hist-brewing: Preservative effects of Honey

Samuel Mize smize at prime.imagin.net
Mon Mar 2 07:26:46 PST 1998

manus at bcgrizzly.com ("Andrew") wrote:
> Does anyone know what kind of preservative effect honey has on ale?

Almost none.  In natural form, it's too concentrated a sugar solution
for bacteria or yeast to do well in.  Diluted, they find it yummy, if
lacking in some nutrients.  However, the malt should provide those.

>I had
> given someone a bottle of bracket which they neglected to sample for three
> years.  We openned it and were quite surprised to fing that it was still in
> excellent shape.  He was very surprised since there were no hops or
> anything else in it but honey and malt.

I'd say you have excellent sanitary procedures (or did with that batch,
anyway).  Well done!

Stronger ales age better than weaker ones; also, more alcohol helps
prevent infection.  Perhaps you added enough honey to give it a fairly
high gravity.

May you meet with similar success in the future!

Sam Mize

Samuel Mize -- smize at imagin.net (home email) -- Team Ada
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