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Old 09-15-2012, 07:40 PM   #1
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Default Questions about my upcoming braggot

I intend to start a braggot either today or tomorrow. Here's my question, I Don't want to have to buy gallons of spring water just to make batches of mead, braggot, wine, what have you. I know, I know, but every penny pinched can go towards better equipment. How do all of these folks who make a hundred gallons of mead a year use their tap water source? I have filters and such, But I have heard that there is a problem with chlorine and chloramines in the public water system. Is there a way to use tap water, or should I stick with buying the gallons of spring water?

Next, I would like someone to review my recipe as this will be my first 5 gallon batch.

3.3# Briess (sp?) amber LME
5# clover honey
Danstar Windsor
1 oz. target hops split 3/4 oz. for 40 minute boil, 1/4 oz. for 5 minutes.

two weeks primary, three-four weeks secondary, prime then bottle in beer bottles. I'm a big fam of ambers such as fat tire by New Belgium, but I cannot find a single braggot at the liquor store. As always, I would not boil my honey. And I am basing my decisions on this post:

http://www.udata.com/users/dnoon/mead/braggot.html

I have never used hops or malt, and am just worried that'll I'll screw something up. SWMBO is getting anxious that I'm wasting my time and vocalizes it frequently.

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Old 09-16-2012, 01:10 AM   #2
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I use brita filtered water for my meads and bragott. Unless you have water softeners or really bard water you should be fine.

Your measurements of LME and honey are what I use exactly. I even use Breise sparkling amber too and loved it. Your yeast looks good for the flavor profile you want but it is a low flocculation type yeast. I would keep it in primary for more like 4 weeks and secondary for a couple of months. Then think about priming and bottling. Bragotts are never a waste of time and money so go for it and keep us informed of progress.

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Old 09-16-2012, 02:20 AM   #3
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I just bought a fridge that filters the water, would this be ok then?

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Old 09-16-2012, 03:40 AM   #4
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If you take that water and then let it warm to room temp, then taste it. Do you taste anything you don't like? Is there a chlorine taste or is the mouthfeel different then bottled water? If your answers are no then I am sure it is fine.

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Old 09-16-2012, 09:26 AM   #5
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so do you hop yours? the guy at the lhbs looked up an amber braggot and said that target was a 'suggested' hop

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:55 AM   #6
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Yes I do, I like darker beers like Guiness so I caramelize my honey and use 4oz cascade hops that boils in my LME for 60, 30, 15 & 2 min.

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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Would you suggest a different kind of yeast? Where could I find a floc chart or something for beer yeasts? GotMead has one for mead/wine yeasts.what does your final ABV typically come out to?

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Old 09-16-2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Just looking up yeasts I have used the following sources:

http://www.winning-homebrew.com/yeast.html

http://www.onebeer.net/yeaststrains_ale.html

There are actually tons of sites with yeast info. Just google around. Honestly I am a little new to the Ale yeast market and have only used a couple. In my bragott I used Nottingham yeast which a description can be found here:

http://whitelabs.com/beer/strains_wlp039.html

I had no complaints and it worked well. Another yeast that worked well for a spiced pumpkin mead that cleared super fast was a Wyeast Smack pack 1968 London ESB.

I read up on your yeast and it looks like a fine yeast for this situation but take my advice with a grain of salt.

My bragott was at a starting gravity of 1.069 and it went all the way down to 1.002 or so, so about 9.5%ABV

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Old 09-16-2012, 10:32 PM   #9
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OK so I lied about a few things lol. Talking all this Bragott talk recently got me to think that all my notes on my Bragott was reallty scattered and poorly kept so I thought I would pull it all together and suss out the recipe so it was readable. For my previous replies here are my corrections:

Yes I do use hops. The boiling routine is as such:
"Next boil the 5 lb of Honey with a cup of water for 2 hours on low heat.
Start the LME plus 2 cups of water to boil. Add in 2oz of hops at the start of the boil which will be 1 hour long from here. For the last 30 minutes add in 1oz of hops. For the last 10 minutes add in the last of the hops and the 4 cinnamon sticks. (The honey and LME can all be in one pot, my pots are just too small so I do one with the honey and the other the LME/Hops boil.)"

My original gravity was actually 1.07. My White grape peach wine I made the same day when I first put together my bragott was 1.069. I reached this gravity by also doing a mini mash of 1 lb worth of flaked oats mashed at 155*F with 1 TBS of Amylase enzyme and 4 cut up / cored apples along with the 3.3 lb LME & 5 lb Honey. The recipe is an apple cinnammon bragott.

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Old 09-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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Well, I made it. Everything went ok and I didn't burn down the house. However, while I love the smell of the extract as it boiled, my wife did not.

I also learned that hops pellets swell a lot. I put them in using tied off muslin bags..75 oz target hops for 35 and .25 oz target hops. However, the hops bags must have been too small and turned into hard 'balls' about the size of a baseball and golf bal respectively. I figure a may not get a good strong, or even maybe noticeable flavor off the hops at all. But brewing is always an experiment or sorts, right? I did squeeze out as much of the wort from the bags as I could.

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