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Old 05-31-2012, 05:29 AM   #1
hoffmeister
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Default Braggot fermentation-is this normal?

Hello all!
I just brewed my first braggot and had a quick question for the community out there. It's been in the primary for just about a week, and it is exceptionally murky. It's still slowly fermenting (bubbles are coming through the airlock approximately once every minute), but it looks thick, it's an unappealing brown/green color, and there appears to be a gigantic yeast cake on the bottom. Is this typical for a braggot that is so young? Will it clear with time? I don't know if the recipe would have anything to do with it, but I'd be happy to post it if it would help with troubleshooting. I don't know if I should be concerned, as I haven't seen anything like this in seven years of homebrewing. Thanks in advance!

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Old 05-31-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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Tough to say without more info. What's your recipe? What yeast strain?
Braggots throw more trub than standard mead; and some honey is darker than others.
Did you use any roasted grain?
Regards, GF.

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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Here is the recipe I used. It's the Crandaddy Braggot Recipe from Sam Calagione's book, "Extreme Brewing."

6.6 lbs liquid light malt extract
6.0 lbs unfiltered orange blossom honey (end of boil)
2.0 lbs dried cranberries (rehydrated for 45 minutes, then pureed and added at the end of the boil).
1 oz Hallertau hop pellets
1 tsp Irish Moss (last ten minutes)
1 tsp pectic enzyme (added to the carboy)
5 tsp yeast nutrient (added to the carboy)
1 package Red Star Champagne yeast (rehydrated and added to carboy).

The honey I used was fairly light in color, but some caramelization of the malt extract and/or honey may be the cause of the darker color. I didn't use any roasted grains, per the recipe. As I mentioned, I've never brewed with honey, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Should I have filled my fermenter to higher than 5 gallons to allow for the excess trub?

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Old 05-31-2012, 10:17 PM   #4
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You should check out the episode on north brewer on making mead. It is on their brewing TV link. I haven't done mead yet but every other fruit brew I have done was nasty looking at first

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Old 06-01-2012, 02:18 AM   #5
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mine has been sitting for about 4 weeks. dumped the trub about 2 weeks ago. still a bit murky. i guess i'll just have to keep my eye on it and keep the trub in check

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Old 06-01-2012, 11:24 AM   #6
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I'd say it's likely just the combination of the extract & honey that's making it darker than you expected. I think this is one of those RDWHHB moments.
Regards, GF.

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Old 06-01-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Cranberries can really mess with a fermentation too. Anything I've made with whole/dried/juice cranberries in it gave me the most trouble.

Dried berries may have had some sulfite powder on them.

Cranberries also have pectin and lots of pulp that's all in suspension right now.

I think it'll be OK in the end, though may not be the clearest drink.

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Old 06-01-2012, 04:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Maverick, I'll have to check out the episode you mentioned. Thanks also to MasterJeem, Gratus and cyberlord-I've never done anything with fruit either (this beer had a lot of firsts!), so my hope was that what I'm seeing is "normal." I'll rack it over to the secondary in a few weeks, and hopefully it will have cleared some in that time. I'll check back in a few weeks, but for now I'll just stay the course and let it do it's thing.

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