Priming with honey

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Priming with honey

Postby Chimporilla » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:33 pm

For five gallons how much honey would I need to carbonate? It would be for a low gravity cream ale. Thanks.
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Honey

Postby fitz » Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:12 am

Honey is going to vary a little in sugar content.
It also takes a little longer to ferment, because the yeast has to make some of the sugars fermentable, that aren't readily able.
For a cream ale, you should try to use light DME. It will give your brew a creamier head.
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I would not use it raw.

Postby Brewer2001 » Wed Jun 23, 2004 2:33 pm

C,

Raw honey contains a relativly large amount of bacteria. Adding this directly to your finished beer may spoil the batch. If honey is to be added it should be in the kettle during or just after boil.

If you really want to add honey on the cold side you need to do what the Mead makers do. They ether boil water and let it cool to 160 -170 deg or heat the honey with the water to that temperature and hold it for 20 or 30 minutes. This will help to 'sterilize' the honey.

Read the article about sugar additions in the March 2004 edition of BYO. Palmer gives some calculations for priming. He also explains why sugars are different. Yeast use different 'pathways' and methods to enable them to use different sugars which change the flavors of the beer.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Raw Honey contains a large amount of bacteria

Postby yodar » Sat Jun 26, 2004 9:10 pm

Interesting. I am a degreed biologist who did his rersearch in microbiology (fungi and bacteria) It was part of our lesson-work that high concentrations of sugars had a severe osmotic effect on the bacterial and fungal cell wall, causing it to LYSE

LYSIS= to split

Accordingly I found that to be an appropriate explanation for the fact that a bottle of opened HONEY in my bachelor pad NEVER spoilt- Nor did my sorghum miolasses or my Vermont Maple sugar syrup. Nor is honey-contamination the basis of hive problems in nature. The BEES themselves get the various honeybee diseases, and parasite problems,but not the honey.

I suspect that the "idea" that honeys contain a lot of native bacteria is based on the fact that fresh honeys have not had the time to LYSE (minutes !) the bacteria within OR there was a foreign contaminant introduced with the honey that was SAVED from LYSIS by dilution.

Many of Lewis & Clark's provisons were sugar cured as well as salt cured to permit the provisions to survive an overland trip without spoiling.

If I were to choose honey as an additive-sugar source I certainly would use the best sanitation procedures on all my containers and glassware connected with adding Honey to the brew, as THEY are a better candidate for introduction of BAD things than the honey.

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yodar confirms my understanding

Postby fitz » Mon Jun 28, 2004 11:31 am

I have always been told that there was honey in king Tut's tomb that was still edible. I'm not even sure it was crystalized without the light hitting it. My reasons for not adding it to your priming brew had nothing to do with bacteria. Most mead makers do not want pastuerized honey, I'm not sure what level of boiling or heating they use. I have used honey in my beer, but not in the bottling aspect. I usually put it in at the end of the boil, not during it.
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Re: I would not use it raw.

Postby DreamWeaver » Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:29 am

Brewer2001 wrote:C,

Raw honey contains a relativly large amount of bacteria. Adding this directly to your finished beer may spoil the batch. If honey is to be added it should be in the kettle during or just after boil.

If you really want to add honey on the cold side you need to do what the Mead makers do. They ether boil water and let it cool to 160 -170 deg or heat the honey with the water to that temperature and hold it for 20 or 30 minutes. This will help to 'sterilize' the honey.

Read the article about sugar additions in the March 2004 edition of BYO. Palmer gives some calculations for priming. He also explains why sugars are different. Yeast use different 'pathways' and methods to enable them to use different sugars which change the flavors of the beer.

Good brewing,

Tom F.



My brother-in-law is a beekeeper hobbiest. He has convinced me that there is no bacteria in honey. (Do a Google search.) Honey is used best if added at the end of the boil or water if priming. Raw honey is unfiltered. Store bought honey may contain preseratives harmful to yeast.
Four More Beers!... Four More Beers!... Four More Beers! ...
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Re: Priming with honey

Postby DreamWeaver » Mon Aug 02, 2004 4:11 pm

Chimporilla wrote:For five gallons how much honey would I need to carbonate? It would be for a low gravity cream ale. Thanks.


Somehow I got lost and did'nt even come close to responding to your origional question in the above reply.

I basically abandoned the use of honey unless I am doing a Honey Wheat or similar style beer using a neutral ale yeast that I expect to drink young. As honey for priming, I kept some good notes and found irregular results. Depending on what style you are trying to achieve you can and should experiment, hopefully my notes will at least give you some ideas.

I found that if you are going to use raw honey, make sure it has been filtered. I bought some clover honey from the grocery and it worked fine too. Heated honey will be easier to work with but adding it to boiling cooled water will result in a watered down honey solution. I tried this on a few plastic soda bottles with the intentions of being able to see if it was working by squeezing the bottles. I used 3 teaspoons of heated honey funneled straight into the bottles and within 14 days (every 3-4 days I gently rolled the bottles or turned them upside down for a few minutes since the honey is heavier). (Priming a whole 5 gallon batch in a bottling bucket resulted in most of the honey left in the bottom of the bucket and sent me into a senior moment.) It was moderately carbonated and still had a honey flavor. One bottle left for a month was more carbonated but the flavor was not as honey-ish but was dry & crisp. Not bad. Then I realized I had drank all of my experiments!

Hope this helps. Maybe you can do your experiment & share your results. I may do another Honey Wheat soon!
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Postby JSGilbert » Mon Aug 02, 2004 8:09 pm

I think you all would be interested in these articles:

http://www.nhb.org/foodtech/index.html#micro

http://www.nhb.org/foodtech/index.html

There is a lot of good info.

Haven't you you guys every heard for babies "Until one, honey there is none"? This arose from the fact that there are C. botulinum spores in honey that present a challenge to a toddler's immune system.
Cheers,

Jeremy

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And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,"
Hold a beer in the palm of your hand
And be glad it's happy hour.

Adapted from W. Blake "Auguries of Innocence"
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