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Can honey be used as malt alternative?

Ok, so I used to love honey brown ales when I was younger…since I’ve discovered my extreme fondness for robust hoppiness, I can’t get over the extreme maltiness in them. I’ve just brewed a partial mash of my own honey brown for the first time and(though it is good) i can’t get past the maltiness. That made me think that perhaps (a lot of) the right honey mixed with the right hops could possibly allow you to exclude the malt altogether…or maybe just use a much lighter malt and much less. Either way, my next batch is going to be full mash, and if anyone has thoughts on making a slightly hoppier honey ale i would be curious to hear your thoughts.


you can find hopped meads on the market.

If you only use honey, and no malt, then it would technically be a mead.

I don’t think you are talking about honey malt by Gambrinus, but rather you are talking about bee spit.

I tried it once. the beer had a very high attenuation, from 1.073 to 1.008. I don’t know if it was because that it is nearly all monosaccharide, contains diastatic enzymes of its own, or both reasons.

OK, I just looked it up. Bees swallow nectar into a separate stomach, the honey stomach, then hurl it back out. So honey is not bee spit. Honey is bee vomit! And therefore should contain diastatic enzymes of its own.

Thanks for that QUANTUMBEER, I’m not sure what diastatic enzymes are though…interesting enough to learn the true origins of honey, it’s that kind of trivial info which I will certainly be sharing with others!

I agree that if there were no malt it would technically become mead, I am thinking more along the lines of a hoppy honey ale. I feel citra hops would blend well with an orange blossom honey we have available here in florida. But, I would like to mellow out the maltiness and make a more golden (honey colored) beer with a refreshing sweet&hoppy bitterness.

Any suggestions on type of malt?

Thanks everyone!

Drinking Longhammer IPA at the moment, and if you can everyone should try some sweetwater 420 EPA. Oh man its good…

You can add honey to any beer or ale. It just boosts the alcohol content and thins the beer. This is because it converts 100% to alcohol. The more honey that replaces malt, the thinner the beer the higher the ABV. You have to find that balance you want for malt taste and feel and alcohol volume. The most i have used and liked the product was 2 pounds.

Pashusa, what was the grain bill/batch size. Like you mention, it’s about ratio.

For example, I use 4 lb of two row, 4 lb of white wheat, 1 lb of crystal 60 in the mash, and a pound of honey at flame out for a 5 gallon batch of light wheat ale. I use my home grown cluster hops at 60 min…That gives me a honey colored ale that is clear and crisp with hints of citrus.

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