I have had this idea for a braggot since I learned about the flavor characteristics of Nelson Sauvin hops.
White wine notes along with pale malts and many pounds of light colored honey are the things that meld nicely in my mind. Here is the plan to have them come together in a braggot recipe.
This brew is more mead than beer but that’s sort of the point. The strategy would be to ferment it dry and carbonate it to unleash the hop aromas.
4 lbs American 2 Row Malt
.5 lbs Dextrine Malt
12 lbs Alfalfa Honey
.5 oz Warrior hops pellets (16% AA) boiled 60 minutes
1 oz Nelson Sauvin pellets (14% AA) boiled 15 minutes
1 oz Nelson Sauvin pellets (14% AA) boiled 1 minute
Yeast: 2 packets of dry Champagne yeast
1 tsp of yeast nutrient
1 tsp of yeast energizer
Original Gravity: 1.099
Final Gravity: 1.019*
Color 1.81 °SRM
Bitterness: 51.5 IBUs
Alcohol (% of volume): 10.6 %
*Calculations based on WLP001 yeast performance but the final gravity can get lower with champagne yeast.
Conduct a small mash with the four pounds of 2-row malt and the dextrine malt. Mash at 149°F for one hour. If you don’t have the means to do a small mash, you can substitute with extra light dry malt extract. My calculations swap the malt for 2.5 pounds of extra light dry malt extract.
Boil the wort for 60 minutes and add hops at times detailed above. Add the honey at the end of the boil after the last hops addition. Chill wort down to 70°F, aerate, and add yeast nutrient and energizer.
Add proofed dry yeast packets and ferment at room temperature for 3 weeks. Take a gravity reading to see how close to 1.000 the braggot is.
If fermentation is finished, rack to a clean and sanitized carboy for a conditioning phase. This phase can last for a couple of months but use your virtue of patience to guide you.
To bottle, proof a half packet of champagne yeast. Add a cup of honey along with the proofed yeast to your bottling bucket.
Bottle the braggot in thick champagne bottles and cork using cages. Age for 6 months before serving.
With the carbonation and the light color, you will be expanding the idea of what beer can be.