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Got Honey from source Want Suggestions for next brew

My friends dad overheard me talking about the Honey Kolsch I just brewed. Wouldn’t you know it, he has a Honey bee farm and offered me some pure regurgitated flower nectar for my next brew. I am really excited about using straight up honey in my next batch.

I would like the Honey to be the star of the beer and want your input on what kit or ingredients you suggests to accomplish this. Please feel free to elaborate on why you feel the Honey would be the star of your recommendation. For entertainment purposes I would appreciate you typing your responses in an “Old English literature” style.

BUT WAIT ARE THERE PRIZES FOR A WINNING SUGGESTION? WHY YES! There are potential prizes for the winning suggestion. One prestigious, one delicious. The prestigious award is knowing I chose your suggestion and can brag about it to the world in this thread. The delicious award is I will share some beers with you if you ever are traveling through my town.


If you really want to taste the honey, a braggot is the way to go - at least 50% of the fermentables come from the honey, the rest from grain. An easy way to make one is to brew a mead and an ale at the same time, then mix to taste.

How much did you get? If you got enough and you want to the honey to shine I would make a mead. I find that for the most part honey pretty much ferments out completely leaving only a small impact on flavor or aroma.

I will be getting 2 pounds. Probably could get more, but 2 pounds is what I have requested.

I love brewing (beer) with honey, and don’t have much of a taste for mead or braggot (I made one of the latter, but just don’t really like drinking it, despite it being well-made IMHO).

That being said, I have the following suggestions:

1.) BDSA - depending on the aromas you get from the honey, this could be a big winner. I use meadowfoam honey (caramel, vanilla, slight earthy sweetness) in my BDSA and its great. You could even make it work in a dubbel if you so chose.

2.) Saison/Farmhouse - probably a little better of a way to go in the summer, I would use up to a pound to help dry out a saison and marry up with the yeast phenolics. Saison is such a wide category nobody can tell you honey DOESN’T belong in a saison.

3.) IPA/Amber/American Red - yes thats right. This is a little trickier, since you need to make sure it is balanced with the hops, in particular the aroma/flavor compounds. I love using a bit of simple sugar in my IPAs to dry them out, so the honey would essentially do the same and impart some aromas as well. This is my least recommended suggestion as I like beers that allow simple ingredients to be showcased. This could result in a bit of a ‘muddled’ product.

Whichever way you go, I would suggest adding it in the following manner:

-cool wort, pitch yeast, and ferment as usual
-when fermentation slows down, prepare and add honey
1.) boil 1-2 quarts of water for 5 minutes
2.) kill heat, add honey to water and immediately cover
3.) chill to your ferment temperature
4.) add to the fermenter

this method will ensure that the yeast consume the longer chain sugars in the wort first and will give you a nice dry beer.

Hopslam Clone…

The White House Honey Ale kit is actually nice. You could make that, replacing their honey with yours. The kit called for 1 pound, a few minutes before flameout. We did that, then added a second pound pretty almost as Pietro indicated, for 2 pounds total. We mixed the second pound of honey in about a quart of boiled, cooled water, and dumped the mixture in our secondary fermentation carboy. THEN we raked from the primary into the secondary, letting the auto-siphon do the stirring. The bubbler did become very active for a secondary, so there may have been some blow off risk in what we did, but it worked out OK for us.

You don’t need to worry much about sanitizing the honey itself; its almost like honey has its own immune system. The thing with the water is to thin the honey enough to make it willing to mix. You could pour honey straight into your fermenter, but it would just form a layer on the bottom of the fermentor, and not incorporate; and you wouldn’t want to stir it like a cup of tea at that point.

Oh, and when we made the kit we also amped up the hops a little, using 2 oz of each instead of the recipe’s 1.5 oz each. My wife and I both think THAT was a bad call. After conditioning the hops are not overpowering, but less would be better.

[quote=“Pietro”]I use meadowfoam honey (caramel, vanilla, slight earthy sweetness) in my BDSA and its great. You could even make it work in a dubbel if you so chose.

Where do you get your honey?

I used to get it @ Annapolis homebrew (who I believe has decent shipping) but we just moved to ny, so not sure now! Google it up tho, there’s a few places that will shop cheap.

Thanks, I was hoping to find a better deal than I usually get, but didn’t. I’ve been getting it at a farmer’s market for less. The problem is the drive to the farmer’s market; takes $12-13 in gas. Even figuring in the cost of gas the F M is cheaper, oh well.

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