Poll

Which would you use?

Honey Malt
12 (41.4%)
20L Crystal
8 (27.6%)
No opinion - or pants
9 (31%)

Total Members Voted: 28

Author Topic: Honey malt - should I bother?  (Read 4949 times)

Online a10t2

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Honey malt - should I bother?
« on: May 20, 2011, 09:30:42 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?
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2011, 09:35:40 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.
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 09:37:10 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.)

Offline denny

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 10:03:37 AM »
Sean, I think that at 12% it would be fine.  I don't think I'd go beyond that, though.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 10:11:43 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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline richardt

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 10:12:53 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

Offline hokerer

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 10:56:26 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.
Joe

Offline Malticulous

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011, 11:36:24 AM »
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

Online a10t2

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2011, 07:56:49 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.
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Offline weazletoe

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2011, 12:55:19 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.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2011, 07:50:26 AM »
My vote would be NO honey malt. It does add sweetness, but it does not taste like honey to me. I dislike it.
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Offline markaberrant

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 05:40:32 PM »
My DIPA recipe is all 2-row, plus 1lb of sugar and 1lb of honey malt.  Doesn't taste at all sweet.

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2011, 09:24:57 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...
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2011, 10:43:49 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.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2011, 10:54:01 AM by majorvices »
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Offline markaberrant

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Re: Honey malt - should I bother?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2011, 10:32:54 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.