Orange Blossom Honey Qeustion

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ltrog, Apr 15, 2017.

  1. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    I tasted a great orange blossom honey ale at Alpine Brewery last week and it inspired me to finally try brewing with honey. I purchased my orange blossom honey and all other ingredients for what I believe will be a great recipe. The issue is, I have read varying opinions about when to add the honey. I have read to add it to the mash, add it to the start of the boil, add it to the end of the boil, some have said to add it to primary, while even others have said secondary. I think I have seen every possible time to add the honey and I even saw one that added it prior to bottling. I am leaning toward my orange blossom honey addition to secondary. I want to make sure the aroma of the honey is present, the yeast has a chance to convert the maltose from my grains in primary without feasting only on honey glucose, and the yeast has a chance to interact with the honey, even though it will be minimal in secondary. Does anyone have any strong opinion or reason on when to add honey, and in particular orange blossom honey to a recipe?
     
  2. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My only thought is to plan accordingly if you decide to add sugar to secondary. I always add honey (when I use honey) at 10 minutes left to boil, but I'm not a good brewer.
     
  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I'd go secondary. As jeffpn said 10min left in the boil will pasteurise it. Adding just honey to secondary may present a spoilage risk. I heated my honey addition 75c half hour to kill any nastys then tipped it in when fermentation was done. Just my 2c o_O.
     
  4. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Theoretically, honey is sterile. But I've also heard that OneStep will sanitize. I haven't been burned by OneStep yet. Really, my honey addition timing has to do with how cheap I am. Boiling wort is a great honey extractor. I pour it in, and then I dunk the bottle a couple times.
     
  5. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Never heard to throw it in the mash, can't see how that's a good idea.
    Like othersome said, late in the boil or later in the process and you'll be golden.
    More on a recipe note, I'd add some honey or crystal malt to help with a honey note. Most of the honey taste is going to ferment out if you use just honey
     
  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    My best attempt at keeping honey flavor has been Honey Malt in the grist (don't need a lot...maybe 2%) and honey added late in primary or in secondary. The sugars will ferment out entirely but you'll keep a little of the volatile flavor molecules and the residual sweetness in the malt will fool your senses a little. Use yeast and hops that will stay out of the way and work in conjunction with the honey notes. Floral noble hops like Tettnanger or citrus/floral US hops like Amarillo in the right measure will enhance the aroma profile and clean/fruity ale yeast that doesn't attenuate aggressively will be a good match.
     
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  7. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    honey malt. I like 5%, it gives off a very pleasant sweet flavor.
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I'd not rely on honey being sterile. In fact it has lots of bacteria in in spore form. You want to keep the aroma so secondary is the way to go. Pasteurize it by diluting 50 percent with water, heating to 160 degrees F and holding for 20 minutes to kill the spores.
     
  9. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you on that, nosy. I'm just regurgitating discussions you can find about it. Plenty of debate. Considering that pollen is a big part of a bee's life, it's hard for me to believe that honey is sterile. I neglected to mention that I add honey at the last ten minutes of the boil.
     
  10. jimmyz

    jimmyz Member

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    Ive made mead and done some research on that and from what ive read is you dont want to pasturize it as most commercial mead makers only heat it enough to get it to go thru pumps. If it were me depening on how much you are adding, add to the primary fermentation chamber after mixing with some hot water and cooling to room temp. Just my 2 cents. From what they say once you pasturize it a lot of the flavor dissapears.
     
  11. KC

    KC Active Member

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    Both honey and fruit suffer from heat and are not normally boiled for brewing. I wonder if that's a property of fructose. Anyway, that's why I don't boil honey, even for only 10 minutes. I'll add it after flameout so it has enough heat to go into solution. Would work just as well to dilute with hot water and add at primary or secondary. The later you add, the more of the honey's flower notes will come through (unless you use store bought clover honey - that's boring). Be careful if you prime with honey. Fermentable sugar content varies wildly and you could easily get a flat beer or a bottle bomb.
     
  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Honey doesn't have to be boiled , nor does need to be pasteurized. If so, mead makers would have frequent infections. I have made several meads with honey and I never did anything to it aside from diluting it with sterile water and apple juice.

    The honey should be added directly to the fermenter during active fermentation to preserve the honey flavors. Dilute 50/50 with sterile cool water. Boiling honey or even pasteurizing can destroy its delicate flavor.
     
  13. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I've gotten some pretty funky flavors using unpasteurized honey. Mead, well, I've tasted some pretty funky mead made using unpasteurized honey as well. Agreed, cooking honey affects its flavor adversely, as does infection by phenolic bacterial by products. I'm not putting it in my beer unless it's pasteurized, period.
     
  14. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    3 people, 6 opinions. Score!!
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sounds just like a brewing forum.
     
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  16. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    #16 Trialben, Apr 16, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
    @ltrog sounds like your back where you started:D. I can feel an exbeerment coming on. One beer were honey is added directly to the fermentor unpasteurised of course. And the other added after pasturisation :).

    Of all the times I've added honey to beers I only get a faint subtle aroma anyways my late honey addition days are over unless this thread proves otherwise.
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I view honey as a very expensive simple sugar. I have never picked up a "honey" flavor using honey, more floral with a loss of body, if at all. It is the subtilest of flavors, easily lost in the other flavours.
     
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  18. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I only brew with honey to say that I brewed with honey. I like my honey amber ale. It has a flavor I have to attribute to the honey (because it's a flavor not found in my other beers), but it doesn't taste like honey.
     
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  19. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    real local honey doesn't taste like the store bought either, I buy some from a farm that has a hive and the first time I tasted it I said whats this?
     
  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My brew store only sells local honey.
     

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