Posts Tagged ‘braggot’

pseudo märzen, braggot, spent grain bars

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

over the past couple of months I have found myself consistently buying a single beer style – marzen (aka “oktoberfest”).

  • every time I cruised by the local trader joe’s or bevmo I would stop in for a few bottles of the clean, malty, perfectly hopped ayinger oktober fest-marzen (the fact that their bulletproof 500mL bottles are ideal for reuse was just the icing on the cake).
  • I had always shied away from brewing lagers, not because of their strict temperature requirements, but because of their elongated fermentation and lagering times.  however, I had recently done some research on substituting kolsch ale yeast for lager yeast and fermenting at a lower temperature to achieve a similar result.  stumbling upon edwort’s kolsch-based oktoberfest recipe, reading a recent zymurgy article on cold ale fermentations, and trying NM’s tasty “steam” marzen clinched it, and I formulated the following pseudo marzen recipe (12 gal batch, 90 min boil, 80% efficiency):
    • 10.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 38.46 %
      10.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 38.46 %
      4.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 15.38 %
      1.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
      1.00 lb Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 3.85 %
      2.50 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (90 min) Hops 16.7 IBU
      1.00 oz Tettnang [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 6.3 IBU
      1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (30 min) Hops 5.1 IBU
      1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (15 min) Hops 3.3 IBU
  • I mashed at 154F and ended up with 1.067 wort, which I cooled down to the low 50s.  I pitched a 2L starter of kolsch yeast, and fermentation kicked off within 12 hrs.  I kept the ambient temperature at 50F in my fermentation freezer, which will hopefully yield low/no fruitiness.  I’m also planning on lagering for at least 2 months in the mid-30sF after kegging.
  • during the mash, I bottled my experimental small braggot, which finished at 0.99 for an abv of 5.15%.  not bad for a beer that started at 1.035!
  • during the boil, I ran an additional sparge over the grain bed and collected 2.5 gallons of second runnings, which I added .5oz of tettnanger hops to at the start of a 60 minute boil.  at flame out I added around 2 lbs of local honey, ending up with a gallon of wort with an OG of 1.071.  I pitched a small portion of the kolsch starter at ambient temperature (~70F) and the wort was active by the end of the day.  there is some debate as to what specifically constitutes a “braggot,” but I figured that with close to 50% of the fermentables being provided by honey, the style was appropriate.
  • additionally, while cleaning out my mash tun, I started thinking about spent grain reuse.  I ended up sprinkling a few pounds onto one of my planters as compost and bringing four cups of grain inside for some dog treats.  after checking the fridge and realizing that I only had almond butter (which may be toxic to dogs), I decided to make spent grain bars for humans instead.  the recipe is as follows:
    • 2 cups grain
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup almond butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate
    • 1/3 cup dried cherries
    • 1/3 cup honey
    • cinnamon to taste
  •  I ended up doubling the above recipe and baking 3/4″ thick bars in a baking pan.  after hitting the bars at 350F for 30 minutes, I cut them into squares and finished them for another 45 minutes at 225F.  the bars are chewy, not too sweet, and make a great morning snack.  to say they are “high in fiber” is a gross understatement, so don’t go eating the whole batch in one sitting.  for the dog treat version, I would swap peanut butter for almond butter, leave out the chocolate, cherries, and cinnamon, and bake at 1/4″ thickness at 225F until completely dry to avoid having to refrigerate.  enjoy!



local mead

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

I had no idea how simple it was to make a basic mead before I tried it.

  • I had toyed with the idea of making a mead/braggot for a while, but after reading hightest’s straightforward FAQ at homebrewtalk, I was ready to take the plunge.
  • I managed to score some great wildflower honey sourced locally from energy bee farm at a local farmer’s market.  their product is outstanding and their prices are reasonable, especially when you buy in bulk (they sell in containers up to 12 lb.).
  • unlike grain fermentations, where the wort provides essential elements to the yeast, mead fermentations need staggered nutrient additions.  it seems complicated, but there are only three additions of DAP and fermaid-K that need to be stirred in at defined intervals, each of which takes five minutes tops.  I picked up my nutrients at the moreflavor! conglomerate (under the wine section I believe).
  • preparation and inoculation of the must was as follows:
    • heat 4 gal. water to 115F.
    • stir in 14 lbs honey.
    • cool to below 80F (I hit 72F).
    • add first stage nutrients and yeast (DAP, fermaid-K, and white labs WLP715 champagne yeast for a dryer mead)
  • the process only takes and hour or two and yields 5 gallons of mead.  in the future, I’m thinking about experimenting with the style, including some sour blend/dreg additions, a funked belgian blond braggot, sparkling mead, etc.

the new brew setup, yearly reflections

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

tomorrow marks the year anniversary of overcarbed.  to mark the occasion, I wanted to divulge the newly renovated home brewery at overcarbed HQ.

  • as veteran readers remember, a year ago, space constraints limited production means to a 4 gallon stove-top pot that had trouble getting a 3.5 gallon batch of extract/partial mash rolling.  gravity readings were nonexistent, and cooling took place in the bathroom tub using an immersion chiller.  recipes came and went, and friends lamented lost recipes resulting in tasty batches.
  • fast forward a few months, where a 6 gallon aluminum turkey fryer and propane banjo burner replaced the stove and pot, and a 5 gallon cooler conversion provided mash duties for the all-grain evolution.  a refractometer provided easy gravity readings, and beersmith enabled not only recipe formulation but storage as well.
  • and now, on the eve of overcarbed’s first birthday, the new brew setup is finally complete after months of planning and fabrication.  its components include a 2-tier brewstand from pinup brewery, three keggles converted using components from bobby_m and bargainfittings, and a custom sparge head compliments of yours truly.  it is fired with natural gas jet burners (no more tanks!), and a custom pump/cooling rig takes care of the manual fly sparge and instantaneous plate chilling.

in addition to tying up some loose ends with the new brew setup these last few weeks, I also managed to get some beer-related events in, including:

  • two trips to naja’s with the MLs, HL, DP, and of course AP to sample some great brews from craftsman brewing, including favorites like their cabernale (vinous and complex, but infinitely drinkable) and an apparent one-off infected braggot that was tart, smooth, dry, and the best beer naja’s had on tap (which really got my gears turning).  oh yeah, some fantome and consecration got popped too, amongst others.  craftsman’s mark jilg reminds me of moonlight’s brian hunt – they both whip up some amazing one-off beers from a nondescript location and deliver in their own truck.
  • a stroll by hudson house for a couple pours of craftsman 1903 and some quick eats (good food, quick service, OK beer selection – a decent place that humors the beer geek, but their “house ale” is really budweiser?  you’re really gonna pull that shit?)
  • a pilgrimage to stein fillers in long beach for some sacks of grain and vials of yeast (awesome store, better selection than anything in the immediate bay area with great service to match)
  • a trip to the backyard to view the (relative) bounty of hops that is almost ready for harvest.

the past year flew by but saw many great beer events, brew sessions, and beer trips.  I can only hope that another year will bring more of the same!