Author Topic: Honey after primary fermentation  (Read 1262 times)

Offline Mike-Ale

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Honey after primary fermentation
« on: April 07, 2016, 03:24:28 AM »
Looking to brew an american honey blonde ale next week.  SG is 1.058.  I would like a subtle but noticeable honey flavor to come through.  Has anyone added honey to the primary after krausen has dropped and fermentation has slowed?  I plan to leave in primary to clean up for at least three weeks.  I am worried about restarting the yeast (White Labs East Coast Ale) and creating off flavors and the infamous infection.  Thoughts?

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2016, 04:56:58 PM »
Looking to brew an american honey blonde ale next week.  SG is 1.058.  I would like a subtle but noticeable honey flavor to come through.  Has anyone added honey to the primary after krausen has dropped and fermentation has slowed?  I plan to leave in primary to clean up for at least three weeks.  I am worried about restarting the yeast (White Labs East Coast Ale) and creating off flavors and the infamous infection.  Thoughts?

First off, welcome!  ;)

I think you would have no problem adding the honey to your primary fermenter after the initlal fermentation died down a bit.  You will see an additional kick-start to the fermentation obviously. Be sure to leave the beer for an additional 1-2 wks to allow the "secondary" honey fermentation to finish and clean up after itself prior to packaging. 
I would put the honey container into a pot of warm/hot water to loosen it up a bit prior to pouring it in directly into the fermenter. Any honey that sticks to the sides of the container can be easily loosened further with some hot pre-boiled water (I would use distilled/RO) through swirling/slight shaking and adding that back to the fermenter.
Maybe someone else with more honey experience will chime in too. 

Offline Mike-Ale

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2016, 05:20:42 PM »
Thanks Brewinhard. I have looked online but there doesn't seem to be solid research on what to do. I am leaning towards doing exactly what you said but thought it best to seek out more advice on the topic.

Offline Indy574

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 01:51:19 PM »
I did a raspberry wheat beer that I added honey and the raspberry to the secondary. I had a blowout and found my airlock and a pool or raspberries on the floor. So just be careful.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 07:10:44 PM »
that is more or less what I do when I add any subtly flavored sugar to a beer. Honey and maple both have such light flavors once the sweetness is gone that if you subject them to the boil or the vigor of the full primary fermentation you won't really taste anything. Chances of infection are slight. it will restart the fermentation but that's not really a problem. There won't be any sweetness left from the honey understand. If you want a subtle sweetness with honey flavor look at adding a very small amount of Honey Malt which is a light amber caramel malt with a honey like flavor.

I also find some chamomile to have a honey like flavor and aroma. I've never done it but it's possible dry flowering with some of that might add to the impression.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 02:01:56 PM »

I also find some chamomile to have a honey like flavor and aroma. I've never done it but it's possible dry flowering with some of that might add to the impression.

That is an interesting tip. It does seem to add some floral notes that could be registered as soft and honey like.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 04:00:59 PM »
small portion of honey malt is another possibility
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Offline goschman

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Re: Honey after primary fermentation
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 04:30:00 PM »
small portion of honey malt is another possibility

This would be my suggestion. If you are planning on using any crystal malt, just use up to 5% of honey malt in addition to your planned amount of honey. A little bit goes along way especially in a lighter colored beer...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2016, 04:33:05 PM by goschman »
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