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Wheat/honey braggot (winter warmer)

I have wanted to do a mead for a long time and am enticed by wheat wine so I will combined the two. I plan to do

10 lbs rahr red wheat
8 lbs rahr 2 row
1 lb wyermann carawheat (crystal 45.4 L)
6 lbs orange blossom honey
WLP720???sweet mead

The yeast says it will putter out around 15% so I plan to mash the grains at 158. This recipe in Beersmith says 15% on the dote with that mash schedule. Since I am using a lot of grain do I still need to do a stagger yeast nutrient plan or anything like that I am not up to date with? I planed to get the beer rocking with maybe 3 pounds of honey added then add the remainder? Whats the expected turn around time on a drink like this? I usually am drinking my beers really soon and they taste great. I have had wine/cider people made without really being into it and it is noticeable in the flavor. Also I wanted to ferment it all with one yeast like the sweet mead I would rather not do a ale yeast and wine yeast or anything like that. Thanks.

First comment is that this is not really a braggot - you need 50% of the fermentables as honey to qualify (braggot is a type of mead). Call it an “imperial honey wheat ale” or something similar if you want to compete with it.

Feeding the honey a bit at a time is a good idea and no, you won’t need to do incremental nutrient additions, but you should add some in the boil, pitch a LOT of healthy yeast, and aerate as much as possible to give the yeast a good kickstart. Keep the fermentation temp in the low 60s (beer temp, not ambient) and you’ll be able to drink this faster, but you’re still looking at a couple months of aging, maybe longer depending on the ABV.

I will have to rig up a rubber made ice water bath to keep it in the 60’s. My basement ambient right now is 68 and I have seen a 5 degree swing in fermenting beers so I can imagine this would get quit warmer. A few month would be alright I don’t plan to taste it much before the middle of winter anyways-Jan-Feb here in NY.

Last year I made a wheat ale and after two weeks I racked a gallon into a carboy with one pound of honey. It was kind of hot tasting at first, but after a year in the bottle it is really good.
I do believe that once you go over 33% of the fermentables being honey it’s a braggot, over 66% and you have a barley flavored mead.

If you’re going to use mead yeast for this I would recommend making a big starter using DME only (no honey). I’m not sure how well the mead yeast does at fermenting maltose, so you probably want to give it as much of a head start as you can. You probably also want to add the bulk of the honey after much of the initial fermentation has settled down.

If you pitch enough yeast, aerate well, and control fermentation temps appropriately, you can probably get away with using certain ale yeast strains for this. WLP001 and WLP090 can probably get close to 15% or so. WLP099 will go even higher if you feed it slowly.

I also think that at a gravity this high, doing staggered nutrient additions may still be a good idea, although you can probably use a smaller amount.

I was thinking of using wlp001 and using the sweet mead on a cider. I also think ill add some nutrients with the second dose of honey just for good measure.

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