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Old 11-23-2008, 07:51 AM   #1
lordbeermestrength
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Default Braggot questions

Hey all,

I am planning on doing a stout braggot this Christmas to drink next year. I have no experience with the style whatsoever, nor with using honey in just about any capacity.

First question: What type of grains should I use? Can I pretty much take my favorite stout recipe and just add honey? I was thinking about a chocolate stout some time ago, would the roasted/coffee flavors work for this style?

Second: What type of honey would work best? I have about 12 lbs of wildflower honey and I am hoping this would work so I don't have to buy more.

Third: Yeast? My recipe for the chocolate stout used whitelabs Irish ale (WLP004). Would this attenuate too low for my SG? I am calculating about a 1.11 SG for the braggot.

Lastly: I was thinking about starting fermentation and then adding the honey after high krausen. Hoping that would make it easier on the yeast. Is this a common practice?


Thanks for any help.

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Old 11-23-2008, 01:47 PM   #2
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In my experience, I find that the lighter flavored beer styles are better suited for braggots. My first braggot was a stout and the chocolate and heavier grain flaovors overwhelmed the honey. Give it a try though - you might have better success.

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Old 11-23-2008, 04:04 PM   #3
MeadLover
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One thing I've noticed is you lose the honey flavor in braggots. I think this comes with the fact that honey is about 75% fermentable sugars so you only have 25% left for any flavor at all. I would say that if you want a honey flavor in beer it would be best to use a honey malt. If you want a braggot, it should really start as a mead recipe and have grains added.

I found this article on the topic: Braggot. That article started with this:

Quote:
Braggot is a mead made with malt and honey, the malt makes it somewhat similar to beer or ale. To be called braggot not less than half of the fermantable sugars should come from honey, thus putting it in the mead category. This seems to be a style that not many mead makers make. However alot of beer brewers make a similar brew that probably more appropriately would be called honey beer or honey ale because they may use a lesser amount of honey and include hops. There are some (Fred Hardy comes too mind) that would argue that a true braggot should not contain hops.
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Primary: Bucksnort Brown Ale, Black IPA, Chai Brown Ale, Chocolate Porter
Secondary: Winter Mead, Peach Ginger Mead
Tertiary: Caramel Apple Mead
Bottled: Honey Brown Ale, Cream Ale
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:06 PM   #4
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Default Stout Braggot

Stout Braggot? cool idea, I'm not an expert but I got my start in homebrewing making braggot. and I make two or three batches a year. first you gotta decide if you want a "BEERY braggot? or a "MEADY braggot" now you want to do stout so I'm guessing you'll fall on the beery side of things. for me a good rule of thumb is one of thirds. if ya want beery braggot a weight of honey that is about one third the weight of grain. this is not exact but until you get an idea of a SG from three or four lbs of honey its hard to know what your working with.
second is honey flavor control, I agree with the above posters that lighter beer styles work better for allowing the honey flavor to come through, so you might want to increase your honey to four lbs or so. I cant speak to what type of honey to use as i have access to either store bought or a local wild flower honey i use the latter for all my braggots and they are great. if all you have is store bought itll work just fine I have used it for my first batches with great success. sams club sometimes carries honey in bulk jars.
another thing to watch is fermentation temp, keep it on the low side or you might get some belgian funkiness that i'm not real fond of. the braggot is perfectly drinkable its just my taste. personally i like my braggots light, as in not chewy or cloying so I prefer a beery braggot. as to the stout question with all the dark grains to balance the sweetness you should be good but i might suggest reducing you crystal malts as you wont taste them anyway.
as an aside i just tapped a keg of "dark" braggot which is my standard recipe with a little black malt and roasted barley added to the grain bill. it turned out great but i think ill reduce the roasted barley and add more black malt next time to up the acidity a little. hope that helps and good luck.

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