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starcross
01-05-2007, 07:40 AM
I am considering making a honey beer for Valentine's day but have no experience using honey in the brewing process. I have read that to get optimal flavor you should hyrate the honey to the beer's specific gravity, pasteurize, cool, and pitch at high kreusen in the fermenter. I also know that you could always add the honey in the last five minutes of the boil so as not to volatilize most of the flavor from the honey (this seems easier). Does anyone have any experience with either of these processes? Also, what seems to be a good amount of honey to use in a 16 BBL batch?

Jeremy Cross
Head Brewer
Boston Beer Works

BigWilley
01-05-2007, 08:30 AM
Ive used honey quite a few times. Usually I add in the whirlpool, but you could pasteurize and add during or after primary. Unless you brew a very light beer you will have a hard time tasting any honey notes as it is highly fermentable and doesn't leave much taste. This also depends upon the honey type which has been discussed previously. What I did once to achieve more flavor and a little sweetness was fully ferment a honey bock, crash and harvest the yeast, pasteurize honey the day of filtration and add it to the server and filter right on top of the honey. If you keep it cold and filter you wont have any issues with a secondary fermentation. This would probably only work in a brewpub setting, I would never do it for beer that left the premise. Another tip is to use some Gambrinus honey malt along with the honey to add complementary honey flavor and sweetness. You can use practically any percentage of honey within reason. The more the better if you want honey flavor. Chicago Brewing Co. here in town does a Hawaiian Honey every year that checks in at over 12% abv. It tastes as close to a mead as you will find in a beer. It rocks!

Larry Horwitz
01-05-2007, 11:48 AM
Contact the honey board...they used to have a nifty little publication about using honey in beer and it was very informative!

Jephro
01-05-2007, 12:19 PM
I used to brew a 14 Honey Wheat using 25 lbs of local unfiltered, unpasturized honey added at the whirlpool. Our original recipe had 50 lbs of honey but the high alcohol content really slowed sales, and was blamed for several DWI's. The college kids called that version the "panty dropper", might be fitting for Valentines day though. ;)

RobZamites
01-05-2007, 02:09 PM
I brew a honey rye ale with pilsner, Gambrinus Honey malt and flaked rye. I add #60 of local honey in the whirlpool. Great honey aroma and subtle flavor!

Tash
01-05-2007, 04:41 PM
I highly recommend adding at heat off or at whirlpool. It's my hope that you're adding honey to develope complexity in the flavor profile and give the beer a little kick. There are tons of varietal honey(s) out there. Think about your beer style and what type of honey might augment it. Just like beer there are very light to very bold varieities of honey. 60 to 120lbs for a 15bbl batch depending on what you're trying to accomplish...

Anyway, check out http://www.honeylocator.com (I promise this won't take you to an escort service!!)

Cheers!

Tash

starcross
01-06-2007, 11:49 AM
Thanks all! That's some good stuff. Our "panty dropper ale" should sell like hotcakes!

Ted Briggs
01-08-2007, 08:18 AM
What I did once to achieve more flavor and a little sweetness was fully ferment a honey bock, crash and harvest the yeast, pasteurize honey the day of filtration and add it to the server and filter right on top of the honey. If you keep it cold and filter you wont have any issues with a secondary fermentation. This would probably only work in a brewpub setting, I would never do it for beer that left the premise.

This is what I do for a honey brown and it works well. For small batches for a holiday you could do this to just a couple of kegs......

Jephro
05-24-2007, 03:19 PM
I am looking at adding honey to a beer post fermentation, what method do you use to pasteurize honey. Is it as simple as mixing with water, heating over 180 and cooling? Also wondering what quantities people use, i will be adding to a blonde ale.

Thanks
Jeff

P.S. Starcross, how did the "panty dropper" do?

BigWilley
05-25-2007, 07:04 AM
I add most of the honey to the whirlpool, then after fermentation figure out how much you need to add to achieve the desired result (pull a pint and add honey in increments to figure lbs per gallon). Since its going in post ferment boil some water in a pot to drive off O2 and then add your honey. Let the temp stabilize at 160-180 add heat if neccessary and let set for 20 minutes or so. I then put it in an ice batch stirring occasionally until its cool and then add it to the server pre-transfer. You could push it into the fermenter with a keg so you filter the beer with the honey (did this once) but I think its an unneccesary step. You can always add more honey to the server by putting the honey solution into a keg and pushing it into the server. Customers seem to like the honey beers!

beertje46
05-25-2007, 08:18 AM
The college kids called that version the "panty dropper", might be fitting for Valentines day though. ;)

Around here it's called LPR, Liquid Panty Remover.