Recipe for Honey Bucket Bracket

Michael Hall, who was one of the judges at the Duke's of Ale Spring Thing competition held receintly in Albuquerque, New Mexico, wanted the recipe of the mead that I had entered. It took honors for the best mead of the competition, and this is my attempt at supplying the recipe.

It's not actually a mead, but something called a bracket or braggot. The American Mead Association is of very little use in supplying a definition of the style, only saying that the mix has to have at least half of it's fermentables comming from the added honey.

The idea was to make a batch of beer and a batch of mead and slam the two together. Thus a beer was made (at a very low hopping rate), and a lot of honey was added to it.

It was a dark and stormy New Year's Eve. 25 lbs of Honey Malt (17 degrees L) were mashed at 156 degrees until starch test showed complete saccrification. The mash was sparged at 164 degrees. This wort was brought to a boil. The color contribution of this malt was estimated at approximately 60 degrees SRM.

39 grams of Saaz hop flowers (at 6.0% acid) was added for a proposed 60 minute boil.

130 grams of shredded ginger root was added for a proposed 15 minute boil.

1 TBL of Irish Moss was added for a proposed 10 minute boil.

At the end of the 60 minutes, I added 12 lbs of Schneider's blackberry honey. Heat continued, even though the wort wasn't boiling. After 25 minutes, the boil resumed, and I added 1 TBL of acid blend. After another 10 minutes of boil, the heat was turned off, the imersion cooler was inserted, and cooling was begun.

I used Red Star Montrachet dry yeast in this batch. The first package was added when the wort was still too hot (oops!), so another package was added later, before obvious signs of fermentation had begun.

All of the above yeilded about 8 gallons of wort, whose specific gravity was 1.112. The actual hopping rate was estimated at 22 IBU, not including the acid added. The final gravity reading was 1.052, with the resulting alcohol at approximately 6.4%.

Racking occured on 13 Jan 94.

Bottling took place on 25 Jan 94, giving just under one month of fermenting. Priming sugar consisted of 1/2 cup corn sugar, 2 cups of water, and 1 tsp ascorbic acid. In truth, the batch always tasted a little funny, and I can't really say that I care for Bracket/Braggot. Because I used Honey malt, I called this brew Honey Bucket Bracket. Dark as the night, and thicker than sin!

Judges comments:

Michael Hall gave it 42 points. Good honey expression! Roasted malt comes throught too! Fairly clear, good head retention. Good honey task. Good roasted malt taste. Nice complex task. This is the most interesting mead we've tasted! Nice balance of mead and beer. Very good idea! I could drink a lot of this (slowly...) on a winter night.

Bill Terborg gave it 45 points. Complex nose. Very nice. Great color and very clear. Ver nice - complex, malt strong, yet honey in background. Good balance - sweet & acid. Great mead! Publish the recipe so we can all enjoy!

William deVries gave it 37 points. Good solid honey/malt aroma. Nicely balanced, almost smoky. Honey exudes throughout, bitter component masks the modifying sweetness, but not too badly. Malt flavor aids the complexity. Nice even flavors cause a pleasant and lasting impression.


Copyright 1997 by Richard B. Webb, aka The Outsider.


This page is authored and maintained by Rich Webb.You can send E-mail to me by following this link to the contact page. And feel free to contact me if you have any comments, criticisms, or suggestions. I remain, however, perfectly capable of ignoring your useless opinion...

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