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Old 11-11-2009, 01:17 PM   #1
nealf's Avatar
Jan 2008
Hiram, GA
Posts: 1,350
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

I considered posting this in the Recipes section, but I believe I will get more traffic from the mead crowd in this area...

My brother-in-law called me last night and told me how much he liked Saison and Mead and he wishes there was a way they could be combined somehow... so, here is my idea, suggestions welcome:

The base saison is from Brewing Classic Styles(base grain reduced)

Est Original Gravity: 1.074 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.005 SG (hoping I can get it this low)
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 9.0 %
Calories: 329 cal/pint
Bitterness: 24.4 IBU

Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 51.4 %
0.75 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.5 %
0.75 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 5.5 %
0.13 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 1.0 %
1.50 oz Saaz [4.00%] (60 min) Hops 24.4 IBU
0.75 oz Saaz [4.00%] (0 min) Hops -
5.00 lb Honey (1.0 SRM) Sugar 36.7 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Saison Ale (White Labs #WLP568) Yeast-Ale

I am going to mash at around 152. Normally I would go lower but don't want this beer to dry out too much due to the honey, is this a mistake? Should I go with 148?

My second question is in regards to the OG being so low. I wanted to keep it sort of low so the beer could ferment dry enough to resemble a saison. Would pitching some other yeast (champagne?) once the WLP568 gives up be sufficient to support a higher OG (1.090+)? Or should I go with what I have?

Here is a link to The BN forums and a recipe from Rabbit's Foot Meadery for their braggot which is a saison style from what I gather:

Thanks for any help guys!

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Old 11-11-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
Nov 2006
Posts: 4,289
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You talk about mashing and not wanting it to dry out, then talk about fermenting it to dry by champagne yeast. Something there didn't make sense to me when I read it.

My guess is this will end up more like a strong Saison than a mead. I think it has to be 50%+ honey to truly qualify as a braggot, and with only 5# honey completely dried out and underneath all the other malts, I'm betting you don't get much honey flavor out of it.

If you want to maintain some of the honey character, you might want to try putting in some honey malt to keep some honey flavor in, or consider upping the honey to 50%.

That said, I don't have any experience with a braggot, so take my thoughts with a hefty grain of salt.

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Old 11-11-2009, 02:55 PM   #3
nealf's Avatar
Jan 2008
Hiram, GA
Posts: 1,350
Liked 7 Times on 7 Posts

Sorry for the confusion, but I know saison yeast is notorious for stopping short, so I thought it might need a repitch if I ventured over the 1.075(approx) mark. I do want to maintain some malt character, but want to prevent a cloying finish (1.005-1.010 is my target FG).

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Old 11-12-2009, 04:03 PM   #4
Feb 2009
Evergreen, Colorado
Posts: 215
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Your approach seems sound to me. The higher mash temp will skew the enzyme activity to leave you with more complex, unfermentable sugars. That should, if enough of that partial conversion is achieved, provide you with some residual sweetness and mouthfeel even if the yeast eat every molecule of fermentable sugar in the wort. I'd say go for it (it is what I have done in my all-grain braggots, BTW) and if the final gravity is too low for your liking, at the time you pitch the conditioning yeast and the sugar required for that conditioning, you can consider adding some lactose for sweetness or malto-dextrin for body at the same time.

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Old 11-13-2009, 01:38 AM   #5
Sep 2009
Kansas City MO
Posts: 110
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Or, you could brew a saison, make a mead, and blend the two to taste when you're ready to bottle.

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