Our ancestors began consuming beer nearly 4,000 years ago. It is the first known alcoholic beverage, and whispers about the art of beer brewing lurk in many ancient texts, drawings and prayers. Honey and beer have shared a long life together in beverages known as mead or honey beer. Honey beer was such a treasured asset in ancient Babylon, that the father of the bride would provide a month supply (a moon cycle) of honey beer for his new son-in-law. This was known as a honey month, or more commonly referred to today as a honeymoon.
In honor of these first beer brewers, we decided to give brewing a try using one of our most popular products: Raw Sage Honey. While Honey Pacifica has been perfecting the art of beekeeping and honey production for over twenty-five years, this honey beer was a first. We turned to the good folks over at Midwest Homebrewing & Winemaking Supplies and bought ourselves a brewing-equipment kit and a Honey Bee Ale recipe kit. Yes, the honey ale kit comes with a different brand of honey, but we opted instead to use our own delicious Raw Sage Honey. We chose an ale, as it can be brewed in room-temperature conditions and takes about four to five week for a drinkable beer, whereas mead can take eight months. The beer making process is easier than making an apple pie from scratch. You simply need to follow directions, have the right tools, and practice patience.
Yields: Twenty 22oz. beers
Active time: 4 hours
Total time: 6 weeks
- Beer Brewing Kit
- 3 gallons water
- 16 lbs. of ice (2 gallons)
- 3.3 lbs. Gold Malt Extract
- 3 lbs. Raw Sage Honey
- 8 oz. Carapils (Grains)
- 1 oz. Tettnang (Bittering Hops)
- 1 oz. Vanguard (Aroma Hops)
- Munton’s Dry Yeast
- 3/4 cup corn sugar
- Steep Carapils Grains at 155°F for 15 – 30 minutes.
- Remove the Carapils and bring the water to a boil.
- Add 3.3 lbs. of Gold Malt Extract to the kettle once the water is boiling, stirring it in slowly so it won’t stick or burn on the bottom. We now call the mixture wort.
- Add 1 oz. of Tettnang Hops to the wort and boil for 60 minutes.
- At 50 minutes in, add the 3 lbs. of sage honey, stirring it in slowly.
- At 58 minutes in, add 1 oz. of Vanguard hops.
- Once the 60 minutes is up, remove the wort from heat.
- Cool the wort quickly by adding 16 lbs. of ice and bring the temperature down to 80°F.
- Pour the cooled wort into the fermenter bucket and top off with water if not quite at 5 gallons.
- Aerate the wort to add oxygen by stirring vigorously for a minute.
- Pitch the yeast into the wort, put the top on the fermenter.
- Wait 2 weeks – during this time the yeast is converting the sugar to alcohol.
- Once the two weeks has passed fill twenty 22 oz. bottles and cap the lids.
- Store the beer bottles in a dark, cool place for 2 to 4 more weeks for carbonation.
- Refrigerate, and enjoy your homemade Honey Bee Ale.
This recipe has been simplified down to the basic steps- if you’re interested in brewing a Honey Beer swing by your local brewing supply store or check-out Midwest Supplies online.