Author Topic: White House Honey Porter  (Read 6660 times)

Offline lockrob

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White House Honey Porter
« on: July 06, 2014, 07:03:34 PM »
I just tried the White House Honey Porter and have a question for all the great minds out there.
The Northern Brewers recipe says to add the malt and the honey at the beginning of the biol and to have a two step fermentation of 10 days for each phase.
The BeerSmith recipe says to add the malt at the beginning of the boil and the honey after a 4 day primary fermentation (and before the 10 day secondary. (unless I'm reading it wrong.)
My question is what will the difference be between these two approaches? I added at the boil; would I have been better off adding after the primary?
Should I consider adding more after the primary?
Also, should I just watch the fermentation and cut the primary after the fermentation stops? or wait a specific number of days? What difference will the different fermentation styles make for the flavor of the beer?
Sorry if these are dumb questions, but this is only my second attempt. Thankfully, beer is very forgiving. It seems that as long as I am clean, things work out pretty good.

Offline Slobrew

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 06:57:27 PM »
I'm really not the expert on this, but I do brew with Honey. I like adding honey to the boil because there is stuff in honey and I don't think it hurts to sanitize it a little.  I started out putting the honey in at the beginning of the boil, but I read that if you boil too long that you would lose some of the flavor. So, now I boil for last 20 to 25 minutes. I like my end result,  but again, I'm not the expert.

Offline Baron Von MunchKrausen

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 07:13:45 PM »
I'm also no expert, but I brew a red ale with honey. Adding honey after primary sounds sickeningly sweet to me. I add at flameout.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 05:05:27 PM »
I've used store-bought honey in a few beers. Don't plan to do it again. Doesn't add any honey flavor at all. It's a simple sugar and the yeast eats it all up.  It does leave behind a hint of whatever flowers it was made from. In the case of commercial honey it's most likely clover. Use too much and the beer tastes like a clover stem. 

Some of the yards in the neighborhood round here have big white beehives, and one I know one guy for sure sells it. It's all wildflower and the flavor varies over the year depending on what is in bloom. Forgot how much he charges for it. If you see anyone around your area with beehives, it might be worth it to ring their doorbell. I'm sure it would add a better flavor than clover honey from the store. I plan to buy some and make a mead or cyser this fall. I will never brew with clover honey again.

As far as when to add it, I'd add it at flame-out or a little before to sterilize it. It's unlikely that it will add an infection, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Since it's fermentable it makes no sense to add it after fermentation, because that will just start a secondary fermentation. Better to get it all done at once.
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Offline TAHammerton

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 01:57:24 PM »
I have used honey quite a lot. You can think of the honey the way you think of hops, if you put it in at the start of the boil all you will get is sugars and all the flavour will boil off. If you add it near the end of the boil you will retain some flavour. If you add it late in the primary fermentation after high krausen you will retain as much of the flavour as possible. Honey contains wild yeast and bacteria so it must be pasteurized. While honey itself is anti-bacterial, there is no guarantee the bacteria won't cause a problem when liberated into your wort. I have done no heat meads before and it came out Ok but is somewhat risky. There is endless debate of how to treat honey between mead makers. It is safest to make sure it is pasteurized. If you are going to add to the boil, I recommend 15 minutes and not less than 10. Adding at flameout will not get the job done (assuming you are chilling relatively quickly).

If you want to add to the primary, it is usually best done after 3 or 4 days when the fermentation is less vigorous - that way the co2 is not carrying away the flavours. You really want to use fresh raw honey direct from the bee keeper if possible. If you use Honey from the store that has already been pasteurized then most of the flavour is gone already. You will need about 30 mins at 150F to ensure the wild yeasts are killed off. Do this by heating your container of honey in a water bath.

Honey is extremely fermentable so it has the effect of making beer drier NOT sweeter.

Orange honey is a good basic honey for brewing. I like the clover honey, but maybe does not suit everyone.

Some recipes don't want the honey flavour, just the lightening and drying effect, which may be why your recipe calls for it at the start of the boil. I add 15 minutes from the end of the boil in my Baltic Porter. I have discovered you don't gain anything from adding to primary in such a malty beer as it totally overpowers the honey flavour.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2014, 02:38:36 PM by TAHammerton »
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Offline brewark

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 01:17:48 PM »
When I started making mead, I would boil my honey to "sterilize" it.  Later I found that most of the best meads I've tasted were no-boil recipes.  Now the only heat I add is to help dissolution.  I wouldn't be afraid to add any honey @ flameout.  Most would be fine through high krausen.  After that would be an experiment for me. there's a temporary solution!

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 04:57:47 PM »
I also use no boil, have since I started.  If you start off with beer and master your sanitation procedures, you should never have a problem with honey using the same methods. Not sure why, some say its the low water content of honey, the antibacterial properties (search defensin-1), or the naturally low pH, maybe its a combination of all the above. 

My last brew was a saison and I added OB honey at flameout in only trying to drive attenuation, but ended up with a too citrusy and sweet finishing version even though apparent attenuation was better than 93%.  1.061 to 1.004.  Never tried it in primary only because I think it would be too hard to hit a gravity.  Honey is a not fun to measure precisely and a lot of it sticks to the container, making measuring kind of futile. 

Offline brownsriverbrew

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Re: White House Honey Porter
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 08:26:17 PM »
I followed their recipe and it turned out great.  A repeat recipe/kit for me.