flavors would be the central flavors and not the honey. I would go with something clean like wlp029 if you want to showcase your honey.

I think you could drop the carared from the recipe but it might help a little to keep some body to the beer as 3711 can attenuate very dry.

If you keg the beer and used a more neutral yeast you could try going heavy with honey up front to get it to dry out then back sweeten with more honey at kegging time to balance the beer and get more of the honey flavor.
I make a lot of mead and usually use a champagne yeast for that. A lavlin d-47 or ec-1118. I don’t know how that would make out with a beer. Usually meads are starting out at 1.100 or higher. I like the back sweetening idea but how do you address the problem of fermentation starting again? What would you consider a clean yeast?
 

ba-brewer

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Assuming if you keg the beer it would be kept cold which should prevent the yeast from starting up again.

WLP029 is a kolsch german ale yeast which quite clean, not much ester and no phenolic flavors. It allows malt and hops to come through well. US05 is a dry yeast which is fairly clean as well. Nottingham yeast is another that is fairly clean. All of these yeasts clear pretty well with a little time cold conditioned.
 
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dwalsh27

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Assuming if you keg the beer it would be kept cold which should prevent the yeast from starting up again.

WLP029 is a kolsch german ale yeast which quite clean, not much ester and no phenolic flavors. It allows malt and hops to come through well. US05 is a dry yeast which is fairly clean as well. Nottingham yeast is another that is fairly clean. All of these yeasts clear pretty well with a little time cold conditioned.
I am planning on kegging it and I got some us05 so maybe next weeks brew. I think I’ll try some upfront and then some prior to the keg as you said. And simplfy the malts too. Thanks for all the advice. Ill post a link to my Brewfather recipe if your interested in following.
 
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dwalsh27

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Honey ist hard to show in a beer as the flavour, once fermented, is not so strong.

You need a considerable amount of honey as part of the fermentables and a clean yeast plus no strong other flavours from malt or hops. Moderate bittering would be a good idea.

Probably a lager would be a good candidate. Or a very clean ale yeast.

Basically a basemalt only lager with moderate bittering addition to about 15-20ibus would do the job. To enhance the foam and mouthfeel, I would add 20-50% of the grist as wheat malt, the rest pilsener. It would give it a little creamyness plus a milk-ish taste that should go well with the honey.

So the recipe would be 30%. Pilsener 30% wheat 40% honey. 15-20 ibus and a clean lager yeast, if possible. Otherwise the cleanest ale yeast you can get.
I dont really have the experience or the cold storage to do a lager yet. I like the grain suggestion. Maybe Amber honey ale?
 

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I dont really have the experience or the cold storage to do a lager yet. I like the grain suggestion. Maybe Amber honey ale?
The darker the beer, the more flavour from the malt. You don't want that, as you want your honey to come through.

I would really go with pilsener and wheat malt only.

Most of the honey beer recipes o have seen use honey malt in addition to push the honey flavour. I personally wouldn't be satisfied with that, as the flavour wouldn't come from the honey, but from the malt.

If you can make a starter, you can use wlp800, that yeast works also well at room temperature.

Or mangrove Jack California lager, that one is a lager strain supposed to be fermented at ale temperatures but it will stay clean.

Only thing is, double the recommended pitch rate for the mj yeast. Otherwise you might run into an almost stuck fermentation at the end.

And there's always us05 which is clean, forgiving and easy to use, but not as clean as the two quoted above.
 
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dwalsh27

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The darker the beer, the more flavour from the malt. You don't want that, as you want your honey to come through.

I would really go with pilsener and wheat malt only.

Most of the honey beer recipes o have seen use honey malt in addition to push the honey flavour. I personally wouldn't be satisfied with that, as the flavour wouldn't come from the honey, but from the malt.

If you can make a starter, you can use wlp800, that yeast works also well at room temperature.

Or mangrove Jack California lager, that one is a lager strain supposed to be fermented at ale temperatures but it will stay clean.

Only thing is, double the recommended pitch rate for the mj yeast. Otherwise you might run into an almost stuck fermentation at the end.

And there's always us05 which is clean, forgiving and easy to use, but not as clean as the two quoted above.
Unfortunately I don’t have a supplier close by and have to order everything. I do have us-05 so I’ll try that. Here is a peak of what I have put together. I picked the UK hops that wouldn’t be to strong. A little bit of caramel for colour but still not sure on that. Maybe leave out for first one? Thanks
 

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Miraculix

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You have to ask yourself, why you want to do every specific step to get the best desirable outcome.

Honey at flame out is a good idea. It would be also possible to throw in the honey when the wort finished fermentation, but then I would at least pasteurize the honey to kill off unwanted wild yeasts. I would go with the latter version, as it should retain a bit more honey aroma.

I wouldn't add any late hop addition, this would mask the honey flavour at least partially. Only bittering additions. The type of hops (EKG) is a good choice I guess.

Why the crystal malt? If you want to add a bit of body with it, I would use a lower number. The darker the crystal, the stronger it's taste and that will overshadow the honey. You basically want the beer as tasteless as possible to make room for the delicate honey aromas.
 

Miraculix

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Oh and one more thing, as you are already adding so much completely fermentable sugars with the honey as part of the grist, I would mash really high. Probably at the upper end of the possible range meaning 72c for one hour.
 
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dwalsh27

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You have to ask yourself, why you want to do every specific step to get the best desirable outcome.

Honey at flame out is a good idea. It would be also possible to throw in the honey when the wort finished fermentation, but then I would at least pasteurize the honey to kill off unwanted wild yeasts. I would go with the latter version, as it should retain a bit more honey aroma.

I wouldn't add any late hop addition, this would mask the honey flavour at least partially. Only bittering additions. The type of hops (EKG) is a good choice I guess.

Why the crystal malt? If you want to add a bit of body with it, I would use a lower number. The darker the crystal, the stronger it's taste and that will overshadow the honey. You basically want the beer as tasteless as possible to make room for the delicate honey aromas.
I’m new to recipe writing and was thinking the floral tones in the Fuggle would compliment the honey but you are probably right. The bit of caramel was for a bit of colour as without it it comes in with an EBC of 5. Maybe I’m being 2 picky. Maybe a few grams of a roasted malt? I didn’t want any roasted flavour at all but would you taste 10 grams or so? I’ll drop it for the first batch. Thanks for the input.
 

Miraculix

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I’m new to recipe writing and was thinking the floral tones in the Fuggle would compliment the honey but you are probably right. The bit of caramel was for a bit of colour as without it it comes in with an EBC of 5. Maybe I’m being 2 picky. Maybe a few grams of a roasted malt? I didn’t want any roasted flavour at all but would you taste 10 grams or so? I’ll drop it for the first batch. Thanks for the input.
If you can get hands on brewers caramel, it should do exactly what you want, colour without flavour. Otherwise a dash of black malt or dehusked roast barley or midnight wheat should also do the trick, but it might also add a little bit of roast in such a light coloured beer.

I would brew it in the most simple version first and from there I would try to figure out how I might be able to further improve it.

Theoretically yes, the fuggles might complement the honey, but they theoretically could also overpower the honey, so for the first try, I would skip it.
 

Miraculix

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Oh, and why so much honey at bottling? Looks a bit much for carbonation, will probably result in bottle bombs. I would just add all the honey at one addition, after fermentation of the malt wort stops, then wait till the honey is fermented fully, then bottle with normal sugar according to desired carbonation (shouldn't be too high imo, I think 2.5grams per half a litre bottle should work well).
 

afd5001

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Honey ist hard to show in a beer as the flavour, once fermented, is not so strong.

You need a considerable amount of honey as part of the fermentables and a clean yeast plus no strong other flavours from malt or hops. Moderate bittering would be a good idea.

Probably a lager would be a good candidate. Or a very clean ale yeast.

Basically a basemalt only lager with moderate bittering addition to about 15-20ibus would do the job. To enhance the foam and mouthfeel, I would add 20-50% of the grist as wheat malt, the rest pilsener. It would give it a little creamyness plus a milk-ish taste that should go well with the honey.

So the recipe would be 30%. Pilsener 30% wheat 40% honey. 15-20 ibus and a clean lager yeast, if possible. Otherwise the cleanest ale yeast you can get.

I agree with Miraculix
I would suggest even omitting the hops and use dried flowers to add the floral notes if you want.
I would do 70/30 where the honey is the 70 and something like Dry Pilsen Light Malt. Boil malt and flowers and then add honey when its cooling to blend and then ferment with Saflager s-189 for a good clean ferment.
 

fourfarthing

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Hi All,

Still new to all grain brewing so looking for some recipe advice. I am a honey producer and looking for a way to showcase my honey in a beer. My honey is wildflower and is light and floral. I was thinking about a honey saison (sample recipe attached) with maybe some floral hops. Just wondering about the hops, which to use? Also is a saison maybe to strong in ABV to highlight the honey? Am i better off doing a honey ale maybe?

Thanks in advance.
If you want a honey saison, find the recipe for cottage house saison in the forums and double the honey. I have had good experience with that.
 
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dwalsh27

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Oh, and why so much honey at bottling? Looks a bit much for carbonation, will probably result in bottle bombs. I would just add all the honey at one addition, after fermentation of the malt wort stops, then wait till the honey is fermented fully, then bottle with normal sugar according to desired carbonation (shouldn't be too high imo, I think 2.5grams per half a litre bottle should work well).
I usually keg my beer. The fg is only 1.009? The primary fermentation is going to finish really dry. In a cold keg with pressure you shouldn’t get much more fermentation.
 

Miraculix

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I usually keg my beer. The fg is only 1.009? The primary fermentation is going to finish really dry. In a cold keg with pressure you shouldn’t get much more fermentation.
Ah, ok. Yes, kegging might work then, I have no experience with that. But don't keep it for too long, it might slowly continue fermenting.
 

afd5001

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Depending how cold the keg is only minor fermentation after a REALLY long time, or toss in a campden tablet.
 

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