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?