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Honey in Barleywine?

I’m making a Barleywine next month. Due to a high target OG and my mash limitations (amount of grain I can mash) I need to add some sugars to up the OG a little. I was wondering if adding 1-2lbs of honey is a good option. I guess I could just add some extract, but I wanted to go a different route if possible. Would honey work well? Or any other suggestions?

Recipe for 3gallons:
10lb 2-Row
2lb Munich
10oz C40
4oz C120

This would get me to 1.089 at 70% eff. I’m usually closer to 75%, but that’s a lot of grain for my pot and I am assuming a lower eff. Adding 2lbs of honey would get me to 1.112, which is around where I want to be for the OG on this beer.

Its a lot of honey, but it would certainly ferment out and you want that with a big beer like that so it doesn’t finish cloyingly sweet. I think I’d just use sugar, not sure the floral character of a honey is something that will be retained in an aged barleywine. You get it when the beer was young though.

I agree with tomsawyer…the honey would certainly work and may add a nice character depending on the variety of honey used. Honey could affect the amount of time it takes to ferment (honey has been known to take longer to ferment out in some instances).

You might actually achieve just as good a result with table sugar.
The body and mouthfeel may take a hit though with either of these choices. You might consider adding a bit more carmel malt if you go the honey/sugar route.

Personally, to boost the gravity without thinning things out I’d just add some DME to the boil (or maybe part DME and part sugar).

I do admit though that honey in the barleywine is an intriguing idea…

I sometimes use honey to boost my O.G. and wouldn’t hesitate to use it in a barleywine.

I recently brewed a 1.111 weizenbock and used 10lb of malt, 1/2lb of Blegian syrup and 1/3 lb of sugar. It finished at 1.024, 78% attenuation. Right where I wanted it. 2lb of honey might dry your recipe out too much.

Brewpub here in central NE has an English BW on tap right now. I spoke to the brewer last fall when he made it and he used honey - I’m just not sure how much. I’ll try to remember to ask him tonight and post back.

It is pretty good.

I’ve heard that adding honey at high krausen can do wonders for decreasing FG. I haven’t tried it yet though.

Lots of perspectives here. Ugh! I’ve used honey before in the boil for other beers and don’t get any flavor from it. Just a gravity booster, which is what I’m looking for. But I’ve only used 1lb in a 5 gallon batch. 2lbs in a 3gallon batch may be a different story. I’m gonna use the honey, but go with The Professor’s input. Gonna up the crystal a little to counteract the possible thinness that the fermented honey may add.

Thanks for the input everyone. If I remember in a year I’ll check back with the outcome.

[quote=“dobe12”]Lots of perspectives here. Ugh! I’ve used honey before in the boil for other beers and don’t get any flavor from it. Just a gravity booster, which is what I’m looking for. But I’ve only used 1lb in a 5 gallon batch. 2lbs in a 3gallon batch may be a different story. I’m gonna use the honey, but go with The Professor’s input. Gonna up the crystal a little to counteract the possible thinness that the fermented honey may add.

Thanks for the input everyone. If I remember in a year I’ll check back with the outcome.[/quote]

On second thought, maybe I could just up the mash temp a little to get a less fermentable and sweeter wort.

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