Plat's Braggot

Introduction

This recipe is based on Sir Hugh Plat's braggot from The Jewel House of Art and Nature. This recipe gives an ale with a flowery aroma and strong taste.

The original recipe uses an enormous variety of spices. I haven't been able to obtain liquorice or grains of paradise, so I've omitted the former and replaced the latter with cardomom pods (as recommended in Cindy Renfrow's book).


Recipe

For every kilogram of malt extract (gives 8.25L ale):

1 kg liquid malt extract
1.5 kg honey
1 packet dried ale or lager yeast
12 hop pellets (see notes)
1 stick cinnamon, crushed
6 cloves
1/3 nut nutmeg, crushed
1/2 tsp pepper, ground (Plat: long pepper)
2.5g ginger root, sliced
11 cardomom pods (Plat: grains of paradise)
1 tsp cardomom, ground
12 coriander seeds
1g liquorice root (omitted in my brews)
11 tsp sugar
water

Mix the honey with an equal volume of water. Boil it and remove the scum that rises until the mixture has been reduced to half of its original volume.

In a separate container, add the hops to 8.5 litres of water per kilogram of malt and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and mix this and the honey mixture with the malt and spices, then leave the mixture to cool.

When the mixture cools to room temperature, add the yeast and leave to ferment.

When fermentation has completed, bottle the ale with one teaspoon of sugar per 750mL bottle, or half a teaspoon per 375mL bottle.

Plat doesn't specify a maturation time for the ale, though he does give some instructions for what to do if it is "too thick after it hath stood 2 or 3 moneths". I've generally left it for 2-3 months before drinking it, and have drank it up to a year later with excellent results.


Notes

Hops. The strength of hops depends on their alpha content and the quantity given above may need to be varied according to the alpha content of your hops, and personal taste. The above quantity of twelve pellets is based on Hallertau hops with 6.8% alpha content.

Alcohol content. Honeyed ales have somewhat higher alcohol content than normal ales. I guess most of mine have been around 7-8% alcohol but have never measured it.