Mead Lover's Digest #1354 Wed 5 December 2007


Forum for Discussion of Mead Making and Consuming
Dick Dunn, Digest Janitor



Re: Braggot (mellymel_hsv)
Re: Braggot (Michael Faul)
Re: Cherry Juicy Juice (Dick Dunn)


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Subject: Re: Braggot
From: mellymel_hsv <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 07:14:28 -0800 (PST)

Well, we're brewers that are trying to dabble in meads and of course
our first attempt was a braggot. Two of them to be exact, brewed in the
same day. Our experience may be a little different, since we're fermenting
them as braggots, not blending finished products.

We had a 5 gallon bucket of orange blossom honey to work with. We chose a
Belgian trippel and a barleywine as our base ales. We brewed half batches
of each, then topped up with the honey at flame out, using gravity readings
and a target OG as a guideline. I want to say something along the lines
of 15-17 lbs. of honey went into each 5 gallon batch. Much more than we
were expecting.

For the Belgian, we wanted those fruity, spicy esters from the Belgian yeast
strain, so we pitched it first, then just added a wine yeast (I believe it
was Lalvin D-47) to the barleywine. We've racked it two or three times now.
This last time, the Belgian yeast seemed completely spent, so we added
Lalvin D-47 to kick start fermentation again and get headed toward our FG.
Also, we added a champagne yeast to the barleywine, since it seemed the wine
yeast had done all it could do there as well. At the last racking, tasting
the braggots, to me, they were much more wine/mead-like than ale-like.
The beverage is still sickly sweet, but we can tell it's on it's way.
There's still a very distinctive orange honey flavor to both braggots.

I noticed someone else had a somewhat opposite experience, where the ale
dominated the flavor. Of the commercial braggots I've had (just two),
there was one that was distinctly mead-like and one that was a barleywine
style that was much more ale-like. So they really can run the gamut and
still be a totally acceptable braggot. Personal taste I think plays the
biggest part in it. So, I'd say mix it with whatever ale you'd like to.
Regardless, it'll still be an "authentic braggot", since the definition
seems to be so wide open to interpretation.

Have fun! Mel

Subject: Re: Braggot
From: Michael Faul <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 07:18:51 -0800

> Subject: Re: Braggot
> From:
> Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2007 15:18:00 EST


> Steve Jones asked about blending and Mead with an ale to make a Braggot,
> cited the BJCP guidelines, and surmised that "it is wide open for
> interpretation."


> My response is that he is correct. As long as the 50.01% of the
> fermentables came from honey and a substantial portion came from malt,
> you have a Braggot.

I think the BJCP may be wrong. Well IMHO anyway.

A Braggot is a mead fermented with honey and malt. The international
mead assocation says it has to contain at least 20% honey.

A Gueuze is a blend of mead and ale/beer.


Subject: Re: Cherry Juicy Juice
From: Dick Dunn <>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 19:59:07 -0700

Ummm…errr…would a mead using "Cherry Juicy Juice" be a cyser then?

…which is an indirect way of saying, "Did ANYBODY read the ingredients
on that stuff??"

The first four ingredients on the list are apple juice, pear juice, grape
juice, and cherry juice. So even though it's nominally "cherry" flavor,
it's less than 1/4 cherry juice.

This is a common ruse in juice products–they may be named for particular
fruits, and claim to be mostly or all juice, but that doesn't mean the main
item is juice of the sort that gives the name. White grape used to be the
most common because it was inexpensive and it's very sweet. I would guess
that apple has come to the fore because it's coming from imported Chinese
concentrate which has gotten very cheap.

The ingredient list of …Juicy Juice… finishes with "natural flavors"
(presumably to adjust the flavor to seem more cherry-like), ascorbic acid
(which fortunately doesn't interfere with fermentation), and citric acid
(increasing acidity to improve the semblance of cherry).

Overall it's not terrible I suppose, but purists might think twice about
using it. Pure tart cherry juice is available if the target is straight-
ahead cherry character–without the substantial mess of fruit, and without
artifice of additives.

Dick Dunn Hygiene, Colorado USA

End of Mead Lover's Digest #1354