Quantcast

When to add Honey??

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

gruversm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
392
Reaction score
6
Location
Edwardsburg, MI
I'm brewing an Imperial IPA with 3lbs of Wild Honey. Do I add the Honey to the fermenter immediately, or wait after fermentation has started? I did a 1700ml Yeast Starter.
 

blindtiger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2008
Messages
63
Reaction score
0
I've had good results adding honey during the primary. It leaves the complexities of the honey intact, and honey as a general rule (even unpasturized) won't have enough wild yeast, bacteria, etc. to cause problems. This method can leave a little residual sweetness, but especially with an IPA the hops should have no problem overshadowing that.
 

CaptYesterday

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
160
Reaction score
0
Location
Cleveland
My experience with honey would have me recommend at flameout. I brewed a black ale a while back that I added 2.5 lbs of honey to on the 4th day in primary once there was a good couple inches of krausen. I did it as an experiment to see what flavor effects it would have. The result was a beer that tasted like pure honey. It was on the lower IBU end (20-30) so your IPA might come off differently, but its not something that I think I will do again in the foreseeable future.
 

RCCOLA

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2008
Messages
1,082
Reaction score
121
Location
Northwest Arkansas
I'm brewing an Imperial IPA with 3lbs of Wild Honey. Do I add the Honey to the fermenter immediately, or wait after fermentation has started? QUOTE]
Don't want to sound like a know it all but I feel I have put this one to bed.I brewed a light wheat beer(1.037 S.G.) and let the main fermentation finish then added 3.5lbs. honey to the fermenter so that the primary ferm. didn't blow away the flavors and aromatics.The results were ROCKET FUEL!!The beer fermented down to 1.001 and tasted like yeast and alcohol.I did this as an experiment to see if honey flavor could make it into the finished beer.For me this proved that it does not add anything to beer except alcohol and I am done using it in anything except biscuits.
 

sirsloop

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2006
Messages
2,587
Reaction score
24
Location
South River, NJ
Add it during cooling when the wort is under 140F, but still hot enough to dissolve easy.
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
32
Location
New Bern
Honey is an interesting topic...my understanding is that it doesn't take much heat for the flavors and aromas of the honey to be driven off. For this reason, I have added it directly to the primary sometime during the active fermentation. No, it will not dissolve immediately, but who cares? The yeast will attack the crap out of the pile of honey at the bottom of the fermenter and it will all be integrated in no time. One beer I added it to (a dark Irish ale) was one pound and resulted in a nice complexity, but you wouldn't know what it was from if you didn't know the recipe. The other beer was a blonde ale with 2lbs where the honey took a more leading role in the flavor. The resulting flavor and aromas were interesting. Not honey the way you normally think of it. All of the sweetness is gone and its tough for the brain to imagine what it would taste like then. After quite a bit of aging it turned into a really good beer. After 6 months it had changed completely and tasted a bit sour in a really good way, so it is possible that because I added to the primary it very slowly developed an "infection".

In the end I've decided not to brew with honey any more. The taste that it adds is not what I was looking for so much. There are plenty of simple sugars out there to help lighten the body of a beer.
 

sahuaro

Active Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
Location
Bloomington, IN
i've got a chokecherry wheat in the works which calls for 1lb of honey @ 30min and i've a couple questions being a newb.
1. by adding the honey at thiss point will i lose all flavors during fermentation?
2. is there a particular brand of honey preferred for brewing?

this is only my second brew, my first is a nut brown and suprisingly everything is going good in primary.
 

Coastarine

We get it, you hate BMC.
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 21, 2008
Messages
2,515
Reaction score
32
Location
New Bern
The flavor isn't lost during fermentation, it is lost minutes (maybe seconds?) after it hits the heat. Not necessarily all of it, but it is changed significantly. If that's what your recipe calls for, you might want to just follow the recipe. Maybe the recipe isn't intended to have a major honey flavor, but just the lightened body that the honey brings.

No brand specifics, but there are lots of different kinds of honey. Do a little research into what meadmakers use if you want, but I'll tell you that if you add the honey at 30 mins, I wouldn't bother getting anything fancier than orange blossom or clover. Honey from fancier plants gets expensive.
 

magnj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2008
Messages
780
Reaction score
1
Location
Central Jersey
anyone use honey as a priming suger?
From what I have read, yes. I have also read however that it's less than optimal and can take many weeks or months longer in the bottle to fully carb than corn sugar would.
 

Shinglejohn

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
476
Reaction score
12
Location
Cleveland
I have done several batches of various beers with honey additions at different times, this is what my experience has been:

at 60 min - honey flavors and aroma ar obliterated, however it makes for a light body and adds sweetness.

at 30 - there is some residual flavor and aroma, but is only noticable in very light bodied beers. Again the honeys complex bland of sugars ads a light body and sweetness.

at 15 - similar to 30 but more aroma

at flame out - i find this to be the best for me, it maintains most of the flavor and aroma, but not all of it, but honey can be overpowering in a beer. and as allways makes for light body and sweetness.

to primary - really maintains a honey flavor and aroma, but can be strong. I have done this twice and never got infected, but felt the flavor was too overpowering.
 

blackwaterbrewer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2008
Messages
704
Reaction score
7
Location
virginia beach
3 lbs of honey is too much for beer. if you do use that much , know that it will take at least 3 months to mellow out and be very careful with which yeast you use. i would ad the honey at flameout. if you make beer with honey, try using white labs "sweet mead yeast". also, add some yeast nutrient to help clean up the gnarly flavors. yeast can gas out from eating honey. they love it.
 
OP
gruversm

gruversm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2008
Messages
392
Reaction score
6
Location
Edwardsburg, MI
3 lbs of honey is too much for beer. if you do use that much , know that it will take at least 3 months to mellow out and be very careful with which yeast you use. i would ad the honey at flameout. if you make beer with honey, try using white labs "sweet mead yeast". also, add some yeast nutrient to help clean up the gnarly flavors. yeast can gas out from eating honey. they love it.

I used a 1700ml Starter of the new Wyeast 9093PC "Imperial Blend" yeast. It's good up to 11%-12%. I added the honey (by recipe) after active fermentation started. After 4 days, it's still going nuts in the primary.
 

Bros_Brew1

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2011
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Location
Muskegon
Oh Honey! I recently made a batch of IPA Black utilizing 15lbs of mixed grain, 8oz of fresh hops (hop back) and 3 ozs of pellet hops towards the end of the boil. But before I get started, it was only planned for a 5 gallon finish until my brew partner showed up and wanted to do a double batch (10g) in one 10gal mash tun with 15 lbs of grain. It was a bee-hive. Didn't really want to do it but I agreed since it was a trip across town to pick his stuff up. Figured out why. When you double the water and don't double the grain your OG will change big time. This came off at .1040! I guess his whole idea was to do the same batch with different yeast (Coopers - him) and (Nottingham - me) so he could compare the two. He's so beaver dam competitve. Well nearly 24 hours and they are both looking like the end of the ferm rather than the highly active one I'm use to. Thinking....didn't really want to ditch my batch with the money I had into it, so wham, I'll add Honey. Did a lot of reading first. So here's what I did, brought to boil 2qts of h2o stirred in 1lb of dark brown sugar, turned down the heat to low-med and added 24oz of clover honey. Cooled it to 80f and pitched it in MY 5gal ferm. The ferm was at 72f and this brought it up to 73f - perfect. Now, he's not going to know this cause I'm not saying a word. But guess whose is going to taste better or at least be more that 3% abv! Fool! BTW ~ it took off rather fast and after one hour I had a one inch head and the flaccuation I like.
 
Top