Author Topic: Honey to help dry a saison  (Read 1078 times)

Offline andyi

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Honey to help dry a saison
« on: October 12, 2013, 06:03:06 AM »
Howdy all,

I have read that honey can help "dry out" a beer.  I plan on a 1.052 saison using WY3711 fermenting in the mid to upper 60's.  How much honey will it take for a noticeable dryness and where in the process should it be added?

Cheers

Offline realbeerguy

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 06:51:47 AM »
Let fermentation begin, wait 3-4 days.  The yeast will be consuming the simple sugars first.  Boil some water, cool to around 125 dF, disolve your honey cool further to 80 or so and add to fermenter, GENTLY stirring.  Don't splash. Cover & let fermentation continue.  The Rye Saison I have on tap was 1.044 OG, 1.020 @ 4 days.  Added 1.5# honey to 10 gal.  Finished to 1.004.  Dry finish with nice body.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 10:57:01 AM »
First and foremost, a 1.052 saison using WY3711 will not need anything to help it dry out. In fact, I mash my table-strength saison at 158F just to keep it from going too dry. I get from the low 1.040's down to 1.004 even mashing that high.

Honey is no different than any other fully fermentable sugar when it comes to drying out a beer. If you're just looking for dryness, then use plain table sugar and save yourself some money. If you're looking for honey flavor, then add it as late in the fermentation process as you can to keep the more delicate aromatics from being blown off during the peak of fermentation.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 01:38:10 PM »
I wouldn't worry to much about it drying out enough as erock says. But I really like some honey late in fermentation with a saison. I don't worry about table saisons drying out to much. you can always make up for any lack of mouthfeel with higher carbonation. but yeah for drying out purposes plain sugar is way cheaper.

I don't bother dissolving or stirring either. just plop the honey right in primary.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 02:38:58 PM »
I wouldn't worry to much about it drying out enough as erock says. But I really like some honey late in fermentation with a saison. I don't worry about table saisons drying out to much. you can always make up for any lack of mouthfeel with higher carbonation. but yeah for drying out purposes plain sugar is way cheaper.

I don't bother dissolving or stirring either. just plop the honey right in primary.

FWIW, I doubt mouthfeel will be much of a problem with 3711. It leaves behind a mouthfeel that is much fuller than what you'd expect in a beer with such a low FG.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2013, 07:20:15 PM »
I wouldn't worry to much about it drying out enough as erock says. But I really like some honey late in fermentation with a saison. I don't worry about table saisons drying out to much. you can always make up for any lack of mouthfeel with higher carbonation. but yeah for drying out purposes plain sugar is way cheaper.

I don't bother dissolving or stirring either. just plop the honey right in primary.

FWIW, I doubt mouthfeel will be much of a problem with 3711. It leaves behind a mouthfeel that is much fuller than what you'd expect in a beer with such a low FG.

very true. I love the way you can make a 5% saison with an FG of 1.000 and it just fills your mouth with every sip.
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Offline andyi

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2013, 06:18:51 AM »

Thanks for all the responses guys.  Having never used honey before I thought it would impart some type of distinctive dryness.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2013, 09:36:32 AM »

Thanks for all the responses guys.  Having never used honey before I thought it would impart some type of distinctive dryness.

nope, just like sugar on that front.
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Offline andyi

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2013, 10:43:54 AM »
@morticaixavier

What flavor type contribution are you getting from honey in your saisons and how much are your using?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 03:00:26 PM »
@morticaixavier

What flavor type contribution are you getting from honey in your saisons and how much are your using?

The flavour contribution depends a lot on what type of honey you use. Mostly for me it's blackberry or orange blossom. Blackberry has a distinct blackberry hint to it which is really nice. Orange blossom is more subtle but it's a cross between sweet orange and flowers.

I use ~1 kilo to 40 liters or about 1 lb to 5 gallons. I add it after the first 3-5 days of fermenation but if I forget I have added it later. The saison yeast is not like a british yeast in that once it starts to drop out there is no going back. even if it's been more than a week the fermentation will kick right back into action. I consider honey sanitary by nature so I just pour 1/2 a 2 lb jar into each bucket and let her go.

It's a subtle flavor note. It's not going to jump right out at you. I have as times wondered if it's even worth the money but when I do it with plain sugar I miss it.

I recently found that for a more pronounced honey character an ounce or so of chamomile flowers and leave (bulk chamomile tea) at flame out adds a really intense honey like aroma and flavour. More than honey does in my opinion.
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Offline andyi

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Re: Honey to help dry a saison
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 04:20:17 PM »

Thanks morticaixavier.  I will give it try.