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Honey Porter Extract Recipe

Published: Dec 16, 2012 by admin Filed under: Recipes Views: 1,655 Tags: honey porter extract recipe, honey porter
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6.6 lbs LME

.75  lb Munich Malt

1 lb Crystal 20 Malt

1 lb Honey

6 oz Black Malt

3 oz Chocolate Malt

2.5 oz Golding Hops

Ale Yeast

¾ cup Corn Sugar (priming)



            A 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 he’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.


            Although I do love honey, I’m often reluctant to use it in brewing. In my experience, meads take too long and my results rarely please me. In beer I’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.


            In the past I’ve experimented with several ways to remedy this – 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.


            If 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, you’ll zap all the delicate tastes of the honey along with the yeasts. I’ve even tried back sweetening this porter with unfiltered honey; this resulted in exploding bottles. This made me shy away from the process.


            I 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 he’ll drink anything.


            Without further ado, here is the recipe.


            Start the process by chilling 2.5 gallons of sterilized water. Next, we’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.


            Heat slightly more than ½ gallon of water on the stove to about 165 degrees. When the water reaches temp (or close), dump in the loose grains and stir. You’re essentially making a tea. Think of this method as ‘loose tea’ while the grain bag method is ‘bagged tea.’ 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.


            While 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 boiling.


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 hops.


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!