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Honey... Boil, Flameout or after Primary?

Sorry, I know this has been gone over a bunch, but I’m doing a Cream Ale soon and want to know where to put the honey. It’s local honey so I assume it isn’t pasteurized. I’ve seen tons of people saying to add the honey in all the above timeframes but wtf works best lol?

Also is 2 pnds too much for NB’s Cream Ale kit with 05 yeast to handle?

What works the best? Now there is a loaded question. :slight_smile:

I making meads, a common process is to add the honey to water and a way you go. No boiling the water or honey. the honey is in such a concentrated form that nothing can survive in it. 10yr old honey will still be good. I made a mead with honey labeled '96 with out raising the temp other than to make it liquid. No issues.

When you heat it, you start to loose the flavor and aroma.

Same with having it in an aggressive fermentation. I would be inclined to add it to the primary after a good portion of fermentation is complete.

have you made this kit before? if not, i would highly recommend you make it AS IS first! there is no honey in that kit. i started my cream ale as that kit and have made some tweaks to it since, but in my opinion i would never put honey in it. if you have never brewed with honey malt, again please brew this kit as is. you will love it. save the honey for your toast for breakfast…

to answer your question, if you want to add honey to your beer(s), i would suggest adding at the end of the boil- at flame out. that will dissolve the honey, yet retain some of the aromatics in the final beer. i do not think adding honey after primary would be a good idea, but perhaps someone who has done that can correct me.

I have had great results adding at flameout. Also I would comment that there are more flavorful honeys out there than the typical clover honey that you get at the supermarket. Seek out other kinds including wildflower, basswood, and orange blossom. These honeys have a greater chance of success of showing up in the flavor of your final beer.

As for how much to add, I wouldn’t go beyond 1 pound, but that’s just personal preference. If you want a lot of honey flavor, go for the 2 pounds – it will definitely work.

I’ve done both and I prefer adding it just after high krauzen when the fermentation is showing signs of slowing down. It is like having desert after a meal. The yeast really love it and the flavor of the honey really shows through.

If you add the honey sometime during the boil, you have a greater chance of the yeast eating all the simple sugars first and then pooping out on the dinner portion of their meal … kind of like a four year old eating desert before dinner.

Several posts suggest adding honey to the secondary for more honey aroma. Greg, when you add your honey after high k, do you also secondary your batch? Just curious because I’m beginning to ween myself off of secondary ferments’ due to process and time. Unless of course I want to add ‘additions’ such as honey etc…

May I call you Greg?

+1

This process is often times reffered to as adding kicker.

And no a secondary is not required with this process, but you can still secondary if you like.

Fair enough. As you know there’s a bunch of opinion on secondary in this forum. I’m actually taking my first batch from primary to bottle this weekend. Hoping for a smooth, non trub event.

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]Several posts suggest adding honey to the secondary for more honey aroma. Greg, when you add your honey after high k, do you also secondary your batch? Just curious because I’m beginning to ween myself off of secondary ferments’ due to process and time. Unless of course I want to add ‘additions’ such as honey etc…[/quote]Yes, I secondary almost everything. It is just the way I do it and my pipeline stays full.

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]May I call you Greg?[/quote]Actually, that is the name I prefer. Thanks. … or are you asking if you can give me a call?

Thanks for the replies people. Maybe I’ll just do the kit as it’s supposed to be done and leave the honey out of the picture for now. See how it turns out.

I see in all the good reviews people are saying it’s coming out darker than it’s supposed to. Should I be holding some of the LME back for later addition to the boil or just go for it?

Yes, reserve maybe 75% of your extract for the last 10-15 minutes of the boil, and your resulting beer will be lighter in color.

Thanks! I’ll plan on doing just that!

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