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Old 08-14-2012, 12:34 AM   #1
Brann_mac_Finnchad
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Default First Braggot--how do I do this?

A while back I was asking around for suggestions on a Cthulhu themed mead, and this one by Onihige jumped out at me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onihige View Post
I would make a braggot with anise, wormwood, fennel and dark chocolate. And it should be crazy strong and oak aged to infinity and beyond.

For grains I'd use pale ale, some crystal, peat smoked malt. Fairly simple.

Not sure if I'd use hops, but maybe some earthy hops like Fuggles? In small dosage.....
After a while, I came up with this recipe..

Elder Gods Braggot
3 pounds + ½ fed incrementally (honey will be caramelized, making it a bochet as well)
Anise, wormwood, fennel
Dark Chocolate/coco nibs
¾ lb pale ale
½ lb crystal
¼ lb peat smoked malts
Lalvin ICV-D47 (Côtes-du-Rhône) if possible
Oak aged

OG should be around 1.151

Or

¾ lb Crystal 80L
½ Two-Row pale
¼ Peated
½ lb American Wheat
The Rest is the same

Now...how do I do this? I've never made a beer, much less an all grain one, so the process is what (basically)?
I'm thinking of only mashing the peated malt for about 10-15 minutes to keep the flavour from getting too strong, would that be okay?
Also, are there any suggestions on the amounts for the spices and chocolate? I will probably not use all three, not sure if I can find a source for wormwood (which I understand lends a bitter flavour).

Any advise would be appreciated, thank you...
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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The thing about peat smoked malts is that they vary A LOT. I used 100 grams of a Swedish variety in a 5 gallon batch... took months before it was drinkable. Tasted like an ash tray at first, then it got awesome. Used 50 grams of a German variety and you could hardly taste it at first, took months before you could get that pleasant smoked taste.

I'd experiment with small all grain batches some before I made the accual braggot. It's very easy to make beer using the BIAB method, google it.

I was also thinking of caramelizing the honey, or at least a part of it. Too much and there will be a huge residual sweetness.

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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Okay--so I'm looking at maybe 1 oz or less of peat smoked for a one gallon batch...can you smell the difference in strength before mashing?
I'll look into the BIAB method--I'm all for making it slightly simpler (or less equipment).

I worked out the amounts for the flavourings last night as well, to give me

2 tsp Anise seed, last 5 minutes of boil
1 gram wormwood (if used), last 10 minutes of boil
1Tbsp Licorice Root in last 5 minutes of boil
1 oz Cacao nibs in mash
1 oz Cocao Nibs in last 10 minutes of boil

In addition I realized that I wrote down the wrong yeast--I meant Lalvin ICV-D80 (Côte Rôtie) and finished with Lalvin 1116 if needed.

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Old 09-06-2012, 05:28 AM   #4
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I finally got the last of the ingredients yesterday, and started the mort today

Elder Gods Braggot
3 pounds (honey should be boiled)
2 tsp Anise seed 10 minutes of boil
1 gram wormwood (if used) 5 minutes
1Tbsp Licorice Root in last 10 minutes of boil
1 oz Cacao nibs in mash
1 oz Cacao nibs at start of boil
1 oz Cocao Nibs in last 10 minutes of boil
¾ lb pale ale
½ lb crystal 40L
1.5 oz peat smoked malt
Lalvin 1116

Calculated OG is 1.151

Heat ½ gallon water to 155 for 1 hr with grain. Strain, rinsing a couple of times, and bring to boil for ½ hour—add herbs at appropriate times. The herbage was added into the boil in teabags—the cacao nibs were added loose and went into the carboy. During the boil I cooked the honey to a dark caramel colour, poured the wort into it and added to the carboy once it cooled down a bit. Pitched 1 packet Lalvin 1116 yeast.

9-5-12; Brew has been started. OG is 1.150

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Old 12-28-2012, 08:52 AM   #5
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After quite a while of not getting around to it (other than throwing in another 1 tbsp. of Anise seed), I finally racked it off into tertiary. I also added the toasted oak cubes (sanitized with Jaegermeister ).

The issue I'm having is the yeast seems to have died out several months ago, and the SG hasn't gone down since then. I would like it to go down another 20-30 points.
How can I achieve this? Do I attempt to put fresh yeast in--or is it stuck because they are non-fermentable sugars? Or would the favorite solution be to dilute the mead with spirits (thinking of a dark rum)?

SG is currently stuck at 1.046, and approximately 13.5% ABV.

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Secondary: Oaked Ginger Cider; Pumpkin Wine; Dry Hopped Cider;
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Drinking: Belgian Dubble Apple Ale

Last edited by Brann_mac_Finnchad; 12-28-2012 at 09:11 AM. Reason: Thought of something else...
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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I am surprised the 1116 did not take that down to at least 1.01. My last bragott like yours got all the way down to 1.005ish in just over 2 months. So I dont think there should be that mutch unfermentable sugar in there. You could make a starter with lalvin 1118. Start by adding yeast to 4 parts water & 1 part must/wort & a little honey with 1/4 tsp of nutrients. Every couple hours add in 1 part of the bragott till the total volume doubles in your starter. The yeast should look active after the first hour and stay looking active the whole time. Pitch that and it should drop you far enough.

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Old 12-31-2012, 04:33 AM   #7
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Thanks--I may end up doing that, but think I'll also try sampling the unfinished mead with the rum I'm considering, and see how that tastes before decide which way to go for sure. Or maybe both...

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Primary:
Secondary: Oaked Ginger Cider; Pumpkin Wine; Dry Hopped Cider;
Tertiary (or higher): Raspberry Capsicumel; Heather Tip Metheglyn

Drinking: Belgian Dubble Apple Ale
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Old 12-31-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
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BMF, can you taste the honey through everything else? A Bochet Braggot is also on my list. WVMJ

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:47 AM   #9
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@ WVMJ: Maybe, maybe not. I don't have the most sensitive palate...

Fortifying it with dark rum to lower the sugar content didn't taste too good...it really brought out the bitter char of the rum--I don't want that.
I'll procede with re-pitching yeast sometime in the next week, I hope...

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There is one secret ingredient that makes anything better......time.

Primary:
Secondary: Oaked Ginger Cider; Pumpkin Wine; Dry Hopped Cider;
Tertiary (or higher): Raspberry Capsicumel; Heather Tip Metheglyn

Drinking: Belgian Dubble Apple Ale
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:34 AM   #10
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I have made 2 Braggots, both extract, and non bochet, but i wouldnt use the wormwood. i have a wormwood mead where i used 1/12 of an oz and it was extremely strong, after 6 months it has mellowed and the Thujone seems to have effect but it is still bitter to the point where it can only be drank in very small sips. The braggots i have done are 2lbs Wildflower honey to .5lbs DDME to about .1-.2 oz of cascade hops. The Coaca nibs sound like they will add a great flavor to compliment the Bochet aspect.

Happy Brewing

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