Author Topic: Braggot  (Read 976 times)

Offline GS

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Braggot
« on: October 08, 2016, 03:34:06 AM »
Greetings,

Having brewed beer for the past several years, I have branched out to meadmaking. I will be brewing a braggot this weekend, specifically Ken Schramm's recipe from The Compleat Meadmaker. Here's his recipe:

8lbs 2-row
2lbs Vienna
1lb Carapils
9lbs honey
3oz Cascade (60min)
1oz Cascade (30min)
1oz Cascade (15min)
Standard staggered nutrient schedule.

Mash at 152 for one hour.
Add honey 15min from the end of the boil.

First...is braggot a mead made with grain, or is it a beer made with (a lot of) honey?

Second...wine yeast or beer yeast? Mr Schramm's recipe calls for D47, but the presence of hops makes me think "beer made with a lot of honey," which in turn makes me want to use a beer yeast.

Third...would you add the honey at the end of the boil, or add it to the secondary fermenter? My fear is that adding honey to the boil will drive off the aromatics of the honey.

Normally I don't stress over minutiae, but I won't know the results of this braggot until next October. That gives me a moment of pause.

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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 03:53:39 AM »
Golly gee willikers, is that recipe for like 11 gallons!?  That's some strong stuff right there otherwise, whew!

Yes, braggot is mead with grain or beer with lots o' honey.  It's all good.

Wine yeast should be used for sure.  There may be some beer yeasts that will take it up into >10% ABV territory, but many will grow tired and quit at a very high gravity with all that honey in there.  Wine yeast is a safer bet.  Or you could pitch a blend of both beer and wine yeasts.  I haven't used D47 but if he recommends it, then try it.  I have been happy with the Wyeast Sweet Mead yeast in the past.

You can add the honey whenever.  I kind of like the boil idea actually because the honey might be overpowering if you maintain all of its aromatics.  With 9 lb in there, you'll still get PLENTY of honey aroma and flavor no matter how much you boil it.  If you really want a delicate preserved honey character, add it at flameout maybe.

I gotta make me a braggot soon.  It's on my list.  Probably mid-2017 before I'll throw one together.  For now I'm playing with lagers.
Dave

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Offline GS

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 08:41:01 AM »
It's a 5 gal recipe...yup, it's a big one.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 11:48:06 AM »
D47 is a great choice for this. I use it for all of my light colored meads because it leaves a nice mouthfeel that accentuates the honey.
I would put the honey in at flameout. I have never tasted a bragging with too much honey character. I think that adding the honey at secondary will make your fermentation tricky.
The nutrient additions are not really necessary because the wort will not be deficient in nutrients like a pure honey must would be. I guess I would start with nutrients and degassing but would stop nutrients and degassing after the first couple days if you don't hear any fizzing. That way you are not introducing any unnecessary O2 after fermentation dies down.
I would let it sit in primary for 2 weeks, even if you reach terminal gravity much sooner. I would definitely ferment in very low 60s for the first few days. Hopefully you can control temp because ambient temps of low 60s will probably put this up to close to 70, giving you a fusel bomb. After 3 days or so you can let the temp rise.
After two weeks I would rack into a carboy and keep fairly warm for a month or two then rack again and cellar for several months.but that's just my personal method.
Beer yeast could work. I haven't tried yet but will someday on a smaller braggot If you tried beer yeast I probably would go with an English variety and make a big starter, ramp up the temp after a few days and rouse a few times. I also would have a wine yeast around for a backup. If I did that I probably would substitute EKG for the cascade.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 03:06:37 PM »
Beer yeast might work, but I'd acclimate it to higher alcohol percentage first by brewing a beer in the 6-7% ABV range first, then use the entire yeast cake to pitch into the braggot. I've gotten as high as 18% ABV in a barleywine this way.

Having said that, if this is your first go at this recipe, then I'd follow the original recipe rather closely to start before making any big changes. In something this big, there's enough room for things to go wrong already - no need to chance it until you see how it turns out as-is.
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Offline GS

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 08:35:39 PM »
And I have decided to do just that...make it according to the directions.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 12:20:41 PM »
I will put this out just for the record.

In the BJCP and NHC it is under mead, category M4a.

As far as the TTB is concerned, it is beer. A Meadery cannot have grain on premise (that is directly from Ken Schramm - yes I know him). B'Nektar has made braggots through collaborations with Cigar City. Now B'Nektar has a Brewers license and can make braggots. Cigar City now has a winery license so they can make the mead to make braggots. IIRC some physical separation between the brewery and winery has to be in place.

So there you go, there is the definition we would make our drink under, and the commercial TTB definition.
Jeff Rankert
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AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 09:39:36 PM »
It's a 5 gal recipe...yup, it's a big one.

Be prepared to wait a long while for this to mellow.
I did a wheat braggot several years ago at a little over 9% that tasted harsh for almost a year. It was really good at 18 months.
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Offline GS

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2016, 04:24:14 AM »
Yes, I know.

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Offline GS

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2016, 02:03:48 AM »
I finally got around to brewing a braggot. I haven't brewed with extracts in 20 years, but this time I threw caution to the winds. My final recipe is thus:

6 gallons:

9lbs amber DME
I6 lbs amber blend honey (5 min)
3 oz Cascade hops (60 min)
1 oz Cascade hops (30 min)
1 oz Cascade hops (5 min)

1/2 tsp nutrient blend for the first 2 days

10g Lalvin D-47 yeast

I'll let you all know how it turns out next Christmas ;p





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Offline GS

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Re: Braggot
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2016, 04:09:27 PM »
That should be 6lbs of honey, not I6lbs. Typo.