PDA

View Full Version : Braggot



hepcat
04-19-2012, 07:19 AM
Here's a braggot I want to make(and this is my first ever batch of braggot):

Spring water to 3.5 gallons
5 lbs orange blossom honey
5 lbs Briess DME Pilsan Light
8 oz Briess 10L Crystal Malt
3/4 oz Cascade (US) Hop Pellets
1/4 t Irish Moss
5g of an ale yeast
1 t yeast energizer (might add another 1/2 t later if needed)
Est. OG: 1.051
Est. %ABV: 7.04%

Process questions:
With the Crystal malt, do you need to sparge after steeping?
And do I put the Crystal malt in a muslin hop bag to steep it since I don't have a mash tun to strain it through after steeping?
Should I put the hops I want to use in a hop bag for the boil?

Ingredient questions:
Is DME a powder that dissolves in water?
Is the Irish Moss a powder that dissolves in water?
Should I use an ale or lager yeast?
Should I use any yeast nutrient along with the energizer?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

fivecats
04-19-2012, 10:54 AM
Process questions:
With the Crystal malt, do you need to sparge after steeping?
And do I put the Crystal malt in a muslin hop bag to steep it since I don't have a mash tun to strain it through after steeping?
Should I put the hops I want to use in a hop bag for the boil?


Since sparging is, essentially, a quick rinse to get all of the goodness out of the Crystal Malt, it's a good idea to do so.

Definitely put the Crystal Malt in a muslin bag. You'll probably need a bigger bag than a hop bag. My FNHS sells larger bags just for this and I've used them in the past with great success. (You'll only not use one once!)

Hop pellets go straight into the wort. If you were using whole hops you'd want to use a hop bag.


Ingredient questions:
Is DME a powder that dissolves in water?
Is the Irish Moss a powder that dissolves in water?
Should I use an ale or lager yeast?
Should I use any yeast nutrient along with the energizer?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

DME = Dried Malt Extract. Yes, it's a powder.

Irish moss is a dried seaweed extract that dissolves in water. It needs to be added during the boil to do it's thing.

Ale and Lager yeasts have different temperature requirements. Personally, I'd think you'd be better off with an Ale yeast for this recipe, but others might disagree.

I've never used yeast nutrients/energizers with beer. Then again, I've also never made a braggot. I think the nutrient you have planned is probably enough to help the yeast take on the honey.

One of the biggest differences between beer brewing and mead making is that once the yeast is pitched and the airlock is sealed in place you don't open a beer fermenter. If you're thinking of increasing your nutrients, you'll need to do it when you pitch the yeast.

TAKeyser
04-19-2012, 11:42 AM
Here's a braggot I want to make(and this is my first ever batch of braggot):

Spring water to 3.5 gallons
5 lbs orange blossom honey
5 lbs Briess DME Pilsan Light
8 oz Briess 10L Crystal Malt
3/4 oz Cascade (US) Hop Pellets
1/4 t Irish Moss
5g of an ale yeast
1 t yeast energizer (might add another 1/2 t later if needed)
Est. OG: 1.051
Est. %ABV: 7.04%

I know you used the calculator on here for your OG and that doesn't take into account the DME of your Crystal. Your actual OG should be around 1.114 according to my Beer Calculator.


Process questions:
With the Crystal malt, do you need to sparge after steeping?
And do I put the Crystal malt in a muslin hop bag to steep it since I don't have a mash tun to strain it through after steeping?
Should I put the hops I want to use in a hop bag for the boil?

I do a sparge by heating a small pot of water (16 oz or so) to the 150 degree range and pouring it over the grain bag after I boil it out. I know others who just skim some of the liquid out and pour that over the grain bag.

They'll sell what the call grain bags and I always use them.

I'll usually use a hop bag even with pellets because I'm a lazy bastard, but it is not necessary. You can just toss them in and once you take it off the heat get a whirlpool going by stirring around the edges of the pot and all the pellet trub will settle into the center, than you can rack from the edge of the pot. You can also skip the whirlpool and pour slowly through a large funnel with a strainer in it. If you do use the hop bags remember to pack loosely so the pellets can expand.


Ingredient questions:
Is DME a powder that dissolves in water?
Is the Irish Moss a powder that dissolves in water?
Should I use an ale or lager yeast?
Should I use any yeast nutrient along with the energizer?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Five Cats answered the first two very well. As for Ale or Lager Yeast either work fine, but if you choose to use a lager yeast you'll need to have the capability to ferment at lager temps (unless you use the California Common strain which is a lager strain designed to use at ale ferment temperatures, Anchor Steam is a common brand that uses this).

I treat my Braggots more like a mead than a beer as far as nutrients and energizers are concerned, but with the DME it probably isn't necessary.

akueck
04-19-2012, 02:07 PM
With that much DME you should have a good amount of nutrients in there, but I would add a little more anyway since the honey has essentially none. Your teaspoon is probably enough.

Choose the temperature you're fermenting at before picking a yeast. Lager yeast act a lot like ale yeast if it's warm, and ale yeast can be pretty lager-like in the cold. So it's less about ale vs. lager than it is about warm vs. cold. For a nice neutral yeast I'd recommend the California ale strain (I usually use the dry US-05). An English strain will usually accentuate the malt a little more (I often use dry Nottingham). SF Lager yeast is nice and I've made a couple good beers with it around 60 F, but if you're going warmer than that you might as well use an ale strain.

If your OG is up around 1.110, definitely aerate this like a mead.

If you're not used to hops, get the hop bag. They are a bit of mess and it's nice to just pull the bag out at the end. If you're using tons of hops all the bags get annoying, but you've got just a little. I'd split the hops into two bags though to give them room. They suck up a lot of water.

fivecats
04-19-2012, 02:55 PM
I treat my Braggots more like a mead than a beer as far as nutrients and energizers are concerned, but with the DME it probably isn't necessary.

Two excellent points in one sentence!

hepcat
04-19-2012, 08:15 PM
Thanks for all of your feed back.
And think I will use this ale yeast I can get at my local LHBS:

Wyeast American Ale 1056
Low/Med flocculation
Attenuation: 73-77%
Fermenting Temp: 60-72F
Well balanced. Ferments dry, finishes soft.

...and it's recommended for braggots.

Meriadoc
04-20-2012, 01:12 AM
hepcat,

when i make braggot, i tend to use hop pellets, so I don't use a hop bag. instead, as I pour from brew pot to fermentation bucket, I set up a (clean, sanitized) strainer on the bucket and pour through it, in order to catch any trub.

I also agree with the advice to aerate: I usually pour from pot to bucket to pot a few times, stirring in any foam that is created each time.

(Question to the other posters in this thread: how do you deal with aeration? do you get lots of foam? How do you deal with it?)

One thing you don't mention is temperature. when I make mead, I tend not to heat my honey, so my must is already within the proper range to pitch the yeast. I don't know if you're used to making beers, so I thought it would be useful to mention that you want to get your wort down to temperature quickly and safely. I usually cover my brew pot once it's off the heat, and put it into an ice water bath in order to get it come down to temperature quickly.

Finally, I was reading an article in Brew recently, in which they talked about brewing beer with honey. I haven't tried it myself yet, but if memory serves, they talked about using a non-fermentable malt in order to retain a malt taste following fermentation.

Good luck!

hepcat
04-20-2012, 09:20 AM
Thanks so much for that info Meriadoc because this is all new to me. No, I've never brewed beer before. I just started this homebrewing adventure this past January and have only made a few gallons of still mead so far because I'm fascinated with and most interested in mead right now. This will be my first braggot and I want to thoroughly understand every step of the process before I start. I had noticed on all the braggot and beer recipes I've looked at that cooling down the must/wort quickly is important. Thanks again for confirming that. I don't heat honey either. I'll def not pitch the honey til must is back down to room temp after boil.


I don't know if you're used to making beers, so I thought it would be useful to mention that you want to get your wort down to temperature quickly and safely. I usually cover my brew pot once it's off the heat, and put it into an ice water bath in order to get it come down to temperature quickly. Meriadoc


That's interesting info about the non-fermentable malt that provide more flavor too.

fivecats
04-20-2012, 09:40 AM
Thanks so much for that info Meriadoc because this is all new to me. No, I've never brewed beer before. I just started this homebrewing adventure this past January and have only made a few gallons of still mead so far because I'm fascinated with and most interested in mead right now. This will be my first braggot and I want to thoroughly understand every step of the process before I start. I had noticed on all the braggot and beer recipes I've looked at that cooling down the must/wort quickly is important. Thanks again for confirming that. I don't heat honey either. I'll def not pitch the honey til must is back down to room temp after boil.

Yes, indeed. Quickly getting your wort down to an acceptable temperature so as to not "harm" the more subtle aspects of your honey is important. While honey lacks the nutrients to get yeast going -- and therefore is also able to keep most of the nasty organisms at bay -- wort is just the opposite. A slowly cooling wort is an all-you-can-eat buffet to those nasties. Nasty organisms = nasty beer.

Homebrewers use a number of tactics to get the temperature of their wort from 212F to much closer to 60F as quickly as possible. Methods vary depending on money/equipment available for quick-acting wort chillers (https://www.google.com/#hl=en&gs_nf=1&tok=4K0LtUT4E8yEPmC-C5eglw&cp=6&gs_id=5i&xhr=t&q=wort+chiller&pf=p&newwindow=1&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&oq=wort+c&aq=0&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_l=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=912d527ea893eef0) down to a sink full of ice water and adding ice to the wort while stirring vigorously.

(Perhaps The Hive Mind here can assist: What do other people here use to chill worts when making beer/braggots?)

hepcat
04-20-2012, 09:55 AM
A slowly cooling wort is an all-you-can-eat buffet to those nasties. Nasty organisms = nasty beer. Fivecats

Thanks for explaining why rapid must/wort cooling is important Fivecats. So its the grains that harbor/attract unwanted bacteria I guess?

Would like to get a wort chiller some day but in the mean time I use the ice bath method which works fine.

TAKeyser
04-20-2012, 10:37 AM
After 12 years of making beer I still use the Ice Bath method for cooling my wort. I've always told myself I'll get a fancy chiller, but something else always comes up.

akueck
04-20-2012, 12:35 PM
The cooling wort doesn't harbor any bacteria--you just boiled the bejesus out of it. However, anything that lands in it after it's no longer death-dealingly hot will find a very nice home. Cooling it down quickly and getting the yeast in there means less chance of infection. Or, you just keep it covered. I've left room temperature wort on the stove for like 24 hours with the lid on, no problems.

Wyeast 1056 is the same as US-05 (or close enough to not matter), so you should do well with that yeast.

One other reason to chill the wort quickly is to stop the formation of DMS--a sulfur compound that tastes like cooked corn. If you've boiled for about 75 minutes or more there shouldn't be much DMS-precursor (SMM) left. But still, it's not a pleasant flavor. It boils off in the vapor, but if you stick the lid on the pot, it will fall back in with the condensate. Below about 160 F DMS stops being formed, so if you can cool it quickly to there you can pop the lid on and not worry about it for a couple days. ;)

An ice bath should work fine for the initial cool, though it takes awhile to get it down to room temp since you need to keep changing out the bath water. Nice thing is that above about 160 nothing is going to land in there and survive, so you can sit there stirring it to help it cool and blow off the DMS, then pop the lid on and you'll have still sterile wort and no nasty canned veggie flavor.

fivecats
04-20-2012, 12:52 PM
hepcat, here's a good article on the reasons why you want to chill your wort quickly and ways to do so (http://www.byo.com/stories/techniques/article/indices/19-brewing-tips/1684-wort-chilling-techniques).

akueck, I'd never thought about leaving wort covered to cool down on its own for a day. Interesting...

I bought a wort chiller at a thrift store about a year ago. Given that it was all copper tubing, the $5 I paid for it was less than the scrap copper was likely worth. My upcoming batch of Lawnmower Beer ought to be the first time I get to give it a try.

akueck
04-20-2012, 04:37 PM
akueck, I'd never thought about leaving wort covered to cool down on its own for a day. Interesting...

Interesting? Try "it's later than I planned and I am meeting someone at a bar. I'll just deal with it tomorrow." ;D

fivecats
04-20-2012, 09:31 PM
Interesting? Try "it's later than I planned and I am meeting someone at a bar. I'll just deal with it tomorrow." ;D

Aha! That would explain it.

(I tend to brew in the mid-morning to afternoon when I know I have a big block of time reserved for nothing but brewing. I suppose if I had to leave unexpectedly I'd do the same thing. :cool:

hepcat
04-22-2012, 03:22 PM
How long is a typical braggot primary and secondary ferment?

And I plan to primary ferment a 3.5 gallon batch in my 6.5 gallon fermenting bucket then rack into a 5 gallon glass carboy for secondary.

And then you have to prime with sugar before bottling?
With corn sugar? Or honey?

akueck
04-22-2012, 08:11 PM
In beer, one rule of thumb is one month to drink for 6% abv and lower, and then add a month for each percent above 6. So a 10% beer would be 5 months. These are "minimum" times, as in "don't even try to drink it before this".

Mead is probably a little longer aging since the residual sugar is usually lower than beer. Braggot...well I guess it depends.

Yes, prime with corn sugar. Or honey. Or whatever you like that has sugar in it.

Since you're priming, you might want to bottle sooner than you would for an otherwise similar mead. Secondary with 3.5 gallons in a 5 gallon container isn't ideal, so again bottling sooner is probably good.

hepcat
04-22-2012, 08:31 PM
Too much headspace in the 5 gallon carboy? I was afraid of that. Thanks for letting me know! Maybe I'll just make a 4 gallon batch....

akueck
04-22-2012, 09:46 PM
Why stop at 4? I say fill the whole 5 gallons.

hepcat
04-23-2012, 07:37 AM
Why stop at 4? I say fill the whole 5 gallons.

Yeah I should, I wanted my first batch of braggot only 3.5 gallons in case it isn't any good, lol I wouldn't be wasting so much. But, I think it will be good if I make sure I understand how to make it and use the right ingredients/amounts.

hepcat
06-04-2012, 08:31 PM
So here's what I ended up doing on 5-20-12:

5 gallon Orange Blossom Braggot

Fermentables:
8 lbs Orange Blossom Honey (high quality)
4 lbs Briess Pilsen Light DME
~9.7oz Crystal 10L (milled) Malt
Hops:
Cascade Hop Pellets (.75oz 60 min boil and .25oz 15 minute boil)
Yeast:
~12.5 grams Lalvin D47
Adjuncts:
2 t Yeast Energizer
2 t Yeast Nutrient (DAP)
1 Whirfloc (Irish Moss) tablet (15 minute boil)
3/4 cup corn (priming) sugar (in ~ 1/2 cup boiled Spring Water and cooled to room temp before pitching)

Did not strain wort when I poured it into primary fermenter after the boil so hop pellet remnants went into the primary fermenter.
Fermented at 65*-70*F for 8 days.


Racked 5-26-12 into secondary fermenter (bucket)
Racked into bottling bucket 5-28-12.
Primed/Bottled 5-28-12.

OG: 1.098
Est. FG: 1.024
Actual FG: 1.030
Est. %ABV 9.9
Actual ~9%ABV

So I thought this was going to be too sweet since it finished at 1.030, but, I opened a bottle last night, after only six days bottle conditioning, and it tastes great!!! Just a subtle hint of malt sweetness which is off-set by just a touch of hop bitterness and flavor. and it formed a decent head when I poured it so it has already carbonated nicely. And it has already cleared very well too. Going to bottle condition the rest for another ~week. I'm thrilled with it.
Cheers.:cool:

jpog
06-06-2012, 12:54 PM
Sounds Great....quick question what is the Crystal 10L (milled) Malt used for how doe sit differ from DME.

hepcat
06-06-2012, 05:33 PM
Crystal Malt is added mostly for color when you're doing combo DME/grain brewing but also provides some fermentable sugars if processed correctly (so starches are converted to fermentable sugar).
DME is malt extract(powder) and Crystal malt is whole grain that has been milled(crushed).

And it has cleared so nice!! It ended up a nice medium light, golden color. Been bottle conditionig for 10 days today and I want to open one so bad but going to wait another few days, this weekend probably. Will put a few bottles in the fridge Thursday night probably.

hepcat
06-08-2012, 05:43 PM
It's Friday and it's happy hour, had to try one. I cannot believe how good this braggot is. I do a smooth pour (so I leave the lees behind) into my chilled mug and it looks, smells and tastes great!!! Nice head too!! And it's only bottle conditioned for 11 days! I'm glad I didn't strain out the hop pellets when I poured the wort/must into the fermenter because it might have turned out too sweet. As it is, there is a very slight malty sweetness that I find very pleasant, I guess I don't like super hoppy/bitter taste but, having said that, I would like to have a little more hop influence in the next braggot.

And, drinkable and delicious in only 19 days. That's what I'm talkin about, lol. Cheers.:cool:

jpog
06-11-2012, 03:54 PM
Sweet..sounds tasty..quick question did you boil the Crystal Malt when you boiled the hops and DME?

Thanks

TAKeyser
06-11-2012, 04:18 PM
Sweet..sounds tasty..quick question did you boil the Crystal Malt when you boiled the hops and DME?

Thanks

Steep your crystal malt for 20 minutes between 148-155 degrees followed by a sparge with 170 degree water and this will be the water that you end up boiling.

wayneb
06-11-2012, 10:34 PM
You really don't want to boil grains, since that will extract large amounts of husk tannins that will give rise to an astringent, bitter, somewhat acrid result. Since crystal malts are already fully converted, just a soak in moderately hot water followed by a sparge to rinse out any remaining sugars is all that you need (just like TAKeyser said!). ;D

jpog
06-12-2012, 02:16 PM
OK, thanks..so do you boil the DME?

If I am boiling hops for 45 min (for bitterness), then add another batch in at the last 15 min mark for flavor..and then some at th end for aroma. Would I add the DME to this mix..and then add the Steep crystal malt at the end after I take it off the heat?

Thanks

fathand
06-12-2012, 03:32 PM
Do the steeping process mentioned below first and then add that liquid from steeping the Crystal to the boil. Then boil it for 60 mins.

Rule of thumb for hops is that hops added at the start of a 60 minute boil to the 40 minute mark add bitterness, 40 to 20 time frame add flavor, and 20 to 0 add aroma.

For the DME you can certainly boil it for the 60 minutes although it is not necessary. I would add half at 60 then the other half with 10 minutes left to go. Reason being the longer you boil extract the darker it will get. But if color is not an issue to you add it all at 60.

Also if you are using dry extract it is best to take your pot off the heat and stir like crazy then add it back to the flame. Helps avoid boil-overs.

skunkboy
06-12-2012, 08:58 PM
Also if you are using dry extract it is best to take your pot off the heat and stir like crazy then add it back to the flame. Helps avoid boil-overs.

Also helps to avoid scorching the sugars on the bottom of the pot.

hepcat
06-13-2012, 07:57 PM
I used TAKeyser's suggestion to add only ~1/3 of your DME to 60 minute boil and then add the other 2/3 DME at 15 boil (and removing from the heat and thoroughly stirring both times while adding it) which worked well.

"Steep your crystal malt for 20 minutes between 148-155 degrees followed by a sparge with 170 degree water and this will be the water that you end up boiling." TAKeyser

That's pretty much what I did with the crystal malt too.

hepcat
06-14-2012, 12:55 PM
"After 12 years of making beer I still use the Ice Bath method for cooling my wort. I've always told myself I'll get a fancy chiller, but something else always comes up." TAKeyser

Even if I make a chiller myself it would still cost ~$50, so not in a hurry to spend that much ($70 for a new one from the LHBS) when the ice baths are simple and work fine for the partial wort boils I'm doing. I would def want one if I was doing full boils or more than 5 gallon batches.

TAKeyser
06-14-2012, 01:01 PM
Even if I make a chiller myself it would still cost ~$50, so not in a hurry to spend that much ($70 for a new one from the LHBS) when the ice baths are simple and work fine for the partial wort boils I'm doing. I would def want one if I was doing full boils or more than 5 gallon batches.

I think I'm buying myself one this fall (college grant refund), but I'm sure some bill or good honey deal will pop up that needs my attention.

jpog
06-21-2012, 04:58 PM
Quick question hepcat and Takeyser,

Since you bottle it with an SG of 1.030 before priming don't you have to be worried about bottle bombs...I am just curious. Also sinc ethe yeast you used is capable of 14% ABV won't the braggot eventually ferment dry and not slightly sweet.

I am only asking cause I am anewbee and trying to make a braggot.

hepcat
06-21-2012, 07:03 PM
Yes jpog, I was worried a bit about potential bottle bombs but, bottled anyway, lol. And didn't have any bottle bombs (my braggot was supposed to finish at ~1.024). Maybe it's beginner's luck, idk, but mine turned out better than I expected. I think mine stopped short of where it was supposed to due to unfermentable sugars.
And, my ferm was done (SG stopped moving/going down) after only eight days which is not that unusual for beers, and I was impatient because after making all this mead I've made since January, I wanted something to drink, dammit, lol. I mean, I've drank some of the mead I've made so far and it is pretty good but I suspect will get better with age.
The braggot was ready to drink and was excellent in less than three weeks. Enjoying one right now. Cheers. 8)

jpog
06-22-2012, 10:17 AM
Haha..;)

I hope mine turns out as good as yours.

TAKeyser
06-22-2012, 06:58 PM
Quick question hepcat and Takeyser,

Since you bottle it with an SG of 1.030 before priming don't you have to be worried about bottle bombs...I am just curious. Also sinc ethe yeast you used is capable of 14% ABV won't the braggot eventually ferment dry and not slightly sweet.

I am only asking cause I am anewbee and trying to make a braggot.

When you use grain either in extract form or if you do the mash yourself there are some unfermentable sugars that develop. So there is a point where the Braggot or Beer will not drop any lower even though the sugars are still in there. There's programs out there that factor in your ingredients and will give you your estimated Final Gravity. A nice free program is Hopville (http://www.hopville.com)