View our Main Site »

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June Brew of the Month: Mark’s Sleeping Bee Honey Smoked Pale Ale

Recipe by Mark Iacopelli

I love laying in my hammock or sitting in around a bonfire on a warm summer day.  This homebrew recipe was inspired by my desire for an ale that is both complex and quaffable while lounging around in the summer. My thought was for something that was reminiscent of a lightly peated scotch. Creating flavors of spice, honey and a touch of smoke was my objective with this beer.

The two distinct variations on this beer as opposed to traditional pale ales are honey and smoke. The honey flavor in this brew was achieved through a combination of honey malt and actually honey. Honey is so highly fermentable that it can be difficult to use in brewing and get much flavor. I used honey malt to give the beer perceived honey sweetness. I also waited until three days into primary fermentation to add the non-pasteurized honey. This is an excellent way to promote a great fermentation and complete attenuation. It also helps retain a little bit of that real honey flavor. In order to introduce the honey affectively and not have it just sink straight to the bottom of the fermenter I pulled off some of my wort during the boil and added it to the jar of honey to thin it out. As for the smoke I have never used the Weyermann beechwood smoked malt before. I was informed by my co-workers that this malt is subtle which lead to me doubling my original plan of using one pound.

The results: From brew day to kegged and carbed this beer took about seventeen days to make. I found that it really needed an additional week of conditioning to allow for acetaldehyde (green apple/cider flavor common in young beers) to clear up. My efficiency was low at 61% (1.050 OG) but it fully attenuated down to almost 1.000. It has near perfect clarity, golden color and a white head (head retention is somewhat lacking). On the nose a light graininess and smoke is present with a small touch of hops. The initial smoke flavor and a crisp bitterness quickly give way to a nice balance of grain and malt sweetness. Despite the sweetness it still finishes bone dry and just begs for another sip. Everything is very well balanced and makes this a great beer to sip on or to drink in more of a session style. Either way this keg of beer will likely not stick around for long.

All Grain Recipe ($29.55)

    • 7lb Breiss Brewer’s 2 Row
    • 2lb Weyermann beechwood smoked malt
    • 1lb Pilot Munich
    • 1lb Gambrinus Honey Malt
    • .5lb Non-Pasteurized Honey

Extract with Specialty Grains ($36.16)

    • 7.5lb pilsner light liquid extract
    • 2lb Weyermann beechwood smoked malt
    • .5lb Pilot Munich
    • .5lb Gambrinus Honey Malt
    • .5lb Non-Pasteurized Honey

Boil Hops

    • .5 oz Centennial (60 mins)
    • .5 oz Horizon (30 mins)
    • 1 oz Liberty (30 mins)
    • OPTIONAL: yeast nutrient & whirfloc tablet (15 Mins)
    • RECOMMENDED: Place Immersion Chiller in kettle to sterilize (15 Mins)    
    • .5 oz Horizon (10 mins)
    • 1 oz Liberty (10 mins)


    • Mash @ 150F for 75 Mins
    • Sparge @ 168F
    • Ferment with 1 package of Safale US-05 @ 68F
    • 3 days into primary fermentation add .5lb Non-Pasteurized Honey dissolved in wort from the boil that was stored in the refrigerator for this addition.
    • Leave in primary of 2 weeks then bottle or keg according to your own process.

Optional Water Additions

    • 1 campten tablet
    • 10g gypsum
    • 3g calcium chloride
    • 5ml 88% lactic acid (all grain only)
The staff at Siciliano's is always eager to answer your homebrewing questions. Stop by for help developing custom-made recipes like this one!

No comments:

Post a Comment