Monday, October 18, 2010

Braggot/Belgian Ale project update #2

Yesterday I kicked off one of my most ambitious brew sessions to date.  21 pounds of barley, 11.5 pounds of honey, and 1 pound of candi syrup. Not to mention the assortment of hops, yeasts, and specialty herbs. At the end of the day I had created 5 gallons of 1.081 Belgian specialty ale, and 2- 2.5 gallon carboys of 1.117 braggot.
The day started by brewing up 13 gallons of wort. I split that into two kettles and started on the beer first. You can see the entire recipe below.
I guess the main thing of interest here is the caramelized honey. I know many people think caramelizing honey is a sin, but I just wasn’t looking for a real strong honey presence. I used honey malt for that flavor. I hope the caramelized stuff will add some interesting flavors beyond just caramelizing up some sucrose. It should be interesting to see how it works with the Belgian candi syrup.

The braggot started out with an outline of what I wanted to accomplish, but no concrete plans. I had 2 oz of chamomile, 4 oz meadowsweet, and an assortment of hops. I don’t really have a ton of info on using these herbs so the plan was to taste as I went.

I have seen the chamomile wheat recipe in Sam Calagiones extreme brewing book. In that recipe you add it at the start of the boil. That seems like the opposite of what you might do with a fragrant and flavorful herb. But I went ahead and added half an ounce at 45 mins. I also added 2 ounce of meadowsweet and half an ounce of magnum hops at that time. Once this got to boiling the kettle smelled wonderful.

Warming up the honey

At 30 mins I was planning on adding 1 ounce of pearle hops and the other 2 ounces of meadowsweet. Before adding I gave it a taste and it was not very pleasant. So I skipped adding anymore meadowsweet and just put the hops in. With 5 mins left I added the 1.5 ounce of remaining chamomile. The 9 pounds of honey went in at flame out.

The flavor in the finished wort was really nice; the bad flavor I had tasted earlier had been covered up or changed with the addition of the honey and chamomile. The IBUs might seem high, especially since one goal was to try to keep this authentic to the period. However I got to thinking about how long this will be aging, and with standard hop degradation I figured this level would work out ok.

The results

Bee Juice (working title)

Type: All Grain
Date: 10/17/2010
Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Amount ItemType % or IBU
7.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)Grain37.5 %
1.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)Grain7.5 %
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)Grain5.0 %
0.50 lb Special B Malt (60.0 SRM)Grain2.5 %
0.50 oz Magnum [15.00%] (45 min)Hops26.0 IBU
1.00 oz Pearle [7.6%] (15 min)Hops15.0 IBU
0.50 oz Chamomile (Boil 45.0 min)Misc
2.00 oz Meadowsweet (Boil 45.0 min)Misc
1.50 oz Chamomile (Boil 5.0 min)Misc
9.50 lb Honey (1.0 SRM)Sugar47.5 %

Split 5 gallons into two carboys
1 Pkgs Edinburgh Ale (White Labs #WLP028)Yeast-Ale
1 Pkgs Old Ale Blend W/Brett (Wyeast #9097)

Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.117 SG
SGMeasured Final Gravity: ??
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: ~13 %
Bitterness: 41.0 IBU
Est Color: 11.0 SRM
Belgian Black Honey Strong Ale
(Belgian Specialty Ale)

Type: All Grain
Date: 10/17/2010
Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Amount ItemType% or IBU
7.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)Grain 55.6 %
1.50 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)Grain 11.1 %
1.00 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM)Grain 7.4 %
0.50 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)Grain 3.7 %
0.50 oz Magnum [15.00%] (60 min)Hops 24.5 IBU
1.00 oz Glacier [7%] (30 min)Hops 20.5 IBU
2.00 lb Caramelized Honey (60.0 SRM)Sugar 14.8 %
1.00 lb Candi Syrup, Dark (80.0 SRM)Sugar 7.4 %
1 Pkgs Abby Ale (White Labs #WLP530)Yeast-Ale

Beer Profile
Measured Original Gravity: 1.081 SG
Measured Final Gravity: ?? SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: ~7.8 %
Bitterness: 45.0 IBU
Est Color: 27.1 SRM

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