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> Bochet mead, burn honey burn!
Pseudolus
post Oct 30 2008, 11:50 AM
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In the latest Zymurgy, Charlie P has an article about drinking seriously old meads. That's not what I'm here to ask about. But one of the meads they tried was labled "bochet", which he decides means that the honey was burnt, or scorched, before it was allowed to ferment. He provides a recipe for "Bochet Mead" where he says to put the undiluted honey - all of it - in a pot and boil that by itself for a bit until the color darkens and it starts to taste caramelized. After that the recipe continues like a usual mead.

Has anyone here tried something like this before? It sounds kinda interesting. I'm thinking about doing a mini-batch like this just for kicks. Maybe I'll just "burn" a portion of the honey? I'm guessing that, besides flavor changes, this will make the honey somewhat less fermentable?

Thoughts? Comments?

PS - How to pronounce? bo-SHAY? BO-chette?
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Shoal Man
post Oct 30 2008, 12:12 PM
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I've been thinking about trying something along these lines. My inlaws recently visited Ireland and brought back a bottle of commercial mead for me. I don't think the mead was anything particularly extravagant, but I liked it quite a bit. In it I thought I could taste caramel notes. So I've kicked around the idea of trying to make a mead with some caramelized honey. Up to this point I've had really no idea where to start. Thanks for the Zymurgy reference, I'll check it out.
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Beertracker
post Nov 6 2008, 11:33 AM
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I must say that I was most intrigued by that article as well. Let's state first that the reference was "scorched" NOT burnt! Interestingly enough, I once found another reference in Gayre & Papazian's book Brewing Mead: Wassail! In Mazers of Mead to hot stones being used for mead making much in the same way as in the production of steinbier. More research is needed. If either one of you decide to experiment with this, please post your results. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/eh.gif)
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BeesNBrews
post Nov 16 2008, 09:24 PM
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Here's an idea:
Talk to your local beekeeper. Find out if they or someone else uses an electric uncapping knife. If they do, then ask for the "cappings" honey. The electric knife will tend to carmelize some of the honey (especially if they are not careful) as it drains off the knife, making for a grade darker honey than what is in the comb and some carmel overtones.
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Smitty092000
post Nov 19 2008, 03:02 AM
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Well, another link to youtube. There is a guy making trying a recipe he found in a book from the 1500's that is supposed to be a burnt honey mead.

Check it out here: Crazy Mead Co. He seems to know what he is talking about. I am thinking about trying this when I get home in Feb. but I don't think I will cook my honey near as long as he did.

Mike
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armagh
post Nov 19 2008, 09:29 AM
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Having watched the video, it appears to be little more than a simple reduction, something that could just as easily be done on a stove at lower heat (though it would take longer to carmelize at lower temperatures). I've done similar reductions with red wines and balsamic vinegars to make sauces. It would be interesting to hear from some one who has fermented one of these to completion.
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bales
post Dec 6 2008, 03:32 PM
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I think that would make an excellent addition in the secondary. There have been posts on the hbd board about using honey and water and nitrates[edit - some mead nutrients] to carmelize it. You can do the same to make rock candi or that Belgian candy stuff.

Some of the dark honey meads (fall honey) I have made rather suck from a very strong phenolic flavor that doesn't dissopate with years. I make myself drink one of those everytime I think about using dark honey in something else than an ABC. It is fine for a ABC.

This post has been edited by bales: Dec 6 2008, 03:33 PM
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Lee in Texas
post Dec 7 2008, 11:26 PM
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I read the same article and I'm trying a 1-gallon batch. I bought a 4lb jar of local honey. I put about 3.5lbs in a pan and turned it darker. I didn't want to go with "burned". It has been fermenting for about a week now. Part of me wants to offer you a 6oz bottle when it's done, but gee that could be a year or more. I'd say just buy some honey and go for it. Be careful when you carmelize it. It is very easy to go from golden brown to burned.
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Lee in Texas
post Jan 8 2009, 05:34 AM
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After re-reading the article, it seems like the honey really was "burned". The photo of a glass of it shows being a LOT darker than what I have in secondary. I got another 4lb jar of honey and just burned the **** out of it. It's not black like that guy on YouTube who reduced his honey to a tar-like consistency, but...MAN, that 1gallon jug looks like it's full of Coca-Cola. I'm going to let it sit overnight to cool down.

Those 1-gallon glass jugs of cider are awesome. I bought another one tonight. It will be Apfelwein. Seven bucks for a gallon of juice and a mini-carboy. (IMG:style_emoticons/brewboard/cheers.gif)
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LittleJohn
post Jun 13 2010, 04:01 PM
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Greetings all, new here and new to home brewing, but I was intriqued with the toffee description of the bochet, so I went for it today. And with all the audicity of the novice, I made it up as I went. Figured my Welsh ancestors didn't have the web to search for recipes so why should I. Actually took the hints from all ya'll, and the Meadmakers handbook, so I guess I didn't emulate them all that much. We'll see how it goes.

Question though, if when you get everything in the primary and you check the OG, do any of you try to adjust it higher before you pitch your yeast? If so, what would you use?

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Dave F
post Jun 13 2010, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE(LittleJohn @ Jun 13 2010, 05:01 PM) *
Greetings all, new here and new to home brewing, but I was intriqued with the toffee description of the bochet, so I went for it today. And with all the audicity of the novice, I made it up as I went. Figured my Welsh ancestors didn't have the web to search for recipes so why should I. Actually took the hints from all ya'll, and the Meadmakers handbook, so I guess I didn't emulate them all that much. We'll see how it goes.

Question though, if when you get everything in the primary and you check the OG, do any of you try to adjust it higher before you pitch your yeast? If so, what would you use?


Greetings LJ...welcome! I'm not sure what you mean by adjusting the OG...certainly if it's lower than you want, you can add more fermentibles (honey, in this case) to make it higher. I guess I'm not sure what you'd be "adjusting" in reference to...perhaps an "expected" OG based on calculations in a brewing software package? If so, those can be off a bit, especially for honey, as the actual amount of sugar in honey can vary from source to source and year to year.

Be sure to keep us posted on how your bochet comes out...one of these days I'm going to try this technique too...
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LittleJohn
post Jun 14 2010, 02:21 PM
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QUOTE(Dave F @ Jun 13 2010, 07:32 PM) *
Greetings LJ...welcome! I'm not sure what you mean by adjusting the OG...certainly if it's lower than you want, you can add more fermentibles (honey, in this case) to make it higher. I guess I'm not sure what you'd be "adjusting" in reference to...perhaps an "expected" OG based on calculations in a brewing software package? If so, those can be off a bit, especially for honey, as the actual amount of sugar in honey can vary from source to source and year to year.

Be sure to keep us posted on how your bochet comes out...one of these days I'm going to try this technique too...


Yes adding more fermentables, i.e. sugars, I was expecting/hoping for at least 1.09 and got 1.06, didn't have any more honey available, I added corn syrup figuring sugar was sugar to the yeast. Fermentation is strong or at least it was this morning before I headed in to the job that pays for this hobby. I did have to remove some of the must to get enough sugar into the primary (used a glass gallon jug) and tasted that, STRONG toffee flavor, and needed an insulin shot. But has anyone else used corn syrup for this?
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LittleJohn
post Jun 21 2010, 10:11 AM
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Yesterday I racked this for the first time, I had used Montcharet yeast and it stopped fermenting at 1.02, had a little taste, very strong on the alcohol, but the toffee flavor was wonderful. When I racked it, I had just moved a chardonnay off of oak and put some of the oak chips into the bochet. Also added a quarter of a camden tab to the carboy as well. This morning it was well on it's way to clearing, a gorgeous golden color.
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fatbloke
post Aug 14 2010, 07:19 AM
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bochet/burnt mead link 1

bochet/burnt mead link 2

they're both from homebrewtalk, but offer guidance/suggestions etc as to how much to "caramelise" the honey..........

It's one of those things that I'm thinking of having a go at........eventually.........
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BobH
post Sep 7 2010, 06:44 PM
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I know this is the Mead Thread but thought this is appropriate to be here as this is a burnt honey experiment.

The caramelized honey sounded interesting but I didn't want to make a big amount so I am trying a little in an Old Ale.
I heated 1.5 pounds of honey in a 1/2 gallon tall stainless pot on a ceramic top stove. It was difficult regulating the heat to keep it boiling without spitting fiery hot drops. I settled on having heat on only half of the bottom. The boil then rolled up the hot side and down the cooler side. I stirred and kept raising the heat watching the temperature of the Honey with an IR thermometer.
As the temperature started reaching 250 F I tested a little on foil for color. At 270 F the drops where Chocolate Malt Colored and I stopped. Let it cool to 200 F and added boiling water to make it a quart.
In a ball jar it was black. The entire process smelled great and the taffy like drops where eaten and very tasty. It does stick to your teeth instantly so keep it away from them.

That one quart jar darkened a five gallon 2 row Pale Ale to around 25 SRM.
So far I had explosive fermentation using US-04 for two days chugging out gobs of foam losing at least a few bottles of beer. Now it looks to have settled and is going to behave. I'll report back the results.

Bob
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