Braga Braga is an alcoholic drink that serves as the basis for the preparation of more complex and strong alcohol. What exactly comes out of the wash is determined by the manufacturing process, the ingredients used and the concentration of ethyl alcohol [1]

You can make beer from the base. For this, the liquid is kept for 3 to 5 days. During fermentation, the beer acquires a characteristic taste, smell and alcohol level in the range from 3 to 8%. Also, mash is used as an alcohol-containing mass for the distillation of moonshine.

How is mash prepared, what is its historical fate and is there a place for liquid in the modern alcoholic picture of the world?

What you need to know about an alcohol base

According to the Great Encyclopedia of Culinary Arts, braga has several meanings. One of them is Scandinavian home-brewed beer based on rye flour, rye or barley malt and hops. The northern drink has been known since the 9th-10th centuries.

Over time, the word began to be associated with Russia and its alcohol industry. But the term "braga" appeared quite late, in the 17th century. This fact was recorded by historians during the Swedish intervention in Novgorod (1610-1612). Braga became widespread much later [2]

  • What you need to know about an alcohol base
  • Varieties of alcohol product
  • How to cook classic mash
  • How to determine the degree of readiness of a drink
  • Is it safe to drink mash and its processed products

For the population, the term "braga" has replaced the common name for home brew. Until the 17th century, a beer drink was prepared on Russian lands. Its distinctive feature is semi-readiness. Oats, rye, millet or barley were not specially cooked as the main components of beer. With each new preparation, the drink received a different taste, quality, aroma and alcohol concentration. In each region, a specific name of the drink has taken root, therefore, to this day, many synonyms for the word "braga" have been preserved in the language. Among them: beer, booze, mash, drink, digest, klyga, half-beer, cheesy beer, ale, halakha and other specific territorial names [3]

It is important to understand that wheat, oatmeal, raspberry, thick, honey, sweet, hop mash are different drinks, which are united only by the preparation technology [4]

Varieties of alcohol product

There are 3 main types of mash: bravanda, keel and pruno. They differ in component composition, specific aspects of preparation, alcohol content and impact on the human body.


Vladimir Ivanovich Dal in the "Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language" gives only one kind of braga - bravanda. The drink is described as a homemade peasant squeeze beer. Every time the bread liquid is prepared according to a new recipe or special spices are added. Sometimes the drink becomes similar to alcoholic kvass.


The author identifies the following types of drink:

  • simple;
  • barley;
  • yeast;
  • without hops / with hops;
  • drunk / drunk;
  • pivtso / polivtso;
  • thick;
  • suslyana or sweet;
  • oatmeal;
  • raspberry.

Dahl describes how to make some types of mash. For example, oatmeal is made from steamed, dried and ground oats and oat malt. Boiled or fermented millet is added to millet. To enhance the taste, honey and hops are introduced into the liquid. The mash, which was insisted on raspberries and rye flour, turns out to be especially tasty, since it combines the bitterness of rye and bright sweetish berry accents.


 Keelyu Alternative name - Finnish mash [5] water, sugar and yeast [6]

To dilute the strong taste of the mash, fruit or berry juices were mixed with it. Orange was especially popular. He made the structure of the liquid more saturated, and the taste and aroma are holistic with additional bright notes.

Kilyu can be distilled into moonshine. It is a home-brewed strong alcoholic beverage. The method of preparation consists in distilling liquids through a home-made or industrially produced apparatus. The basis for making moonshine is alcohol-containing mash. The essence of the method lies in the fermentation of an alcohol base and sugar syrup or other sugar-containing components (starch substances, cereals, beets, fruits, potatoes). In fact, moonshine is a product of mash distillation. The liquid is called bread / simple / triple / hot wine, semi-tar, inn or pennik.


This is an English liquor. Pruno hides in itself a combination of apples and / or oranges, compote based on berries and some fruits, specific tomato sauce, sugar and any additional ingredients to the taste of the consumer [7]

The drink originated in prison and military barracks. Until today, it does not leave its primary habitat and does not enter the world alcohol market due to the specifics of taste and historical subtext [8] [9]

Initially, the drink was prepared using the following set:

  • plastic bag;
  • purified hot water;
  • a towel to cover the homemade apparatus during fermentation [10]

The taste of such a drink is succinctly described as "vomit-flavored wine." Considering the fact that the main purpose of the drink is to induce intoxication, and not an aesthetic pleasure, then pruno had a right to exist.

The alcohol concentration in pruno depended on the fermentation period, the amount of sugar, the quality of the ingredients, and the way it was cooked. Alcohol levels can be extremely low or quite high. Pruno with a 2% alcohol concentration was equated to a weak beer, but it was possible to create stronger versions - 14% liquid, which is equivalent to wine.

How to cook classic mash

 Classic Braga There are 2 classic ways to make mash. The first recipe is suitable for further distillation into moonshine, the second can be used as an independent strong alcoholic drink.

Recipe number 1

Bring 12 liters of running water to a temperature of 37-38 ° C. This amount of liquid will require 3 kilograms of sugar and 100 grams of compressed yeast. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a convenient container and cover with an airtight lid.

If your kitchen arsenal does not have a sealed lid, then use a water seal.

Put the finished mass in a warm place for 5-7 days. After a week, the alcohol-containing liquid will be ready for distillation.

Recipe number 2

This recipe calls for the preparation of 5 liters of mash, which is immediately ready for use. This will require 1 kilogram of sugar and 100 grams of yeast. Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water at a temperature of 30 ° C.

Do not put yeast in boiling water, otherwise it will cook and will not give the desired effect.

Prepare the sugar syrup in a separate container. Dissolve 1 kilogram of sugar in boiled warm liquid. Then mix both solutions (sugar and yeast) in a deep container and pour 5 liters of filtered water. Put the finished mixture in a warm place, after having built a water seal.

The absence of a water seal can be fraught with an explosion of the container due to overpressure or the ingress of oxygen into the mash. If the solution reacts with oxygen, acetic acid and a number of toxic substances will begin to be released.

The fermentation period is from 5 to 10 days. After the expiration date, carefully pour the finished product into a clean container. During the transfusion process, it is important not to touch the sediment. Pour the prepared mash into bottles and seal them tightly to increase the shelf life of the drink.

How to determine the degree of readiness of a drink

 Fermentation The only accurate way to check the readiness of the mash is to taste it. If the liquid is too sweet, then the process of breaking down the sugar is not yet complete. The finished mash should taste a little bitter, have a bright sweetish-sour aromatic palette.

Another sign of readiness is the lack of foam. This means that there is no more carbon dioxide left in the liquid and the main fermentation process has come to an end. To finally make sure that there is no carbon dioxide, carry out an experiment. Bring a burning match to the neck of the vessel with home brew. If the light has gone out, then there is still gas left in the container and the mass continues to ferment. If the mash did not affect the fire in any way, then fermentation is complete.

To finally make sure that the drink is ready, you need to check the unkindness. Filter 1 cup of home brew with a thick piece of cloth. Dip the hydrometer into the resulting liquid. If the device shows a density level of up to 1.002, then the concentration of sugar in the mash is minimal and fermentation is complete. If the device indicates a large number, then you need to give the drink a little more time.

If all the methods described do not inspire confidence, then try to overtake the mash. The concentration of ethyl alcohol in the finished drink should not be less than 10%. Take an equal amount of filtered mash and regular liquid. Distill them using a moonshine still, and bring the finished solution to a temperature of 20 ° C and lower the alcohol meter into it.

Additional filtration and distillation will help not only determine the readiness of the mash, but also remove harmful impurities from the drink.

Fluid Testing Equipment

To facilitate and secure the distillation process, you will need a single device - an alcohol meter.

An alcohol meter is a device for determining the concentration of aqueous solutions of ethyl alcohol, based on its density. This is one of the varieties of a hydrometer.

A hydrometer is a device for measuring the degree of density of liquids and solids. The principle of operation of the device is based on Archimedes' law. The device is a glass tube. The lower part of the tube is dotted with a calibration, and the upper one with a scale on which the gradation of density and concentration is applied. There are 2 types of hydrometer: for measuring constant volume and constant mass.

Is it safe to drink mash and its processed products

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Drinking mash is a mixture of fermented foods that contains an abundance of glucose. The drink is prepared both for pure consumption and for further processing into moonshine, liqueur, cider and other alcohol-containing liquids. If you strictly follow the recipe and take care of the serviceability of the moonshine still, the dangers are minimized. The exception is made by people with individual intolerance to alcoholic beverages: they are prohibited from drinking mash and any other liquids with ethyl alcohol [11]

Making alcoholic beverages at home can be dangerous indeed. When the mash is heated during distillation, thermal decomposition (cracking) of heavy organic substances - sugar, protein and others occurs. The result of cleavage is light volatile organic compounds, which also include methyl alcohol and other toxic substances. To completely remove toxic elements, you must strictly follow the distillation technology. At home, this requires doubled care and responsibility.

It is imperative to get rid of the liquid obtained after the first distillation phase. The so-called "pervak" makes up 8% of the total volume of alcohol. It is in the first portion that the maximum methanol content is concentrated. For safety reasons, it will be disposed of.

Another hazard is evaporation. The boiling point of substances is set by the moonshine, but active evaporation can also occur at much lower temperatures. Even the constant maintenance of the temperature of the mash will not prevent the evaporation of essential oils and, for example, fusel substances. Repeated distillation / rectification is required to completely purify the liquid. Multi-stage distillation partially eliminates these problems, but the best option is to buy high-quality alcohol that has gone through a full production cycle and safety testing.

Things to know (Q&A)

Is Braga a country?

It is the third-largest urban centre in Portugal (after Lisbon and Porto). It is host to the oldest Portuguese archdiocese, the Archdiocese of Braga of the Catholic Church and it is the seat of the Primacy of the Spains.

Country Portugal
Region Norte
Intermunic. comm. Cávado
District Braga

How long do you need in Braga?

How long will the day trip to Braga be? A typical day trip to Braga, which includes the Bom Jesus lasts 7-8 hours . This is broken down by; two hours for traveling, three hours to explore the historic centre and two hours to visit the Bom Jesus (including the bus ride).

Who are Bragas rivals?

SC Braga are currently the northernmost club in the Primeira Liga, surrounded by a cluster of six others, including great rivals Vitória Guimarães . The Minho derby has intensified of late, with each club also challenging each other for a European place.

What state is Braga Portugal in?

Braga, city and concelha (municipality), northern Portugal . It lies at the head of the railway from Porto. Staircase leading to the church of Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga, Portugal. Probably founded in 296 bce by Carthaginians, Braga was called Bracara Augusta by the Romans.

Who owns Braga?

S.C. Braga

Full name Sporting Clube de Braga
Capacity 30,360
President António Salvador
Head coach Carlos Carvalhal
League Primeira Liga

How old is the city of Braga?

2,000 years

Braga is one of the oldest cities in Portugal, with over 2,000 years of existence filled with history, civilizations, people, and cultures. The civitas Bracara Augusta was founded in the year 20 BC, during the Roman conquests, and was dedicated to Emperor Augustus.

Is Braga expensive to live in?

Cost of Living in Braga, Portugal

The cost of living in Portugal is relatively low compared to other European countries and Braga is particularly cheap for a Portuguese city. If we look at consumer prices, they are 8.29% lower than Lisbon, and rent prices are almost 50% than those of the capital!

What province is Porto in?

Country Portugal
Region Norte
Subregion Grande Porto
District Porto

Is Braga worth seeing?

The Sé de Braga is the city's cathedral and a place that is well worth visiting. Braga's Cathedral was the very first cathedral to be built in Portugal, and the building was constructed even before the country was founded. The building dates back to the 11th century.

What is there to do in Braga at night?


  • Peneda-Geres National Park.
  • Biscainhos Palace & Museum.
  • The Cathedral of Braga.
  • Praça da Republica.
  • Bom Jesus do Monte.
  • Attractions.
  • Tibaes Monastery.
  • Santa Barbara Garden.

What is Braga known for?

Braga is known as the place where the Visigoths renounced the Arian and Priscillianist heresies against Christ's divinity and against sensual pleasures . It was taken by the Moors in 716 and recaptured by Ferdinand I, king of Castile and Leon, in 1040. From 1093 to 1147 it was the seat of the Portuguese court.

Is Braga hilly?

Braga's old town is lined with traditional cobblestone streets. The fairly flat and circular shape of Braga Old Town is a far cry from the hilly and sprawling nature of both Porto and Lisbon. ... As you walk its cobblestone streets, it's easier to see the gentler nature Braga has compared to its big brothers.

What is the biggest rivalry in Portugal?

FC Porto – SL Benfica is the biggest Portuguese rivalry.

Who are Portos biggest rivals?

S.L. Benfica

The teams of S.L. Benfica and Sporting CP , both from Lisbon, and of FC Porto, from Porto, have a great rivalry and are usually the main contenders for the Primeira Liga title. They share all but two of the Portuguese Football Championships ever played, and generally end up sharing the top three positions.

Are Braga and Porto rivals?

They are cities in the north of Portugal, about 30min friving between each. Braga has a HUGE rivalry with Guimarães and Porto with Lisbon (mostly associated with football) but not to each other.

Who are Porto's rivals?

Benfica and Porto are two of the three clubs known as the "Big Three" in Portugal, the other being Sporting CP. The rivalry comes about as Lisbon and Porto are the two largest cities in Portugal, and the two clubs are two of the wealthiest and most decorated football teams in Portugal.

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