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Monday, March 13, 2006

I decided to go way back for a beer recipe. This style of beer was popular during the Medieval times and I thought that it would be a fun beer to make. After the recipe is a little history about this style of beer.
    3.3 pounds, wildflower honey
    3.3 pounds, amber malt extract
    2 pounds, wheat extract
    1 pound, light malt extract
    1/2 pound, 10L crystal malt
    2 ounces, Northern Brewer hops (8.0%), 30 minute boil
    2 ounces, Kent Goldings pellets (4.6%), 20 minute boil
    1/2 ounce, Kent Goldings pellets, 15 minute boil
    1/2 ounce, Kent Goldings pellets, finishing (10 minutes)
    Irish moss, last 5 minutes
    Whitbread ale yeast
    1/2 teaspoon, yeast energizer

    Step mash. Crush grains and add to 3 qts water (with gypsum dissolved) at 130F. Maintain mash temperature at 125 for 30 min (protein rest).
    Add 3 quarts of boiling water to mash and maintain temperature at 158 for 1 hour (saccharification rest).
    Drain wort and sparge grains with 5 quarts water at 170.
    Add to the wort in the brewpot the malt extract and brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
    After 30 minutes of boil, add 1/2 ounce of Northern Brewer hops and 1/2 ounce of Fuggles hops.
    After 15 more minutes, add an additional 1/2 ounce of each hop.
    Boil for a total of 1- -1/2 hours.
    Ten minutes before the end of the boil, add the Irish moss.
    Five minutes before the end of the boil, add 1 ounce of Fuggles hops (for aroma).
    Cool the wort and add to the primary fermenter with sufficient water to make 5 gallons.
    Pitch yeast when temp of wort is below 75. Ferment at 65 for 5 days. Rack to secondary and ferment for 15 more days at 65. Bulk prime with corn sugar before bottling.

History of Braggot

Braggot (aka Bracket, Braket, Brackett...) is a malted beverage made with honey and barley. It is usually categorized as a type of mead, except for when hops are added - then it is usually considered a beer. The honey/barley ratio should be about 50/50, in the amounts used in the recipe and in the taste of the braggot. Both should be clearly defined, with an overall sweetness. Braggot is a very old drink, and was very popular in Medieval Europe. Chaucer wrote about it, as did several other authors.

Modern braggot is made usually as novelty ales by micro-breweries or by wineries specializing in Honeywine. Braggot is also very popular in home brewery for the same reasons it was popular in ancient times - they were as easy to brew as beer, but due to the honey were very high in alcohol content (generally around 10-12%).

What's Braggot?

by George de Piro

A long time ago, before the days of television and internet surfing, people actually had to rely on social interaction for entertainment. The local pub was a place where people would gather to discuss life, argue relevant issues, and drink a little something to make the night seem warmer.

Mead was a popular choice for those wanting more alcohol than the average beer. A fermented beverage made from honey, meads can exceed 10% alcohol by volume (ABV). They were sometimes spiced to add complexity to their flavor.

Braggot was made by blending mead and beer, to produce a strong drink with unique flavors. This blending was often done right at the bar, but was sometimes performed by the brewer. Today there are few modern examples of braggot produced commercially.

From Evans Ale

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