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I have made several honey wheat batches from honey wheat kits that turned out too dark, too heavy, too bitter. I would love to make a lighter honey wheat beer. Does it make sense to buy a lighter wheat beer kit and simply add a sweet honey like clover honey to the recipe? Thx, Wheatless in GA

  • What are you hoping for by adding the honey? The flavour / aroma of honey? Sweetness? Drying out the beer with sugar (honey) contributions? Alcohol increase? Something else? FWIW, I find adding some German Chamomile flowers (the type, not the place of production) gives a honey-like aroma to beer. – Kingsley Jan 8 '19 at 21:58
  • can you give an example recipe? I make a lemon honey wheat beer thats light and crisp, that uses no honey or lemon. – jsolarski Jan 8 '19 at 23:34
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You can always just dilute if the beer is too bitter, too dark, etc. If the kit is designed to make 5 gallons, then make 6 gallons instead, or whatever.

If you are using liquid extract, be aware that it stales quickly and can become very dark indeed, in contrast to dry malt extract which if you have the light color extract will stay light indefinitely. And in the case of either LME or DME, you might wish to reserve most of it for the end of the boil, or boil for just ~10 minutes instead of 45-60 minutes, to reduce darkening during the boil.

Honey can lighten the body and flavor. Go ahead and add some if you like. But be aware that it will also increase the alcohol level. So again, you might want to dilute to a higher volume, or maybe use less extract.

If you are brewing all-grain, then some of this advice will not apply and we'll need to figure out what else could be going on.

Finally, I think you may find this helpful:

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As a can brewer, I actually have the wife nagging me to make a honey beer now that she's tasted it. I find the most important ingredient to get right is, unsurprisingly, the honey. Especially important is how strongly the honey is flavored. Stronger flavored honey punches through all the other tastes in the beer and makes it obvious what you're drinking (rather than having people taste your beer and search around for a honey taste, it's simply self evident).

Tasmanian Leatherwood (all 500g) is the golden ticket for my brews, then it's just:

  • 1 can Morgan's Golden Sheaf Wheat Beer
  • 1 can Cooper's Malt Extract
  • 150g Cracked Wheat Grain
  • 12g Morgan's Cluster Finishing Hops
  • Morgan's Wheat Beer Yeast

Steep the grain for 15 mins in boiling water, add that and all fermentables and hops to the fermenter for a 22 liter brew and ferment according to instructions on the yeast pack. Carbonate as per your standard processes.

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