6.6 lbs LME
.75 lb Munich Malt
Crystal 20 Malt
1 lb Honey
6 oz Black
Â¾ cup Corn
few weeks ago, my friend came over for a beer. This beer quickly turned into
several, and our discussion turned (as it often does) to his farm. This year
heâ€™d added some top bar beehives. While I tend to shy away from anything that
stings, I do love honey. Soon, he offered me some of his precious honey if I promised
to return some part of it in the form of alcoholic libation.
I do love honey, Iâ€™m often reluctant to use it in brewing. In my experience,
meads take too long and my results rarely please me. In beer Iâ€™ve had similar
disappointment. I find it tends to thin out the brew and that the taste and
sweetness of the honey are fermented out.
the past Iâ€™ve experimented with several ways to remedy this â€“ with results
ranging from disappointing to disastrous.
Honey is delicate. Honey is fragile. Wild and unfiltered honey tastes
better, but contains more wild yeast. Here in lies the problem.
you simply add honey to the fermenter, wild yeasts may (and have) take over the
beer and (often) produce bad tastes. Conversely, if you boil the honey for 60
minutes, youâ€™ll zap all the delicate tastes of the honey along with the yeasts.
Iâ€™ve even tried back sweetening this porter with unfiltered honey; this
resulted in exploding bottles. This made me shy away from the process.
have, however, through guessing, philosophizing and copious amounts of
drinking, found a method that seems to satisfy me (and anyone that I hand one
of my Honey Porters). My beekeeping friend agrees, although heâ€™ll drink
further ado, here is the recipe.
the process by chilling 2.5 gallons of sterilized water. Next, weâ€™re going to
steep grains. I always steep when I brew extract. Generally, I use an old pair
of panty hoes, but this time (based on the amount of grain) I did it without a
bag so that the grains could move around more.
slightly more than Â½ gallon of water on the stove to about 165 degrees. When
the water reaches temp (or close), dump in the loose grains and stir. Youâ€™re
essentially making a tea. Think of this method as â€˜loose teaâ€™ while the grain
bag method is â€˜bagged tea.â€™ Let your grains steep for at least a half hour.
Keep the temps between 140 degrees and 160 degrees. Use a lid, and goose it
with some stove heat if it drops.
the grains are steeping, use a separate pot to warm 2 gallons of water to 165
degrees. When the grains are finished steeping, place a strainer with a piece
of cheese cloth (or grain bag, or pantyhose, etc) over the 2 gallons of 165
degree water. Pour the grains and the steeped water through the strainer. The
strainer should catch the grains.
Next, use a ladle, pitcher or mug
to pour some of the hot water from the pot back over the grains allowing the
water to drain back into the pot. This step, called washing, is not strictly
necessary, but will help release flavor and add mouth feel to the finished
product. I usually ladle (slowly) about a gallon of water over the steeped
grains. Let the grains drain slowly, and never squeeze or press them!
Now it is time to crank up the
heat. Add your malt extract and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to avoid
scorching. We will be doing a 60-minute boil. Start timing when the wort starts
After it has been boiling for 15
minutes, add an ounce of your Kent hops. After thirty minutes of boil, add
another once. After 60 minutes, remove the pot from heat and add the remaining
Next, cool the wort. I used an
immersion chiller, but a simple ice bath will work as well. Add the 2.5 gallons
of chilled water (from the first step, remember?) to the fermenter. This will
help chill the wort when you add it. Luckily, this is your next step. Combine
the warm wort with the chilled water. Pitch your yeast when the beer is only
slightly warmer than room temperature (or whatever the package says). I
fermented for 10 days at around 67 degrees.
I put this brew into a mini-keg,
but it is simple to bottle as well. To bottle, mix the sugar with 1 cup water
and boil for three minutes. Pour the mixture into the bottling bucket and
siphon beer from the fermenter to the bottling bucket. Cap and bottle. Enjoy in
2 weeks. Happy brewing!
Thank you Matt Jones...Brewtoob contributor and brewer extraordinaire!