From the HBD Archive
From: kipps@etoile.ICS.UCI.EDU
Subject: Honey, Molasses, and Ginger
Date: 1989-08-12 19:59:30 GMT

A few weeks ago I decided to give honey a try. I had a 3.5 lb can of
Ironmaster's Pale Ale (Hop flavored) and figured this would be good for
the experiment. I added one pound of orange blossom honey to a five
gallon boil (no sugar). As a further twist, I primed half the batch with
corn sugar and the other half with black molasses. It's only been
conditioning a week, but I sampled a bottle of both last night.

The half primed with sugar had a very light, crisp taste that also was a
little dry and gingery. I thought the flavor was weak, as though it were
missing something; using real hops instead of a hop-flavored extract would
have helped or maybe conditioning another week. Also, if I were going to
try adding ginger to a beer, this would be a likely candidate.

The molasses-primed bottle was much better. An amber color, but still
crisp, this beer had a full flavor that the other did not. I've primed
with molasses before (1 cup in 5 gallons) and found it over-powering.
This time I used between 1/3 and 1/2 cups for 2.5 gallons. I still think
the beer could benefit from real hops, but otherwise it's not bad.

One more thing, I've noticed twice now that beer primed with molasses is
more heavily carbonated than beer primed with sugar. Anyone else notice
this? I'm thinking that next time I try it I'll cut back to 2/3 cups for
5 gallons.

-Jim Kipps

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