Monday, November 11, 2013

WLP099 Braggot - Brew Day

I've wanted to do a braggot with a belgian yeast for a while.  Ever since I found some amazing honey at a farmer's market that reminded me of homemade deep amber candi syrup. (sugar, yeast nutrient and heat.)  Instead I grabbed WLP099 lol.
Pre-boiled the water to remove any chlorine, and test the height of the new burner placement.
  • 3.5 lbs 2-row
  • 2.5 lbs Munich Malt (20SRM)
  • 1oz German Hallertau AA:4.1% BA:4.9% @ 60 minutes 24.4 IBUs
  • WLP099
Mashed 2.25 gallons 60 minutes at 155F
There looked to have been a lot of barley particles getting through this mesh bag.
Sparged with 0.75qts at 170F
  • 1.060 first runnings
  • 1.035 second runnings
  • 1.051 pre-boil gravity
  • 1.074 post-boil gravity
  • 1.094 post-honey gravity
Second runnings were deep orange. Very nice.  Brewer's assistant taking her break.

Added 1oz German Hallertau AA:4.1% BA:4.9% @ 60 minutes 24.4 IBUs

Dropped the temperature to 140F and then added the honey.  Slowly added it until I hit the gravity of 1.094.  My plan was 1.100 or until I used about half of what I had left.  I wanted to save enough for a follow-up batch with a different yeast.

The honey was originally purchased about two years ago with the intention of going into a mead.  It has a deep dark fruity flavor that reminds me of a dark belgian ale hat seems like a good match for this braggot.  I based the recipe on the guidelines for a Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

Without the honey, which I am estimating at 60SRM, the beer is only 11.2.  The honey gives it that nice dark color.

I wanted WLP545, and inexplicably picked up WLP099.  On the bright side this is getting me thinking what I would want to do with this braggot brewed with wlp099, since I don't have a choice. :) Right now it's looking like I am going to let it sit on the yeast for a couple months, and then move it into another container for a 3-4 month bulk-age.  And then give it some oak right before bottling.

Now it's just hoping that it starts fermenting.  I had planned on buying a smack pack, but the LHBS didn't have anything in the style I needed.  So I had no starter, but since I only made a 2.5 gallon batch, it's like pitching two vials.  Not ideal, but I was able to aerate with the oxygen stone for 2 minutes.  If it hasn't started by morning I'll re-oxygenate.


  1. Fermentation is going as of this morning, so no need to re-aerate.

  2. Re-oxygenated 24 hours after pitching. Yeast activity was pretty good, but I figured another 30 seconds with oxygen would only help ensure healthy yeast.

  3. Fermentation is still going. This has been a very slow fermentation without the normal explosive yeast activity I normally see. I'm not sure if that is due to the yeast (type and volume pitched), the temperature (mid-high60s), or the OG.

  4. I took a sample tonight after 8 days in primary since I was worried about it not finishing dry.

    The color is lighter than I expected. The dark honey looked dark going into the fermenter, but that color looks to have subsided somewhat.

    The aroma is still fairly raw alcohol, as one could expect from a 1.094 brew a little over a week into fermentation. One of the things I wanted was to get that honey character through to the final product, and the dark fruit notes do show on the palate after the alcohol subsides.

    Bitterness is not overpowering, which I enjoy. There is no hop aroma.

    This is going to need some aging, and I think a light oaking will complement it nicely.