Raisin Braggot

A few months back I was about to brew my 100th homebrew batch. Large IPAs and Porters were an obvious choice. But my centennial batch had to be different. Long back I remember reading Extreme Brewing by Sam Calagione and he has used raisins in his Raison d'etre.
Thats it, I found my ingredient. Raisins. And was I going to copy someone's recipe for my centennial batch ? Hell no !! I could definitely copy the amazing name. Look up what it means.
I decided to use honey and raisins to make rich beer for the winter.
I don't have a very good understanding of honey. So I called up Yoginee for help with recipe development and brew day.
She can taste honey and predict how it will contribute to the final brew. 





Recipe Development

Raisins - We could use the green raisins or black ones. We chose green. Normal store bought raisins will do. Feel free to experiment with other types of raisins.

Honey - Most times I have used honey, there has been hardly any flavor left in the finished beer.
Yoginee suggested we use honey with a strong character, otherwise its flavor will be lost among all the other ingredients. We used Drumstick Honey from Satmaha since I already had some at home. ( you can use other Unifloral honeys too )

Grain Bill - Rest of the grain bill was simple. Pale malt and little bit of crystal and chocolate for color. These dark malts in small quantities will complement the honey.


Recipe

19L, all-grain, OG = 1.058, FG = 1.008, IBU = 18

Grains -
3.6Kgs Pale Malt
100g Crystal 60 Malt
100g Chocolate Malt

Hops -
11g Columbus ( 60 mins )

Yeast - 
11g Safale S05 ( you can use S04 too )

Specialty ingredients - 
250g Raisins
750g Honey


Brew Day

At the start of the brewday raisins were soaked in a bowl of water with just enough water to cover the raisins.
We brewed the batch as usual, saving the raisins and honey for later.
Half an hour into the boil, we made raisin puree in a home mixer grinder.
Finished the boil, turned off the flame and cooled the wort to 70C.
At this point we added the honey and raisin puree. Stir well, cover and keep for 10 mins.
Wort was then rapidly cooled down to pitching temp.

If you add these to boiling hot wort, you will lose all the flavor from honey and raisins, and if you add them after the wort has cooled down, there is a risk of infection.

Late additions of honey and other ingredients is a technique commonly used in mead making.

Batch was fermented slow at 16-17C.


Tasting Notes

I had no idea what to expect from the raisins. Yoginee had made mead with raisins before and she was excited about the raisins.

In the final brew, the raisins were not very distinct on the nose, but they contributed to the taste. And I was happy the honey was on the nose and on the palate, as predicted by Yoginee.
Finally a rich and complex brew with a malty backbone and lovely raisin and honey notes.

This was a high alcohol braggot and we could smell some fusels after the beer warmed up.

The batch turned out so good, we are brewing another batch right now ( a winter brew in Summer :) )


Next time

I would lower the gravity to reduce the alcohol in the beer. But we will keep the raisins and honey the same, reducing the grains. I would love to try the black raisins too.

PS : I should have posted this a few months back, but other non-brewing projects have kept me too busy.

7 comments:

  1. How long did it take to ferment? Considering the fact that the temperature was kept low, must have taken a long time, right?

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    Replies
    1. The only bottle of honey i can get my hand on, is patanjali and dabur.
      Would it be a good idea to add honey around the 5th or 6th day? Then there would be a good amount of flavour in the beer, also,when we add the honey, there would be a substantial amount of alcohol to lower the risk of any infection.

      What's you take on this?

      Delete
    2. That works fine too. I really doubt if Dabur or Patanjali honey will leave enough flavour. But try it out. You can even use honey for priming instead of sugar.

      Delete
  2. Guess I'll do both. Will let you know the results after a month or so. Thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One last question. Heard that braggots take a long time to mature. How many weeks/months did you leave it for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 3 weeks of bottle conditioning is enough for this beer.

      Delete

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