Late Additions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by pvguy, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. pvguy

    pvguy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello BF Forum,
    I have a question about late additions and boil gravity. Since I am a beekeeper, I typically will
    add 0.5 to 1.0 pounds of honey to my brews. I do this when then wort is chilled to ~ 110F as this preserves
    the "good stuff" in the honey. When I am generating a recipe, I check the "Late Addition" for the honey. My question is: How does this affect the boil gravity when I add the honey post-boil? I have been doing this method for sometime and if I am a few points low on boil gravity, I'm not concerned about it as my initial
    gravities seem to be very close to recipe.
    Many Thanks, Tom
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,389
    Likes Received:
    6,623
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Adding at 110 degrees also preserves the bad stuff - spores of bacteria and wild yeasts in the honey. I'd recommend you heat the honey to at least 160 degrees and hold it there for 20 minutes to reduce the microbial load. The calculator seems to whack out when I do what you're doing - by the way, I generally add honey to the fermentor, pasteurized as above, diluted with equal parts boiled water prior to pasteurization. The other problem is you don't know the gravity of the honey. It should be at least as rich in sugars as LME, around 35 ppg so each pound will add 35 gravity points. Divide that by the batch size to get the "increase" in OG. Boil gravity is not affected.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    2,689
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Your boil gravity reflects only fermentables that are present at the start of the boil. Anything that has the late addition box checked is left out of that calculation but goes into the OG number. Go to the "More" tab in the editor and look at boil gravity and then check and uncheck the late addition box on your honey and see how the pre-boil gravity changes (along with the IBUs).
     
  4. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2018
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    136
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Occupation:
    Nurse
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
    As JA mentioned you should be able to see the change in boil gravity when you click and unclick late addition for the honey, although as Nosy pointed out different honeys can have a different gravity so unless you've measured yours it's a bit of an estimate. I'd say if you've done it a few times and seem to be hitting close to your numbers there's no need to change a thing.

    When I brew with honey I also add it post boil, usually to the fermenter undiluted and unpasteurized as primary fermentation starts winding down. At that point the yeast has already made the wort acidic and alcoholic which is going to help prevent bacteria/wild yeast from taking hold if any is still alive in the honey (which is already fairly anti-microbial itself). Cheers!
     
  5. pvguy

    pvguy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Hello All Replies,
    Thank you very much.
    I can see that I have actually touched upon two issues here: When to introduce the honey and how it affects the boil gravity as per BF recipe.
    Probably, since I am a beekeeper, I treat the honey very "gently". I do not heat it above 120F and do no processing except filtering. I believe that this preseves many of the enzymes, minerals, vitamins, etc. present in the honey and retains some of it's more delicate flavors. Yes, it does contain spores, bacteria, etc., but it also has anti-bacterial properties. All I can say at this point is that I keep my methods and equipment clean and do what I can to ensure a rapid fermentation.
    I use a semi-open fermentation. It has been working so far.
    Yes, you are correct about removing the honey from Late Addition, or removing it altogether to see how it affects boil gravity.....it did not. So the methods I have been using appear to be correct. I'm never too concerned about being a few points off on boil gravity as I feel that it can be at least partially corrected if I choose.

    Thanks again, Tom
     
  6. GrahamsGrog

    GrahamsGrog New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Can you clarify when, and how you add the honey? I sense that after about 48 hours of fermentation you just pour it in un-pasteurized (less than 160 degrees) into the carboy?
    I'd further guess you don't stir it in as you don't want to oxygenate the wort at this "late" stage?
    While I'm at it, one more question; the flavor of the honey is discernible in the beer, or does it all get consumed and effectively just raises the ABV of the final wort? Thanks in advance. John
     
  7. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2017
    Messages:
    1,772
    Likes Received:
    2,116
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Honey flavor dissapears or never really appears if not added at the correct time. Others who have more experience will be by to elaborate. But I’d still heat the honey to a near boil for 5-10 minutes just to kill off any undesirables.
     
  8. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    808
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    Honey flavor is very subtle, more floral then anything, it will dry the beer out (reducing sweetness). You can add honey straight into the fermenter at high krausen if you like, mead is almost always made with unpasteurized honey. I've made a couple of meads without doing anything to the honey and it works just fine. I hang around some national mead winners and they all do the same. Heating the honey supposedly ruins the flavor.

    You can dilute the honey with boiled, cooled water to make easier to add to the fermenter. 1:1 ratio would make it a little thinner. No stirring required, the yeast will go nuts within an hour of adding the honey.
     
    GrahamsGrog likes this.
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2018
    Messages:
    4,701
    Likes Received:
    6,901
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I used 1# of honey in a GLB Christmas Ale, would have to check my notes to be sure but I am pretty 100%, but I am pretty sure I added the honey with about 5 minutes to go in the boil.
     
  10. GrahamsGrog

    GrahamsGrog New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Great, thanks for the response. I was once told honey was un-digestible to yeast. The more I read, that seems a false statement. My current understanding is that adding honey at the peak of fermentation will invigorate the yeast; at least for a time, until the ABV level in the wort rises to the point of killing the yeast. The result being a stronger ABV beer and a bit sweeter as all the honey was not consumed in the fermentation process. This sound right to you? Thanks in advance, John
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,389
    Likes Received:
    6,623
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Undiluted honey is indigestible to yeast - not enough water, the osmotic pressure kills them. Dilute it and they love it - fructose is one of yeast's favorite foods and is the primary sugar in honey. If it remains sweeter, it'll be undigested maltose, the yeast will metabolize the fructose first.
     
  12. pvguy

    pvguy New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2014
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    OK, thanks for the replies! As a brewer and beekeeper, I will try to address them as best I can.
    Honey is a mixture of fructose and glucose, plus some other good stuff. If you keep the water content <18%,
    no bugs will grow due to osmotic pressure and the anti-bacterial stuff in the honey. Above that, there are bugs that can actually grow...I've had that happen...and turned it into some mead. Since honey is basically all sugar, it needs some added
    nutrients to assist the yeast. For mead, I add Fermaid K or Fermaid O at pitching and 1/3 fermentation. I typically add .05 to 1.0 pounds of honey to a 5 gallon batch of beer. I add 3 to 5 grams of FermAid to the honey and none more. I dilute the honey/Fermaid to about 2 cups and heat slightly to mix. In order to preserve the flovors and other good stuff in the honey,
    I add it to the wort as it is cooled to ~110F. So far, this has worked very well for me. Of course, good sanitation practices must be followed.....
     
  13. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    1,423
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    This is what happens when you see the odd drunken bear scenario. Thunderstorm destroys a tree with bee hive. The bees desert the hive leaving the honey which is surrounded by wild yeast. The rain dilutes the honey and fermentation starts. Bear happens upon this a few days later and drinks the natural mead and mayhem results. So maybe it's urban myth, but it sounds plausible.

    You'll also get people taking this as an origin story for human booze. We took that wild mead idea and boosted it with grains and fruit.
     
  14. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    808
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    #14 HighVoltageMan!, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
    Undiluted honey can be added to the fermenter, I’ve done it several times with meads without any trouble. The honey will natural dilute as the yeast churns up the beer/must. The main reason to dilute it is to make it easier to handle.
     
  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    832
    Likes Received:
    808
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    #15 HighVoltageMan!, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
    The beer will be sweet if the yeast pukes out, if it doesn’t it will be dry.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white