honey

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honey

Postby joemez » Mon Jul 26, 2004 11:02 am

I have learned the ingredient for my favorite local brew is honey. dont know how much of it or any of the other ingredients but I fugured I would make a pale ale and add some honey to it and see how that tastes.
Is there anything special about using honey? Will it take a lot longer to ferment?(like mead)
What do you think would be a good amount to start with?
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Too much of a good thing

Postby fitz » Mon Jul 26, 2004 2:05 pm

I would only use a 1.5 lbs honey with 6.5 lbs of malt extract.
Try to keep the honey to 15% of the total "sugar". Honey does take a little longer, and the flavor is better after it ages a month.
Good luck.
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what kind?

Postby joemez » Tue Jul 27, 2004 8:16 am

is there special brewing honey, or can I use honey from the grocery?
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Unpasturized is better

Postby fitz » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:01 am

Unpasterized is better, if you have a local bee hive is wonderful, but I have used store bought before. The type of honey depends on what you want it to do. Sage honey has a drier finish clover is a little sweeter, and wildflower honey is a little stronger flavor.
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Don't boil it

Postby jayhawk » Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:19 am

If you boil the honey you will lose a lot of the delicate aroma and flavour of the honey. Instead, simply add the honey at the very end of the boil (after shutting off the heat), or prime the beer with it. I have had excellent success with both.
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grocery store honey

Postby joemez » Thu Jul 29, 2004 10:56 am

I bought clover honey from the grocery. Will it be sterile enough by adding it to the end of the boil?
What type of flavor should I expect from it?
I am trying to replicate a flavor in a locol brew that is very sweet and distintive. like no other beer I have had. Yummy!
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Don't worry

Postby jayhawk » Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:29 am

Have you ever wondered how you can just leave honey in the cupboard for years and it doesn't go bad? Honey is a natural antiseptic. So don't worry about contamination from the honey. It is just like how people don't fret when adding unsanitized hops for dry hopping.

What you can do is mix it in at the last minute of the boil and then turn off the heat. Any beasties in the honey should be rendered useless by the near boiling temp. Plus, if you add a ample amount of healthy yeast they will be able to out compete the miniscule amount of undesirable organisms that could potentially remain after such harsh conditions.
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Postby the4th » Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:14 pm

The American Honey Board (yes there is one) recommends heating the honey to 178 degrees F for 2.5 hours to sterilize it.

Most homebrewers (including myself recently) have dropped that time to 15 minutes for the same temp w/ no adverse effects.

Don't boil the honey, you'll lose a lot of aromatics.

Clover honey is the most mild (but still good!). You might see if the LHBS had a more "industrial" grade honey w/ a stronger flavor. A guy at the LHBS uses orange honey, some sweet orange peel, and Crystal hops in an ale recipe w/ great results. Going overboard on the honey is as bad as any other adjunct I've found. I typically stop at 2.5 lbs per 5 gallon batch. Less for strongly flavored honeys like buckwheat.
I have a fever.... and the only prescription is more cowbell.
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