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When does beer w/ honey become braggot?

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ChrisVZ

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Just made a honey ale and used 5 lb of honey along with 6lb of light malt. Would this technically be considered braggot? Right now I am calling it blonde honey ale just because I used more malt than honey.
Side note... Smells coming from the fermenter are fantastic.
 

jackfrost

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Keep me updated on this I would Pike to know how it comes out.
 

fatbloke

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IMO it ceases to be a honey beer when the main source of flavours come from honey rather than malt.

But as there is no real standards you could indeed, term it a braggot if you wanted.....
 
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ChrisVZ

ChrisVZ

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@jackfrost, I based my recipie on a belgian grand cru kit that I made before. That kit only used 2 lbs of clover honey. For this one, I used 5lb from a local beekeeper, a raw dark fall wildflower variety with great flavor and aroma. A bit on the expensive side at $4/ lb, but I wanted some quality honey, not the overprocessed stuff at my local supermarket. I used pilsner LME, 1 lb caramel 10L steeping grains, 1 oz centennial bittering hops, 1 oz cascade @ 30 min. I chose not to add any hops at flameout so the honey flavor would not be overpowered by hop aroma. At flameout I added the honey, 1oz bitter orange peel, and 1oz of crushed corriander. Pitched with a 1/2 gal starter of wyeast belgian strong ale yeast. OG was 1.080. Depending on the amount of honey flavor left after primary, I may secondary with a pound or 2 of orange blossom honey.
 
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ChrisVZ

ChrisVZ

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CityOChampBrew said:
sounds like a braggot to me, but call it what you want. hope it tastes amazing
Thinking of naming it "Crooked Stinger".
 

ninjaginger

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This does sound very good. How long are you going to let it ferment/condition for?
 
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ChrisVZ

ChrisVZ

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I don't really have a timetable for fermentation. It will remain in primary for 2-3 weeks before I start taking gravity samples. When it is stable, it will most likely secondary for a month or so, or until it clears. Whether aging will be with aditional honey depends on how it tastes. If it is good, I will only use a couple tablespooons of table sugar to promote a good layer of CO2 for aging. Then it will be bottled. I'm gonna stick a case in the basement for long term aging. The other case will be for myself and my friends who appreciate homebrew. Maybe a six pack to share at a local beer festival if I am lucky enough to get tickets again this year.
 

TheBrewingMedic

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Based off the mazer cup standards and things like that it's a fine line between between braggot and honey beer when it is all fermented together, if 51% or more of the fermentables are honey then it is a braggot, if its malts then it is honey beer....but really you can call it braggot at any point you like since it is your recipe. Alot of people like to blend mead and ipa's together and call them braggots. It's really just a hybrid of the two beverages coming together in any way that you enjoy them...btw your recipe sounds great
 
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ChrisVZ

ChrisVZ

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Ok, guess I can continue calling it a honey ale since I used less honey than malt. Thanks for the info Medic.
It is still fermenting with regular airlock activity every 10 seconds or so. The honey aroma from it has faded a lot. I'm thinking another 2 weeks or so before it gets transfered to secondary.
 

prohl84

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I am a novice brewer and I have a braggot/ honey ale going currently. If the ratio is 50/50 does that mean exact input weight or the ratio of fermentables? If you use malts with many fermentables I would expect weight ratios to be fairly similar; does the grain to honey ratio apply when you use specialty malts with less fermentable potential?

The braggot tasted delicious about 10 days ago; clear, naturally carbonated, too hoppy still, and the grav was a little high. Going to check it Monday maybe but I am not in any hurry for this one.
 
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ChrisVZ

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Update: first gravity reading today, and it sits at 1.008, just shy of 9.5%. Nice golden color, but still quite hazy with suspended yeast. Honey flavor is there but hard to pick out. Orange peel and corriander play well with the hops and give it a refreshing finish. Cold crashing the rest of my sample as I type this to get a taste w/o the yeast. Hoping I can pick out the honey more. No noticeable alcohol flavor, but gives your belly that lovely warm feeling. Very pleased with how it is turning out.

Edit: overnight cold crash removed a lot of the suspended yeast and the honey's taste is more noticeable. I will not be adding the orange blossom honeyin the secondary because I like it the way it is. I may use some honey to bottle though.
 
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ChrisVZ

ChrisVZ

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Final update: just kegged it after bottling a dozen for long term storage. It finished at 1.004, between 9.85 and 10%, depending on the calculator used. Beautiful hazy yellow/gold color. Hops and spices are balanced nicely and do a great job of hiding the alcohol bite. Finishes dry and tart, with smooth honey undertones. The honey isn't as strong as I intended, but still very tasty and dangerous after a couple pints. I give it a 92/100. I plan on making this again with a few tweaks. Thinking of cutting last hop addition down to 1/2 oz and more than one steeping grain to increase its complexity. Probably 8oz caramel 10 and 8oz caramel 40.
 

prohl84

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That sounds awesome. $4/ lb. for raw, local honey is pretty standard where I am and it is worth it over the bottom line crap from the grocery.
 
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