I racked a whole bunch of braggot throughout the day, spread out during down times. And about time, too. I’ve been watching them sputter for months, just the tiniest smattering of bubbles. And with that, I decided it was time. The likelihood is that racking will permanently stop noticeable fermentation at this stage – and that is in fact my hope.
If not, we’ll just let the yeast continue their magic.
The first one to rack was the Weird Cherry Braggot. This odd concoction (Sage honey, cherries) has an interesting (good!) flavor. It’s sweet (the sweetest of them all), and the cherry is noticeable. The lack of hops definitely makes for a different taste compared to the braggots I’ve made in the past. I checked the SG after racking, and found it at 1.009. But, I had to top of with about 1/3 gallon of water because of the bed of lees. Probably should have racked much sooner to keep it off of them. I re-air-locked, and so far, no visible signs of fermentation.
Next, I tasted the two remaining 5 gallon carboys. In the course of time, I had lost track of which was Braggot IV and which was Braggot V. Braggot IV was hopped, and Braggot V was not, which made it easy enough to tell the difference. Having determined which one was Braggot IV, I started there.
Braggot IV measured 1.004 after racking, and there was no real need to top up with water. Braggot V, came in at 1.008. As with the Weird Cherry Braggot, I had to top up Braggot V with a 1/3 gallon of water. Braggot IV is definitely darker than V, though I have nothing I can point to as to why.
And that’s enough for one day. I think one of last year’s blueberries, the cranberry and the strawberry-agave wines are also ready for racking (if not bottling, after prep-work). But that will have to keep for later in the week.