hist-brewing: Cornish Braggot - part 2

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Sun May 28 16:37:10 PDT 2000

    This post will cover principally some practical issues regarding the
production of this braggot.
    First however a few points need to be cleared up.  One point is that
i have never made this recipe using marshmallow or cream.  I have always
been leery of putting dairy products into ale although i understand that
several modern ales from Albion use them. Does anyone know which ones or
how they are used?  Perhaps someone can provide some information
regarding the state of professional literature on this matter or their
own experiences.  Also, would anyone know weather the introduction of
cream could introduce off flavors?  Has someone discovered an ideal time
to introduce cream into an ale?  I have never used the marshmallow
because until quite recently i was unaware of  what it exactly was.
    When i have made this braggot in the past i choose to reduce the
grain bill and sugars by 25% across the board.  My justification for so
doing was that i reasoned that the large quantities of fermentable
material was primarily a result of  poorly converted malt.  This drink
is quite alcoholic, loaded with aromatics and has a body quite heavier
then any other braggots from a comparable period.
    This ale requires incredible amounts of  yeast so quite an
additional amount of preparatory thought is required.  I have found that
you simply can't make this ale without using 6-8 liters of  slurry.  If
you under pitch this braggot i have noted it to be overly sweet and
poorly balanced.  While i have had better results when i inject roughly
half a cubic foot of oxygen i can't say that it makes a drastic
difference.  I have not know this drink to have trouble with stuck
fermentations nor have i had the need to use the nutrients normally
associated with mead production.
    The spices used have been rather complimentary and provide a good
balance to my tastes.  If  however you don't normally drink gruited ales
or spiced braggots i would suggest that the spices be decreased by
    Oh, by the way as an historical aside i found out a few additional
things regarding this recipe after ringing Donnsby.  The version of the
recipe i cited previously was carbon dated at great expense about 2
years back and apparently dates from 1567.  George tells me that the
braggot was last known to be in production back in 1798.  He reached
this date by looking at shipping records from the family records.  He
doesn't have any serious indications when it was first made commercially
other then the recipe it self  and sporadic records from the from the
late 1600's.

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