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Honey substitute

Discussion in 'General Brewing Techniques' started by BURGO817, 23/12/17.

 

  1. BURGO817

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    Posted 23/12/17
    Has anyone had any experience with substituting honey in place of sugars etc?

    Would like to know Pros/Cons.

    Cheers.
     
  2. MHB

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    Posted 23/12/17
    People have been adding honey to wine, beer and cider or just brewing honey (mead) for over 10,000 years, so fair to say its well understood.
    Main reason people don't use more is the cost, good brewing honey is expensive and not all honey is good for brewing, part of the art is knowing which honey to use. Generally honey that is lightly coloured and low in flavour works best, when you ferment the honey nearly all the sweetness goes away and the small amount of remaining flavour comes forward, so stay from strong flavours until you know more.

    If you have a look at a typical analysis for honey, you will see it is around 20% water and 80% sugars in the form of fructose, glucose, maltose and sucrose. It is also highly inverted and the sugar fraction is ~99% fermentable.
    Point being that the small fraction that isn't gives you all the flavour.

    If you want to work out what happens when you add honey in terms of SG, think of 1kg of honey as being 800g of sugar

    So - cons usually cost, and to some extent unpredictability.
    Pros - can add unique flavours, can be used to get higher alcohols and lower body.
    With a bit of experience, using a very small amount of highly flavoured honeys (i.e. Leatherwood) can bring a lot of flavour, but test first with a small batch as not all of them are good flavours.

    I used to keep bees and make mead, even while still keeping bees I switched to buying specialty brewing honey and used my own honey otherwise, for Mead making my favourites are Clover and Yellow Box

    Lots of fun to be had, just probably be a good idea to start with small batches.
    Mark
     
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  3. BURGO817

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    Posted 23/12/17
    Thanks Mark, Great info in there.
    My brother is a commercial beekeeper & ive been toying with the idea for some time now.

    Fortunately I have access to lots of yellow box too.

    From your experience what beers are best made with honey - Pale, Pils, dark ?
     
  4. wide eyed and legless

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    Posted 23/12/17
    Gordon Strong uses honey in a lot of his recipes books of his are cheap and his,'Brewing Better Beer' which is very informative, and is other book is Modern Homebrew Recipes. He does use between 6 and 12 % in his recipes.
     
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  5. MHB

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    Posted 23/12/17
    Personally I like honey in mid to dark beer (Porter) but it can work in lots of styles.
    Read up on Braggot (link isn't a bad start), but I would look at making Mead if I had access to good Yellow Box (what didn't wind up on toast).
    Best advise I can give is don't get too carried away, follow a good recipe until you get a feel for the ingredient.
    Mark
     
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  6. evoo4u

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    Posted 23/12/17
    I used a very tasty honey in my swap Julebryg this year (SE Qld swap). 8% of the malt/grain bill.

    It wasn't watered down supermarket stuff either. I buy it direct from a bee-keeper in Toowoomba for $6/kg, but I can't remember if it was a straight varietal, or from a mix of flowers/trees.
     
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  7. knot_gillty

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    Posted 29/12/17
    $6/kg is a very good price!! Cheapest I can get it from any bee-keeper near me in Vic is about $10/kg.
     
  8. madpierre06

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    Posted 29/12/17
    Hey Rog, how and when did you use the honey?
     
  9. BURGO817

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    Posted 30/12/17
    Yo
    You’re getting stitched up. My brother is a commercial beekeeper (ACT/NSW) 1kg = $6.00
     
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  10. knot_gillty

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    Posted 30/12/17
    This is at farmers markets though. Haven’t been direct through them yet.
     
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  11. evoo4u

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    Posted 31/12/17
    I *think* I added it in the mash. I didn't make any specific note about it. At the time, whatever I did seemed logical. It would have been at a stage where I could rinse out the honey container.

    Note to self: Keep better notes!!!
     
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  12. barls

    causer of chaos and mayhem

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    Posted 1/1/18
    you should add at the end of the boil, this way you don't boil off the volatiles in the honey. there are a heap of threads on how to use honey on here. half of them started by me.
     
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  13. evoo4u

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    Posted 1/1/18
    Duh - memory's going down the gurgler! I just checked my recipe sheets (Beersmith) and I DID make notes. Honey went in 5 minutes before flame out. Along with the cardamom pods, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks and cloves - all at 5'.

    Thanks Barls for the confirmation.
     
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