Using Honey Malt

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Judochop

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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.
To be honest, I’m a little baffled by the reports here of brewers using a pound of this stuff and actually liking it. Granted, my beer is (it’s still flowing as we speak) at the lighter end of the size and taste spectrum, being low-gravity and consisting mostly of 2-row, wheat and Munich with nothing else to mask the honey malt… but I only used 3 ounces of the stuff and I thought it was a smidge too intense. Now, the plebian drinkers loved it when I served it on a hot July day, but still just about everybody noted the unusual flavor of the honey malt. (I will go ahead and brag about how fine and clean my ferment was. I am very confident that what was being tasted was indeed the honey malt and not some homebrewy funk.)

If I did it again, I’d probably cut down to 2 oz. I can’t imagine a POUND of it in my particular beer resulting in anything drinkable, much less enjoyable. But maybe it’s a flavor that marries better with darker styles, like a Brown or somethin’. I mean… seriously… go to your LHBS, stick your head in a bucket of low-grade crystal and whiff. Then in a bucket of something more intense like Special B and whiff. Then do the Honey malt. It’s ridiculous, the intensity.

And yes, let's just stop the talk in here about Honey malt and honey having anything to do with each other. The effects of one in beer would be totally different from the other. Closer to opposite than alike, in fact.
 

richbrew99

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I used a pound in my IPA and it turned out awesome. regular ingredient for my IPA now. I also use a half pound in my wheat beer.
 

Judochop

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I used a pound in my IPA and it turned out awesome. regular ingredient for my IPA now. I also use a half pound in my wheat beer.
So there you go. Takes all types.

Just to be clear... there's only one Honey Malt out there, right? It's the one made by Gambrinus that folks are talking about here?

'Cause now I'm starting to wonder if it is the Munich 20L in my Wheat that I taste. But jeez... it was only 10-12 ounces of that that I used. Don't know what to think. (I might even be starting to think that the guy at LBHS misread my grainbill and dumped 3 POUNDS of honey malt in my bag.)
 

cincybrewer

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I wonder if there is much of a difference between mashing the honey malt and steeping it. I'm an extract brewer and steeped 1 lb of it. Maybe if you mash it you get much more sweetness?
 

frydogbrews

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i steeped mine as well, but i thought that was what you were supposed to do all the time with specialty grains.
 

unionrdr

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I have read on here that mashing it gives more of that honey sweetness. But I also read not to use more than 8oz of it,or it gets floraly.
 

profallout

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Just tried some that I made with 3/4 lbs honey malt in a 5 gallon all grain batch the rest of the grain bill was 2 row. The honey malt was mashed with everything else. I scaled back on my usage because of the experiences on this thread. I was disappointed in the result. No noticeable honey flavors and very very little sweetness. I got it from Austin HBS which I have been happy with so far but... maybe I got plain 2 row. Should there be a noticeable color or aroma from the uncrushed grain? I guess I'll be using the left over couple of pounds next time that I should have used with this last batch and see if it turns out disgustingly sweet.
 

Beehemel

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I steeped 4 oz in a honey wheat extract recipe (also using 1 lb of tupelo honey) and it came out very nice. It's all about personal taste. I probably wouldn't use more than a half pound, but there may be a beer some day that I'll try more in.
 

jfrank85

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I've used it in porters, brown ales, IPAs, and pale ales. I really like it myself.
 

Judochop

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Not sure what you mean by "Takes all types". I make my beer for me, if it tastes good I go with it.
Maybe I'm misusing the phrase? I meant exactly what you just said; one should brew what one likes to drink. Different brews for different palates.

Sorry if I sounded like a jackass.

:mug:
 

jfr1111

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My guess is that the malt might not play nice with yeast strains that naturally finish sweet (ie. wy1318) or that have mid to low attenuation properties (ie. basically english yeast). People probably also have varying level of tolerance to the sweetness imparted by crystal type malts: some on HBT will swear that a pound of crystal is overkill in a pale ale while other will happily cram 2 or 3 pounds of the stuff in their brew.

I've used honey malt once in a bitter (4oz I think???), found it gave an unpleasant sweetness to my beer, and gave the rest to the birds outside. They seemed to like it fine.
 

richbrew99

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Maybe I'm misusing the phrase? I meant exactly what you just said; one should brew what one likes to drink. Different brews for different palates.

Sorry if I sounded like a jackass.

:mug:
I gotcha... no prob. :mug:
 

richbrew99

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My guess is that the malt might not play nice with yeast strains that naturally finish sweet (ie. wy1318) or that have mid to low attenuation properties (ie. basically english yeast). People probably also have varying level of tolerance to the sweetness imparted by crystal type malts: some on HBT will swear that a pound of crystal is overkill in a pale ale while other will happily cram 2 or 3 pounds of the stuff in their brew.

I've used honey malt once in a bitter (4oz I think???), found it gave an unpleasant sweetness to my beer, and gave the rest to the birds outside. They seemed to like it fine.
Interesting about matching it with an appropriate yeast. I have been using Pacman Yeast.
 

DustBow

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Interesting about matching it with an appropriate yeast. I have been using Pacman Yeast.
And Pacman attenuates really well and produces and pretty clean beer, right? I could definitely see the different yeasts being a factor with the honey malt flavor - I wouldn't think you'd want it "muddled" up with a bunch of residual sugars and/or fruity esters.
 

terrapinj

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i used 8oz in a 5gal ESB recipe with chinook and wlp007 - 85% atten. down to 1.008 and was still too sweet for me and didn't play well with the chinook IMO
 

richbrew99

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And Pacman attenuates really well and produces and pretty clean beer, right? I could definitely see the different yeasts being a factor with the honey malt flavor - I wouldn't think you'd want it "muddled" up with a bunch of residual sugars and/or fruity esters.
yes it does, I need to do a side by side with another yeast. Soon as I get a 15 gal pot.
 

mobilecabinworks

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I've been working on putting a extract barley wine together and was thinking about adding 1# of honey malt. Based on what I'm reading here it would probably be right at home steeped in a huge heavy barley wine.
 

Gwitz

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Id imagine honey malt would be decent in a barely wine. I think a problem is, people think it's a crystal malt and its not. It has diastic power and should be at least partially mashed.

And on a side note, i have a theory that i probably wont ever be able to prove definitively. I've noticed malts like munich and honey become more pungent as they age. Case in point, i just finished off a sack of munich that was over a year old and its aroma was way stronger than the fresh sack i just got. Just a theory but it would explain why my experience with honey malt is that you need .5 to a 1lb to get any effect, and 2lbs isnt at all unpleasant. Gambrinus is an hour away from me, so the honey malt i get is as fresh as its ever gonna get.
 

Gwitz

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Ya, but i have half a sack of honey malt in my grain room, i dont know what im gonna do with 25lbs of the stuff. But it only cost me 15 bucks so who could say no :D

Maybe a 100% honey malt brew for the lols.
 

GodsStepBrother

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Just brewed a honey pale ale with honey malt. The recipe is as follows:

7 lbs of 2 row
2 lbs of Vienna
1 lb of C-60
1 lb of Honey Malt

.5 oz Amarillo @60
.5 oz Simcoe @20
.5 oz Amarillo @10
.5 oz Simcoe @5

WLP 051 is the yeast strain I am fermenting with.

It ended up an amber color so pale ale might not apply:p. We will see what happens, 1 lb of c-60 and one of honey malt should make this thing very sweet. I will dry hop in the keg with 1 oz half Amarillo half Simcoe.

To those who have found 1lb of Honey malt sweet, what did others say when they tasted that beer?
 

MikeBilly

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This is a very timely thread for me.

I plan on brewing a raspberry infused Belgian, similar to Founder's Blushing Monk, and I wanted to use Honey Malt to sweeten it. Problem is, I have no idea how much. Here is the recipe on Hopville.

My initial plan is to use .5 lbs of Honey Malt in a 2.5 gallon batch. If you count the Raspberries, which I'm adding in secondary, that makes it 4% of the fermentables. If you don't count the raspberries it jumps to 7%.

Does this seem like too much? Not enough? Or maybe it's just right? Since I've never used the malt I'm a bit puzzled :confused:
 

GabeSyme

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I steeped 4 oz of honey malt and 4oz of caramel malt into a 2.5Gal batch of hard cider. Wife loves it.
That sounds great! I'm thinking about making something like that for my lady. Do you steep them in the cider or in another quart of water? I'm curious as to the process in using grains in a cider.
 

Irishwrench

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That sounds great! I'm thinking about making something like that for my lady. Do you steep them in the cider or in another quart of water? I'm curious as to the process in using grains in a cider.
Sorry for delayed reply. I steep the honey and caramel malts in a quart or so of water.
:rockin:
 

dbball22

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I used 1/2lb in my honey wheat partial mash recipe and the sweetness was hardly noticeable. The beer finished out pretty dry, so I'm making the recipe again this weekend using 1lb of honey malt. I'll try to post the results and see if 1lb is noticeably different than 1/2lb. Recipe below.

I mashed at 150° for an hour.

OG 1.044
FG 1.007

4lb German Wheat
1lb Munich
1/2lb Honey Malt
2lb Light DME
1oz Cascade (60 min)
1oz Mt. Hood (flameout)
 

Jayslay

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......Gambrinus is an hour away from me, so the honey malt i get is as fresh as its ever gonna get.
Hey Gwitz, I am returning to Vernon/Kelowna for my annual summer vacation in a couple weeks. Whats Gambrinus like, is it just a small storefront to a malt house? I guess I'm wondering if they offer tours or anything.. I think I may also want a big sack of honey malt.
 

LongDog

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So, was it decided? Would it wok for someone to steep, say 6oz of honey malt along with 6oz of crystal 40? I'm thinking of doing that this weekend. What temp should I steep at?
 

stachist

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Planning on a pound of honey malt in a Belgian Saison this weekend.


Should I be afraid? Or will it likely be balanced by the character of the yeast and orange peel / seeds of paradise? Or should I be even more afraid of those clashing?

I will also be adding two pounds of orange blossom honey- will the dryness added by that help balance out the honey malt?

And going back to the yeast again- I don't really have temp control and am in Iowa (warm right now)- will heavy character for wyeast's Belgian Saison strain overpower the honey malt? Or clash with it/ make it more evident?
 

TheHairyHop

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I didn't have time to read all these pages, but I've used Gambrinus honey malt with success. To me, it's very potent. In an IIPA I used 4.4 oz of honey malt with 4.4 oz of 120 crystal, and the honey is pronounced. The flavor is definitely there.
 

stachist

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TheHairyHop said:
I didn't have time to read all these pages, but I've used Gambrinus honey malt with success. To me, it's very potent. In an IIPA I used 4.4 oz of honey malt with 4.4 oz of 120 crystal, and the honey is pronounced. The flavor is definitely there.
There seems to be a lot of consensus that is strong and should be used sparingly, but then there are still a decent amound of comments saying they either used 1 lb successfully, or .5 lb and hardly noticed the presence.
 

Calichusetts

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If you really want the honey flavor, I'd say to exceed the 10% rule most talk about. I was never happy with 5-10% in my honey ales. On the other hand, I just finished off my honey saison with nearly 20% honey and it was very strong and dominant. I wanted it to shine but not cover up everything else.
 

Havesomebeer

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I Have done an all grain with 100% honey malt as the grain bill. I used hallertaur hops and ale yeast. Turned out very drinkable and me ofmy favorite beers to date. Right now im fermenting a pilsner with 1 lb honey malt mashed in. Can't wait to try it
 

USM_Eagle

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I have used from 4Oz to 2#. I think if used in an ipa you really should drink them young (I know you should anyway but this is one malt that dominates with out having some hop to back it up IMO). 2# went into a rye barleywine. Again when young the beer was a nice hoppy, young barleywine. At 1 year it is a honey mess. I have a few more bottles so hopefully it will oxidize a more in the next year and take that out.

I personally really like honey malt with rye pales but I tread lightly with it now.
 

Petekiteworld

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I just used a pound in an ipa. Replaced caravienne with honey malt. Should be interesting, especially with lots of amarillo...

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Home Brew mobile app
 

Oceantendency

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One of my best or favorite beers that a bunch of people like is my Honey Nelson Saison, I use the Gambrius Honey Malt, which is actually Canadian. I've used in various quantities depending on that style (6oz to 18oz), hops , and other grains to get the taste I want. I use to utilize a bunch of honey, but it's cheaper t go with the Honey Malt. I haven't had any beers give too much sweetness or too much honey taste as some have described on here. I love using the stuff in the right quantities. I wonder how dry the beers finished as some have claimed it's too overpowering. Also wonder if it had to do more with the combo of Crystal malts or other grains that yield that sweeter profile. Just food for thought, or beer for thought. haha ya get it..ok bad joke.
 

Backslide

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I've had this thread opened in it's own tab for quite some time now. I figured I'd post on what I made using Honey malts.

It's a Vanilla Cream ale, not to be confused with a traditional Cream ale :)
5.25gal batch
8lb 8oz Maris Otter
1lb Honey Malt
8oz Cara Pils
10oz Lactos 10min
0.5 oz Chinook 40min 22.5IBU
4 Vanilla Beans
Wyeast 1056

Mash for 60min at 152 60min Boil. Ferment at 65.0 deg. Cut and scrapped vanilla beans into a small Pyrex container and covered with Tito's vodka (just enough to cover beans). I added Vanilla/Vodka at day 7 in primary, added 1oz of additional real vanilla extract at kegging. 5 days for force carb (sanke) at 6psi.

This beer turned out much better than I've ever expected. Nice honey taste in the background that helped balance the Vanilla. My wife's friends adore this brew, I'll most certainly make another batch for the ladies.


Jason
 

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