View Full Version : Timing for Honey additions

07-17-2009, 09:40 PM
Is there an optimal time for late honey additions? Hamm says "after initial vigorous fermentation" but is there a time when adding honey would be a bad idea? (thinking about oxidation)

I have a 5 gallon batch of white sage (12 lbs) which had an OG of 1.091 (pitched D-47). I started fermentation on Wednesday and I was thinking about putting in a 3 to 6 lbs addition on Monday (I should've added the honey in the original must, but ran out). I'm assuming fermentation will still be fairly active, so would I add the 3 lbs along with nutrient/energizer and aerate again? Should I add the honey in 3 two pound increments or dump it all at once?

Medsen Fey
07-19-2009, 07:05 PM
Fillup, What exactly are you aiming for as a result?

Adding honey in increments toward the end of fermentation is known as "Step Feeding." This process tends to push the yeast past their normal alcohol tolerance but does stress them and may lead to harsh, rocket fuel and off flavors (not always, but it can happen).

If you are wanting to push the D47 past 14% and consume as much of the honey as possible, adding it in 1-2 pound increments will probably get you there especially if you give the nutrient and aerate a bit.

Oxidation is not really an issue as long as the fermentation is still active.

If you just want to have get the alcohol up to 14%, adding about 3 pounds will get you there. If you don't want to push the yeast past 14% add all 6 pounds at once as early as possible, and don't give nutrients or aeration.