Help with a Honey Blonde

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Help with a Honey Blonde

Postby ArrogantDan on Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:37 pm

I'm gonna be brewing my first Honey Blonde next weekend and would really like to showcase the honey. I haven't put a recipe together yet but plan on using 3 lbs of Orange Blossom for a 10 gallon batch. Everything I've read suggests adding the honey at flameout but I've put some thought into adding it late into primary fermentation. Has anybody tried this before? Thoughts?
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Re: Help with a Honey Blonde

Postby lexuschris on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:03 am

Hey Dan!

I like the 3# for 10-gallons of blonde! :)

In the past, I've been adding honey to my beers during the post-boil cooling, after the wort reaches 130-F or so. Originally, I liked that heat as it helps dissolve the honey well, without too much loss of aromatics. I know that works, and does impart some honey flavors, and dries out the beer just a little.

Now that I am plate chilling, I won't have an easy opportunity to add honey as the boil kettle is chilling. So, I am thinking more about just adding it in secondary (or late primary). Honey has low water activity, so nothing much can grow on it. I don't worry about contamination, especially after primary fermentation has kicked in.

Adding at flameout is better than boiling it at all. However, the less heat the better. My meads are now made with cool water, no heat at all. No problems. I would go for the late primary add... :)

Happy Brew Day!
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Re: Help with a Honey Blonde

Postby dhempy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:17 am

This is where we need Oskaar to chime in ...

Just off the top of my head I would think you would want some way to ensure proper mixing ... so that might mean thinning the honey a bit ... but I don't have any particular experience ... I've always added honey to my Honey Brown a flameout.

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Re: Help with a Honey Blonde

Postby brahn on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:14 pm

lexuschris wrote:So, I am thinking more about just adding it in secondary (or late primary). Honey has low water activity, so nothing much can grow on it. I don't worry about contamination, especially after primary fermentation has kicked in.


I wouldn't add it in secondary since by then most of the yeast will be dormant or left behind during racking. I think the yeast would have trouble consuming that much honey this late in the process and the beer would either end up with off flavors or cloyingly sweet. I've never tried it, but that's my guess.

I would add it to the fermenter before pitching yeast and, like Dan said, mixing would be a concern.

If you're really looking to impart honey flavor and a bit of sweetness, everything I've read says honey malt is the way to go.
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Re: Help with a Honey Blonde

Postby bwarbiany on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:52 pm

lexuschris wrote:In the past, I've been adding honey to my beers during the post-boil cooling, after the wort reaches 130-F or so. Originally, I liked that heat as it helps dissolve the honey well, without too much loss of aromatics. I know that works, and does impart some honey flavors, and dries out the beer just a little.

Now that I am plate chilling, I won't have an easy opportunity to add honey as the boil kettle is chilling.


Do you easily go straight from boiling to pitching temps in one pass through the plate chiller? If you do *any* recirculating, I would think you might be able to recirculate wort through the chiller back into the boil kettle until 130 degrees, then add the honey before running from the boil kettle into the fermenter... Should give good mixing.
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