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Goat

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Due to general Bruhuas incompetencies on the weekend, I need to increase the gravity of a brew and I've been thinking that honey might be a good (interesting) way of doing it.

My question is; is normal supermarket (Wescobe in WA) type honey OK? I read somewhere (might ahve been John Palmer) that Eucalyptus type honeys are not advisable as they are too strong and that Clover Honey is the way to go. Can anyone varify this?

Also, I intend to dilute it using asmall ammount of the now brewing beer, boil it for 10-15 mins, cool it and add it back to the fermenter. Is this a reasonable way of doing it?

TIA
 

Airgead

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Goat said:
Due to general Bruhuas incompetencies on the weekend, I need to increase the gravity of a brew and I've been thinking that honey might be a good (interesting) way of doing it.

My question is; is normal supermarket (Wescobe in WA) type honey OK? I read somewhere (might ahve been John Palmer) that Eucalyptus type honeys are not advisable as they are too strong and that Clover Honey is the way to go. Can anyone varify this?

Also, I intend to dilute it using asmall ammount of the now brewing beer, boil it for 10-15 mins, cool it and add it back to the fermenter. Is this a reasonable way of doing it?

TIA
[post="90683"][/post]​
Hi Goat

Supermarket honey is usually a blend and has had most of the goodness processed out of it but it is perfectly usable in a brew. It will give a very slight honey character and a bit of aroma. Clover honey is quite light and again will give a little flavour and aroma.

Eucalypt honeys being unsuitable is a myth. I can personaly vouch for white box, yellow box, ironbark and a mixed honey I got from a beekeeper somewhere that was from a number of gums. They are often quite dark and strongly flavoured (many people feel that Ironbark is a too strongly flavoured for spreading on bread) so they do take a while to age out but it is well worth the wait. they give a very nice aroma and plenty of honey character. My last Braggot was made with 1.5kg of ironbark and it is fantastic. It gets better each bottle I open.

There are some eucalypt honeys that are too strong to brew with but they are also too strong to eat so they don't sell them. They do collect some of them to use as an antibacterial agent for treating diabetic ulcers but you will never see them sold for eating.

Diluting with wort sounds like a good plan. That way you aren't adding any extra water. I'd only boil for a minute or two or even just heat to >70C and hold for 10 mins to pasturise. long boiling will kill the aroma and some of the flavour (just like hops).

Cheers
Dave
 

Goat

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Thanks Dave - that's exactly the type of infor I was after.
 

barls

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i can recommend strawberry clover honey its great in a beer. so orange blossom but i have yet to try it. ive also done a yellow box honey in a lager its just starting to be really good now after about 6 months
 

Screwtop

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Love bitter beers and love honey. Have produced a beauty which I call QLD Honey Bitter. Bindi gave me a partial recipe for a great bitter using a can of Morgans QLD Bitter and a can of Coopers LME a little Crystal Malt, and a tiny bit of roasted malt, some Tettnang and Hallertau hops. Hop aroma and taste was great but I wanted a little honey flavour. Boiled some honey and a little water, kept it just boiling for 15 min (sterilisation time) and used it as part of the carb sugars with the remainder being Dextrose. It's a great summer beer. Use a double boiler for the honey water boil.
 

peas_and_corn

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make sure it is processed to some level, to make sure that the yeasts and pollens that exist in 'raw' honey are filtered out- they can cause problems with the yeast.
 

Goat

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Thanks for the advice chaps.

P&K - wouldn't a 15min boil kill pretty much anything in there (like yeast) ?
 

Airgead

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Goat said:
wouldn't a 15min boil kill pretty much anything in there (like yeast) ?
[post="90929"][/post]​
Sure would but you don't need to go that far. Unless you actually buy raw honey (which is unfiltered), commercial honey has had the bee parts/pollens etc filtered out. There are wild yeasts/bacteria/etc present but they will be killed off by pasturisation (take it to 70-75 degrees and hold for 10 minutes). A full on boil will drive off the aromatics. Most shop bought honey is pasturised already.

Another word of advice - it will take off like a rocket when you add it but it can take a long time to ferment out fully. Honey can just tick alonng real slow for weeks and it is easy to think it has finished when it hasn't.

Cheers
Dave
 

Goat

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Ahh - thanks Dave. Time is getting to be an issue - so I might have to give it a miss this time based on what ou are saying.

I bought a kg of what looks like very unfiltered honey last night - I'll keep that for something in the future.
 

Airgead

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Goat said:
Ahh - thanks Dave. Time is getting to be an issue - so I might have to give it a miss this time based on what ou are saying.

I bought a kg of what looks like very unfiltered honey last night - I'll keep that for something in the future.
[post="90960"][/post]​
If you want something quick, honey probably isn't the best. Not only can it take a long time to ferment but I find they need at least 6-8 weeks condtioning in the bottles before they are really good. The more honey you use the longer it takes. I ususlly allow 8 weeks for a braggot, 6-12 months for a fruit mead and 2-5 years for an all honey mead. For hust a touch of honey added to a regular beer i would give it an extra 1-2 weeks above your usual conditioning time (or 8 weeks whichever is less).

Use that Kg to make a braggot and put it down for the autumn. It will be lovely by then. Braggot is great when the weather gets a bit cooler.

Cheers
Dave

Edit - crap spelling
 

Screwtop

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I buy my honey straight fom the bee keeper $6 kilo. Simply add some dex or malt to up your gravity, then no worries re the ferm time etc. And if you want the honey flavour give some a boil and use 30% in place of priming sugar.

Edit: Mistook
 

Joel

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So what's a good rule of thumb for adding a little bit of honey character to a beer (kit, partial or AG)? I've been interested in trying to make a summer ale with a bit of honey in it but I've been afraid I'd add too much/not enough honey.
 

barls

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i generally go about 500g of honey to about the same of the desired sugar/ malt. comes out good with not too much trouble
 

tangent

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in times like these, i just add about a cup of XXX (honey, banana, whatever) to the end of th boil
you get a taste of it without spoiling a whole brew
then adjust for the next brew
 

peas_and_corn

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Airgead said:
Goat said:
wouldn't a 15min boil kill pretty much anything in there (like yeast) ?
[post="90929"][/post]​
Sure would but you don't need to go that far. Unless you actually buy raw honey (which is unfiltered), commercial honey has had the bee parts/pollens etc filtered out. There are wild yeasts/bacteria/etc present but they will be killed off by pasturisation (take it to 70-75 degrees and hold for 10 minutes). A full on boil will drive off the aromatics. Most shop bought honey is pasturised already.

Another word of advice - it will take off like a rocket when you add it but it can take a long time to ferment out fully. Honey can just tick alonng real slow for weeks and it is easy to think it has finished when it hasn't.

Cheers
Dave
[post="90937"][/post]​

Yeah, but there are some honeys in supermakets that boast they are 'straight from the honeycomb unprocessed' etc etc. They contain bits of the honeycomb that won't be taken out by boiling, but (apparently, this was told to me by the bloke at my HBS) cause some fermentation issues. I was pointing out that processed honey is the best to go for (while for eating, it's the opposite)
 

Airgead

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peas_and_korn said:
Yeah, but there are some honeys in supermakets that boast they are 'straight from the honeycomb unprocessed' etc etc. They contain bits of the honeycomb that won't be taken out by boiling, but (apparently, this was told to me by the bloke at my HBS) cause some fermentation issues. I was pointing out that processed honey is the best to go for (while for eating, it's the opposite)
[post="91077"][/post]​
Could be. Never seen any at my supermarket but then again I don't usually look for honey there. Honeycomb is beeswax which shouldn't cause any fermenattion issues but then again its probably not what you want floating around in your brew anyway. My rule is that if I can see bits in it then I don't use it. If I can't see any bits then they are too small to damage the brew. Most keepers filter their honey as a minimum just to get rid of the bits of bee that always get caught up in the comb. Stray bee legs are definitely not what you want to find in your beer.

My advice - if it looks clear and free from lumpy bits then its fine to use. If the honey has crystalised, just heat it up to liquify then you can see whether it is clear.

I prefer to use minimaly processed (ie: filtered only) as I find it has more flavour but as with all things YMMV.

Cheers
Dave
 

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