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Weasel
02-20-2013, 04:29 PM
So for my third mead I decided to try a braggot. I've made Ken Schrams Hefty Braggot.

4kgs Honey
3kgs amber malt
120gms Fuggles (60mins)
40gms Fuggles (30mins)
40gms Fuggles (2mins)
Water to 25l
LD-47

OG: 1.120

Its been going like a rocket for the first 4-5 days and developed a big krausen. Now a week later is bubbling is every 5-10sec and the krausen has diminished but is still approx 1-2cm and has dark scungy looking patches. I'm not sure if it should have these dark areas or if the brew has become contaminated.

It smells normal and I was thinking that the patches may be collections of hops particulates?

Is there a way to know if the discolored krausen in contaminated or do I just wait?

Thanks for the help.

akueck
02-20-2013, 08:42 PM
Yeah, krausen looks funny. It's made of random proteins and solid bits of guck, plus yeast that get stuck in it. If it smells fine, it's not infected.

Weasel
02-21-2013, 12:27 AM
One other thing that has me confused is the recipe has a FG: 1.018 and recommends bottle carbonating with 3/4 cup corn sugar.

To my limited knowledge wouldn't this just be making bottle bombs? I'm sure I'm wrong but I just don't understand how it would work.


On a side note I just took a gravity reading at a week came out at 1.032. And the taste... like the finest IPA blended with honey! Just amazing. So I really don't want to stuff this up ;D

scottyd74
02-21-2013, 05:01 PM
Your grain bill will leave you with unfermentable sugars and this will contribute to the 1.018 FG. At second glance I do not see any base grains to contribute diastatic enzymes and your amber malt may not have contained enough diastatic power to convert the starches to sugar on its own. I would wager the priming sugar would be necessary and would not cause "bombs"

akueck
02-21-2013, 07:44 PM
The "amber" malt is probably a variety of crystal malt, and therefore was already converted. No enzymes necessary. But yes, it will leave a significant amount of residual, unfermentable sugars.

Weasel
02-22-2013, 03:01 AM
So there is a residual unfermented sugar. Seems like that is a good technique to have to produce a sweet mead. Thank you.

Medsen Fey
02-22-2013, 06:46 AM
A lot of the residual sugar is in chains called dextrins. They add body and gravity but don't have a great deal of sweetness. So a braggot with a gravity of 1.019 won't taste nearly as sweet as a traditional with that gravity.

WanderingRemnant
03-08-2013, 02:20 AM
Weasel,

I recently picked up Mr Schramm's book and came across this recipe. Just over a year ago when I got into making mead a good friend of mine had been into beer. We discussed making a good honey beer together combining both schools. I came across this recipe and we actually just discussed making it.

How is it coming along now?

Did you use actual grain or the extracts?

I am a big fan of IPA's and would probably consider doubling the hops amount like he says you can. Did you stick with the standard or double it yourself?

Best of luck!

Weasel
03-11-2013, 03:16 AM
Hey WanderingRemnant,

I changed the recipe a bit. I used a amber malt extract, increased the hop ~ 1 1/2 times and used hops with a higher alpha acid content (the recipe is in the first post).

Now at 8 wks old the initial hop nose has smoothed out, although it tastes very 'hoppy'. I'm thinking of dry hopping to bump it back to the original IPA profile.

Its fully fermented to the recipes FG of 1.018 and the taste is distinctly mead with hops. The malt does not come through too strongly and it has full body. The alcohol is very noticeable at the moment, I think it'll take a few months to mellow out.

All in all I'm really pleased with it so far. I'll dry hop it then add finings and bottle condition. Already planning another braggot once I got space.

WanderingRemnant
03-11-2013, 05:53 AM
Thanks for the info. In the book I have the author stated that it could take 6-9 months to mellow out and could be cellared for up to 2 yrs!

I am actually very excited about this recipe myself. Please keep me updated with the progress!

I have been doing nothing but meads thus far so my knowledge is mainly wine related. My buddy and quite a few co-workers do their own beers. I think we are going to do the actual grain version instead of the extracts because friend of mine has his own grain mill ;D

About how long did the batch take to reach its FG?

Marshmallow Blue
03-11-2013, 10:02 AM
If you are interested in using grains (but don't want to buy a mill), some home brew shops can mill the grains for you when you buy them. If you're ordering online there's usually a little check box that says "Please mill my grains" or something to that extent. Its important to use those right when they come in the mail for freshness purposes. So have everything else you need in stock.

Weasel
03-12-2013, 12:09 AM
It took ~ 4 weeks to get to 1.018. Dropped really fast in the first week then dragged out for the last 30 points.

Good luck on the brew :)