PDA

View Full Version : Bochet meads ... how long to boil the honey?



skunkboy
01-03-2011, 03:01 PM
New year, time to try something new. After I obtain a larger pot to try this on an outside burner.

I have been reading up on this and it seems that some people boil the honey until it is black, which seems a bit extreme to me, but then again I have never done this at all... I found the following image, which shows the colors that someone got over time ...

http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq339/steerpike213/Burnt%20Mead%20Brew%20Day/DSCN9953copy.jpg
from
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/medieval-burnt-mead-112163/index12.html

I think that I would like to try for dark ruby/red rather than black.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas why longer and darker might be better? While you would get more malliard creation I would assume you are also risking scorching the honey and making bad flavors as well...

fatbloke
01-03-2011, 03:15 PM
New year, time to try something new. After I obtain a larger pot to try this on an outside burner.

I have been reading up on this and it seems that some people boil the honey until it is black, which seems a bit extreme to me, but then again I have never done this at all... I found the following image, which shows the colors that someone got over time ...

http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq339/steerpike213/Burnt%20Mead%20Brew%20Day/DSCN9953copy.jpg
from
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/medieval-burnt-mead-112163/index12.html

I think that I would like to try for dark ruby/red rather than black.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas why longer and darker might be better? While you would get more malliard creation I would assume you are also risking scorching the honey and making bad flavors as well...
it's one of those things that I've been thinking about as well, as I've also been contemplating making a bochet.

I'd guess that you're gonna have to just try it. Though I'd suggest that when you're actually doing the caramelisation of the honey, have a larger pan or other container of cold water ready. Because when caramelising sugars, you can get it to where you want it but if you've no way of cooling it quickly, the residual heat in the pan that you're working with can easily cause the sugars to darken a bit further, which is where I'd have thought you have the potential for off/burnt flavours coming through.

I've also read the stuff over at homebrewtalk but it seems that it's still all relative and experimental. As no-one really has done the caramelisation with a thermometer and clock/timer.

They seem to have just taken it to the point where they think it's correct. I'd guess it depends on how dark you actually wanted your bochet.

It's one of those things that is on my "todo" list, so if you get round to it first, please post as much detail as you can. I for one, would be very interested in learning what you achieve(d)....

regards

fatbloke

AToE
01-03-2011, 03:28 PM
I've been thinking of this too.

What I was going to do was start with a lighter honey, then take it to a medium dark colour without any burnt smell. Then just record how long that took and keep records for next time.

Would putting the pot of honey into a pot of boiling water work for carmelization, or is that not hot enough?

akueck
01-03-2011, 03:39 PM
Boiling water isn't hot enough, I think. It will caramelize eventually, but you'll get much faster results if you let it heat up more. It's like making candy, essentially.

skunkboy
01-03-2011, 04:22 PM
The candy making aspect is why I will be consulting with my younger brother who used to work as a pastry chef, and used to make a lot of boiled sugar based candy.

One of the warnings that I found out so far is that the boiling honey can expand from the starting volume by a factor of 3 or 4. Sounds like a good reason to try this outside instead of baking this stuff onto the stove. Will go from liquid sugar napalm to rock candy on a stove and be kinda hard to clean off...

Maybe if I can find a cheap 7+ gallon stainless pot, I will pick a candy thermometer and try this next weekend...

Medsen Fey
01-03-2011, 04:54 PM
One of the warnings that I found out so far is that the boiling honey can expand from the starting volume by a factor of 3 or 4. Sounds like a good reason to try this outside instead of baking this stuff onto the stove. Will go from liquid sugar napalm to rock candy on a stove and be kinda hard to clean off...



I'd be curious to know if anti-foam drops reduce/eliminate this problem. I'll test it when I get around to making a Bochet (but it could be awhile, so don't hold your breath waiting ;) )

skunkboy
01-03-2011, 05:20 PM
Do the drop work by breaking up the surface cohesion of the fluid in question?

mfalenski
01-04-2011, 12:42 PM
New year, time to try something new. After I obtain a larger pot to try this on an outside burner.

I have been reading up on this and it seems that some people boil the honey until it is black, which seems a bit extreme to me, but then again I have never done this at all... I found the following image, which shows the colors that someone got over time ...

http://i461.photobucket.com/albums/qq339/steerpike213/Burnt%20Mead%20Brew%20Day/DSCN9953copy.jpg
from
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/medieval-burnt-mead-112163/index12.html

I think that I would like to try for dark ruby/red rather than black.

Does anyone have suggestions or ideas why longer and darker might be better? While you would get more malliard creation I would assume you are also risking scorching the honey and making bad flavors as well...


Here is a pic of mine... http://letsmakemead.com/MeadBlog/?p=31
This pic is of the same honey. One is a traditional, one was a bochet.

I only boiled/scortched it for 15-20 minutes but that was enough to make it very dark.
I didnt want to go too much more because it was already starting to smell acrid. I just wanted to scortch it, not carbonize (is that even a word??) it.

Chevette Girl
01-04-2011, 08:30 PM
I have made candy with honey and it started to scorch somewhere around "soft crack" stage (285 F)... which has always resulted in what apperars to be hard candy that will eventually melt given enough time...

TDMooney
01-04-2011, 08:33 PM
I found this video a while ago, dont know if it will help you guys out at all ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoPbfJ3BwwM

skunkboy
01-04-2011, 10:52 PM
I figure that I am going to try to keep a candy thermometer in it when I boil it, and if it foams up half as much as other people have warned I'm not sure how much good that is going to do...

icedmetal
01-05-2011, 10:06 PM
It will foam, a lot. I'd say 3x the original volume by the time it hits 230 degrees fahrenheit. At least, that has been my experience. We used to boil our honey for every mead. Even when topping out at 230, you'll see some marked difference in color, if not flavor.

vk7tpg
01-06-2011, 05:18 AM
Originally Posted by skunkboy
"Does anyone have suggestions or ideas why longer and darker might be better? While you would get more malliard creation I would assume you are also risking scorching the honey and making bad flavors as well...[/QUOTE]

I have created a small batch "bochet" style mead by heating honey to near the boiling point of water for a few days then proceeding as "normal". It appears that a Malliard reaction has occurred as the mead has some nice "caramel" like flavors. I have found that the local honeys I used reacted very differently to heating. The stronger flavored honeys fared the best when heated.

brian92fs
11-10-2011, 08:35 PM
Reviving an older thread because this seems like the best place to post.

I started a 5 gallon bochet batch last weekend. I used 18 pounds of honey and caramelized in batches of 1.0 - 1.5 quarts each. 1.5 quarts turned out to be the right volume for the 8 quart stock pot I was using. It was big enough to deal with the foaming expansion and leave enough room to where you didn't start to panic if the foam got to high. I say this because I started with a smaller vessel and it didn't turn out well. Meaning it foamed over and made a mess of the stove.

We used a candy thermometer. Started out each batch with 1.0 - 1.5 quarts of honey and 0.5 - 1.0 cups of water. We put it over high heat and stirred until it started to simmer. Simmering started at 220 F. At this point, we stopped stirring and didn't touch the pot until the caramelization was complete. At 230 F it would start foaming heavily. We'd then lower the heat a bit. The foaming died down after a few minutes and we'd creep the heat up again until it was a full high heat.

In our batches, the smell coming off started to hint at burning between 260 - 270 F. We made batches at 250, 260, 265 and 270. We tasted each batch before diluting with water. At 270, it was good but had a slight burnt taste. 260 - 265 seemed to be the the best temp. Good caramel flavor, with minimal burnt taste. In general though, we let our nose be the guide. We targeted for 270, but killed the heat as soon as the smell began changing. This magical point seemed to change a bit with each batch.

At that point, we turned the heat off and let it cool for 2 - 3 minutes. Then we slowly added 2 - 3 times the volume of cold water to cool it a bit. After that, we poured it into the fermentation bucket, cleaned the pot and started over again with the next batch. I'd say that each batch took about 15 - 20 minutes to complete.

Another challenge was cooling it when we were done. We ended up with a 5.5 gallon batch at 95 F. We put it in a tub with cold water, but it took 1 - 2 hours to cool into the high 70's. We waiting until this point to begin re-hydrating the yeast.

I'm going to post a brewlog for this soon.

TheAlchemist
11-10-2011, 08:38 PM
Thanks for posting this, Brian. When I started Rapture Bochet (in the meadlog) I had no idea what I was doing. Just let her boil. No candy thermometer, though...

brian92fs
11-10-2011, 08:52 PM
Thanks for posting this, Brian. When I started Rapture Bochet (in the meadlog) I had no idea what I was doing. Just let her boil. No candy thermometer, though...

Well, don't assume I know what I'm doing - LOL. I posted this because as you discovered, there’s not much out there on how to actually caramelize honey. Guess we’ll see in a year or two how this turns out.

Also, I feel that there’s a difference between preparing burnt honey and caramelized honey. I think that a lot of the recipes that suggest 60+ minute boiling times are for burnt honey. This goes back to what your interpretation of a bochet is. In my version, I focused on caramelization of the fructose sugars. Fructose begins caramelizing at 230 F, where glucose and sucrose don’t start until 320. So if you tried to caramelize all the sugars, you’ll end up with burnt fructose in your mix. That’s my take on it.

kc0dhb
11-11-2011, 02:20 AM
I did a Bochet mead a while ago (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16684), and I basically made Belgium Candi Syrup with the honey. Looks like I haven't tasted it for about a year... I should do that, maybe bottle...

Last I had it I was pleased. Tons of dark fruit/raisin aromas ontop of caramel and honey aromas.

I'd recommend adding water and stirring as soon as you get the color/flavor that you want, regardless of whether you're using the same method I've used. Adding water helps 'fix' the flavors as there is no more excessive heat being applied. 1 cup of cool water in a heated mixture of what was originally 1lb honey and 1 cup water should easily bring it to under soft ball. This stops the Maillard and carmelization reactions and can stabilize the mixture into a liquid form (I've let it sit stable for 6+ months, it is awesome on ice cream...).


Kyle

Remember that sugar temperatures depend on boiling temperature. If water boils 10F under 212F, so does sugar (close enough anyway, these things aren't quite linear).

brian92fs
11-23-2011, 05:00 PM
I'm going to post a brewlog for this soon.

Finally got the Brewlog (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?p=179328) up. It's not going so well though.

skunkboy
05-23-2017, 09:40 PM
Hmm.... a little over six years ago, and I'm finally going to get around to starting one, or five, of these this year. Long term planning, or just laziness...only the mead can tell...

Thinking of running one plain, one with cherry concentrate, one with oak and bourbon, one with vanilla beans, and one with a couple of random dark fruits.

caduseus
05-23-2017, 10:22 PM
Hmm.... a little over six years ago, and I'm finally going to get around to starting one, or five, of these this year. Long term planning, or just laziness...only the mead can tell...

Thinking of running one plain, one with cherry concentrate, one with oak and bourbon, one with vanilla beans, and one with a couple of random dark fruits.

Try just one and see how it goes.
They take an average of 3-6 months longer to age compared to mead

Dadux
05-24-2017, 09:23 AM
Try just one and see how it goes.
They take an average of 3-6 months longer to age compared to mead

Well that is what is said. Personally i made one with "overcooked" honey, but ended up being absolutely great at 2.5 months. No doubt it will improve but that does not mean its not great atm

skunkboy
05-24-2017, 09:31 PM
I usually age everything at least 12 months, if not longer...

jwaldo
06-01-2017, 09:33 AM
From my notes: YMMV

Go for 242 degrees F – just past soft ball stage
Any more and begins to taste burned
Carmel flavor (like crystal malt in beer)
Can add water and bring back to temperature if want darker color
Smoke from bubbles is NOT good (too hot/dark)
4 X (at least) Expansion of volume (Yeah – I found out the hard way)

The couple I have made turned out nice and toasty/dark-caramel. No burned flavor. Definitely do better with some age. I kept a log by putting a drop of the boiling honey in my brew log every 10 minutes (after coming to initial boil) to record the color change. I stopped at 40 minutes which was a dark brown sugar color. Covered all the drops with clear packing tape to sort of preserve the color reference. Ferment was normal and unremarkable, but there were some weird (I assume protien?) type large floating clouds in the Primary (glass carboy). Very interesting to look at when shining a flashlight through the must. All settled out by the end of the ferment.

Thanks,
Jim.

skunkboy
06-01-2017, 08:19 PM
Cool information! :)