Chapter 20


Using Honey

I have not mentioned honey until now because I don't use it often. Fermented honey is called mead, and a combination of fermented beer and honey is called braggot. Mead and braggot are an acquired taste, but many brewers like them as an alternative to beer. The water content varies in honey from batch to batch, so it is hard to know how much fermentability is represented by a given weight or volume. The only recourse is to dilute it with a known amount of water and measure it with a hydrometer. Also, honey does not contain any of the amino acids that yeast need for nutrition. Therefore when you are brewing with honey and especially when you are making mead, you need to add yeast nutrient to the batch. Honey can impart a strong aroma and sharp sweet flavor that can be overpowering if more than a couple pounds are used in the batch. Start out with 1 - 2 pounds and see how you like it. It can be added to any beer style, it's up to you. The bittering hops should be increased accordingly. But be forewarned, honey based alcohol also tends to give nasty hangovers...