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darthbooger
11-24-2010, 12:07 AM
Okay heres the deal guys, I really want to make a braggot to hold me over while my mead guys relax and do their thing... Heres the first kicker, I have never been a fan of beer, I havent really tried too much of it, and everytime I had to grab something sweet to get the taste out, so I guess what im asking is if there is a recipe out there for me... I fermentable beverage *please say braggot* I can make that will be drinkable quickly and sweet enough for me to ease into the whole beer world...??????真真真

akueck
11-24-2010, 01:32 AM
A "full strength" braggot isn't going to be much faster to make than your typical mead. You can make a lower alcohol beverage (say 6% abv) that can be ready to go in a month or so.

You can make a low alcohol mead, just add less honey. It will be much thinner in body, however, and might taste watery next to a 12-14% example. You can boost mouthfeel with some carbonation or residual sugar. Residual sugar from honey is hard to do with a low alcohol product, but malt gives you opportunity to add unfermentable sugars. You could call this a braggot if you like:

Honey to SG 1.040
Crystal malt, enough to move SG to 1.050
Ale yeast, I'd suggest something like Nottingham or Windsor (available in dry form)
Ferment for about 2 weeks, bottle with ~0.75 oz (weight) of cane or corn sugar per gallon or ~0.9 oz (weight) of honey per gallon, bottle in pressure-safe bottles (like 12 fl oz beer bottles).
Let condition at room temp for 2 weeks, refrigerate and enjoy.

No hops, no bitterness, just some sweetness from the malt. You can easily modify this to add some spices, herbs, etc. If you make it much sweeter I would suggest putting something in there for bitterness or tannins to balance.

Let us know how much volume you're looking for and we can give you an estimate of honey and malt quantity.

Update: A quicky recipe
6 lbs honey (your choice)
2 lbs Crystal 40 (medium amber) or 1 lb each Crystal 40 and Crystal 80 (darker)
1/4 to 1/2 oz medium AA hops (Cascade, Goldings, Mt Hood, Willamette, etc)
_________________
Steep grains in 1.25 gallon water at ~130-160 F for 20 mins. Remove grains (use a strainer bag for example). Boil liquid for 10 minutes, add hops, continue boiling for 20 mins. Turn off heat, cover and let cool to <150 F. This is now "wort".
Mix honey into 2 gallons of cool water. Add wort. Add cool water to get to 5 gallons.
When temperature is below 70 F, pitch yeast (rehydrate per package directions).

I added some hops in here just for the bacteriostatic properties, which helps with low alcohol stuff. You'll get a little aroma & flavor from them too, but barely any bitterness. You can still add spices and such, the hop contribution will not get in the way. You can of course add more hops, or boil longer to extract more hop bitterness. Even if you boil for 60 mins with the hops, the bitterness will be very low.

darthbooger
11-24-2010, 07:34 AM
okay it looks like a simple enough recipe, but how long do I leave it in my primary bucket? Do I ever have to rack it? How do I go about bottling it? Is there anything different I do, other than using beer bottles and capping them?

mccann51
11-24-2010, 12:27 PM
You can make a low alcohol mead, just add less honey. It will be much thinner in body, however, and might taste watery next to a 12-14% example. You can boost mouthfeel with some carbonation or residual sugar. Residual sugar from honey is hard to do with a low alcohol product, but malt gives you opportunity to add unfermentable sugars. You could call this a braggot if you like:


Couldn't you just use potassium sorbate to stop fermentation when you get it to a taste you like? Is there a reason you wouldn't want to do this?

AToE
11-24-2010, 01:39 PM
Couldn't you just use potassium sorbate to stop fermentation when you get it to a taste you like? Is there a reason you wouldn't want to do this?

You'd need sulphite as well, not just sorbate, and yes, one major reason not to do this in a braggot - carbonation. You can't bottle carbonate it if you've killed off the yeast!

EDIT: and also, it's very difficult to actually stop a fermentation where you want it to, almost always will do something you didn't expect. That's why most people would ferment dry, then add those stabilizers, then backsweeten.

akueck
11-25-2010, 12:50 AM
okay it looks like a simple enough recipe, but how long do I leave it in my primary bucket? Do I ever have to rack it? How do I go about bottling it? Is there anything different I do, other than using beer bottles and capping them?

2 weeks should be enough, you can leave it in the primary for a month if you like. No racking necessary until you're ready to bottle, then rack into a container (with a spigot is nice) and add the priming sugar, bottle and cap. Easy!

darthbooger
11-26-2010, 10:22 PM
Okay last newb question before I start one of these babies up... Priming sugar... What exactly is this and what are the EXACT steps I take when bottling having to do with priming sugar?

Golddiggie
11-26-2010, 10:30 PM
Not looking to hijack this at all...

That being said, I have a 'honey porter' fermenting that I modified with more honey and DME (extra pound of each)... The SG of the brew was 1.063... Could that qualify as more of a braggot than a porter? It's been fermenting for a full week now, in the primary... I'll be racking it to the secondary in the coming days (not exactly sure when yet) sometime between now and Tuesday in all likeness...

AToE
11-27-2010, 03:23 AM
Okay last newb question before I start one of these babies up... Priming sugar... What exactly is this and what are the EXACT steps I take when bottling having to do with priming sugar?

First step is you have to wait for it to totally finish fermenting. With malts in the recipe it won't go totally dry, might end up at 1.010 to 1.020, or possibly lower - you want to wait until it remains at at stable SG for say a week if you're not sure where your recipe will finish (this is due to malts adding sugars that yeast cannot ferment, so it's different than a sparkling mead or wine where you'd want to wait until 1.000 or lower).

Then you add a measured amount of fermentable when bottling. Generally 1 cup of honey is perfect for 6 gallons. I've had too much mead tonight, so I'll let someone else explain the proper process to follow once you're sure it's done fermenting and are ready to bottle.

akueck
11-29-2010, 12:32 AM
Yeah that basically covers it. Priming sugar is the sugar the yeast eat to "prime" the drink with CO2 inside the bottle. This is a refermentation (in case you see the term "triple fermented", priming in the bottle counts for one of those). The very measured amount is necessary to get the amount of carbonation you want. Not enough sugar results in a flat or lightly sparkling beverage, too much sugar results in gushers or grenades. One cup of honey should service 5-6 gallons of liquid, though I'd encourage always weighing priming sugars because it is much more accurate. Somewhere in the range of 0.5-1 oz (weight) of sugar per gallon will give the normal range of carbonation from light to very bubbly, with about 0.8 oz/gallon being the "standard beer carbonation level". Honey of course is only ~80% sugar so plan accordingly.

Dissolve the priming sugar in a little water to ease mixing. Usually you mix the sugar into water, boil it briefly, and let it cool while covered. Boiling drives off oxygen and sterilizes the sugar addition. Rack the beer/mead/braggot onto the priming sugar (I use a bucket with a spigot for easy bottle filling); I also recommend a gentle stir to make sure the sugar is evenly distributed. Then bottle. The end.