Stuck Braggot Fermentation

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Well-Known Member
May 2, 2006
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Middletown, DE
Wasn't sure where to post this since it's half beer/half mead. :cross:

I brewed the Crandaddy Braggot extract recipe from "Extreme Brewing" about 4 weeks ago.

3gal boil topped off to 5gal
6.6lb LME
6lb Orange Blossom
1oz Hallertau (60min)
2lbs dried cranberries hydrated in separte pot with 32oz just boiled water, then puree'd and added at 7min boil remaining.
1tsp pectic enzyme
5teaspoons yeast nutrient
WLP715 Champagne Yeast with 1500ml starter (Made from DME and Honey)
OG: 1.086

I fermented 2 weeks primary at about 68, then tranfered to secondary. 1 week secondary at 68, then moved to 56 for 1 week. I just took a gravity reading as the book says it's ready to bottle at 4 weeks and it's pretty clear, but I'm only sitting at 1.030, and the book says it should ferment down to 1.010.

I've already moved it back up to the main floor where it's 68, but what should I do to move along fermentation again? I've searched a good bit, and couldn't find much on braggots, but some mead guys just warm it up to start fermentation again, some add more honey, some repitch. What do you guys think I should do? I'm in no super rush to bottle this one, so I've got time to let it sit, but I'm thinking time alone won't heal this one.

Any input is appreciated. :)
First thing I would do is swirl the must around and kick up some of the lees. Warm it up, add a tsp of nutrient and energizer. Wait a week and check the gravity. If you have not dropped, pitch some more yeast.
The barley malt and the cranberry should give you enough nutrient, I would think more likely your yeast just got tired and are taking a break.

I am sure the experienced meadsters will have coronaries, but I would just reach in there with a disinfected racking cane and stir it real good to get all the lees back up in suspension.

If that doesn't work, then I would stir it again and rack to a different vessel. If still nothing, then I would re-pitch.

12 lbs fermentables is quite chewy, could you have started just the malt, and then racked onto sequential pounds of honey as you neared your FG?

EDIT:Whoa, 6# *ME, 6# honey, and 2# cranberries. I am thinking the yeast are feeling a little overwhelmed right now.
Thanks for the input guys. I'll try to make sure it's warmed up tonight. Maybe I'll try to get it to 70 sith the help of a space heater. And a quick stir is a good idear. I suppose that I should try not to aerate much?

And if I don't get anything after a week or so, should I repitch more WL715, or just some dry champagne yeast?

Yeah, it's quite chewy! And I had to bring it up to 5.5 gal just to get it to 1.086. I believe it was supposed to be 1.083, but I was way up there at just 5 gallons! Thank god I did, becasue those cranberries took up a ton of space in the carboy. I drank some of the hydro sample last night, and while it was still sweet, it already had alot of kick to it. :cross:
well if its under 70 now thats probably the issue. Yeh... no aeration and I wouldn't rack it off the lees until its gotten down near FG. There's no reason to rack it to another vessel that has a fraction of the yeast in there. Secondary is for clearing, not for fermentation.
Since you racked it already, I'd say warm it up and re-pitch some dry champagne yeast. Although your OG wasn't all that high for a braggot, they do tend to finish slowly. Some people do a stepped fermentation, beer ingredients first, then add the honey after a week.
racked a bit early. you won't get autolysis after 2 weeks. I"ve gone 7 weeks in primary with zero 'autolysis off-flavors' detected.

next time let it primary longer, it'll finish up a little sooner instead of stalling when 90% of the yeast is removed during secondary racking.

that's how I do it. and, energizer in the primary unless i'm using fruit juice or a lot of fruit. yeast nutrient usually doesn't have an appreciable amount of nitrogen in it....which is what yeast need in a mead usually.
It actually turned out alright. It finished at 1.012 if I remember correctly. I haven't drank a lot of it, because I'm letting it age. I bottled in 750ml big bottles, so I can use it at fancy dinners and stuff. It's just the right amount of cranberry in my opinion, but the heat from the ABV does poke through a decent bit. It's not as red as I was hoping for either, but that was mainly for novelty. :)