Once you start looking for a substitute for honey malt you’ll soon come to realize how scarce the alternatives are to it. I was at my wit’s end when I finally had to stop brewing beer because I couldn’t find a suitable substitute.
Honey Malt. What is it?
Honey Malt is a specialty malt made from malted barley, occasionally with the addition of wheat or rye, and toasted over hot air in a drum roaster.
Honey malt is produced by germinating barley, then killing it at high temperatures. During this process, the maltster controls the amount of time and temperature used to create different flavors and colors.
The finished product has a sweet, caramel-like flavor that can range from mild to rich depending on how long and how hot the grain is roasted. Honey malt has a dark amber color similar to that of crystal malt.
The sweetness of honey malt makes it an ideal ingredient for adding body and mouthfeel while balancing out any bitterness in beer.
Honey malts also have a higher proportion of unfermentable sugars than standard base malts — up to 40% unfermentable sugars versus 20% for other base malts — which means they add sweetness without contributing significant fermentable sugar or ABV (alcohol by volume) to your beer.
Best Substitutes For Honey Malt
Honey malt is a specialty malt that adds a toasted, bready, and silky character to the beer. It’s used in many Belgian styles and in American wheat ales. Honey malt is made from barley that has been germinated and kilned with honey, which gives the malt a unique flavor.
Honey malt is expensive and hard to find. If you want to use it, but can’t get your hands on it, there are other options.
1. Munich Malt
Munich malt is made from barley that has been germinated and kilned until it reaches a color similar to amber or pale ale malt. Munich malts have a rich, bready flavor that makes them a good substitute for honey malt in most Belgian styles. Munich malts can also be used as part of an all-grain recipe for American wheat beers like hefeweizens or altbiers.
2. Caramel/Crystal Malt
Caramel/crystal malts are made by heating pale malts until they reach various levels of caramelization (see our article on Caramel Malts). These malts add sweetness and color to beer without contributing much in the way of flavor or aroma because they’re not kilned long enough for their sugars.
3. Dark Candi Syrup
Made from caramelized sugar made from cane sugar, this syrup contains flavors similar to honey malt, including caramel and molasses notes. To use it in place of honey malt, steep 1/2 cup (120 ml) in 3 quarts (3 L) of water at 160 degrees F (71 C). Remove the bag after 30 minutes and add directly to the boil.
4. Raw Sugar
Raw cane sugar has a rich molasses flavor that makes it a good substitute for honey malt when brewing dark beers like stouts and porters. You’ll need to use less of it, though, as it adds more sweetness. For a half-cup substitution, use 1/2 cup (100 g) raw sugar with 3 quarts (3 L) of water at 160 F (71 C). After mashing for one hour at 154 degrees F (68 C), add directly to the boil.
5. Specialty grains.
These grains can be added for their color and flavor, but will not add any sweetness as honey malt does. Specialty grains can also be used at the same time as honey malt for added complexity and depth of flavor.
6. Lightly kilned malts
Lightly kilned malts are lighter roasted than dark malts and impart less Roastiness than dark caramel or crystal malts do. This makes them an excellent substitute for honey malt because they will lend some sweetness while still allowing some residual sweetness in your beer from other sugars present in base malts such as 2-row or pilsner.
7. Amber Malt Extract
Amber malt extract is one of the most popular substitutes for honey malt. It’s made from 100% malted barley and has a color range from 10-15 SRM (light amber to dark red). The flavor will vary greatly depending on the variety you choose, but it generally has notes of caramel, bread, and biscuit with some darker roasted flavors as well.
8. Dextrose (corn sugar)
This is one of the most common substitutes for honey malt because it can be used interchangeably in many recipes. Dextrose will add more body and residual sweetness than table sugar but less than honey malt would provide.
9. Rice syrup
Like dextrose, rice syrup can be used as an alternative to honey malt when making darker beers such as bocks and brown ales. It has more fermentable carbohydrates than dextrose so it will increase body and residual sweetness more than dextrose would have done alone without adding too much flavor or aroma.
10. Vienna Malt
Vienna malt is similar in color to Munich malt, but it has a touch more sweetness and body. It’s most commonly used in Vienna lagers, American amber ales, and Belgian ales.
11. Aromatic Malt
Aromatic malts are kilned at lower temperatures than other types of base malts, which gives them an intense grainy aroma and flavor that’s ideal for porters and stouts. They also have rich color potential when used in small amounts (generally less than 10 percent of your total grist).
The Most Important Health Benefits Of Honey Malt
Honey Malt contains a number of health benefits that make it an ideal choice for people looking for natural alternatives to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.
The following are some of the most important health benefits of honey malt:
1. It’s A Natural Sweetener.
Honey malt is a natural sweetener that can be used as an alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners. It has no additives or chemicals, making it a healthier choice than other artificial sweeteners. Honey malt also contains enzymes that aid in digestion and help break down food particles into smaller pieces, which makes digestion easier for people with digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2. It Has Antioxidant Properties.
Antioxidants are compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that help protect against free radicals in the body by neutralizing their damaging effects on cells . Free radicals are formed naturally during processes such as metabolism and cellular activity
3. Adds complexity to beer flavors.
The sweetness that it provides works well with malty beers and lagers. It also helps increase head retention and body in beers. The best way to use this ingredient is to add it at the end of the boil or after fermentation has completed.
4. Helps increase head retention.
Honey malt is more highly kilned than most malts. This causes it to have a lot more diastatic power than other malts and allows it to convert starches during the mash into fermentable sugars. Honey malt also contains more protein than other types of malt, which helps increase head retention in your beer.
5. Increases beer body.
The increased protein content in honey malt also helps increase beer body, which makes it ideal for high-gravity beers like barley wines and imperial stouts.
6. Helps create fuller mouthfeel.
Honey Malt is a lightly-kilned malt made from barley and malted wheat, with the addition of honey. It can be used to add both color and fermentable sugars to your brew. Honey Malt is most commonly used in darker beers such as bocks and Oktoberfest-style lagers but can be used in any beer style where you want to increase your malt bill.
7. Enhances darker beer styles like porters and stouts.
Honey malt is a specialty malt that adds a subtle sweetness and nutty flavor to beer. It’s a great choice for darker styles like porters, stouts, and bocks, but can also be used in lighter styles like pale ales and hefeweizens.
Step By Step Fantastic Honey Malt Recipe
This amazing honey malt recipe is made with a combination of a pale malt base and a special honey malt.
Step 1: Steep 1 lb. pale malt in 1 gallon of water for 30 minutes at 160°F.
Step 2: Add 1 tsp. Irish moss and steep for 10 minutes
Step 3: Remove grain bag and add 1 lb. 2-row pale malt, 3 oz. CaraMunich malt, 2 oz. Crystal 40L, and 2 oz. Honey Malt (steeped for 15 minutes).
Step 4: Bring to boil, then add 1/2 oz Northern Brewer hops (0 min).
Step 5: Boil for 60 minutes adding 1/4 oz Northern Brewer hops at 45 minutes remaining and 1/2 oz Northern Brewer Hops at 30 minutes remaining.
Step 6: Cool wort to 75°F and transfer to fermenter filled with 2 gallons of cold water. Stir vigorously to aerate wort well, then pitch yeast starter culture or prepare yeast slurry according to package directions (pitching rate should be approximately 150 b cells/ml). Seal fermenter and attach blowoff tubing if needed; maintain fermentation temperature between 65°F-68°F during primary fermentation period (7-10 days). When primary fermentation is complete, transfer to secondary and attach airlock.
1. How Does Honey Malt Affect Beer Flavor?
Honey Malt Flavor: Sweet, malty, caramel notes with mild diacetyl character.
2. Is honey malt safe for those who are gluten-intolerant?
Yes, honey is gluten-free. Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats — not honey! That said, make sure that any other ingredients in your recipe (e.g., yeast) don’t contain gluten either.
3. What are honey malts used for?
Honey malts are used primarily as specialty grains in dark beers like porters and stouts to add sweetness and complexity. They can also be used in lighter-colored beers to enhance the sweetness and complexity of the beer.
4. How do I use honey malts?
Because they have no diastatic power, honey malts must be mashed with base malts to convert their sugars into fermentable sugars that yeast can use during fermentation. To use honey malt in your recipe, you will need to adjust your mashing schedule or mash temperature accordingly.
5. How do I brew with Honey Malt?
Honey malts are typically added at the end of the mash, or during the boil for dry hopping. They can also be added post-boil for finishing off an IPA or DIPA.
To assist with the crafting of this article, we ran a Google search for “substitute for honey malt” and examined the results. There are a couple of different ways to do this. One is to substitute your honey malt with one of the ingredients that have been created to stand in for honey malt.