Brew Dudes

Homebrewing blog and resource

Secondary Honey Wheat Ale Plans

Mike and I were talking this weekend about the honey wheat ale I have in the fermenter right now.

Our conversation was a continuation of thoughts I had about this brew.

I want to split this brew in half.  One half I am going to prime and bottle as usual.

The other half I want to rack to a glass fermenter on top of some kind of honey/water mixture.

What we need to work out is what the honey/water ratio is going to be.

The second half batch is an experiment in infusing honey flavor into a beer.

Once it’s racked, I will let it ferment/condition for another 2 weeks and bottle again.

It will interesting to compare the two halves once they are ready to drink.

We’ll let you know what the ration we come up with will be.

If you would like to follow along with this brew session, check out these links:

Honey Wheat Ale Recipe

Honey Wheat Ale Ingredients

Honey Wheat Ale Update

Honey Water Solution

Honey Wheat Ale Bottling Day

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6 Comments

  1. Otis

    Hello. I will be brewing a Honey Nut Brown Ale. My question has to do with adding the honey to the fermenter. How do you do that? Move the fermenting beer to a bucket, add the honey (pasteurized with water), return the beer to the fermenter. Or, is there another method? Thanks, in advance. Otis

  2. Hi Otis,

    You can add the honey right to the fermentor. Add it after 4 days into fermentation.

  3. Jake

    I have a question about using honey. I have some really high end honey I got from a honey farm (made by African Killer bees), I want to make sure I transfer that flavor to the beer without losing anything. Normally what I do is add corn sugar to the beer after the first fermentation right before bottling (I think this is a standard practice) which continues the fermentation and adds carbonation. My question is could I replace that corn sugar with a full cup or so of honey and still get the desired affect? Honey should still do the same job the corn sugar does, right? I’m still an amateur brewer so I’m not too sure about this.

  4. Hey Jake,

    Yes you can prime your beer with honey. It will do the same job as corn sugar in regards to carbonating your beer in the bottle. There may be a hint of honey flavor left in the beer but with such a small amount being used (1 cup to 5 gallons), it will probably be undetectable.

    For real honey flavor in a beer, you would need to use more – multiple pounds of honey. By all means, give it a try. I just don’t think you’ll get much honey flavor out of just priming your beer with honey.

  5. John

    I have a few questions about brewing with Honey as well. I am new to extract/partial mash brewing. I plan on making a Honey Red Ale.

    I have read many different opinions on when to add the honey. Some say add it early in the boil, others say 5 minutes left in boil or at burn out. Others recommend adding it after 3 or 4 days fermentation…

    I plan on making a 5 Gallon batch using grains and dry extract. I also plan on using about 1 pound of real honey. What i was leaning towards is adding half at last few minutes or so and half after 4 days of fermentation. Any thoughts on this? Some questions i have is adding it to the primary carboy… is it easy to mix or will it sink to the bottom? Or is that even an issue if it sinks to bottom? Also is there a concern with putting real honey in that is not pasteurized ? Will adding the honey to the fermentation add to the length of fermentation? Also i plan on transfering it to a secondary what will be a good time to do this?

    Thank you in advance for your input!

  6. Hey John – Here’s my opinion on when to add honey to your beer: http://www.brew-dudes.com/brewing-beer-with-honey/519

    This post also has some good tips about adding honey to your fermentor. I have worked with raw unpasteurized honey and I have not had any problems with contamination or off flavors.

    Honey will add to your fermentation time. Keep an eye on the airlock and take a gravity reading to confirm it is done. You can add it to a secondary if you want and let a real secondary fermentation happen. Good luck.

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