Can i prime with honey?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Pure gold, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Pure gold

    Pure gold New Member

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    Hi Guys new to the site and home brewing.

    Bottling my 1st batch tonight of a coopers Australian style beer and wondered if i could prime with Honey?

    thanks

    John
     
  2. TheZel66

    TheZel66 Member

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    i never have tried. for your first homebrew I would advise to just along with priming sugar. Honey can take longer to work with yeast so carbonation might take longer. If natural honey, then it might need to be boiled to ensure no bacteria is in it; the boiling would take some of the flavor/aroma out of it. Using brand name stuff might have preservatives that could kill your yeast, leaving you with flat beer. Once again, I'd advise against it, unless you hear/know from someone who has had some success with it.
     
  3. Pure gold

    Pure gold New Member

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    Thanks I'll stick to the sugar (not literally) ;)
     
  4. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    +1
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Of course you CAN. Whether it's a good idea or not is another question. Honey contains a lot of microbes that would just love to get a tooth (metaphorically, of course) in your beer! Unless you know how much to use (I'm too lazy to calculate it for you right now) and how to pasteurize the honey, stick with corn sugar for the first few batches. In fact, do everything exactly the same for the first few batches until you can brew the same beer consistently. Then try the honey.
     
  6. cearum

    cearum Member

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    I've primed with honey before in the past. It isn't hard to do, but with the inconsistencies in honey production the amount you need can vary quite a bit. You could either mix some up with water and check gravity or just wing it.

    With that said, I'd do what the others suggest and stick to the priming sugar. It's easier, quicker, and more accurate.
     
  7. NTexBrewer

    NTexBrewer Member

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    Here is a good link for using different types of fermentables for priming

    http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

    I have never used honey to prime. I know from making mead that one way to sterilize the honey is to use a campden tablet. When I made a one gallon batch of mead I crushed one camden tablet and stirred it into the mead. Waited 24 hours for the campden tablet to kill bacteria and wild yeast and then pitched my mead yeast. I'm sure something similar could be down to sterilize the honey you would use for priming.

    I think you can also buy pasteurized honey. Mix it with a little water and boil for a minute like you do with priming sugar. Do 10 or so bottles with honey and the rest with priming sugar. Worst case you may lose 10 bottles. Best case you have 10 bottles that turn out great!

    That's the fun of home brewing.
     
  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Pasteurizing honey is simplicity: Thin it 1:1 with water, heat to 170° and hold at that temperature - the oven works well - for a half-hour. You lose none of the delicate flavors that way. I add it to primary a few days into fermentation and let it go.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    eHow says you can pasteurize the raw honey by putting it, unthinned, into a pan at 145° for a half-hour. I'll go with my method....
     

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