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Braggot first attempt

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SKBugs

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G'day folks,

I want to try my hand at a braggot and was wondering what people thought about the following recipe and method:

3 pounds honey
3 pounds DME (light malt)
8 ounces hops (generic variety - maybe fruity)
Nottingham Yeast (prepared with starter)

Boil DME in about 2 gals water for an hour
Add about 8 ounces of hops at 45 min, 55 min and 1 hour and at cooling (maybe called flameout)
Once cooled add honey to must and treat like a mead with SNA etc.

I know nothing about beer brewing so don't know what the separate additions of hops do, or what impact the malt has or anything. Most of the posts on here assume previous knowledge of beer brewing and basically adding mead ingredients to the brew. I think this would help those of us with no beer brewing experience.

Thanks all
 

Abhishek Dewan

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A few things I'd do differently -
1. I won't boil for an hour, DME doesn't need it. I think 30 minutes are fine. Also because you're only adding aroma hops & not the bittering ones.
2. Add honey during the boil or at the tail end of the boil. Honey contains several types of yeast. If you're trying wild fermentation, then it is fine but since you're adding a ale yeast, it'll be better to sterilise the honey.
 

Miraculix

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Extract doesn't need a boil at all. For safety reasons, I would boil it for five to ten minutes, but that's it. It will darken and change flavour with increasing boil time. Unless you really want that type of change, don't boil longer than necessary.

First, figure out how many ibus (a number for the amount of bitterness from the hops) you want in your beer.

Based on that you will calculate the hop additions. Longer boiled hops give more bittering and less aroma/flavour, and shorter boiled or flame out hops give more aroma but less bittering.

Also, there is no "generic" hop. They all vary highly in alpha acid content and this acid is the one thing that ends up as bitterness in the beer. There are hops with 2% alpha and some have more than 16%. As you can see, you would need only about an eighth of the amount of the first hops if you use the 16% variety compared to the 2% to get the same amount of bitterness.


So tell is what you expect from the final product.
 
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SKBugs

SKBugs

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Ok, well having a quick look at things i would say that i would like around 60 ibu (IPA type). I like the IPA for bitterness and would also like the mead flavour around that as well.

The hops i am using is a Magnum Hallertau, which has a 12% - 14% aplha composition.

So looking at a IBU calculator it tells me that a boil size of 3 gallons, an OG of 1.064 and 1 oz of hops would need to be boiled for 40 mins to give an IBU of around 60.

My actual batch size is 3 gallons so that would be all of it.

I don't know when to add the other ingredients ie the DME and honey etc. I assume it will be after the hops is brewed?

Cheers
 

Miraculix

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Ok, well having a quick look at things i would say that i would like around 60 ibu (IPA type). I like the IPA for bitterness and would also like the mead flavour around that as well.

The hops i am using is a Magnum Hallertau, which has a 12% - 14% aplha composition.

So looking at a IBU calculator it tells me that a boil size of 3 gallons, an OG of 1.064 and 1 oz of hops would need to be boiled for 40 mins to give an IBU of around 60.

My actual batch size is 3 gallons so that would be all of it.

I don't know when to add the other ingredients ie the DME and honey etc. I assume it will be after the hops is brewed?

Cheers
OK, 1.064 og is quite low for a mead.

You have multiple choices here, to pick the right one, you have to understand how hop utilisation works. The more sugar and proteins are dissolved in water, the less hop bitterness gets utilised during the boil.
That's why you always have to specify your og within those ibu calculators.

You can boil your hops within plain water to max out the IBU utilisation for about 30 minutes (don't forget to put 1.0 into the calculator as og, I recommend brewersfriend ibu calculator) and then add the honey and the extract at flame out, after you removed the hops.

This way you pasturise everything, which I wouldn't do with honey normally, but given the lower og and the residual sweetness from the extract, wild yeast might become a problem otherwise.

So pretty straight forward process. You just have to calculate your hop addition at 30 minutes. Magnum is a very neutral hop, you won't get much aroma of it, it is designed for bittering purposes only and it does it very well. It is my favourite clean hop variety.
 

bernardsmith

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But wait one minute - EIGHT ounces of hops in how many gallons of braggot? THREE? That is a hellava lot of hops for 3 gallons, isn't it? Sure you might go nuts for hops but we are talking about 3 lbs of DME - so the residual sweetness those hops are designed to balance is the equivalent of about 1- 1.5 gallons of beer (honey should finish bruit dry. Is this your recipe or is this something you stumbled over on the interwebs?
 
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SKBugs

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Mate, stumbling in the dark is my default. Any suggestions on it would be greatly appreciated. I have no idea about hops in a brew so it’s all new to me
 

LampshadeTricky

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Try looking at some IPA extract recipes to get a feel for how it should be designed. Substitute some of the malt gravity for honey gravity. It doesn’t have to be mead strength so 1.064 should be ok.

The longer the hops are in the boil, the more bitter you get, the less they are in the boil, the lower the bitter and keep more aroma. Hop addition times are usually given in time to zero so your additions are 15, 5, 0 and flameout. Anything at or after 0 won’t add any bittering. 1oz of magnum at each of those should give you most of the IBUs you want but I’d stop at 0. Look at more aromatic hops and adjust the amounts based on the alpha acids if you want.
 

Hoppy2bmerry

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Mate, stumbling in the dark is my default. Any suggestions on it would be greatly appreciated. I have no idea about hops in a brew so it’s all new to me
Okay, your Magnum is for bittering if you decide to not boil wort for an hour say a half hour more than an ounce would be over kill. The other additions will depend on what you want to use. You can make these decisions best by using a recipe calculator. Additionally, I have heard, that one may brew a braggot by starting with an ale and pouring the entire contents of the fermenter once it has clearly taken off into the must (honey and water) trub and all. I’m sure there are many ways to go about it, and braggot is on my future brew list. So be will following.
 

Miraculix

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Try looking at some IPA extract recipes to get a feel for how it should be designed. Substitute some of the malt gravity for honey gravity. It doesn’t have to be mead strength so 1.064 should be ok.

The longer the hops are in the boil, the more bitter you get, the less they are in the boil, the lower the bitter and keep more aroma. Hop addition times are usually given in time to zero so your additions are 15, 5, 0 and flameout. Anything at or after 0 won’t add any bittering. 1oz of magnum at each of those should give you most of the IBUs you want but I’d stop at 0. Look at more aromatic hops and adjust the amounts based on the alpha acids if you want.
That's not correct. Up until the wort is chilled to about 75c, every addition adds a certain amount of bitterness.
 
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Miraculix

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Mate, stumbling in the dark is my default. Any suggestions on it would be greatly appreciated. I have no idea about hops in a brew so it’s all new to me
Don't get confused now, keep it simple. You got Magnum as your hop of choice, so you can ignore late additions and focus on one single hop addition at 30 minutes boiling time.

60 ibus is indeed quite high. I would personally lower it to 20 to 35, but this really is a question of taste. If you like stones IPA and other bitterness bombs, 60 could work for you. I just don't fancy that bitter beer.

Just keep it simple, calculate your hop additions according to your desired bitterness, boil them for the calculated time in plain water and add the honey and the extract at flame out to pasteurize them. When calculating ibus, use 1.0 as your og, as you boil the hops in water only and type in the correct amount of water that you are using for the final bragott (final bragott volume).
 
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SKBugs

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Simple works fine for me. 60 IBU was just a starting point really, so am happy to try something less bitter.

My LHB guy reckoned that i need to boil the whole lot together - hops, DME and honey, in the total amount of water I intend to use - to extract the proper bitterness of the hops. I assume that is the way of it for beer, but figured a braggot would be different.
Is it ok to boil 1 gal with just hops for an hour, then add it to must (with honey and DME), or does it need to boil with the DME in the whole amount? Assuming a 2 gal batch in total?
 

Miraculix

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Simple works fine for me. 60 IBU was just a starting point really, so am happy to try something less bitter.

My LHB guy reckoned that i need to boil the whole lot together - hops, DME and honey, in the total amount of water I intend to use - to extract the proper bitterness of the hops. I assume that is the way of it for beer, but figured a braggot would be different.
Is it ok to boil 1 gal with just hops for an hour, then add it to must (with honey and DME), or does it need to boil with the DME in the whole amount? Assuming a 2 gal batch in total?
Sorry mate, but your lhbs guy seems to have no clue of what he's talking about.

It is a common myth around homebrewers that you need dissolved sugars/and or proteins to extract bitterness from hops, but quite the opposite is true. The more sugar and proteins are dissolved in the water you are boiling the hops in, the less ibus you can actually extract from the hops.

Good ibu calculators account for this phenomena and make you specify the boil og, to account for it during calculation. This is why I recommended the brewersfriend IBU calculator and stressed out to put in 1.0 as your boiling og.

By boiling honey and extract longer you're only changing the extract flavour and boiling off honey aroma.

Btw. I'm not talking theoretically here, I made all the experiments and did quite a few beers where I boiled the hops in plain water as a hop tea on the side. Other users here did so as well, for example @Ninoid has quite some experience using this technique.

Then there is this other myth that boiling hops in water extracts vegetale or grassy flavor, this is also not true.

Just calculate your hop addition for a thirty minute boil, boil it in the water for thirty minutes, remove the hops and turn down the heat, add honey and extract, chill, pitch yeast.

I wrote this now three times and I'm happy to write it a fourth time :D
 
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SKBugs

SKBugs

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[emoji4] indeed you did. Thanks for your patience.
Yeah my guy only knows beer which is fine if all you ask about is beer.
I will give it a shot on the weekend. Very excited.
Thanks
 

Miraculix

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[emoji4] indeed you did. Thanks for your patience.
Yeah my guy only knows beer which is fine if all you ask about is beer.
I will give it a shot on the weekend. Very excited.
Thanks
What he said is not true, also not in regards to beer. You can point him to this thread and I'm happy to discuss this with him.

Maybe he was thinking that you were talking about a kit with a specific amount of hops coming with the kit? In this case, he would be right, if you are not recalculating your hop additions on your own.

But as you are calculating it yourself, there's no need for boiling the hop together with the extract and honey, it actually would be detrimental for the final product.
 
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SKBugs

SKBugs

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Dunno. He sold me the hops and DME so he’d have to know it’s not a kit.
Regardless I feel much more at home with your advice. It makes a lot more sense also from what I can see too.
Cheers
 

Miraculix

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Dunno. He sold me the hops and DME so he’d have to know it’s not a kit.
Regardless I feel much more at home with your advice. It makes a lot more sense also from what I can see too.
Cheers
Oh and one last thing, you mentioned tosna, which is probably the best available nutrient protocol at the moment.

Lots of test runs showed that for meads/wines/bragotts with a lower og (I think it was below 1.1, but yours falls for sure within this range), it is best practice not to stagger the nutrients but to throw them in together with the yeast.

Details for the whys are somewhere in the BOMM thread in the mead section, but don't ask me where exactly.
 

Seamonkey84

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Lots of test runs showed that for meads/wines/bragotts with a lower og (I think it was below 1.1, but yours falls for sure within this range), it is best practice not to stagger the nutrients but to throw them in together with the yeast.

Details for the whys are somewhere in the BOMM thread in the mead section, but don't ask me where exactly.
According to the BOMM protocol, if your starting gravity is 1.090 or lower, you add all your nutrients in up front. There isn’t enough sugar to require the nutrients, and the fermentation should finish so fast it wouldn’t make sense to try and time the additions.
 

Miraculix

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According to the BOMM protocol, if your starting gravity is 1.090 or lower, you add all your nutrients in up front. There isn’t enough sugar to require the nutrients, and the fermentation should finish so fast it wouldn’t make sense to try and time the additions.
Thanks, 1.09, I always keep forgetting this number.
 

LampshadeTricky

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That's not correct. Up until the wort is chilled to about 75c, every addition adds a certain amount of bitterness.
That’s true but the additional bitterness would be greatly reduced since the alpha acids need ~180F to isomerize.
 

Miraculix

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That’s true but the additional bitterness would be greatly reduced since the alpha acids need ~180F to isomerize.
That's true. It's just not as little as one might think. I did a lot of no chill batches with flame out additions only and those could get quite bitter, without using massive hop amounts. The hard part is to figure out how much they actually contribute.
 

Miraculix

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I know it's subjective, but what gravity tends to work best with a braggot? You guys seemed surprised at a 7% braggot
It depends on one's view on braggots. I see it as a mead with malt in it, therefore I would brew it according to mead standards, starting at about 12% abv or higher and without any hops. But just to be clear, this is my very own interpretation and others might have a completely different idea about bragots. There is much room for interpretation.
 
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