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calicojack
07-16-2011, 07:34 PM
Let me preference this with:
i can't seem to find jack on the process of making braggot, other than the ingriedients; so i have some questions:

With a braggot, being that it has such a close familiarity to ale, is it found to be that more alcohol is preferred (say 15-18%) or less (6-9%)?

What kinda of wheat do most people use? Specifically when i do this, i want a golden color? not like an apple juice gold color, and not a light yellow color like lemon, but like a musky, unfiltered, unpasteurized, pale ale golden.

What's the grain to water ratio? (most fruits i've seen recommended are like 3lbs per gallon). and what is the soak/boil time per gallon?

What yeasts do most people use for braggots? ale or wine yeast?

(i know that braggots are covered in the complete mead maker, but i haven't gotten that far into it yet, and don't want to skip ahead).

AToE
07-16-2011, 07:44 PM
I'd skip ahead or wait until you get to that part of the book. Making beer is complex stuff, it can be simpler of course, but even then it's still got steps that are alien to a mead/wine maker.

What ABV is up to you entirely, there is no standard or preference. Less than 8% and it might get tough to identify the honey though.

Grains are the complex part, how you pick em, what you do with them. Also there's the hops to consider. You don't boil the grains, you mash them.

Look up the following terms "all grain" "partial mash" and "extract". Start reading! Usually a blend of using extract and some specialty grains is a good way to start, rather than all grain. All grain requires some extra equipment that you might not exactly have lying around.

Once you've done some reading on "mash" and the above terms I think you'll have some more precise questions that can help us guide you towards the best process/ingredients for you.

Also, "wheat" is not necessarily an ingredient unless it's something you specifically want to use. Most ale/lagers are made from barley.

calicojack
07-16-2011, 08:13 PM
okay, so braggot is more of a beer than a mead off-shoot? if that's the case, i don't think it's the way i want to go. i can buy beer, and i have lots of choices i know i like.

commonsenseman
07-16-2011, 10:31 PM
okay, so braggot is more of a beer than a mead off-shoot? if that's the case, i don't think it's the way i want to go. i can buy beer, and i have lots of choices i know i like.

I wouldn't say it's beer, or mead. It's a hybrid that shares characteristics of both, but maintains it's own identity as well. It is somewhat ale-like, but usually seems to be high enough in alcohol to not beer like many commercial beers. The closest beer I'd compare it to is a Barleywine, or an old ale. It definately doesn't have to be that hoppy though. The one that I recently made is supposed to be more like an Imperial Stout. If you're looking for a good braggot to try out & see if you like it, check out WhiteWinterWinery. They have two Braggots & both are excellent. The regular one is only about 8% but is very good, the oak aged one is about 12% & is a very strong drink. Perfect for a cold winter night as a sipper.

Wheat would go quite well in a Braggot, but don't expect it to taste like much, it's mostly added for body & head retention. I would check out Schramm's recipe in your book, it's a very full-bodied Barleywine style Braggot, but should still retain some mead characteristics. If it's too much hops for you, you could scale it down to suit your tastes. I prefer lots of hops, they'll mellow quite a bit with time anyway, but to each his own.

As AToE suggested, I'd try extract before you try all-grain. Quite easy & doen't take as much equipment. If you do decide to go the extract route, no need to add wheat, since it needs to be mashed anyway. You can get wheat extract if that's a taste you desire. For extract, I'd add some "specialty grains" to your recipe, something like Crystal 20L would work perfectly. Maybe even a little Roasted Barley (not too much though, it's quite dark).

AToE
07-17-2011, 01:35 PM
I was mostly talking about it like a beer due to the added processes, in taste/aroma it can be anything you want, from almost entirely beer (basically a honey beer at that point) to almost entirely mead (with hardly any beer character). It is what you make it.

Meriadoc
07-17-2011, 01:59 PM
To my way of thinking (and mind you, this is just me talking -- it isn't any sort of definition of the style), if the honey is added at secondary (or worse yet, boiled along with the wort), then it's just a "honey beer"; but, if the honey is added to cooled wort, resulting in a wort/must hybrid, then it's a proper braggot.

I keep mine at beer ABV ranges, rather than mead / barleywine ABVs. I also prefer to use honey as my priming sugar.

Like I said... just personal preference, here...

AToE
07-17-2011, 03:36 PM
Oddly enough, the braggot/honey beer with the most honey character I've ever tried is Fullers Honeydew beer. It's not my favourite by any means, but the honey really comes through very strongly - but it tastes too dry for that honey to not be fermented... very curious about how they got so much honey character.

fatbloke
07-17-2011, 04:35 PM
Well, I'm equally in the dark about this, because a friend in Oklahoma, makes a braggot/honey beer by making an all grain and extract wort that is fermented with an ale or beer yeast, but then adds honey and water syrup before pitching a wine yeast. I can't remember if its served still or carbonate, but he reckons it retains enough unfermentables so the result is like a very strong (14% ABV) beer like drink.

Now I also found a reference that says if the honey provides less than 50% of the fermentables, its not a "proper" braggot. It's honey beer.

Most of the info I found was recipes from the POV of beer brewers. Yet I don't follow why it is, that I can't just make a mead and just add some malt extract. Surely that would be a braggot, even at its most basic and not all that faffing around with hops and IBU's etc ?

AToE
07-17-2011, 05:05 PM
Most of the info I found was recipes from the POV of beer brewers. Yet I don't follow why it is, that I can't just make a mead and just add some malt extract. Surely that would be a braggot, even at its most basic and not all that faffing around with hops and IBU's etc ?

Definitely it would be a braggot, though if the malt didn't end up coming through in the final product it would basically just be very similar to a sweet/semisweet traditional, because without the hops all you have to rely on for the beer half is of course the malt. Anything near 50/50 would probably give a great result though, especially with an amber malt extract rather than light (or even dark extract if you wanted).

commonsenseman
07-18-2011, 12:49 AM
I would strongly recommend adding some type/amount of hops. I think you'll find it to be quite unbalanced without. If you're looking for something low in "hoppiness", I'd suggest East Kent Golding or Fuggles. Both are low in Alpha Acids, but would add just enough bitterness to keep it balanced.

If you do try something with just malt & honey, be sure to let us know how it turns out!

kudapucat
07-18-2011, 04:58 AM
I'd definitely like to make a malted mead. I'm pretty sure my intolerance of beer comes from the hops added.
Has anybody made a malted (no hops) mead before? I've not found a recipe before.

Meriadoc
07-18-2011, 06:23 AM
I'd definitely like to make a malted mead. I'm pretty sure my intolerance of beer comes from the hops added.
Has anybody made a malted (no hops) mead before? I've not found a recipe before.

Have you ever tried a stout or a porter before? (Although, not an imperial stout.) Cause these are heavy enough on malt flavors that the hops aren't really front-and-center in the flavor profile. The hops are there, of course, but not enough to overpower the malt.

AToE
07-18-2011, 01:24 PM
I was going to ask what sweeter ales at all you've tried? Most people that hate beer hate the Molson/Bud/Coors junk, which are very bad representations of beer.

I agree that personally I wouldn't do a braggot without hops, but if someone really has tried many kinds and simply doesn't like them then I don't think an un-hopped braggot, or "malted mead" would be any more unbalanced than a traditional of equal sweetness.

YogiBearMead726
07-18-2011, 03:41 PM
You could also use something other than hops to "bitter" the braggot. Heather flower tops come to mind...

kudapucat
07-18-2011, 05:28 PM
So if we do it, we're breaking new ground?
Ok. I have NFI about beer (besides having tried over 150 varieties, including a homebrew that was almost nice (read - low hops))
Where does one start? I don't even know what malt is, besides a powder. Where's it come from?
I really don't think I'm the best to be breaking new ground here, but if I'm all there is...

AToE
07-18-2011, 05:59 PM
So if we do it, we're breaking new ground?
Ok. I have NFI about beer (besides having tried over 150 varieties, including a homebrew that was almost nice (read - low hops))
Where does one start? I don't even know what malt is, besides a powder. Where's it come from?
I really don't think I'm the best to be breaking new ground here, but if I'm all there is...

Oh no, not new ground, just not done commonly because it often might just get a similar result to a sweet mead anyways.

Malt isn't powder it is specially prepared grain. Grain is rehydrated in water very carefully until it starts to sprout, this is called malting. This gets certain enzymes in production inside the grain. Then it is kild dried. The amount of time it spends in the kiln, amonst other things, determines the toast level, style of toast... it gets complicated fast at this point. When it's time to brew beer, this "malt" is milled to crack it all open, and it is steeped in specific temp water to extract the sugars and let the enzymes convert complex unfermentable starches into simpler sugars the yeast can eat. This is called "mashing" and it creates "sweet wort" which is basically "must" but for beer. Then the grain is removed and the boiling begins.

The powder is DME, dry malt extract. They do all the first steps but don't boil the wort, they vacuum concentrate it for packaging to be used as a simple way to make beer at home. You can buy LME (liquid) or DME at the brewstore. EDIT: Also both liquid and dry malt extract are usually only made/sold in 3 toast levels, light, amber and dark. As to what specific malt types went into the making of each, it's often anyone's guess.

Medsen Fey
07-18-2011, 06:06 PM
Actually there are a few threads around about using malt in recipes that don't have hops. If you do an advanced search for malt and limit to titles only, you'll find at least a few that may give you some ideas.

As for what malt is, it is a grain that has been sprouted to allow the enzymes to develop. The enzymes are then able to break down the starch in the grains into fermentable sugars, as well as non-fermentable complex sugars (dextrins) that give body. Once sprouted the grain is dried to stop the further breakdown of starch until you put it in the brewpot. This malting process is usually done with barley because it develops the highest concentration of the enzymes for breaking down starch which is why it has always been the favored grain for brewing. The barley malt may be processed further into a liquid extract that looks like dark honey or molasses that makes it easy to pour out of a can and stir right in (big time saver), or it can be further processed into a powder (dry malt extract).

Edit - AToE is moving fast today! :)

Meriadoc
07-18-2011, 07:46 PM
EDIT: Also both liquid and dry malt extract are usually only made/sold in 3 toast levels, light, amber and dark. As to what specific malt types went into the making of each, it's often anyone's guess.

I was surprised, the last time I walked in my LHBS, to see that there was a wide range of LMEs out there -- not just light, medium, and dark, but also corresponding to a range of beer types...

(Of course, "light, medium, and dark" isn't the whole story: when you're brewing from extracts, you often choose from a variety of adjunct grains, hops, and yeasts in order to re-create any number of beer styles!)

AToE
07-18-2011, 08:14 PM
I was surprised, the last time I walked in my LHBS, to see that there was a wide range of LMEs out there -- not just light, medium, and dark, but also corresponding to a range of beer types...

(Of course, "light, medium, and dark" isn't the whole story: when you're brewing from extracts, you often choose from a variety of adjunct grains, hops, and yeasts in order to re-create any number of beer styles!)

They were just pure malt extract? Not the ones with hops in them too? Those are definitely a different story, I've only seen malt extract in the 3 kinds, but I also haven't been to every LHBS!

And yes, you can do all kinds of things with those 3 kinds of ME, lots more to the story for sure.

mccann51
07-18-2011, 08:22 PM
I don't think an un-hopped braggot, or "malted mead" would be any more unbalanced than a traditional of equal sweetness.

Agreed.

Thinking of a high gravity, dry but dextrinous (non-hopped) braggot: the malt would balance the alcohol, as in imperial stouts.

Meriadoc
07-18-2011, 11:57 PM
They were just pure malt extract? Not the ones with hops in them too? Those are definitely a different story, I've only seen malt extract in the 3 kinds, but I also haven't been to every LHBS!

Sorry -- yes, these are generally hopped LMEs. I haven't tried any, 'cause it doesn't seem like any greater effort to throw in hops of my own choosing into the brewpot. But, if you're worried that you won't like a braggot, but you've managed to find a beer style you can handle, one of these "specialty" LMEs might be just the ticket! With that in mind, if one doesn't wish to choose hops on their own, then these LMEs allow for a greater variety than "light, medium, dark"...!


And yes, you can do all kinds of things with those 3 kinds of ME, lots more to the story for sure.

right... and i was just trying to point out that "light, medium, dark" isn't the extent of choices in the extract homebrewer's world... ;)

AToE
07-19-2011, 12:18 AM
Sorry -- yes, these are generally hopped LMEs. I haven't tried any, 'cause it doesn't seem like any greater effort to throw in hops of my own choosing into the brewpot. But, if you're worried that you won't like a braggot, but you've managed to find a beer style you can handle, one of these "specialty" LMEs might be just the ticket! With that in mind, if one doesn't wish to choose hops on their own, then these LMEs allow for a greater variety than "light, medium, dark"...!



right... and i was just trying to point out that "light, medium, dark" isn't the extent of choices in the extract homebrewer's world... ;)

Ah ok, that makes more sense, around here we call those hopped malt extracts "kits" rather than just ME, because they're more or less intended to be fully finished wort, just add water and yeast and go, no boiling or nothing. You are totally right of course, they could make for interesting ingredients in new recipes as well. :) Also I know lots of people that just do "kit hacking" as it's called, taking a beer kit and adding extra hops, or some specialty malts, coffee grounds, so forth and so on. A really simple hack would be to just as you suggest here, grab one of those kits and add honey, instant braggot.

commonsenseman
07-19-2011, 08:47 AM
Yeah, a pre-hopped kit might be a great way to make a braggot. Just take the kit & add honey, instant Braggot.

Nowadays they do have a couple more types of Malt Extract (unhopped) available. Pilsner, Wheat & sometimes even Munich are available, so you have even more choices for the "base".

I guess I should rescind my previous comment about it being unbalanced & replace it with this: For my pallette, anything with malt in it that doesn't also have hops in it tastes out of whack. Malt has unfermentables in it that leaves it with residual sweetness, the hops are added as a preservative & to balance the sweetness. I've tasted the wort from my starters before, not good at all. I would compare it to a JAO without any pithyness added from the oranges, it would taste cloying & out of balance. Just my opinion though, if you really don't like hops then by all means, go for it. I guess I would pose the question, if you don't like hops, why would you make a Braggot? Again, technically bjcp doesn't require hops to be in it, so there must be some cases where there isn't.

Maybe it just doesn't sound good to me.....;)

moonie
07-19-2011, 11:21 AM
I just bottled 5 gallons of a light ale braggot I make. It has about half the fermentables from honey, a small amount of bittering hops boiled for 30 min and a bit of fuggles dry hopped in the primary.

The result is a nice ale with a slightly floral aroma and aftertaste and just a hint of bitterness.

I use .5oz of bittering hops and 1oz of fuggles for the entire 5 gallons. It is currently bottle conditioning and should be ready in about 2 weeks. Alcohol content is right at 6.5% with a finishing gravity of 1.005.

Mars Colonist
04-10-2012, 08:01 PM
So Ive made a lot of beer and a good bit of mead... but have yet to tackle a braggot.

I was disappointed at nearly every braggot I tried at Mazer Cup.. the body was thin (by my perception) on what seemed like every single one. Is it typical that the body is so thin?

Honey, consisting almost entirely of simple sugars, it seems will thin out the body on a normal beer, especially when at 40%+ of the fermentables.

Has anyone made a braggot where they either used a very high mash temp (160-162F) or used a higher than normal proportion of specialty malts to leave the beer more dextrinous (ie 20%+ crystal malt)?

Im thinking about doing a Imperial Stout with buckwheat honey... try to get it to finish in the normal 1017-1020 rather than soooo dry.

machalel
04-10-2012, 11:09 PM
One of my planned brews is a 'big' braggot. I was thinking of doing a porter or stout, and mashing high like above.

The other thing you could do is to add 5% or so of oats, as they are used in beer all the time to increase mouthfeel and body.

machalel
04-10-2012, 11:13 PM
On a slightly different topic, has anyone tried any braggots made with more unusual base beer styles? I normally only see people making brown ales, old ales etc.

What about a Lager braggot? Saison braggot? Wiezen braggot? California common braggot? pLambic braggot?

skunkboy
04-10-2012, 11:47 PM
Lambic braggot would certainly be interesting...

wayneb
04-10-2012, 11:52 PM
Has anyone made a braggot where they either used a very high mash temp (160-162F) or used a higher than normal proportion of specialty malts to leave the beer more dextrinous (ie 20%+ crystal malt)?



Yes - and it works well. So well, in fact, that my entry into the Braggot category at the previous Mazer Cup (2011) did not score uniformly well. Half the judges liked it; the other half said it was too "beer like." Guess braggots with more body than usual can fake out a judge. ;D

machalel
04-11-2012, 01:59 AM
I guess that's one of thE potential problems... A judge expecting a honey beer will think it tastes too much like mead, but a judge expecting a malty mead will think its too much like beer.

Penguinetti
04-11-2012, 09:49 AM
Yes - and it works well. So well, in fact, that my entry into the Braggot category at the previous Mazer Cup (2011) did not score uniformly well. Half the judges liked it; the other half said it was too "beer like." Guess braggots with more body than usual can fake out a judge. ;D

I think if I were to try making braggot (mind you, it wouldn't be for a while -- baby steps, baby steps), I think I'd prefer going this route. I'd enjoy the body.

Do you have a brewlog for your braggot? I ask, even though I'm just going to go check as soon as I'm done posting... 8)

Mars Colonist
04-11-2012, 02:22 PM
Do you have a brewlog for your braggot? I ask, even though I'm just going to go check as soon as I'm done posting... 8)

Im going to guess it is this one (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14846&highlight=Braggot-docio). (Patrons)

Also, AToE's rebrew of the same (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15632&highlight=Braggot-docio). (Patrons)

Penguinetti
04-11-2012, 05:21 PM
Nice Mars.

I was gonna guess that one, or the 2nd batch he did, Erik the Red Braggot.

I do have a question though. I noticed AToE conditioned it like a mead, rather than an ale. Being that they're like an ale, would that suggest that they don't need as many months of conditioning?

wayneb
04-11-2012, 06:57 PM
Erik the Red actually faked them out. With the Braggot-docio, it was way over the top with everything, so nobody had an excuse for saying that they couldn't "find" something in there! ;D

fathand
04-12-2012, 02:42 PM
I do have a question though. I noticed AToE conditioned it like a mead, rather than an ale. Being that they're like an ale, would that suggest that they don't need as many months of conditioning?

I have only made one braggot, so take that for what its worth, but what I've come to find is that the more age on it the better mine has gotten. This surprised me because my thinking was similar to yours Penguinetti.

Also unlike most of the braggots I have sampled the recipe I used was not a darker/stronger beer base where age would benefit, i.e. stout, barleywine. I made the recipe below in August 2011 and just now is the honey flavor really starting to show.

This recipe is based on a simple Braggot recipe I found by Joe M.

5 gallon batch

lb Carmel malt 40L
7 lbs 2-Row
6 lbs Honey (5 lbs Clover/1 lbs Buckwheat)
1 oz hops (whole cone Cascade)
Nottingham Dry Yeast
3 tsp of DAP
5 oz corn sugar to prime at bottling

Boogaloo
04-23-2012, 10:05 AM
^^^^^^ This guy needs to go. Starting to see the same posts popping up everywhere.

Jas53
04-23-2012, 10:48 AM
^^^^^^ This guy needs to go. Starting to see the same posts popping up everywhere.

Forwarded to Oskaar a couple hours ago - hopefully it'll happen later today.

ChadK
04-23-2012, 11:09 AM
Forwarded to Oskaar a couple hours ago - hopefully it'll happen later today.

These same types of messages have been appearing every couple nights for a week or so now. It's really getting old. And a bit frustrating since they will sometimes post on threads I'm watching so I can't just mass "mark as read"

webmaster
04-23-2012, 12:11 PM
Folks, please be patient with the mods, we get hundreds of registrations a day, and over 100K visitors a month to the site and have fairly difficult anti-spam measures in place, enough that I get angry emails from some folks who can't get through them, or get banned because they share an IP with a previous spammer. I feel that our anti-spam measures are equal to or exceed 99% of forums.

Sadly, the spammers still hammer us. We're working to keep it clear, and I think the moderators do a bang up job of keeping it down.

Work with us here. GM is one of the most spam-free forums I've seen, due the hard work of the moderators.

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ChadK
04-23-2012, 12:34 PM
Folks, please be patient with the mods, we get hundreds of registrations a day, and over 100K visitors a month to the site and have fairly difficult anti-spam measures in place, enough that I get angry emails from some folks who can't get through them, or get banned because they share an IP with a previous spammer. I feel that our anti-spam measures are equal to or exceed 99% of forums.

Sadly, the spammers still hammer us. We're working to keep it clear, and I think the moderators do a bang up job of keeping it down.

Work with us here. GM is one of the most spam-free forums I've seen, due the hard work of the moderators.

Please make sure you report the *post* (not the thread) when you see a spam msg, and we'll nail the poster and their posts. That saves us time searching an entire thread for a single post.

Just click the little triangle with the exclamation point in the top right part of each post, that will send that post to the mods. From there we can do a hunter/killer on the poster.

The mods and I have real lives and jobs that get in the way of meadmaking and running the site, LOL, so it might take a few hours before something gets taken down. Be patient, we'll get there!

Thanks for your support, and now returning you to your regularly scheduled forum......

(Vicky...back to juggling the 2 businesses while trying to get GM queued up for a much-needed upgrade/refresh)

I am not at all upset with you or the mods, Vicky. Y'all do do a bang up job. I'm upset with these idiots who somehow think that the members of a mead forum would be interested in their products and the tactics they use to advertise them. I mean really? Do they really think that inconveniencing their potential audience is going to garner them potential sales? Even if I lived in India (Does GM have that many members from India that would make it worth their effort to advertise here in the first place?), would I think "Wow, that company that made me miss a reply to a post I'd been looking for with their stupid spam ad is the one I'm gonna go with?"

Keep up the good work (and the good fight,) my bile is in no way directed at you.

webmaster
04-23-2012, 12:44 PM
They don't know or care about the forum info, they just spam everywhere, regardless. I see it on all my forums, and it eats up a fair amount of time between figuring out even higher barriers and deleting the posts that get past the blocks. Really pisses me off. I spent like 4 hours hunting down and removing posts, banning members and creating more and nastier anti-spam measures on another forum I manage last week. Just steams me up.

I wish there was a way to nuke them back. Frankly I'd like to pretty much ban China, India and the Eastern block countries all together, since 95% of our spam comes from them, but we've members in those areas.......

ChadK
04-23-2012, 12:49 PM
I wish there was a way to nuke them back. Frankly I'd like to pretty much ban China, India and the Eastern block countries all together, since 95% of our spam comes from them, but we've members in those areas.......

Sometimes it sucks being the good guys. :rolleyes:

webmaster
04-23-2012, 02:52 PM
Yep, you got that right.....

Oskaar
04-23-2012, 09:05 PM
...add those hours I spent over the weekend and we have a pretty significant investment of time and money in chasing these a$$h0les down and eradicating them.

Cheers,

Oskaar

webmaster
04-23-2012, 09:34 PM
I hear you. Pisses me off, for a while there we didn't have so much trouble with the idiots. I wonder if there's something in the water or something......

Soyala_Amaya
04-23-2012, 10:31 PM
Raise a toast to our poor beleaguered mods who do so much for us! Hail Vicky! Hail Oskaar! We really do love you guys!

Boogaloo
04-24-2012, 10:02 AM
Hear Hear!! Here's to the super Mods! :occasion14:

ChadK
04-24-2012, 11:29 AM
Huh. I'm guessing simply saying "Skoal!" is too short for a post? Ah well, Cheers!

skunkboy
04-24-2012, 01:14 PM
I agree. Cheers! You guys must delete almost all of the spam before I see it, so you are amazing! :)

Meadrol
04-24-2012, 03:05 PM
You guys should have a "spamerator", a mod that does nothing but looks for spam...no adjudicating quarrels (not that I've seen one on here, this is a great mellow forum) or answering questions. Just give me a ban hammer, I'd love that job.