Author Topic: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?  (Read 4636 times)

Offline btrammel

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Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« on: April 10, 2013, 12:40:03 PM »
Hi folks!  I know, I know, I know - this question has probably been answered elsewhere, but I'm looking for YOUR opinion.  I'm brewing my honey hef from extract for the first time this Friday night.  I've scaled the recipe down quite a bit as this will be my first from-scratch recipe.  Here it is (followed by a question I'm really hoping you all can help me with):

HONEY HEFEY
3 lbs. wheat dme
6 oz. honey malt (steeped)
1.5 oz. saaz hops (1 oz. for 60, .5 with 5 minutes left)
Safale US-05 (going for neutral ferment so as not to mess with the honey flavor I'm looking for)
2 lbs. honey

Here's my question - what the hell do I do with the 2 lbs. of honey?  I've thought about using 1 lb. for the full boil (knowing that I'll lose any and all flavor/aroma from the pound, but will add to the SG I really need), then the other pound at flame out (letting it rest for 10 mins at flame out with hopes I'll pick up the additional flavor/aroma, along with adding to the OG).  I'm looking for a nice honey flavor on the nose and palate.  Do you think my plan will suffice?

Any help, as always, is greatly appreciated.  Thanks folks!

Brandon

Offline dak0415

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2013, 01:19:00 PM »
What really blows off the honey aroma is fermentation.  I make a honey blonde ale (very popular) and add pasteurized honey after the krausen drops.
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Online goschman

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2013, 01:33:29 PM »
I wrote an email recently to a brewery which does a honey wheat that has a very nice honey flavor. He told me that they added it after flameout during whirlpool which surprised me. He also noted that higher quality honey makes a big difference...they use local wildflower honey. He noted to use enough to raise the OG by 1 point so I am assuming plato not specific gravity.

I was unable to get additional information regarding the grain bill. If I was attempting to brew something similar to their beer I would probably throw some honey malt in as well considering how prevalent the honey flavor is. Oh...looks like you already have some.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 01:49:36 PM by goschman »

Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2013, 02:50:21 PM »
I wouldn't add any of it to the boil.  Add it as late as you are comfortable with/as late as possible.

IME you will not lose all of the honey flavor/aromatics.  Two pounds in that beer should be noticeable.

Use the highest quality honey you can find.  I usually use clover honey and buy it at the health food store.  I think it's Some Honey or a brand like that.  Comes in a half gallon plastic carton.

If you go with cheap supermarket honey, you will likely get no flavor from it.  Much of it is not pure honey.

Do NOT use buckwheat honey.  Worst experiment ever.
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Offline duboman

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Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 04:07:04 PM »
I agree with Joe, I brew a honey wheat and all the honey gets added at flame out and retains a nice flavor once packaged and with the honeypot you should be good.

The one thing I'll add is that honey will ferment out and dry the beer quite a bit at 2lbs. You might consider adding in some melanoiden to add back a little body, maybe 4-6oz. Those reuse the beer may be too thin and dry
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Offline btrammel

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 06:03:29 PM »
What a great help - thanks to everyone who has responded.  One other question - and this could be a dumb one (I'm still learning) - will the gravity be effected depending on when I add the honey?

Online klickitat jim

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 06:07:11 PM »
Nope, but I suppose fermentability could be. But not by much I wouldn't think

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Offline duboman

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Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 06:40:45 PM »
Nope, but I suppose fermentability could be. But not by much I wouldn't think

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

This is possible in affecting attenuation. There is the possibility that the yeast may tire out consuming all the simple sugars and not have enough energy to finish up the more complex chains in the extract leaving the FG a little higher than desired, although it might combat the drying power of the honey, not sure...

Some people recommend adding the honey as active fermentation slows so the yeast consume the complex sugars first and then go on with the simple sugars of the honey but IMO this would create the drier, thinner beer
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Offline smkranz

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 08:27:04 PM »
Some people recommend adding the honey as active fermentation slows so the yeast consume the complex sugars first and then go on with the simple sugars of the honey but IMO this would create the drier, thinner beer

This. 

How dry it goes depends a lot on the yeast strain, and Safale US-05 can go pretty dry no matter when you add the honey.  If you're worried about body, a little maltodextrine in the boil would help.  Packaging says 8 oz. per 5 gallons of beer...YMMV.

(FWIW, 40% of your fermentables as honey is really high.  I make a Pale Ale with about 15-18% of honey as fermentable and sometimes I think it's too much.)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2013, 08:50:36 PM by smkranz »
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Offline surfin_mikeg

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 08:53:35 PM »
I wrote an email recently to a brewery which does a honey wheat that has a very nice honey flavor. He told me that they added it after flameout during whirlpool which surprised me. He also noted that higher quality honey makes a big difference...they use local wildflower honey. He noted to use enough to raise the OG by 1 point so I am assuming plato not specific gravity.


After flameout, I stop the chilling at ~180, add the honey & let it sit for a bit (orange/honey saison).  Honey quality can vary widely, so it makes sense to source it locally.  I go for a more subtle taste, 1 lb per 5-6 gal.

For the OP: do you need/want to use honey malt and honey at the same time?  Wondering if it might be easier to figure out what works for you by choosing either all honey or dropping that and increasing the % of honey malt.  I've not used honey malt but have the impression that people who use it like it. 

Agreeing with smkranz, it's seems like a lot.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 08:20:06 AM by surfin_mikeg »

Offline kraftwerk

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2013, 10:01:26 PM »
I just brewed a 100% Brett farmhouse with about 3 lb honey in it. I had never brewed with honey and added it about 15 min before knockout. After tasting only a few weeks into fermentation I don't get alot of honey flavor or aroma coming through. Next time I might wait until fermentation.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2013, 06:46:43 AM »
I just brewed a 100% Brett farmhouse with about 3 lb honey in it. I had never brewed with honey and added it about 15 min before knockout. After tasting only a few weeks into fermentation I don't get alot of honey flavor or aroma coming through. Next time I might wait until fermentation.

IME experience honey is going to be a subtle flavor if you can find it at all.  I've never had an in-your-face honey beer.

The more complex the beer, the less likely you are to notice the honey which is why it works well in blondes and other lighter beers.

A beer this small with that much honey, it should be noticeable.

I also wouldn't worry about it affecting attenuation.  I add all my sugars to the kettle (unless I forget!) and get good attenuation on some pretty big beers.  The incremental feeding approach is fine, if that's what you like, but I've not noticed a difference when I have tried it.

Are you trending more toward a braggot with that high % of honey?  Perhaps you'll need to add yeast nutrients to make sure it attenuates.  I don't make meads (or haven't since the early 90s) but I believe that nutrients are necessary as the honey does not provide the nutrients that the yeast needs.  Can't hurt to add them here.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2013, 08:18:14 AM »
I agree that you should use a higher quality honey than the cheap clover honey you get at the grocery store. The generic clover honey is intended to produce a consistent and mild-flavored honey. It's like the BMC of honey.  ;) Your local grocery store probably sells a local honey and if they don't a local health store should. Some HBS stores sell different honey variants.

As far as adding it I don't add honey any earlier than knockout but adding it as primary fermentation is winding down is the best way to avoid losing the aroma.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2013, 09:02:53 AM »
IME experience honey is going to be a subtle flavor if you can find it at all.  I've never had an in-your-face honey beer...

Try bottle-conditioning with it, especially with a Saison or Belgian blonde. Not "in-your-face", but definitely a dominant flavor, and the only way you can really retain a good amount of aroma.

FWIW - I don' t know that eating honey from the jar gives an "in-your-face" flavor (except for buckwheat honey, which I agree is a no-no in beer/mead).
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Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Honey - add in boil or at flame out?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 06:17:04 PM »
Meadowfoam.  Honey.  2lbs to a 5g batch after first 2/3 of fermentation.

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