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Help with the White House Honey Porter

Hello friends,

my wife and I started brewing last year and have done about 5 all extracts at this point. We have elected the White House Honey Porter for our Fall Beer. I saw a lot of people on the reviews for that kit that said they added more honey , like up to another pound! My wife and I loves honey ales and I was wondering if we decided to add more honey to the brew what should we be cognizant of in the brew. Do you guys suggest we do the original recipe first? Is there enough of a honey taste without adding? I assume the sugar content of the honey would increase the PG. Any suggestions friends?


IMO a pound of honey for 5 gallons is nothing. I forget what that recipe calls for but to preserve the honey flavor you should add it as late as possible. If you boil honey you might as well be just adding sugar instead. The flavors and aromas are delicate and easily destroyed. All the best flavors and aromas are volatile at about 180F. So do some research on minimal pasteurization temperatures and times and go for as low as you can safely achieve these. Many mead makers just add the honey to the fermenter directly.

Also take the time to get some honey with distinction. I would aim for orange blossom or citrus because it is very common. The stuff labeled just honey is most likely a blend of whatever and has already been pasteurized and has less flavor and aroma. As a rule of thumb, just like beer, the darker the honey the more flavor it has.

You can just add it to the fermenter.
Mix it with some warm water and put it into the fermenter when it is high-krausen.
Make sure you give the fermenter a good swirl, when you’re done adding it.
No fuss, no muss.

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If you want honey flavor steep some honey malt. It’s very powerful stuff so I would start with about 1/2lb. It’s not exactly honey flavor but provides a sweetness very similar.


I wouldn’t be surprised if some commercial examples use artificial flavor. I second the honey malt. Fermented honey doesn’t taste like honey. I make alot of Mead and usually add fruit for flavor. That said I have had some nice braggots


Exactly as honey is going to ferment out and dry the beer. Mead works because you are taking the honey above the threashold of the yeasts ABV leaving some residual honey sweetness. Of course adding fruit will increase that level of sweetness.

I caught the pun. Elected, good one. Back to the question, yes when you add honey it mostly adds some punch due to raising the alcohol by adding sugar but not much flavor. Honey malt will indeed add some honey like taste but as @loopie_beer said it is strong stuff. Too much will produce and overpowering, cloying taste so go easy. I found out the hard way.

That was one of the first kits I ever made, and it came out very good as is. Not a lot of honey, but just a hint. It would not hurt to add more, but I would also say to get it when you order the kit fro NB so you get the same type. I agree with adding late to the boil or to the fermenter as well.

Many people pasturise the honey I just dump it in the fermenter

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It’s been a while since I made that kit. IIRC it was great, even before I really made good beer. I’ll add to the voices saying that the honey doesn’t need to be boiled, but it is a pain to mix. You may be able to start diluting it into the top-off water.

Also, I never would have have thought of adding honey malt. It’s a genius idea.

I made the white house honey porter kit when it 1st came out. I’ve since moved on to my own recipe, but my remembrance of it, it was quite good as-is. Not much honey flavor came through- the 1 lb. honey is basically there to bump up the ABV a bit. I would recommend trying the kit as it comes, and then experimenting from there. My current recipe still only uses 1 lb. honey, but does add 6-8 oz. of honey malt in an AG mash of about 13 lb total grains.

I’ve always considered honey beers a marketing tool. Sure there are good honey beers but it’s usually not because of the honey. I would leave the amount of honey at the 1lb any more would change the beer. The old saying more is not better is very true in brewing

We’ve got “honey wiess” over here… Liene’s stuff…:smirk: And all these geeky, yuppy, weenie wanking peeps drink so much of it! They swear to God its the best craft brew out there! My wife went to their tour… the amount of honey added to this huge vessel really was like… A BB rolling around in a box car amount… Her words!
Wheres Flars? he’s been quite aloof lately… Sneezles61

Got to thinking about honey in beers. For the alcohol boost with honey flavor, for the money you would be (or bee) better off dumping in a pound of cane sugar and using honey malt. The sugar would be much cheaper, add ABV and lighten the beer a little.

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