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Old 09-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #1
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Default Possible to make a hop-less braggot?

Getting ready to transfer my first my first batch of mead into the secondary here soon and I am immediately going to make up another primary. I am going to do a blueberry mead to occupy my 2nd carboy. I also have a 3rd carboy that I am trying to decide what to do with. I love malt and have been reading up a bit on braggots which sound interesting but I was thinking I would really like to try just adding malt to a more standard mead i.e. sans hops and wheat. Does anyone know if this is doable or will I end up with something undrinkable?

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #2
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Hops are a bittering and preserving agent. With the higher ABV you don't really need them to preserve the braggot. As for the bittering, what I've read is that it helps temper the residual sweetness.

I didn't use 'em in my braggot (Elder Gods Braggot), so I sure hope that it won't end up undrinkable because of it. And I don't think it will

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:36 PM   #3
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I personally like the hops in Braggots but I am sure you can classify any brew that is 50+% honey and 49-% Malted grains worth of sugar to be a drinkable Braggot. You could use Dry Malt Extract or Liquid Malt extract for good results I would bet. If you are going to have a residual sweetness then might try swapping out your hops with Tea. I have a few Meads that use Earl Grey Tea, Herbal Tea or Spiced Chai Tea to help offset sweetness and add some character.

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
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I don't see any problem at all. A braggot is a mix of honey and malt, not mead and beer.

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Old 09-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses as always!

Brann, Elder Gods Braggot sounds awesome. Mine will most likely be Nordic/Viking Braggart Braggot.

Arpolis, I actually used loose leaf chinese green tea in the first mead that I am getting ready to move to secondary and the yeast are loving it so I think I will be making tea leaves a staple in my ferments. I like a dry drink so sweetness isn't my fortay. I am using EC1118 yeast though which most people seem to say runs mead pretty dry.

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Old 09-15-2012, 02:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonofgrok View Post
Thanks for the quick responses as always!

Brann, Elder Gods Braggot sounds awesome. Mine will most likely be Nordic/Viking Braggart Braggot.

Arpolis, I actually used loose leaf chinese green tea in the first mead that I am getting ready to move to secondary and the yeast are loving it so I think I will be making tea leaves a staple in my ferments. I like a dry drink so sweetness isn't my fortay. I am using EC1118 yeast though which most people seem to say runs mead pretty dry.
If you like dry, you could end up unhappy with an unhopped braggot...it doesn't matter what yeast you use, if you use malted barley in a fermented beverage (and especially if you use a malt extract) you will have unfermentable sugars, and thus residual sweetness. Malt extracts tend to have a fairly high percentage of unfermentable sugars, but if you're mashing your own grain, you can somewhat correct for this by mashing slow at low temps. As has already been identified, the bitterness from hops (or other herbs) are used to balance that sweetness. I don't have enough experience with tea to know if it will produce enough bitterness for the purposes of your proposed fermentation or not. All of this may depend on what percentage of barley vs honey you choose, and the overall ABV...there's a lot of variables, but I'm just trying to give you some additional food for thought...
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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Thanks for the extra info biochemedic. I was going to start mild for my first braggot. Like 9 pounds honey, 3 pounds dark malt extract. I think the braggot would be ok a little sweeter because of the malty taste.The malt I have claims it is 76% fermentable but we shall see. Also, if it ends up sweeter, I might actually get my wife to try some. About the only thing she will drink is a b-52 or a mudslide. It can be my "dessert" drink if that is the case. Target abv will be... well... pretty high. 15% or so hopefully.

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Old 09-16-2012, 06:59 AM   #8
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Tea leaves provide nutrients, tannins, and additional flavours--how much of each would depend on exactly how you use the leaves, and what variety. I don't think they'll add bitterness--although chocolate is in mine (I actually added some wormwood for bitterness, but don't think it's coming through--and I ain't adding more)

Biochemedic: Interesting--can I pm you and get some more information on controlling the mash?

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Old 09-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Brann, it's no big thing...it's how we brew beer without malt extract. Basically you use some method to hold the malted barley mash at a chosen temp. I use a modified cooler that serves as my mash tun, lots of people just use an insulated pot and a mesh bag (you can search for "BIAB" which stands for "brew in a bag"). The temp you hold will determine how fermentable the wort is. Lower temps (high 140's*F) favor an enzyme profile that makes a wort with less dextrans and more simple sugars (more fermentable/higher apparent attenuation in the end product), and vice versa for temps in the mid to high 150's*F.

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