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Using honey for bottle priming

I have an American wheat fermenting at the moment, I added a pound of honey at flameout. I’m thinking about priming with honey as well. Any thoughts?

Will it make a taste difference as opposed to corn sugar? Good idea, dumb idea?

Thanks,

Ron

Depending on the honey, it may add flavor. My fear would be overcarbing, though. I don’t know how much to add. Plus, it does dry out the beer a little more than corn sugar. I add sugar after high krausen, but YMMV, of course. Kegging for so long that I just don’t know about bottling methods these days… :cheers:

Click on the ‘Learn’ button above, then ‘Resources’ and you’ll find a Priming sugar calculator that includes honey.

Remember, though, that you will have a flavor effect with certain honey!

Yeah, that’s the calculator I use. Just wondering if anyone had done this and if there were any noticeable results.

Thanks,

Ron

I’m just curious why you would use honey for priming? It’s quite a bit more expensive than sucrose or dextrose for the exact same effect. Unless your goal is impart a small amount of flavor from the honey?

I’ll be using to prime a small batch I’m making right now, probably doing it this weekend, but I’ve not used honey before. I’m experimenting to come up with a nice, summer beer based on the honey (recipe below; I couldn’t figure out how to make the Brewer’s Friend link public).

As for the why; my father keeps bees. We have literally 200 gallons of honey in my parents’ kitchen.

HOME BREW RECIPE:
Title: Maryville Honey v1
Author: JMS

Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: Mild
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 1.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 3 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.043
Efficiency: 35% (steeping grains only)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.087
Final Gravity: 1.023
ABV (standard): 8.43%
IBU (tinseth): 24.31
SRM (morey): 24.1

FERMENTABLES:
4 oz - Honey (6.3%)
1.75 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Pilsen (43.8%)
1.5 lb - Liquid Malt Extract - Light (37.5%)

STEEPING GRAINS:
0.125 lb - United Kingdom - Chocolate (3.1%)
0.125 lb - Belgian - Special B (3.1%)
0.125 lb - Belgian - Biscuit (3.1%)
0.125 lb - American - Special Roast (3.1%)

HOPS:
0.25 oz - St. Golding, Type: Pellet, AA: 3.2, Use: Boil for 30 min, IBU: 8.27
0.25 oz - US Fuggle, Type: Pellet, AA: 5.2, Use: Boil for 45 min, IBU: 16.04

YEAST:
Wyeast - British Ale 1098
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 74%
Flocculation: Med-High
Optimum Temp: 64 - 72 F
Fermentation Temp: 68 F
Pitch Rate: 0.5 (M cells / ml / deg P)

PRIMING:
Method: Honey
Amount: .82 oz
CO2 Level: 2.1 Volumes

Generated by Brewer’s Friend - http://www.brewersfriend.com/
Date: 2014-01-15 13:13 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2014-01-04 19:41 UTC

With that recipe, I’d be very surprised if you could tell the difference between using honey or priming sugar. If you were making a very light, clean beer maybe, but with those strongly flavored steeping grains, no.

You may also want to think about increasing your bittering some to help balance the malt sweetness better. OG = 1.087, FG = 1.024 and only 24 IBUs?

I tried priming with honey as part of an experiment testing different primings. I found that it added no flavor since you use so little. In addition I got very uneven carbonation due to the fact that the fermentability is unknown. Hopefully you’ll have better luck than I did.

@rebuiltcellers: Yeah, it’s honestly my first truly freelance recipe, and I was using leftover ingredients. This weekend, I’m doing one on the other end of the spectrum–base malts, minimal specialty grains, more emphasis on the honey. I figure I’ll dial in a good version before warm weather hits. Thanks for the advice; I’ll incorporate it.

I’ll post back here once I get a taste of the final product.

I’m a lookin’!..“above”…Where, please.

I’m a lookin’!..“above”…Where, please.[/quote]

Right next to “Shop” in the main menu of the website.

Wilco!

I was looking on this page!

Thanks for weighing in, guys. Like Matt suggested, I was looking for a little flavor from priming with the honey. But looking at what’s been said here, I’ll probably just stick to sugar.

Thanks,
Ron

For 5 gallon batches, if I add honey during the boil, I add at least 1 lb, and sometimes 2lb. 1 lb. gives me about 8 extra points.
I’ve added 1 lb at a time a couple days into fermentation, after high Krauesen stage. Have not tried priming with honey. Have to say that even the batch that had 2 lb honey, had little honey flavor. Honey malt does add honey sweetness.

[quote=“James Rausch”]For 5 gallon batches, if I add honey during the boil, I add at least 1 lb, and sometimes 2lb. 1 lb. gives me about 8 extra points.
I’ve added 1 lb at a time a couple days into fermentation, after high Krauesen stage. Have not tried priming with honey. Have to say that even the batch that had 2 lb honey, had little honey flavor. Honey malt does add honey sweetness.[/quote]
I’ve never used honey malt, but it seems clear that it is the best way to get honey flavor in a beer. The few times I’ve experimented with honey in beer have convinced me that I should have just added regular sugar instead - same result. I’ve experimented with honey in wines some, and have had more luck with that. It can add to the mouthfeel as well as contribute some flavor is it is done carefully.

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