Category Archives: Malt

Honey Hefeweizen

The Story

Caribou Honey Lager

Bowen Island Honey

Granville Island Honey Lager

British Columbia is notorious for honey beers. Just check the list of beers brewed in BC. Nearly every brewery attempting to market to the lager drinking crowd has a honey beer. One theory is that honey makes beer sound more sweet, thus more easy drinking. For those who are weary of the bitterness of beer, honey sounds quite appealing. However, since honey is very fermentable, when it is added to beer most of the sweet honey flavour turns into alcohol. So the sweetness people expect from a honey beer generally comes from the malt, not the honey.

Seeing as it is summer, and we have a lot of Gambrinus Honey Malt lying around the brewery (and we want to fit in with other BC breweries), we made a honey hefeweizen. Most of the honey sweetness comes from the Gambrinus Honey Malt. We added 1 pound of Raspberry Blossom Honey after the beer had fermented, and then 1 pound of plain unpasteurized honey to carbonate. Most of the sugar from the honey turns into alcohol, drying out the beer; however, some of that honey flavour and aroma sticks around. Combined with the banana, clove, and sweet flavour from the hefeweizen yeast, this beer could end up being like alcoholic banana cream pie.

The Tasting

Honey HefeweizenAppearance: Slightly darker than a normal hefeweizen, but still very refreshing looking. Very foamy, strong head, with tonnes of lacing.
Aroma: Very floral honey aroma, with a hint of hops.
Taste: Immediate honey and banana flavour, with the bubble gum coming in later. There is malty sweet flavour as well coming from the honey malt and biscuit malt. After swallowing, it becomes very dry and slightly bitter. This is likely from the large amounts of honey (2 pounds) put into the beer. There is a slight grainy taste as well. Very carbonated, making almost soda-like, yet the body is very heavy.
Overall: It is a casual summer beer. Hefeweizens generally seem to be a beer that has a wide appeal, and this beer is no different. It is obviously very sweet because of the honey malt, but it also has a heavier feel because the honey malt and biscuit malt. Thus it is not as refreshing as other hefeweizens, but it is very flavourful. The White Lab 380 does produce a lot of bubble gum, which AJ has become less a fan of. It’s a fine beer, but adding Gambrinus Honey Malt makes a beer less refreshing because it makes the beer heavier and sweeter. Sweet and heavy are two adjectives not normally used to describe refreshing beers. Perhaps less honey malt. Also we should have mashed at a lower temperature

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 66% extraction efficiency, ABV 5.0%, O.G. 1.050, IBU 16, single infusion mash: 60 minutes at 68 Celsius.

Grain Bill
This is a fairly typical hefeweizen with wheat malt and pale malt making up a majority of grain bill. However, we added nearly a pound of Gambrinus Honey Malt to really bring out the toasty honey flavour.

Gambrinus Pale Malt: 5 lb
Gambrinus Wheat Malt: 5 lb
Gambrinus Honey Malt: 14 oz (8 oz of honey malt provides a slight honey flavour, while anything over a pound of honey malt can become cloyingly sweet. We wanted a noticeable honey flavour, without being cloying, so we settled on 14 oz)
Belgian Biscuit: 4 oz (We tried this in our Honey Nut Brown Ale, and it adds a great toasty, bready flavour that really brings out the flavour of the honey malt. So we added a little bit to our honey hefeweizen as well)

Honey in Honey Malt

(Honey surrounded by Gambrinus Honey Malt)

Hop Schedule

We only did first wort hopping, in order create a smoother bitterness that will hopefully bring out the honey flavour.

First Wort Hops: 1 oz Ultra (We have plenty of ultra remaining from our last order from Hops Direct. It is a noble type hop that works well in wheat beers and lagers. Very clean bitterness, with a slight floral aroma.)

Fermentation
Rinsed White Labs 380 yeast from the Cascade Falls Hefeweizen.
Primary Fermentation: 14 days at 21 Celsius

Adding Honey

(Adding honey to the secondary fermenter. Before the honey is added, this beer is about 4.5%)

Added 1 pound of Raspberry Blossom Honey when racking beer to the secondary.
Secondary Fermentation: 14 days at 18 Celsius
Added 1 pound of unpasteurized honey for carbonation

Fermenting Honey Hefeweizen

(The beer starting to ferment again. After all the honey fermented in the beer, the alcohol increased to 5%)

Cascade Falls Hefeweizen

Map to Cascade Falls from AbbotsfordThe Story

Summer time is coming, and to us, that means wheat beers. Wheat beers are little bit more tart than 100% barely beers, which makes them more thirst quenching in warm weather. Wheat beers are generally around 30% to 70% wheat, with the remaining percentage being barley. Hefeweizens are a German style of wheat beers. What makes them different is the yeast they use. Hefeweizen yeast adds banana, clove, pepper, citrus and sometimes bubblegum flavours to the beer. Also, because the yeast takes a long time to settle out of the beer (flocculation), the beer remains hazy.

Our hefeweizen is inspired by the grapefruit taste of cascade hops, and the Cascade Falls that are close to our brewery. We wanted to make a hefeweizen that was fruity, slightly sweet, and not too bitter. It is Cascadian in its flavour, but not in its bitterness. So we named it after the Cascade Falls that are close to our homebrewery. Also, water falls look pretty.

This is also our first time using White Lab yeast. We’ve never had access to White Lab yeast until a new hombrew store started up in Mission. So thanks to Fraser Valley Hop and Grain, we are able to expand our brewing horizons. Check them out if you are in the Fraser Valley area.

Cascade Falls In Mission

The Tasting

For the tasting, we felt like we should take the beer to Cascade Falls for the first taste. As it so often does in the Cascade region, is started raining, thus our hike up to the falls was quite damp, and cold. Was it worth it? Not really. But the pictures looked nice.

AJ Pouring Cascade Hefe

(AJ, while looking incredibly foolish, pouring the Cascade Falls Hefeweizen in the pouring rain.)

Appearance: It is a dark orange, darker than your average hefeweizen. (the picture makes the beer look much darker than it actually is, as it was a dark and cloudy day)
Aroma: There is a medium citrus hop aroma with some spices and banana as well. But the hop aroma dominates.
Taste: At first, there are flavours you expect from a hefewiezen, such as the banana and cloves, but there are strong citrus notes that come in later. There is a mildly sweet flavour, yet it linger quite sometime. The hop flavour exists, but it is very mild. There is no bitterness at all. If anything, the beer is too sweet, perhaps the CaraHelle malt should not have been added, or some bittering hops should been added.
Overall: This beer is a good combination of the yeast flavour from hefeweizen, and the Cascadian hops. It is easy drinking, yet lingers a while. It is a bit too sweet for our liking, but it is nice beer for summer heat. If we remake this, we will be adding considerably more cascade hops. The WL380 yeast leaves a very strong aroma and flavour, thus we are not concerned about cascade hops overwhelming the yeast flavour/aroma.

Cascade Falls Hefeweizen

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 66% extraction efficiency, ABV 5.7%, O.G. 1.056, IBU 10, single infusion mash for 100 minutes at 66 Celcius.

Grain Bill
We created a hefeweizen grain bill with a twist. We added a little bit of Munich Light and CaraHell to give the hefeweizen a little more flavour. Also, we mashed the beer for 100 minutes (instead to the normal 60 minutes). This, as well as a lower mash temperature of 66 Celsius, will result in a drier, less sweet beer. This is because the sugars in the beer broken down more, making them more fermentable. We wanted the sweetness of CaraHell malt to balance out the dryness of the beer.

wheatfieldGambrinus Wheat Malt: 7 lb (Obviously we need wheat in our beer. Malted wheat has less ‘wheat flavour’ than flaked wheat, but malted wheat is easier to mash. Wheat makes up 48% of this hefeweizen. Plus as the picture to the right shows, doesn’t wheat just look summery?)
Gambrinus Pale Malt: 6 lb (We need some pale malt to ensure we do not get a stuck sparge)
Gambrinus Munich Light: 1 lb (This malt just adds a little bit of malty depth to the beer. Makes the beer a little more interesting without adding too much colour)
CaraHell: 8 oz (This malt is similar to Carmel 15. We used it to add a little bit of sweetness to the beer)

Hop Schedule
This is where the beer gets a little more interesting. We used no bitter hops, meaning we didn’t boil any of the hops for longer than 30 minutes. Instead, we boiled our hops for less than 20 minutes. Also, instead of using a German hop like Hallertau that would add a delicate floral aroma, we used the classic Pacific Northwest hop Cascade to add a grapefruit flavour. This means the beer will be less bitter, but have more grapefruit flavour and aroma from the Cascade hops. Also, the IBUs of this beer will be low (around 10 IBUs).

Typically, hefeweizens only use very small amounts of Noble (or German) bittering hops, with no aroma and flavour hops. This allows the flavour of the hefeweizen yeast to be more noticeable.

hops2

(Dried cascade hops waiting to be added to the beer)

20 minutes: 0.5 oz Cascade (These hops will add grapefruit and citrus flavour to the beer. Also, some of the acid from the hops will add some bitterness to the beer.)
5 minutes: 0.5 oz Cascade (These hops add a strong grapefruit aroma to the hefeweizen. We didn’t want to add too many hops because we wanted some of the aroma hefeweizen yeast to be noticeable.)

Boiling Hops

(Boiling the hops in the beer, with a thermometer floating in the middle)

Fermentation
We used White Labs’ WL380 Hefeweizen yeast. Appearently this yeast will add apricot and citrus flavours. So to us, that sounded fantastic. We don’t really know too much about fermenting hefeweizens. The fermentation of a hefeweizen is very important, because hefeweizens get most of the their flavour from the yeast. We only let the beer ferment for 11 days, because some people say hefeweizens are just enjoyed young, when the yeast is still active.

Primary Fermentation: 11 days at 19 Celcius

The Great Base Malt Experiment

We took 5 pounds each of 4 base malts: Gambrinus Pale Malt, Gambrinus Pilsen, Gambrinus ESB (similar to Marris Otter), and Gambrinus Vienna (sort of a base malt). We then made 4 different batches with the four different malts in one very long day of brewing. Hopefully this post can provide you useful information in selecting which base malt you will use for your own batch of beer. We only used malt from Gambrinus Malting Corporation because they are local, thus their malt is the easier to attain. Also, we are lazy people.

The Process

Each batch was made the same.

Mashed at 69 Celsius for 50 minutes (making the wort fairly unfermentable, leaving the F.G. higher). As for hops, .25 0z Columbus boiled for 60 minutes (roughly 20 IBUs, hopefully letting the malt shine through). Fermented with one 7g package of Coopers Ale Yeast at 16 Celsius. Each batch was roughly 10 litres.

Pale Malt Batch: O.G. 1.051, F.G. 1.010 (10 litres)
Pilsen Batch: O.G. 1.049, F.G. 1.008 (10 litres)
ESB Batch: O.G. 1.054, F.G. 1.011 (8.5 litres)
Vienna Batch: O.G. 1.048, F.G. 1.011 (10.5 litres)

fermenters

(From left to right: Pale batch, Pilsen batch, ESB batch, Vienna batch)

We only let the batches ferment for 10 days at 16 Celcius. We primed each batch with 2.5oz of dextrose, then sampled the beers first one week after bottling, then two weeks after bottling, and finally three weeks after bottling.

grain-experiment1
(Just before bottling; from left to right: Vienna, Pale, Pilsen, ESB)

The Pseudo-Scientific Tasting

We selected people from our circle of friends and family to judge the beers based on their colour, head, malt flavour, how well bitterness is hidden, aroma, and body. Of course, since we’re serious in our attempt to commit shoddy scientific research, some of our participants were blindfolded, mainly because it is rather fun to watch blinded people try to drink beer.

Appearance

Pilsen: The lightest of the beers, but you have to pay close attention to notice. Also held the most carbonation.
Pale: Slightly darker in colour than the Pilsen, but very similar.
ESB:
Pretty much identical to the Pale, which was interesting considering the higher O.G. of the ESB. Stronger, thicker head as well.
Vienna: Considerably darker than the other three beers. The strongest head of the three beers. It was the only beer that was easily identifiable.

grain-experiment2

(From left to right: Vienna, ESB, Pale, Pilsen)

Aroma

Pilsen: Very little smell; slightly sweet, and slightly fruity. Most people said it had nearly no aroma.
Pale: Slightly grain smell and slight fruit. Fairly similar to the Pilsen.
ESB:
Difficult to tell the difference between this and the Pale. Same slight grain smell, though slightly more fruit aroma (likely due to the O.G. of the ESB being higher)
Vienna: Sweet, toffee, honey aroma. Very bold compared to the other three beers.

Taste

Pilsen: Very grainy, and slightly acidic. More bitter than the other three beers, resulting in a grapefruity taste from the Columbus. Very dry. Not very sweet at all.
Pale: Rather tangy citrus taste (from the hops). Less bitter than the Pilsen. Nearly no malt flavour.
ESB:
Heavier body with more of a malt taste as well. Little bit of citrus taste. A well-rounded taste.
Vienna: Sweet and malty. Nutty taste as well. A hint of caramel. A viscous feel.

Conclusions

We noticed three problems from our experiment.

First, we used Columbus hops. Columbus hops were attractive because of their high AA%; furthermore, Columbus was the only bittering hop we had in stock when we were brewing the experiment. The problem is that Columbus hops leave a fairly grapefruity finish (unlike other cleaner bittering hops like Magnum). Thus during the tasting of the beers, nearly everybody said there was a grapefruit taste, preventing the taste of the malt from shining through completely.

Second, we used Cooper’s Ale yeast. We used it because it was cheaper than buying 4 packs of liquid yeast, and our local hombrew store did not have Nottingham at the time. However, Cooper’s Ale yeast produces more fruity esters, which clouded the aroma and taste of the malt. Most people noted a fruity aroma from all the beers (excluding the Vienna), and about 50% noticed fruity tastes in the beers (including the Vienna).

Third, the ESB had a higher O.G. than the rest of the beers (1.054, compared to 1.048, 1.049, 1.051). Sadly our little homebrewery can only get so accurate when trying to hit the same O.G. (we used a different sized pot to make the ESB batch, thus the evaporation rate was higher). It is not a huge difference, but it possibly could have influenced people’s preferences.

Overall, the experiment provided us with more details about the flavours of each malt. It was notable that most people could not distinguish between the Pilsen, Pale and ESB malts. If we pressed them with questions about which one they preferred and why, 38% of the people selected ESB, but there was no consistent reason why people preferred the ESB malt (reasons ranged from “it is sweeter” to “it had a better hop flavour”, so I think people may have just been inventing reasons to justify their preference). So when choosing a base malt for your beer, be aware that likely only people with the most refined of palettes (likely other homebrewers) will notice the difference between beers (Vienna malt excluded).

Pilsen malt was the grainiest tasting malt. It also hid the bitterness the least of the malts. It was also the least sweet, resulting in a very dry beer (likely because the F.G. was lower).
Pale malt was actually the least flavourful malt. While the malt hid the hop bitterness better than the Pilsen malt, it lacked the Pilsen malt’s strong grain flavour. Pale malt is somewhat like an absorbent blank canvass: it will hide some of the flavours, but it will not produce its own flavours.
ESB malt was generally people’s favorite malt. People often noted it was slightly more malty and bready. It was also a bit sweeter. It had the thickest body, and people often said it was easy drinking. Admittedly, the O.G. of this beer was 1.054, higher than the other beers, so this may have influenced people’s opinions.
Vienna malt was the most distinct of the four malts (likely because it isn’t a typical base malt). It was considerably darker in colour. It had a sweet, malty, toffee like aroma, and it tasted nutty and sweet as well. The self proclaimed beer connoisseurs (often a very obnoxious folk) preferred this beer, while the lager drinkers often found this beer as unpleasant and nasty (especially when they were blindfolded, as I imagine the beer was different from their expectations of what beer should taste like.)

500 Pounds of Barley

Nearly every beer that is made primarily consists of barley. Thus every brewery uses a large amount barley. At Mt. Lehman Brewery, we get most of our barley from Gambrinus Malting Corporation in the Okanagan Valley. Barley grown in British Columbia and Alberta is shipped to Gambrinus where they malt it, a process that converts the starch in barley into sugar. Gambrinus’ malted barley is distributed throughout BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon, California, Colorado and further. If you are drinking a beer from a brewery in the Pacific Northwest, it is very possible that beer was made with Gambrinus malt. As the smallest malting company in North America, they are like Canada’s micro-malthouse. Perhaps because of their small size, they have great customer service and are willing to sell malt to homebrewers at very reasonable prices, given you pay in cash/cheque and pick it up in person.

okanagan valley

(The Okanagan Valley: an area more known for its wine than its beer)

AJ combined a visit to his brother, who lives near the malt-house, with a trip to pick up eight 25 kg (55 pounds) bags of barley from Gambrinus. The drive from Abbotsford (the home of Mt. Lehman Brewery) to Armstrong is roughly 4 hours, but is completely worth it. Plus AJ got to drink beer with his brother.

bags of barleyOur order consisted of:
Pale Malt: 4 bags (its our primary base malt)
ESB: 2 bags (a malty-er, more bread-like alternative to the Pale)
Munich Light: 1 bag (we go through enough of this to justify purchasing of bag of it. It adds a deep amber colour to our beers, plus a sweet, malty, nutty flavour)
Wheat Malt: 1 bag (we still have half a bag of wheat left, but we need more for summertime wheat beers)
We did not order more honey malt because we still have 40 pounds left from our last order in Janurary 2012.

The big advantage of buying directly from Gambrinus is selection. While you can get a bag of Gambrinus Pale malt from nearly any homebrew store, Gabrinus Malting Corporation can offer bags of ESB, Pilsen, Vienna, Munich light, Munich dark, honey malt, and wheat malt. They also have organic offerings of some of their malts. Gambrinus only sell their malt in 25 kg bags, so do not expect to be able to just purchase a couple pounds of a particular malt.

A word of caution: buying specialty malts in 25 kg bags is a rather onerous undertaking. You might easily go through a bag of Pale malt because you are using 10 pounds each batch. After 5 batches, you will have nearly finished the bag. However, buying a bag of honey malt is likely going to last you a very long time. Let’s assume you put 1 pound of honey malt (which is a lot, we normally don’t put more than 8 oz in a batch) in every batch of beer you make. It would take 55 batches to finish off that whole bag of honey malt, resulting in 1265 litres of beer. You might need to extend your circle of friends to dispose of that much beer. While we think honey malt is a fantastic malt, you are nearly guaranteed to be unable to finish the bag. Depending on your brewing habits, it may also be difficult for a homebrewer to finish bags of Munich Light, Munich Dark, and Vienna malt as well. If you want these malts in smaller quantities, you should go to your local homebrew store.

More information about the malts offered by Gambrinus Malting Corporation can be found here. It is not their official website, as they don’t appear to have one. It is the website of some malt broker. However, the website provides the necessary information on the colour, protein, moisture etc.

gambrinus
(The sign for Gambrinus Malting Corporation, between BWP Millwork and Steve’s Used Auto Farts.)

silos

(The grain silos at Gambrinus Malting Corporation)

malthouse

(Complexities of the malt-house.)

   barley field

(Fancy farm mural showing barley. Culture!)

India Porter Ale

The Story

This beer has Robert’s creativity written all over it. He has been sampling some black IPAs from Oregon, and paying considerably too much money for them. The local offers of black IPAs were considerably lacking. So when brew day rolled around on the weekend, he suggested to AJ they make a black IPA.

Widmer Pitch Black IPA

Despite the contradictory name (Black India ‘Pale’ Ale), Black IPAs are roughly as dark as a porter, but have all the hoppiness of an IPA (some Black IPAs are even darker). So we called our beer the “India Porter Ale”(India reflecting the hoppiness of the beer, Porter reflects the darkness of the beer). Other names for the this type of beer include Cascadian Dark Ale and India Black Ale. The chocolate malt required to make the India Porter Ale actually hides a lot of the hop bitterness. Compared to a regular IPA, considerably more hops are added to our India Porter Ale to get the same level of hop bitterness. We wanted the hop bitterness to shine above bitterness from the dark roasted malts. There was, however, one issue: we only had Munich Light as a ‘base malt’.

The Tasting

Appearance: Very dark, though slightly transparent. Strong, thick head. Nearly no signs of carbonation.
Aroma: Sweet, yet roasty malt. Very little hop aroma, as we did not dry hop the beer.
Taste: Initially a strong sweet, nutty taste, then bitterness, then the sweetness returns. Has an earthy taste throughout, with some acidic fruit tastes (like plum). Very malty, yet still bitter. Very thick body as well.
Overall: A surprising well balanced beer. The sweetness from the Munich malt is present, yet so is the strong bitterness of the hops and roasted barley. The beer constantly swings between very bitter and very sweet depending on area of your tongue the beer rests on. A very broad spectrum of flavours. The beer needs to linger in your mouth a while to get the full flavour. It is a very unique beer. You could not drink a lot of this beer, but is the ideal for sitting in front of a fireplace during a snowy winter evening.

India Porter ALe

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 74% extraction efficiency, ABV 6.4%, O.G. 1.062, IBU 113 single infusion mash at 66.5 Celsius for 50 minutes

This beer was made during a rather scares time at the brewery. Our January shipment from Gambrinus Malting Corporation in Armstrong was reaching its end. We had no Pale Malt for base malt. Thus we had to improvise. Thus we used Munich Light malt as a substitute, as well as some wheat malt to help covert the starch to sugar. Thus, this is going to be a very malty beer, despite all the hops we might try to add to it.

Grain Bill
Gambrinus Munich Light: 10 lb (This is our make-shift base malt because we didn’t have any Pale Malt. This will probably make the beer too malty, but whatever)
Gambrinus Organic Wheat Malt: 4 lb (because 14 pounds of Munich was just too much)
Carmel 70-80: 8 oz (to add some variety to the malty taste from the Munich)
Gambrinus Honey Malt: 8 oz (because we add it to everything, so why not this too?)
Chocolate Malt: 8 oz (to make it dark)
Roasted Malt: 4 oz (because Robert said so)
Flaked Barley: 8 oz (to make it thicker)

Grains

It will be nearly impossible to add enough hops to balance out the sweetness of the Munich malt. This will probably be a weird tasting porter, with few of the characteristics of an IPA.

Hop Schedule

To make this beer even remotely bitter, we loaded in the hops. 113 IBUs worth. The Cluster and Northern Brewer were chosen for their more piney/herbal characteristics, while Columbus was selected to add a grapefruit flavour for complexity.

75 minutes: 1.5 oz Northern Brewer, 1.5 oz Columbus, 1.5 oz Cluster
20 minutes: 1.5 oz Northern Brewer, 1.5 oz Columbus, 1.5 oz Cluster
1 minute: 1.5 oz Northern Brewer, 1.5 oz Columbus, 1.5 oz Cluster

Fermentation Schedule

Primary fermentation: 7 days
Secondary fermentation: 21 days

We put this batch onto a yeast cake (Nottingham) from a honey brown ale and a blonde ale (thus this was the third use of that yeast). And it fermented like crazy. We actually lost 3 litres just due to crazy fermentation forcing the beer out through the airlock.

Honey Nut Brown Ale

The Story

In the BC craft beer industry, nearly every brewery has some sort of honey beer. The most famous is Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager, but there are considerably more, such as Granville Island’s Cypress Honey Lager. Perhaps including the word “honey” in a beer title makes the beer seem more accessible, as if the “honey” aspects will balance out the bitter aspects. Honey beers just always seem targeted at people who probably don’t like beer.

To feel included in this very BC phenomenon of producing honey beers, we felt the need to produce some sort of honey beer. A lot of the honey beers we have tasted seem to be just slightly sweeter pale lagers (Arguments that Sleeman’s Honey Brown Lager is actually brown are invalid). We wanted to make a beer that was bold in its honey taste, a beer with a honey taste you could identify without being told it is a honey beer.

The Tasting

Appearance: Light Brown. It was still hazy at the time of tasting because it had not been aged long enough. Very stable, long lasting head, with very small bubbles.
Aroma: A light sweet aroma, almost sugary smelling. Slightly smelling of plums
Taste: This is a beer for people who don’t like beer. It is very smooth and thick, with no hop taste; however, a small amount of bitterness seems to come from the malt. The combination of lots of honey malt and munich malt result in a very sweet, dark fruit taste. The sweet taste most certainly lingers on the tongue for a while. A small nutty taste as well, probably from the honey malt. No grain or hop taste you normally get from beer.
Overall: It is not bad, but it isn’t great either. Maybe too much honey malt, but further experiments will still need to be conducted. It is very flavourful, but perhaps too much so.

The Process

Specifics: 23 litre batch, 82% extraction efficiency, ABV 5%, O.G. 1.049, IBU 43, single infusion mash at 68 Celsius for 30 minutes

From what we have read, honey beers do not get their honey flavour from real honey. Honey is nearly 100% fermentable. Thus in beer, honey mainly results in more alcohol, not a sweeter beer. Instead, honey ales get their honey flavour from Gambrinus Honey Malt, or Brumalt (the German version). Normally, people do not recommend making the grain bill for a beer more than 5% honey malt. In this beer, we wanted to experiment with how much honey malt we could put into a beer. This recipe contains 13.5% honey malt. This is us experimenting for all you homebrewers out there.

Grain Bill

Gambrinus Pale Malt: 4 lb
Gambrinus Munich Light: 4 lb (to add maltiness and we did not have enough pale malt)
Gamrbinus Honey Malt: 1.5 lb (to push the limits of honey malt in a beer)
Flaked Barley: 8 oz (to give the beer a thicker, almost like honey like feel; also to add smoothness)
Gambrinus Wheat Malt: 8 oz (to thicken the beer and add a good head)
Chocolate Malt: 2 oz (to darken the colour, and add a small toasty, chocolately, dark taste to the beer)

Hop Schedule

A lot hops were added to this beer, purely to balance out the sweetness of the malt, thus the hops were all boiled for longer than 30 minutes. At 43 IBUs, the beer should be still quite sweet.

60 min: 1 oz Northern Brewer
30 min: 1 oz Northern Brewer

Fermentation

7 days in primary
14 days in secondary

This beer ended up being very carbonated.  So much so that bottles of this beer turned into fountains of foam if they were not poured into a glass immediately. It is possible that honey malt takes longer to finish fermenting than 21 days, resulting in the beer to continue fermenting after being bottled. This might be something to take into account if you use plenty of honey malt in your beer.