Archive for the ‘braggot’ Category


This braggot is awesome…it took years (8/09), but it is sooo good now. Patience IS a virtue.

Braggot saved?

I retasted the Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot with some members of my homebrewing club and we came to some conclusions. It was agreed that this should age for a while. The alcohol content is pretty high and it could mellow out and change the flavor of the braggot if given time. So these are tucked into a dark basement corner until remembered again in the future.

Things don’t always go as planned…

Upset is a good description of how I feel about Danstar right now. I’ve been reading about old complaints of an issue with Nottingham yeast. It appears some have had issues for possibly up to a year. Danstar is replacing yeast packets matching their only claimed issue batch #1081140110V exp 01-2011. I have one unused packet. I, unfortunately used one packet on my Earl Grey Braggot but threw away the packet, not knowing there was an issue. It ruined my batch. I used a packet of Notty from batch #1080360088V exp 08-2010 on my Haus Pale Ale. It ruined my batch. I yanked the packet out of the trash when I read about the Notty issues, hoping to find it was the bad batch causing my ale to not take off by the next day. It wasn’t the recall batch. yet it still took 60+ hours to take off. I’ve never had a beer not take off in the overnight after pitching the day before. I hear others had issue with the same batch, yet Danstar admits to nothing. I contacted them indicating there was an issue and they denied it. The packet is punctured. You can clearly see it. Others see the same punctures on their packets that ruined their beer too.

What do I want? Certainly not more packets of Notty in return for packets turned in. That does nothing for me. A $20 pale ale and a $30 braggot was ruined. And 12 hours of my time just between brewing and bottling these beers, never mind the tending time. Also, the pale ale was brewed up in celebration of a new part time job I got after being unemployed for several months. To make it special, I tossed in my first ever hops harvest. No $3 packet of new yeast is going to make up for that. I have 3 more packets of the #1080360088V exp 08-2010 that I won’t use. Too much of a risk. Anyways, here’s a review of what was supposed to be my special Christmas braggot.

A: Caramel orange. Very thin head.

S: Spicy and sweet. Big nose.

T: Very complex! Spicy and sweet. There’s an off flavor to it, bandaidey. Most likely attributed to the bad Notty yeast. But I think I got it onto the S-05 yeast cake soon enough to help it some. By the time you get 1/3 of the way through the glass, the medicinal taste takes over too much. I was barely able to finish the last 2/3.

M:Thin. Pretty dry.

D: One will do fine. It’s a cozy braggot for a cold night. The bad yeast flavor totally detracts from this brew. It tastes like it could have been really good. It looks really good. It begins to taste really good. Then WHAMO…yucky off flavor. I think I will let this one age and see if we lose any of the off flavor.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas around here. I bottled my Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot and it smells fantastic! This was a brew I was worried about with the Nottingham yeast issues. I had to pitch the wort onto a fresh S-05 yeast cake because it didn’t take off due to the bad Notty. I was afraid that having two different yeast strains in there would potentially cause problems. I wonder if the strong S-05 just over powered the weak Nottingham yeasties?

The FG was 1.012. The OG was 1.098. (1.098-1.012) x 131 =11.266. Big beer! What a great color to it. I took a taste and it has a real nice cinnamony taste to it. I put the sample into the fridge to taste cold later. I think this will taste awesome carbonated.

This was also my first trial of gelatin to clear up the very cloudy wort. It worked great as you can see in the sample. A weird gloopy mess in the bottom of the carboy was all the evidence left of the gelatin.

And again I got to make the difference in an unhappy Corona bottle. This little guy is proudly displaying a fine braggot, happy to finally contain something decent inside himself.

I can’t wait to try this one. If it is as good as I think it is going to be, I will be doing a double batch and make it all grain next time.

Still going strong

The braggot took off and is bubbling away still. Changed the ice jug, still around 60-62F, just where I like to ferment at. Nice fat Krausen. Looks like we’re sailing with Admiral Nelson today. Very cloudy wort, hope it clears up. I’ll probably give this one a month in the primary. If I don’t see clearing near the end of that, I’ll bring out the gelatin.

Thar she blows!!! Take 2

Within 1 hour of pitching the braggot onto the fat IPA yeast cake, we have airlock activity. Nice bubbly Krausen too. Should ramp up nicely now. Just cross our fingers that the additional hops in the cake won’t make much of an impact on the braggot. Also, hopefully the transfer of the IPA into a secondary won’t have any impact either.

Lesson learned: Toss a big beer/braggot/whatever onto a fat yeast cake. Next time I’ll brew up a pale ale and use the yeast cake from that.


Call in the BRC!

I’m calling in the Beer Recovery Crew for this batch. Time to rack the IPA off that fat yeast cake and get the braggot onto it to see some activity. I think I’ll omit the spice bag, I imagine sitting in there this long is probably enough.

The plan:
1. IPA racked off into a sanitized bucket, a little yeast in there is fine as it will sit for a few more weeks anyways.
2. Siphon out as much yeast slurry and as few hops as possible into my sanitized 5 gallon glass fermenter.
3. Siphon the braggot onto the yeast slurry.

Question: Do I re-aerate?

Still nothing

Still no signs of activity on the Braggot. Going to give it until tomorrow afternoon. If no activity by then I’m going to rack my IPA off into a secondary and that fat yeast cake onto the braggot. There are a lot of hops in there so I’ll try to remove as much as possible then pour the cake onto the braggot I think.

Thar she blo…wait, what???

No activity at all in the braggot yet. Not characteristic of Nottingham yeast at all. I opened the lid and not even a hint of yeast aggregation or Krausen at all. I pitched some yeast energizer in there and shook it up before noon. Checked again at 7pm and still nothing. Past 24 hours now. If there is no activity by tomorrow morning, I think I may rack my Vulcan Warrior IPA into a secondary and pitch the braggot onto that S-05 yeast cake. That should take off and should be a problem for the braggot. It may be the high OG, I haven’t brewed anything that high yet. I’m crossing my fingers that we get something by tomorrow, no sense rousing the Vulcan Warrior if you don’t have to.

Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot-8-26-09

I’ve been wanting to brew a spice beer for some time but haven’t found a recipe I liked. I just happened to have some honey and a can of LME so a braggot came up as an idea. I searched and searched for good recipes and finally came upon Daniel Eskridge’s blog of his braggot adventures. Amongst his pages I found his Earl Grey Cinnamon Braggot recipe. I love Earl Grey Tea so I thought this is my recipe!
Here is Daniel’s original recipe (

Ingredient List

  • 125 oz of water
  • 1 lb light liquid malt extract
  • 1.5 lb clover honey
  • 4 sticks of cinnemon
  • 2 bags of Earl Grey Tea
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 packet Nottingham Ale Yeast
  • 1 Tbs Czech Saaz Hop Pellets
  • A small pinch of Fermax


  1. I brought the water up to boiling and steeped the teabags in it
  2. When the tea cooled to 160 degrees, I dropped in the crushed cinnamon and cloves (crushed via a ziplock bag and a rolling pin)
  3. I then stirred gently as a I added the liquid malt extract, then the honey
  4. I brought the temperature back up to 160, added the hops, and heated for 45 more minutes, then dropped the brewpot in a cold water bath to rapidly bring the temperature down. This was to pastuerize the must.
  5. While waiting for the must to cool, I rehydrated the yeast in water then added a bit of must and fermax after fifteen minutes or so.
  6. Using a long handle spoon I fished out a bit of cinnamon and cloves and put it in the carboy.
  7. I poured the must into the carboy through a strained funnel. This filtered out most, but not all, of the hops and cinnemon.
  8. I then added the yeast to the carboy and capped it off with an airlock

My ingredients were a little larger so I scaled it up for 3 gallons. Here is what I did:

Ingredient List

  • 3 gallons of water
  • 3.3 lb light liquid malt extract
  • 5 lb clover honey
  • 12 sticks of cinnemon
  • 6 bags of Earl Grey Tea
  • 12 cloves
  • 1 packet Nottingham Ale Yeast
  • 1 0z Czech Saaz Hop Pellets


  1. Heated up a couple gallons of water in one pot and set my honey and malt so they would pour easier.
  2. Brought 2 gallons of water to a boil and turned off the heat.
  3. Put 6 bags Earl Grey Tea bags into the water and steeped until the temperature fell to 160F.
  4. Put cinnamon sticks and cloves into a grain bag and crushed them with a marble rolling pin. Put the cinnamon and cloves into my hop sock.
  5. Poured LME and Honey into the pot and stirred until dissolved.
  6. Added heat until I reached 160F while stirring to keep malt from scorching.
  7. Added 1 oz Saaz hops to hop sock and started 45 minute timer.
  8. Brought temperature to approximately 170F and turned flame off. Maintained temperature between 160F and 180F for the 45 minutes. Required flame on a few times.
  9. Took my immersion chiller out of a bucket of sanitizer that covered it and chilled the must down below 70F.
  10. Put my hop sock over the fermentation bucket and poured the must into the bucket, pitched the yeast, secured the lid and airlock and aerated by rocking the bucket.
  11. Placed in a swamp cooler in my basement.

OG: 1.070 @ 177F = 1.098 @60F.
Smells awesome and tastes awesome!

The ingredients.

Liquifiying the honey and liquid malt extract.

The cinnamon and cloves.

Tea bags in.

Looks and smells like Earl Grey tea.

Honey and malt dissolved, cinnamon and cloves in.

The hops in my hop sock.

Hold the temperature for 45 minutes.

Hops and spices in my hop sock waiting for the must.

Chilling the must.

Tucked away in a swamp cooler in the basement.