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Adding Liqueur at bottling

I have a porter in secondary and want to turn some of it into a Xmas present type beer: Porter with Barenjager Honey Liqueur. I’ve tried it in the glass and it tastes great. I’m worried that if I mix it in at bottling time the increase of sugars will cause over carbonation and that there could be other unintended consequences. Anybody tried this before or have any advice?

Lots of people are adding “spirits” like rum, brandy or bourbon, to their home brews lately. Since these spirits don’t have any fermentable sugar they are fine in the beer as long as they don’t raise the alcohol level too high to for bottle conditioning.

Liqueurs are a different thing. They are by definition “spirits” that have sugars, and possibly other flavorings, added when they are bottled. So you will definitely get additional fermentation when you bottle condition with these. You will just need to decrease the amount of priming sugar you use when you bottle. The question is how much to decrease the priming sugar? I’ve never used liqueurs to prime but I do use a 12 oz can of frozen apple juice concentrate to prime 3 gallons of hard cider. The sugar in the AJ concentrate get the carbonation to about 3 volumes.

I would suggest you bottle a couple of bottles with just the liqueur and see how much carbonation you get. Remember that the resulting beer will be a lot less sweet than adding the liqueur to your beer because the sugar will be fermented out.

I ended up with over carbed bottles when I did this. i can’t tell you how much to reduce your priming sugar. how much are you planning to add?

Over carbing the bottles is my primary concern. I was originally planning on doing this as a sub batch of the “standard” porter I’m brewing. I’m trying to track down some scientific knowledge to figure out the best ways to proportion my mixes (using normally priming sugar for the main batch, subbing liqueur for the sub batch). This will of course involve siphoning into separate vessels and all the hassles that entails in the bottling process. I will report my plan in detail when I get it figured out.

If you can get a hydrometer (and refractometer, if you have one) reading of the liquor, that might help.

I was just doing that (much to my wife’s amusement). The SG for the Barenjager is 1.119 I looked up some nutrition facts about it and according to drinksmixer.com it contains 10.9 grams of “sugar” per 1 oz serving. I am running on the assumption that “sugar” in this context follows the FDA label meaning of sucrose. I did some calculations using the tastybrew.com priming sugar calculator (http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html) and it said that if I wanted to prime 1.5 gallons (thats the amount I want with the honey for gifts) then I would need 1 oz of sucrose. This means about 3 shots of Barenjager for carbonation. That seems a little on the low side, but After doing some tastings it seems that 1.5 teaspoons is the max to add the honey taste to a single 12 oz beer. 1 teaspoon is actually about right to keep it from beeing (ha!) dominated by the honey and way too syrupy. I just worry that when the sucrose in the barenjager is used to carbonate the bottles, I have no idea what taste will result.

After doing all the research I could think of I think I’m going to go with 4 shots of Barenjager for a 1.5 gallon batch of “Honey booze porter” Does anybody know if there is a substantial difference between Sucrose and Dextrose for use as priming sugar?

Only the amount you have to add.

Could you try a secondary fermentation with the liqueur and then go to bottling after the sugars are fermented out?

[quote=“mvsawyer”]Only the amount you have to add.

Could you try a secondary fermentation with the liqueur and then go to bottling after the sugars are fermented out?[/quote]

I thought of that too but if the liqueur is about 30% abv it would kill the yeast and not ferment. I never heard of this liqueur. So I looked it up and it is just a honey liqueur. I was thinking it was maybe more like Wild Turkey Honey or something. Meaning some additional flavor in addition to honey. Well since yours is just honey Liqueur then we are all over thinking this thing!!!

All you have to do to get some honey taste is just prime with pure honey. The sugar ferments out and the honey flavor will remain. Simple. There are plenty of references that tell you how much honey to use for priming. I don’t have it with me but I know that info is in John Palmer’s How to Brew Book.

Thats actually a good point, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. Just prime with honey. I’m sure I can google that

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

[quote=“Duxx”][quote=“mvsawyer”]Only the amount you have to add.

Could you try a secondary fermentation with the liqueur and then go to bottling after the sugars are fermented out?[/quote]

I thought of that too but if the liqueur is about 30% abv it would kill the yeast and not ferment. I never heard of this liqueur. So I looked it up and it is just a honey liqueur. I was thinking it was maybe more like Wild Turkey Honey or something. Meaning some additional flavor in addition to honey. Well since yours is just honey Liqueur then we are all over thinking this thing!!!

All you have to do to get some honey taste is just prime with pure honey. The sugar ferments out and the honey flavor will remain. Simple. There are plenty of references that tell you how much honey to use for priming. I don’t have it with me but I know that info is in John Palmer’s How to Brew Book.[/quote]

If you add the liqueur to the primary or secondary the alcohol content will be MUCH lower and the yeast should have no issues fermenting out the residual sugars in it.

If you go the raw honey route, pull some of your beer out and heat it up to dissolve the honey.

So the beer has been in bottles for about a week. At bottling time I substituted 3 tablespoons of honey for .8 grams of priming sugar. Overall it came out pretty awesome, but I think it will taste even better after about 4 weeks in the bottles.

That can’t be right if you were looking for a 1/1 substitution.

Anyway, sounds like you are on the right track for determining how much sugar is in the liqueur so you know how much of it, or liqueur plus sugar (or honey), is needed to reach the desired volumes of carbonation. If your math is good, then getting close should be easy, and luckily beer can take additional carbonation if you add a little too much sugar.

Yeah, I hope at least one of those numbers is incorrect.

I can’t vouch for this from personal experience but the 2008 edition of Homebrewing for Dummies states that one 750 ml bottle of fruit liqueur contains enough sugar to prime a 5 gallon batch of homebrew. It also goes on to add a disclaimer that your mileage may vary. :smiley:

If you put priming liqueur into Google, the relevant page from the book comes up in the first few results–it’s in Google Books.

So I am new to this site but I am getting ready to bottle a Orange Chocolate Stout. This was a partial mash in which I added cocoa nibs, and at the very end, sweet orange peel. After fermentation was complete the orange flavor was there but it was very subtle and on the very back end of the palate (like well after swallowing- pretty interesting actually) I am brewing this beer for my Wedding which is September 22 of this year but I wanted it to be something people could put away until winter, preferably Christmas time. I envisioned it being something of a nod to the Orange chocolates you smack on the table that are so ubiquitous at Christmas time. Alas, the orange flavor isn’t quite there. At any rate I took this beer of the yeast cake about 3 weeks ago and its been in secondary (which is obviously not necessary for a stout) since then. I should be bottling this weekend and I am thinking of adding Grand Marnier to during bottling. My question is, since the bottle says there is 0% sugar in it, which cannot be right, do I need to worry about over carbonation or not. Everything I have read seems to be pointing to 1 to 2 teaspoons per bottle in addition to the priming sugar. Some help on this would be greatly appreciated.

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