Discuss malts, hops, and yeast, not related to a specific recipe

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Ancient Abbey
German Brewing
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Postby Ancient Abbey » Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:43 am

You see a lot of talk about honey flavors. I believe there is more than one type of honey flavor. TO me, it seems there are 3 types of honey flavors. One is a product of the malting and kilning and tastes like fresh, store-bought honey. The other is the production of 2,3 pentanedione from the yeast, and is very abundant during primary fermentation, especially with cold lager fermentations. This is a fresh, wildflower honey flavor and comes across as much like a mead as it does beer. Lastly, there is old, candied, dried up, stale honey. We believe the later is clearly oxidation, but often confused with the two former when people just say 'honey'. Sometimes it's hard to even know what flavors you are chasing.

My personal theory is that some of the fresh honey is from the 2,3 pentanedione production from the cells of the germinating barley, as I believe the process of kilning and drying prevents those cells from 'cleaning it up' since metabolism is shut down very quickly. Maltsters play a role by the kilning decisions they make, but if you study the weyermann flavor wheels, you will see honey is a character in every malt they produce. It has to be more intrinsic to the malt.

I have no doubt there is more to this. I'd love to hear others thoughts on the topic.
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