Monday, 12 September 2011

Collaboration Recipe Honey Wheat Beer

Here's the thing, my friend Phil has harvested his honey and we're going to make a Honey Wheat beer. Here's the next thing; I've not a clue what I'm doing. My last Wheat beer was infected and it is a style I hardly ever drink but then I drank a Lovibonds Gold Reserve. It's a honey wheat beer, not especially cloudy but one of the only beers I've ever consumed where you can actually taste the honey. 

And there's the problem with a honey beer, if you want the flavour to come through you have to take a risk. Honey harbours loads of wild yeasts so, unless you add it to the beer in the boil, the likelihood of an infected beer is increased. Of course if you add it to the boil, the flavour is largely boiled off. I'm prepared to take a risk (it is only a 19L batch after all) and add it to the beer after the initial fermentation has died down.

But, all I've got as far as a recipe goes is 2.5 kilos each of wheat malt and maris otter and a kilo of honey. I want some input from my readers (and let's face it - anyone else) who reckons they know a bit about this kind of beer style. So let's open up some suggestions and debate on a recipe.

I'm looking to make this beer in the next two to three weeks so give me time to propagate a yeast strain (preferably Wyeast as they're most easily available to me) and let's use hops that are readily available in the UK at this time. 

In terms of inventory I have the following hops in stock. Ahtanum, Apollo, Atlas, Amarillo, Cascade, Cluster, Citra, Columbus, Challenger, First Gold, Fuggles, Green Bullet, Hersbrucker, Northdown, Saaz, Simcoe, Sorachi, Willamette. 

So, please leave your comments below and we'll have a recipe by collaboration (or not) in a couple of weeks time. 


  1. as far as I know you can Pasteurise Honey by heating it to a certain temp for something like 15mins, so you could actually prime your bottles with Honey rather than sugar, or add it half way thru fermentation.

    Saaz or Hersbrucker hopping and a low bitterness.

  2. I think it's something like hold the temperature at around 80oC for 15-20 mins. I seem to remember an article on BYO. Also there is a section on honey beer in Randy Moshers Radical brewing which might come in useful.

    The advice I've read on this is that you should pasturise the honey and add to the FV at high krausen - but then I've never tried it and I certainly haven't brewed wheat beer before so you can choose to ignore everything I've just said :)

  3. Should have looked it up first. Apparently 65oC for 30 mins is enough to pasturise.