hist-brewing: Cornish Braggot part 2

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Fri Jun 9 15:00:26 PDT 2000

    Hello to all and sorry for the delay in getting this bit out.  I'll
finish up this subject by giving instructions on how to make this
Braggot at home.
    In terms of  the grist bill and the sugars used i have found that
the amounts called for in the old recipe are quite excessive unless one
uses poorly modified malts.  I have found that one can reasonable reduce
the grist by 30% when using modern commercial malt and if you have a
RIMS set up i'd suggest reducing it by 35% to 40% depending upon how
efficient one's setup is.  I have found that a similar reduction in the
sugars is also highly advisable if one has reduced the grist bill in
light of  having better quality malt at ones disposal.
    Also, i'd like to recommend the use of malted oats as it simplifies
the production of the wort and makes for a shorter brew day.   Also,
their is no indication in this recipe that unmalted oats were used so i
don't think that you'll have to be worried about a paucity of historical
    With regards to the two mashes i've just used a simple infusion mash
in which i shoot for a high temperature, 157-160 degrees F.,  with each
mash lasting an hour and a half.  In all other respects i just follow
the instructions from the first post on the subject.
    A good reader pointed out that i erred by forgetting  to include
what's to be done with the marshmallow.  According to my notes you place
half of  the marshmallow into the small boil and the other half into the
secondary fermenter.
    The yeast issue is quite interesting in a few ways.  Although the
recipe says nothing about the yeast (as is the case with 90% of all old
recipes) i have used a special Cornish yeast that Paul Filby posts to me
now and again.  The Yeast is harvested off a plant called a pyracantha
(spelling?) shortly after the bloom goes off it's flower.  What is so
interesting about this yeast is that it's pretty alcohol tolerant and
tastes good despite a bit of phenol and ester like qualities that one
gets with it.  A yeast supplier, i can't remember the name, in the
states sells something called a "high temperature Belgian yeast" which
works well up to 80 degrees F.  The Cornish
yeast is some what similar in taste.  I would recommend a high quality
Belgian yeast that is suitable for tripled & quadbocks or an English
yeast suitable for barley wine.
    One must use a lot of slurry for this recipe, no less then 3 quarts
and more would be better.  I would also suggest that the Braggot be well
oxygenated roughly half a day after the yeast is pitched.  Their are
several sources in the states for pure oxygen and reasonably priced
equipment that would allow for it to be injected into one's wort.  If
anyone needs a supplier just  let me know.
    I have used carboys with oak chips to great success when make
braggots.    I would suggest that the recommendations for conditioning
in the original recipe be followed closely.  It has been my experience
that this recipe requires prolong aging.  Nine months to a year would be
best prior to final conditioning to my mind.  However, some folks have
let it mature for only six months so you may wish to keep a small amount
in tiny fermenter which you can sample and execute the final
conditioning after six months or so have passed.
     Even though it's an alcoholic drink it also has a fair bit of
residual sweetness.  In short it's very complicated beverage.   When i
make this drink, which is rarely because it's so pricey, i add the final
amount of  honey prior to bottling.  When it's ready to  be served i
place an additional 2 teaspoons of warm honey into each horn, one before
and one after the braggot has been pored.

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