(5 gallons/19L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.080 FG = 1.014
IBU = N/A SRM = 8–10 ABV = 8%
7.75 lbs. (3.5 kg) light liquid malt extract
8.8 lbs. (4 kg) honey
1 lb. (0.45 kg) crystal malt (50–65 °L)
1.5 oz. (42 g) Northern Brewer hops (optional)
White Labs WLP715 (Champagne) (for primary fermentaion)
Wyeast 1007 (German Ale), Wyeast 3632 (Dry Mead), Wyeast 1098 (Whitbread British Ale), Wyeast 1728 (Scottish Ale), or White Labs WLP028 (Edinburgh Scottish Ale) yeast (for secondary fermentation)
Step by step
The burner under the brew kettle was turned on before the club members arrived, so the brewing liquor (water) was hot when we got there. If you wish to copy our simple braggot method, proceed as
follows to generate your wort:
Place the milled crystal malt into a steeping bag, immerse it in the hot brewing liquor (for color only). The temperature should be around 190 °F (88 °C). Let the grain rest for about 30 mins. Remove the crystal malt from the water and discard. Stir the extract into the water. Bring the wort to a boil. Once the proteins start to coagulate (flake), add the hops. Add the honey about 30 minutes into the boil. By that time, most of the hops have isomerized. During the boil, skim off any scum that may appear on the surface of the wort. After a total boil of about one hour, heat exchange the wort to the temperature required by the type of yeast that you have chosen.
Different members pitched greatly different liquid ale yeasts either as single strains or in combination. The choices included Wyeast 1007 (German Ale), Wyeast 3632 (Dry Mead), Wyeast 1098 (Whitbread British Ale), White Labs WLP715 (Champagne), Wyeast 1728 (Scottish Ale), or White Labs WLP028 (Edinburgh Scottish Ale) yeast.
Aerate the cooled wort and pitch the yeast or yeasts of your choice. (We started two of the carboys with champagne yeast.)
Ferment the wort at the temperature required for your choice of yeast. (We fermented the two carboys with champagne yeast at around 68°F (20 ºC). It may be necessary to use a blow-off tube, because this braggot ferments extra vigorously and produces plenty of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Measure the gravity once a day to monitor progress. (At a gravity reading of 1.030, we added a German ale yeast to one of the carboys. We added a dry English yeast to the second carboy at a gravity reading of 1.020.)
After about a week of primary fermentation, transfer the brew off its lees and keep it in a secondary fermenter at about 50–55 °F (10–13 ºC) for another four weeks. (The carboy with the German ale yeast finished at a FG of 1.018 and remained fairly sweet, while the carboy with the English ale yeast continued fermenting, bringing the FG down to a dry 1.010.)
These were the results from two identical worts kept under identical conditions, except for the yeast strains. The difference therefore must be due to the fact that these strains have different natural attenuation characteristics.
Rack the brew again and age it for about two months in a Cornelius keg or in bottles. There is no need to prime the brew because the residual sugars from the honey will continue to break down and create effervescence. If you condition the brew in a Cornelius keg, select a temperature of about 45°F (7°C) and set the pressure to about 13 psi. If you have the ability to measure the amount of dissolved CO2 in your beer, the proper value should be about 2.25 volumes.
Serving tip: When you pour the braggot into a glass, allow for plenty of headspace, because this brew can be a very sparkling surprise!