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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: a10t2 on May 20, 2011, 10:30:42 am

Title: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: a10t2 on May 20, 2011, 10:30:42 am
I'm getting ready to brew a simple honey wheat for the summer. When I've done it in the past I've used a decent proportion of 20L crystal malt (about 12%) to leave some residual sugar flavor that I think helps to accent the honey. But now I'm wondering if replacing that with honey malt would do even more to increase the perception of honey. What's holding me back is that I've heard the honey malt can be unpleasant in large quantities.

So, what say you?
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: bonjour on May 20, 2011, 10:35:40 am
. . .  I've heard the honey malt can be unpleasant in large quantities.

So, what say you?
I've heard the same thing about hops  ;D

Start small and grow.  See what you like.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: b-hoppy on May 20, 2011, 10:37:10 am
I've used it in an IPA at about 2% ( 11lbs. base malt and 4 oz. honey) and could pick up some additional sweetness.  It can be overpowering (for me) if there aren't any other specialty grains to meld with.  Used .5 lb in conjunction with about 3 other specialty grains in an amber and it just kinda played with the others nicely (again, 12 lb. total grist wt.)
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: denny on May 20, 2011, 11:03:37 am
Sean, I think that at 12% it would be fine.  I don't think I'd go beyond that, though.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: tschmidlin on May 20, 2011, 11:11:43 am
Why not go half and half in this next batch - it will be a less drastic change and you can get a sense if you like the direction it's headed.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: richardt on May 20, 2011, 11:12:53 am
It probably isn't the best choice in an IPA, since style purists will be looking for something dry and bitter.
Having said that, I like a little maltiness and residual sweetness to help balance the bitterness, so it looks interesting.

I've used Honey malt in a wheat beer (subtle sweetness).  I'm away from my notes, but it wasn't more than a pound of honey malt for a 10 gallon batch, so it had to be under 5%.  I don't recall a honey aroma or flavor in the beer, but the residual sweetness was good.

I've also used it in a Belgian Pale Ale.  Again, I'm away from my notes, but I think it was Base Pils malt with 5% or less each of Victory, Biscuit, and Honey malts.  
It rocked and scored a 42 and a 43.

I think you'll like it a lot.  Some seem to call it a super-munich, but I think it is sweeter.  
The honey quality (taste>aroma) is rather subtle, if even present, when used in 5% levels, IMO.
If you use it in higher amounts, it might be more prominent.  Check out these comments, if you haven't already:

http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4503 (http://www.probrewer.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=4503)
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: Hokerer on May 20, 2011, 11:56:26 am
I regularly use 1/2 pound of Honey Malt (along with a late addition pint jar of Honey) in my Honey Wheat.  Nice sweetness and flavor.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: Malticulous on May 20, 2011, 12:36:24 pm
I used 5% in a honey blond and it worked. I could have used more.
http://hopville.com/recipe/275357/blonde-ale-recipes/honey-blonde
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: a10t2 on May 21, 2011, 08:56:49 am
I regularly use 1/2 pound of Honey Malt (along with a late addition pint jar of Honey) in my Honey Wheat.  Nice sweetness and flavor.

I'd normally use 3/4 lb C20, so it sounds like I could pretty much swap in the honey malt and be good to go. So that's probably what I'll do. If nothing else it'll be a good experiment. I'll be adding 1.5 lb of honey for a secondary fermentation.

Why not go half and half in this next batch

That was my first thought, but I don't have a LHBS and I'm getting sick of all the odds and ends left over in my grain bin.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: weazletoe on May 22, 2011, 01:55:19 am
I voted no pants for obvious reasons, however.....Most the times when I make a wheat beer I end up adding some honey malt. A little goes a long ways. For a five gallon batch, I would not go more than 1/4#. I definatly say go for it, though. I really adds a nice extra dimension to a whaet beer.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: majorvices on May 22, 2011, 08:50:26 am
My vote would be NO honey malt. It does add sweetness, but it does not taste like honey to me. I dislike it.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: markaberrant on May 26, 2011, 06:40:32 pm
My DIPA recipe is all 2-row, plus 1lb of sugar and 1lb of honey malt.  Doesn't taste at all sweet.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: rabid_dingo on May 28, 2011, 10:24:57 pm
I just brewed an IPA with some honey malt. It is definitely a moment to watch your hand in.
Mine had the honey flavor come through right away. Probably a bit too much. I'll dig through my
notes to see how much I added, but I doubt I used more than half a pound...
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: majorvices on May 29, 2011, 11:43:49 am
My DIPA recipe is all 2-row, plus 1lb of sugar and 1lb of honey malt.  Doesn't taste at all sweet.

"Sweet" may not be the best descriptor. "Cloying" is more like it. I disliked it and I think I only used about 1 lb for a 10 gallon batch. I'd be very careful about using it again, personally.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: markaberrant on May 30, 2011, 11:32:54 am
My DIPA recipe is all 2-row, plus 1lb of sugar and 1lb of honey malt.  Doesn't taste at all sweet.

"Sweet" may not be the best descriptor. "Cloying" is more like it. I disliked it and I think I only used about 1 lb for a 10 gallon batch. I'd be very careful about using it again, personally.

I hop the crap out of my DIPA (4oz of high alpha to bitter, then 3-4oz at 15, flameout and dry), and it finishes at 1.012 or lower, so I find in this recipe it works quite well to bring out the sweet, fruity character of the hops, while still having the pulverizing, dank piney bitterness.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: dmtaylor on May 30, 2011, 02:32:00 pm
Sean, I like honey malt.  I probably wouldn't use 12%, but you can certainly do 5% with excellent results, or maybe 7 or 8% without it getting too overpowering.  Go for it.
Title: Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
Post by: skyler on June 01, 2011, 09:28:31 pm
Sean, I like honey malt.  I probably wouldn't use 12%, but you can certainly do 5% with excellent results, or maybe 7 or 8% without it getting too overpowering.  Go for it.

Agreed. I would probably do like 6% honey malt and 6% CaraVienne or Carastan or Crystal 20L if it was me.