Thanksgiving Is Here!

Happy Thanksgiving…

Thanksgiving is upon us! Well sort of if you’re making beer or mead. Aging always makes things tastier for some beers and most meads. Time in a bottle…reminds me of a song by Jim Croce, released on the album “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” in 1972.

“I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do
Is to save every day
‘Til eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you…”

Them’s were the days, the end of the war in Vietnam was just a few years away, average cost of a new house was $27,550, average yearly income was a whopping $11,800, gas was just 55 cents per gallon and ground beef was only 98 cents a pound! HBO was the first subscription cable service, President Nixon ordered the start of the space shuttle program, Pong was the first video game.

Enough history, lets deal with my latest project, a Thanksgiving Pumpkin Braggot made in the style of a stout. I will use 6 pounds of caramelized wildflower honey as the primary fermentable with close backup provided by 5 pounds of dark malt and 2 ½ pounds of specialty grains. With a starting gravity of 1.090, it would be very risky to use a regular ale yeast like Nottingham or SafAle-04. My choice is White Labs High Gravity Ale WLP099. Good to 25% alcohol according to the manufacturer, the recommended fermentation temperature is between 65-69º F. Careful monitoring of my temps will be done with my STC-1000 setup with accuracy to within 1º. My recipe indicates an ABV of about 10%, but it is the high starting gravity that needs special attention. Because honey has virtually none of the nutrients needed for a good fermentation, the addition of 2.2g at the end of the boil will be needed to help the 6 pounds of honey along. Late in the boil, 2 tbsp of a special custom blend of pumpkin spices will be added for the Thanksgiving holiday flavor, pumpkin pie. After fermentation, it will be racked and aged until early November, then kegged, carbed and bottled in time for our turkey dinner.

 

RECIPE

Brew Method: Extract
Style Name: Braggot
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5.5 gallons (fermentor volume)
Boil Size: 2.5 gallons
Boil Gravity: 1.198
Efficiency: 35% (steeping grains only)

STATS:
Original Gravity: 1.090
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 10.1%
IBU (tinseth): 7.16
SRM (morey): 33.96

FERMENTABLES:
5 lb – Liquid Malt Extract – Dark (34.5%)
6 lb – Honey (41.4%)
.25 lb – Maltodextrin (6.9%)

STEEPING GRAINS:
0.5 lb – American – Victory
0.75 lb – American – Chocolate
0.15 lb – American – Caramel / Crystal 10L
0.25 lb – American – Caramel / Crystal 40L
0.25 lb – American – Caramel / Crystal 60L
0.35 lb – American – Caramel / Crystal 70/80L
0.25 lb – Pale Chocolate Malt

HOPS:
0.66 oz – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 3.02
0.66 oz – Tettnanger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 60 min, IBU: 2.72
0.33 oz – East Kent Goldings, Type: Pellet, AA: 5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 0.75
0.33 oz – Tettnanger, Type: Pellet, AA: 4.5, Use: Boil for 15 min, IBU: 0.67

OTHER INGREDIENTS:
45 oz – Canned pumpkin, Time: 15 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
2 tbsp – Pumpkin spice, Time: 5 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Boil
5 oz – Light roast coffee beans, Time: 129600 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Secondary
5 oz – Cocoa nibs, Time: 129600 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Secondary
2 each – Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Time: 129600 min, Type: Flavor, Use: Secondary
2.2 g – WYEAST Nutrient, Time: 5 min, Type: Other, Use: Boil

YEAST:
White Labs – Super High Gravity Ale Yeast WLP099
Starter: No
Form: Liquid
Attenuation (avg): 85%
Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temp: 65 – 69 F
Fermentation Temp: 66 F

NOTES:
Caramelize 6 lbs wildflower honey to 230º F for 10 min
Steep grains at 155º F for 30 min
Add honey to fermenter at 100º