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Braggot

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WildSeedGrrrl

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This is the first braggot and I was looking for and found the simplest recipe. I changed it around but just a little and it seems to be going nicely. I have a general question about the odor and that was whether or not folks found that the smell is stronger than the actual flavor imparted by ingredients like hops. The must has a serious hoppy smell and I am considering racking today or tomorrow and let it finish out the primary fermenting in gallon jugs just to get it off the hops.

recipe:
3lbs wheat Malt
3lbs clover honey
1oz cascade hops
London Ale yeast (the recipe said any ale yeast)
acid blend
yeast nutrient

OG was 1.100

Reading taken today was about 1.050

This is the first attempt and whether it goes horribly wrong or really fantastic. I'm keeping the result, just in case...And my fingers crossed.
 

Malkore

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I've only done one braggot myself...I'd have to lookup the recipe, but it was pretty simple, single hop variety, though I added a little roasted barley for color to my mash (I went AG not extract, because I'm a beer brewer with all the equipment and I"m particular like that).

I've had it aging close to a year now, and its pretty mellow. Kind of a lot of mouthfeel and sweetness left...it could have been more heavily hopped for better balance. Great head retention though.

It was an interesting experiment.
 

smurfe

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I guess it took off fermenting OK? I was going to say, with an SG as high as that I would suggest a starter be made for that yeast or be sure to rehydrate if using dry. Did you use a liquid or dry?

I don't see what the hop will do other than some very mild aroma. If they are not boiled they will not release any IBU's (International Bittering Units). Beer is actually pretty sweet. The hops bitter the beer to make it less cloying. Too bad as Cascades would of gave a nice flavor to that mead/beer. It is my favorite hop. It gives a nice, citrus, grapefruit type flavor. Drink a Sierra Nevada IPA, thats Cascades you taste. My first recipe I am going to brew on my new system will use close to a pound of them in a 10 gallon batch.

Let us know how this turns out. It sounds pretty yummy. It also sounds like a wicked hang over from over consumption. :d
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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It did take off fermenting well and I used OJ or the starteer. I used the Wyeast liquid. See i was wondering if I should boil it with the honey and malt but I didn't and many of the recipes I think assume that someone should know to boil the hops but I don't because so far in all the wine I've made I just put in all the ingredients. No cooking required. I'll be sure to boil them with the honey next time.

I like the cascades, it was why I chose it, thinking it should be fine. Hey I think 13% alcohol shouldn't be too bad a hangover. I mean I was thinking of bottling these in 750ml bottles and non-carbonated , so it's not meant to be drunk alone. I suppose if I used priming sugar I could bottle them in beer bottles.

I'll keep you posted and I'll boil the hops next time.
WSG
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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Worst racking experience ever.

Ugh. I just had the worst racking experience to date. I have an auto-siphon but I thought the amount was too small to warrant using it so I had the bright idea to just do it the old-fashioned way, where you fill the tube with water and all that. Well 20 frustrated minutes later and braggot on the walls, i gave up and used the auto-siphon. I managed to get it into 2 jugs. There was not a lot of distrubed lees floating, just a weird pinkish sludge on the bottom.

It's now in the jugs in a cabinet in my kitchen along side the mead. It tastes terrible, like feet juice, but I remain hopeful that in 2 months I can rack again, and in 6 months it'll only taste like toes and not the whole foot.
 

Malkore

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you racked it already? was it done? I never rack my mead to secondary until its hit terminal gravity.

not a hardfast rule, but if you rack early, you can stall fermentation or get it completely stuck (ask me how I know).
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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It dropped really fast and it hasn't stopped fermenting after racking. So I'm not worried just yet. It might be that the ale yeast i used really sped things up. I'll keep this updated. Of course, if it stalls you're the first person I'm asking about fixing that.
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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Picture of the braggot

I posted a picture of the braggot in my album. It looks like a chocolate stout. Yummy! I figure I might just try bulk aging this one for a few months and see where I stand.

I was hoping someone could answer a question for me. If I use priming sugar at bottling can I still bottle the braggot in wine bottles and use a cork? The alternative would be to bottle in beer bottles and cap them instead.

I was wanting to do a still braggot but I think that from the looks of it I might have a better chance of getting folks to drink it if it's got some bubble to it.

WSG
 

Joshua1980

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Wow! That is definitely a nice chocolaty color! I think making it bubbly would definitely add a nice touch. I unintentionally made a sparkling cider last fall by bottling too soon... (second time I've mentioned that today...) It was fine in my regular wine bottles, but it was so popular among my friends and I that I didn't get the chance to see if it would've been good for the long-term. I'd say err on the side of caution and use the caps if you decide to go bubbly
 

Tom

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Joshua,
Have you ever nade a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout? Now thats a great tasting beer and deep rich color. Oh and the smell..... Hmmmmm.. heaven. Your know the saying Beer Breakfast of Champions.
 

Joshua1980

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Joshua,
Have you ever nade a Chocolate Oatmeal Stout? Now thats a great tasting beer and deep rich color. Oh and the smell..... Hmmmmm.. heaven. Your know the saying Beer Breakfast of Champions.
No, I haven't. But that is one of my favorites when I go out! Funny, I came to this forum for wine... now I'm think my next batch is probably going to be beer! :d
 

Malkore

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Beer is fun to make, but the process is a bit different than wine (I found wine was very simple to make, at least from a kit).
Its always good to be well versed in the entire hobby: beer making, wine making, and mead making.
 

Tom

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Well I am VERy well versed (obsessed) to 2 of the 3.
Just don't like mead..
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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First off I'm just going to open with "WHOA!"

Yesterday I took a sample taste of the deep chocolately-looking goodness and was completely floored. Initial taste was extremely hoppy, then it settled into a carmel sweetness, and ended with a nice bitter bte at the very end. This will definitely have to be carbonated and bottled in beer bottles to be served chilled. If it had this taste now, so early on, I can't wait to taste it again in 4 months.

I've prety much settled on not bulk aging this one. now my concern is since I have never carbonated before I have some questions for the folks who have done this for mead.

I don't think i stabilize with potassium metabisulphates, instead I make sure that I have consistent stable readings to make sure that no further obvious fermentation is taking place. I mix up priming sugar and warm water and rack the braggot into a bucket with the priming sugar to get it off the lees. Then bottle and cap from there, so that the sugar starts the fermentation going again and let it bottle age in my basement until I'm ready to taste one. I wasn't planning on adding any campden because I don't want to kill the yeast off, right? But what are the chances that I'll end up with sediment on the bottom if i don't?

I was reading the Gotmead forum pages and I got a little panicked and confused as too procedures that will work.

The SG is slowly dropping. I'm at an SG of 1.010 and it's been about a month since the last reading.
 
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Malkore

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Yes, you're correct.
No potassium sorbate.
No K-meta.

Bottle carbonation always creates a small amount of sediment. Just pour gently and sacrifice the last dregs to Dionysus to get a clean pour.
The only other option is to keg it after its fully fermented, force carbonate, then bottle from the key with a beergun or make-shift beergun. If you did that you could sorbate/sulfite it if you wanted to, and there'd be no sediment in the bottles.

I've never sorbated or sulfited a mead, and I've had some of them bottled for 10 years and they have not gone bad. A few bottles did have a hint of carbonation that weren't intended to be carb'd but I chaulk that up to both not degassing it, and possibly bottling with a couple points left...due to impatience.
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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thanks for the confirmation. I can see that I'm taking it all in,when I can write out my questions and work through what I think is happening and what should happen.

Well the yeast for the braggot is completely pooped. I was hoping to get it higher than the alcohol tolerance, which I did. I got it to 11% and it was said to make it to 10%. so bottle carbonating may not be an option especially if I don't want to use another yeast (to avoid weird taste and smell). If I did, I guess I'd try for the EC-1118. seems like that is the standard, go to yeast.

I might just wait this one out and settle for a still braggot.

WSG
 

Malkore

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well, the issue is EC-1118 will go to 18% so if you have residual sugar left, it will ferment, possibly exceeding the pressure of your bottles.

bottle bombs suck. lost 5 gallons of stout once due to bottling a stuck fermentation (many many years ago)
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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Yesterday i racked the braggot off of about an inch of lees and and added a mix of honey and water to top off (it was a little more beery tasting than I liked) that seemed to have got the ball rolling because it's back up and fermenting...slowly. It still hadn't reached dry, but I don't expect it too at this point. So I don't risk bottle bombs I'm not going to bottle this just yet.
 

WildSeedGrrrl

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Does this sound like it would work?

So I had been reading on other forums about the difficulty in carbonating braggots, especially when not using wine yeasts with high alcohol tolerance. I'm concerned about adding a wine yeast before bottling in order to carbonate. I was wondering if this idea sounds reasonable:

I would use a higher tolerance ale yeast but add only add enough honey and malt to initially ferment to dry, then before bottling add a bit more (honey/priming sugar) to stimulate fermentation then bottle and age.

For example:

12% Alcohol tolerant Ale yeast
Malt and Honey to about 10 or 11%
Then before bottling add the remaining, wait to see if fermenting then bottle, cap, and age.

Does this sound like it could work?

WSG
 

Wade E

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Tom, have you ever tried a melomel? I bet money that you would like my Raspberry and my Blueberry Melomel as I have many HONEST freinds who make wine and they are not afraid to tell me when they dont like a wine (which is what I really like,honesty) and they are not too big on fruit wines but they all love my 2 melomels. They make wine only from grapes and i tricked them once with a RJS Super Tuscan winery series which had 1 1/2 years on it and told them that it was the only wine I made from grapes and they were begging me to tell them where I got the grapes and which tannins I used and then I told them what it was and they now make some grape pack kits in the off season!
 
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