Using Honey Malt

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Drunken Monk

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I just bought a pound of honey malt to use in a recipe. I was thinking of steeping this but I'm pretty sure it has to be mashed to get the flavor and fermentables out. Am I right on this? If so, can someone inform me on how to do this without all the fancy equipment. I have a 3 gallon stock pot and your ordinary kitchen stuff.

Also, do I have to mash with a base grain too? All I have for grain is the honey malt. I'm going with 6 lbs DME for the base of my wort.

I want to do a honey lavender ale. Anyone have any experience using lavender? Any suggestions? Anyone know lavender's IBU:confused:

Thanks for the help.
 

Old_Brewer

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How does honey malt differ from honey? I have never heard of honey malt.
Thanks
 

Lil' Sparky

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I've used honey malt before, but I've never done steeping/PM, so I can't say for sure if it needs to be mashed to get the flavor out. My guess is no. I will say, 1 lb of honey malt will add a lot of flavor, maybe more than you're looking for. Someone else may want to verify on the qty.

How does honey malt differ from honey? I have never heard of honey malt.
For starters, it's malted barley, not honey. ;) I don't know how they achieve it, but it imparts a honey flavor. Honey itself doesn't really impart much flavor IMO. I think it's just too fermentable and the yeast eat it all up.
 

the_bird

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It's a medium-dark (IIRC, ~75L) crystal malt. I've heard that it works great in conjunction with an addition of regular honey, but that yeah, it's easy to overdo.

EDIT: 25-30L, as described below.
 

Soulive

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Old_Brewer said:
How does honey malt differ from honey? I have never heard of honey malt.
Thanks
Honey malt and regular honey are pretty different in how the affect beer. Regular honey is highly fermentable, which means it will dry out your beer and won't leave much honey flavor. Honey malt is much more unfermentable which means some sweetness and the flavor of honey. If you want to add the flavor of honey to your brew, use the malt. If you want a good fermentable to boost ABV, use regular honey...
 

Chad

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Honey malt: Honey malt is the company's best description for the unique European malt known as brumalt. Its intense malt sweetness makes it perfect for any specialty beer. It has a color profile of 20-30 °L and is devoid of astringent roast flavors.
From Paddock Wood Brewing:
"Malt sweetness and honey like flavour and aroma make it perfect for any specialty beer. The closest comparison is a light caramel, but Honey Malt has a flavour of its own: sweet and a little bit nutty. Made by restricting the oxygen flow during the sprouting process, Honey Malt is essentially self-stewed. When the oxygen is cut off, the grain bed heats up, developing sugars and rich malt flavours. The malt is lightly kilned for a color color profile of 25 SRM and is devoid of astringent roast flavors. Honey malt has a diastatic power of 50, and can convert itself but not additional adjuncts. It is best mashed with a base malt. Use up to 25% in specialty beers for a unique flavour."
These are two of the better descriptions I could find. I was curious about this malt as well, so I did a little poking around. Most sources equate honey malt with European brumalt, which does need to be mashed, but given the description above, most notably "self stewed," I'd say it's probably a form of crystal malt that can be steeped rather than mashed, but that's just a guess.

Chad
 

TexLaw

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Yep, you just need to steep honey malt. I've never used it, myself, but I have heard many comments like above (i.e., be careful about your quantity).


TL
 

Brewing Clamper

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I steeped 1 lb of honey malt in a "honey wheat" beer and it was way overkill! You might want to pull back to 0.5lb first. Just my 2¢...
 
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Drunken Monk

Drunken Monk

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Thanks for the input guys. looks like I'll steep 1/2 a pound and see what happens.
 

JonK331

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I thought I'd revive this old thread. I just used 4 oz of honey malt in an all grain Pale Ale recipe. The beer finished at 1.008 so it should be pretty dry. Not the case. Tastes very sweet despite 42 ibus and HUGE taste of honey. If I'd have left the honey malt out, it would have been a much better beer. Let this be a warning. Be very careful with the stuff, it has a POWERFUL honey taste.
 

magnj

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I'm surprised you found 4oz to be overpowering! I have a lot of the stuff from a group buy and I've used it a few times. Going to use it as my only specialty malt in a pale ale coming up, 1lb in 10 gallons.
 

ajwillys

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I use honey malt in an imperial IPA to balance out the 100+ IBU's (software says 142) and the 8.7% ABV. I use about a pound of it but it is quite noticeable even still. I love the stuff but have never considered it to be a 'normal' crystal type grain.
 

jfrank85

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I've used it in a a pale ale i did a while back and really liked the result. IMO i wouldnt go over 10% of the grain bill if you want to be able to taste anything else in the beer.
 

Judochop

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Got an American Wheat fermenting right now using Honey Malt. Fortunately I did some research before I put together the recipe and only used 3 oz in a 5.75 gallon batch. Can’t say yet how it tastes, but considering the fairly light grain bill I used, I’m feeling like I may have barely dodged a bullet even with the minimal amount I used.

I did stick my face in the bucket for whiff after the guy at the LBHS had scooped out my order, and WHEWEEE!!!

The stuff is PO'tent. That whiff was unlike any other whiff I’ve encountered in any other of the grain buckets.
 

JonK331

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Got an American Wheat fermenting right now using Honey Malt. Fortunately I did some research before I put together the recipe and only used 3 oz in a 5.75 gallon batch. Can’t say yet how it tastes, but considering the fairly light grain bill I used, I’m feeling like I may have barely dodged a bullet even with the minimal amount I used.

I did stick my face in the bucket for whiff after the guy at the LBHS had scooped out my order, and WHEWEEE!!!

The stuff is PO'tent. That whiff was unlike any other whiff I’ve encountered in any other of the grain buckets.
yeah 3 oz might be about right when the goal is to get some significant honey flavor. I was hoping for just a subtle hint of honey but it is as if I added a full pound or even two of actual honey. it certainly is a cheaper option than buying honey and the flavor is of true honey, not honey like. I had a couple pints last night and the honey flave is starting to mellow a bit. Maybe it will come around. Strange stuff though, how the heck to they do that? I also wonder if there is more than one source for it and if so if there is any variance in potency.
 

jsweet

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Thanks for reviving this thread -- it is very relevant and timely for me. I am working on tweaking a recipe and this time was going to add just a bit of honey malt, but I also want just a hint of honey. So I'll watch it with the amount. I might brew it as early as this evening, so this is quite timely!
 

Coldies

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I have used 1 lb in a pale ale "BBD Brewing Kabe's Secret APA" (In the American ale recipe section) and its one of my favorite pales I have ever brewed. I have done about 4-5 batches of this beer. I convert it to AG and is a staple at my house. Do not fear the honey malt!!!
 

cincybrewer

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We all of you say you used it, did you mash it or steep it? Or does it matter? I would think mashing would make it sweeter.
 

cincybrewer

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If you're just an extract with grains brewer you CAN steep it.
Yea, I know you can, I'm just trying to figure out why there is so much discrepancy in the sweetness level perceived with honey malt. Didn't know if it had to do with mashing vs. steeping. Thought maybe one way caused it to be sweeter.

fyi - my question was a typo, was supposed to be "when all", not "we all".
 

Gwitz

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I have a beer on tap right now with 1lb of honey malt in it. I was leery of using that much in 5 gals but it turned out to be dead on to get a nice honey flavor, the recipe had pilsner malt and 8oz brown malt, beautiful deep orange color. I cant decide if its something i want all the time though. I think when im in vancouver again ill pick up a few pounds to brew some more up. I think ill do 1lb of the honey malt in a 10 gallon batch with nothing else but 2row and some clean hops to see what stands out.

As an aside, i get my bulk sacks of grain from the maltster that makes the stuff. So i can get a bag of it for 25 bucks or somethin. So im pretty torn if i should just do that or spend 1.50/lb from the place in vancouver. Anyone wana split a bag of honey malt with me? :D
 

profallout

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The beer gods have smiled upon me and guided me to this thread. I am making a honey beer tonight as an experiment and I was going to use 3 lbs of honey malt. Luckily I decided to do some research on it first and found this. I'm going to scale down the honey malt to a mere 3/4 lbs.

My experiment to see how honey malt will taste is as follows:
3/4 lbs honey malt
11 lbs 2 row
0.75 chinook @ 60 min
0.50 willamette @ 5 min

If I remember, I'll post my results in a couple months.
 

ghpeel

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I've used Honey Malt in quantities of 6-8oz without problems. In fact, some of the beers didn't even have a honey-like quality at all. I'm not sure what's up with this malt, but it seems to be very variable between recipes. Some folks say 4oz is massive overkill, and some report good results that aren't overwhelming at twice or three times that amount.

My last Amber Lager was pretty tasty. It used 6oz of Honey Malt and 8oz of Melanoiden, so it had a slight malty/honey/fruity thing going on in it.

For the record, I am very skeptical of the ability of any malt that can self convert to make a beer "sweet" when used in qualities of less than several pounds. I tend to think that something else was making these beers sweet. 4oz of a self-converting malt is NOT going to make your beer sweet, assuming you mashed it. Sorry.

I wonder if the freshness of the malt has something to do with it?
 

frydogbrews

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i made a honey blonde using honey malt and honey. it's carbing now in the keg, but its been a week, so maybe it is decent enough now. i think i used a pound because i tend to do things without thinking them through, it's fun for me. i'll let you know how it tastes.
 

Judochop

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yeah 3 oz might be about right when the goal is to get some significant honey flavor. I was hoping for just a subtle hint of honey but it is as if I added a full pound or even two of actual honey. it certainly is a cheaper option than buying honey and the flavor is of true honey, not honey like. I had a couple pints last night and the honey flave is starting to mellow a bit. Maybe it will come around. Strange stuff though, how the heck to they do that? I also wonder if there is more than one source for it and if so if there is any variance in potency.
I sampled my Amer. Wheat last night after kegging and the honey malt character is very evident. I don't notice it much in the aroma, or even mid-palate, but it is rather prominent in the finish. It lingers. I'm not sure how much I like it. Of course, this is based on a warm, flat, yeast-clouded sample of the beer at a very young age (2 wks), so...

...I guess I should've just bitten my tongue for another couple weeks and reported back then.
 

PacificNWBrew

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Hey Judochop, how'd that American Wheat turn out once it aged a bit? I've never used Honey Malt before and I'm trying to get a feel for "reasonable" quantities.
 

frydogbrews

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the honey blonde that i used a pound of honey malt in turned out awesome. i actually would have preferred more honey flavor. maybe i didn't crush it well or something, but i thought a pound was fine.
 

cincybrewer

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I used a pound on my honey blond and it was pretty good. A little too sweet for me but everyone else loved it. I'm not sure if it was too sweet because of the honey malt or the fact that my IBU's were so low....I also added a pound of honey after two weeks in the fermenter.
 

frydogbrews

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did you get any quality honey flavor with the addition in the secondary? mine had 3 pounds of honey in it well after flamout but before pitching.
 

cincybrewer

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did you get any quality honey flavor with the addition in the secondary? mine had 3 pounds of honey in it well after flamout but before pitching.
I definitely got aroma but I can't really tell if I got honey flavor from it since I used it in conjunction with honey malt. There is a honey like flavor in the beer and a good amount of sweetness but it's tough (for me) to tell how much came from the malt and how much came from the actual honey.
 

DustBow

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Actual honey pretty much ferments out almost 100% I think. That's why it's so hard to get honey flavor in brews.

FWIW, I made a honey malt blonde a couple months ago, pretty light grain bill of just 2-row and Vienna, along w/ 6oz honey malt. Personally, I didn't taste all that much sweetness so I think I will bump it up a little next time. I went easy on it the first time around since I had read it was so potent. I want to say the beer was getting better and more "sweetness" was coming thru as it aged, but my wife and neighbors killed the keg too quickly for it to age too long :)

Steeping some for apefelwein is an interesting idea. I was thinking about throwing some in a hefe too...
 
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