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joemirando
09-14-2013, 11:41 AM
Okay folks, next newbee 'eye-roller' question:

I'm thinking of a Bochet-style sack mead for my next experiment (I'm sick and tired of people saying "It tastes just like white wine...") and was wondering about caramelizing the honey and how it might affect fermentability.

Does heating it reduce the amount of sugar in the honey available for fermentation? It would seem to me that the oxidation and 'burning' of the honey would keep some of the sugars from being able to be fermented, else there wouldn't be much of a taste difference at the end.

When making a bochet, do you commonly add or have to add more caramelized honey to achieve the same ABV and/or sweetness?

My plan, once I get the time/space, is to caramelize the honey (clover) in a slow-cooker/crock-pot until its good and taffy-like, divvy it up (to save some for backsweetening if necessary), and step feed till the yeast choke on their own alcohol (probably pasteur red yeast, so I'd hope for 14%+ ABV).

When mapping out a bochet, do you plan on a lesser quantity of fermentables per pound/kilo/oz?

From what I have been reading, step feeding might be a PITA with caramelized honey due to the "taffy-ness" and whatever other effects the heat has on the honey, but I haven't seen anything definitive about this.

It'd be a one gallon mix with brewed tea (or would it even be necessary with a bochet?), nutrient and energizier, and that's about it.

Any hints/tips/anecdotes?


Thanks,

Joe

Bob1016
09-14-2013, 12:22 PM
I would love to know the answer to this as well, but there is a major problem: what is caramelized?
Fructose caramelizes around 230F, while glucose and many other sugars caramelize at 320F. Also, how long makes a difference too.
Many complex compounds are made like caramelen, caramelan, and caramelin (clever names huh?) which are very big compounds. Diacetyl and other flavonoids are also created. Are these all fermentable, partially, entirely? I don't know.
I do have a bochet planned for the future, but I would like to understand more about the fermentability first. I doubt pressure cooked is the same as boiling in a pot, and I know open flame is very different, but an idea of the attenuation would be usefull.
Sorry it's not an answer :(

fatbloke
09-14-2013, 12:32 PM
Hum ? Dunno to be honest.

Only had one go at bochet, and that was only really a half arsed attempt.

I was trying WVM Jacks idea of caramelising in a crock pot, or was it a pressure cooker ?

The pressure cooker I think it was....

3 x 1lb jars cooked for about an hour or so from memory.

Just seem to remember it came out reasonably dark, but none of the burning type notes you read of in some peoples posts......

I did ferment it, but I think I just racked it off the lees and it's in a 1 gallon jar all mixed up in amongst our stuff while the new kitchen extension is being built....

So no help there really. I'll have to look it out though......well I'll have to look into the 5 or 6 gallon batches that need something doing to them......ha! even if it's only to try and work out which is which........

Hey ho!

joemirando
09-14-2013, 01:41 PM
...Sorry it's not an answer :(

Hahaha! Sometimes a better question is better than an answer. You asked what I meant to.


Joe

Chevette Girl
09-14-2013, 08:40 PM
I am interested in all of this too, because if it leaves nonfermentable sugars, there are interesting possibilities... it might be a way to have something sweet and carbonated...

jgoehring
09-14-2013, 08:46 PM
My brew buddy and I just whipped up a 1 gallon experimental bochet. We heated the honey for 1 hour on the stove top. Will check brew log for temp. But the result was a very dark almost black product. The OG was 1.110 about two weeks ago. We just racked it and the SG was sitting at 1.010 this week. As far as fermentation goes with addition of nutrients and such it acted as a normal ferment.

WVMJack
09-14-2013, 09:00 PM
First, you add water back to your caramelized honey to make it pourable again, dont let it for a big piece of taffy, thought that might taste good it would be hard to make a mead with it. We did the pressure cooker carameliztion, we also recently used big 25 gal kettle and when adding the water back to it it still tried to jump out and get us, those kettles were big so I was impressed it tried to get us. There is a taste difference in the caramelized honeys, the pressure cooked honey has a smoother more caramel like flavors while the one we cooked in the kettle has more toasted marshmello, more smokey flavor, not quite as smooth as the pressure cooker stuff. Just make some and have fun and dont over think it right :) WVMJ

joemirando
09-14-2013, 09:03 PM
My brew buddy and I just whipped up a 1 gallon experimental bochet. We heated the honey for 1 hour on the stove top. Will check brew log for temp. But the result was a very dark almost black product. The OG was 1.110 about two weeks ago. We just racked it and the SG was sitting at 1.010 this week. As far as fermentation goes with addition of nutrients and such it acted as a normal ferment.

Hmmmmm... What yeast did you use? It seems that (without going back to look), most of the bochets I've read about finished up having NOT gone dry.

I started wondering about whether the heat/oxidation would affect some of the sugar in ways that would keep the yeast from being able to make use of them.

Aside from Chevette Girl's point (which is a good one), I was wondering if this would be a way to make a truly ferment-till-done batch that would still end up with some sweetness. I hadn't thought about carbonation. Hmmm... now I've got TWO things to think about.

I'm also wondering if a caramelized honey would be too strong for a sack mead. I guess there's only one way to find out: Step feed the sombitch till it either dies or tastes "right".

Thoughts/Ideas/Andctotes?


Joe

jgoehring
09-14-2013, 11:06 PM
We used rc 2112 its what we had on hand. And I failed to mention the 2 pounds of apples that were in the primary. The apples probably contributed to the gravity drop.

joemirando
09-14-2013, 11:27 PM
We used rc 2112 its what we had on hand. And I failed to mention the 2 pounds of apples that were in the primary. The apples probably contributed to the gravity drop.

I'll make a note of the 2112. Thanks.

Ah, apples. I'm done experimenting with apples for a while. I've made a couple of small batches of hard cider and cyser. They all taste incredibly thin right now, so I'll let them "come grow old with me", and then give 'em a try. Until I see how those do and what I'd do different, I figure I'll focus on other aspects.

IF I had room, I'd be making 2 batches of mead side by side with everything the same but the caramelized honey to see what the yeast do with it. But I don't have the room, so I'll content myself with half an experiment for now. ;)
Well, in a while, actually. Got to free up some gallon jugs and other miscellaneous stuff.

Thanks to one and all for the help and info


Joe

Chevette Girl
09-15-2013, 01:35 AM
I hadn't thought about carbonation. Hmmm... now I've got TWO things to think about.

Bwahaahaa, welcome to the neverending to-brew list...

GntlKnigt1
09-15-2013, 04:13 AM
FatBloke, your kitchen is still torn up? I thought that project was done last year!!! I hope you're back in operation again soon....

As I said in a post elsewhere, I have a 12 quart pressure canner/cooker from the '80s, but didn't want to use it for a pint of honey, so I boiled it in a jar in water for like... 3 hours. Yes, it got very dark, and I/we have been using it judiciously to figure out where it would be good. Have some plum wine that will likely become a bochet with backsweetening using carmelized honey. First, I need to replenish my honey supply.

WVMJack
09-15-2013, 06:44 AM
THe problem with the boiling in it a jar is that the lowest temp the main sugar component in honey starts to really caramelize is like 240F, so boiling at 212F just maybe coagulated some proteins together? When they melt the wax off of the caps that honey also gets darkened, gets sold off as bakers honey, but its only like I think around 140F just enough to melt the wax and separate the honey. Real caramelization isnt going to start until at least over 240F I believe. We really need to get a candy maker advisor on the finer points of caramelizing honey. WVMJ

WVMJack
09-15-2013, 06:51 AM
You could easily test your theory on one batch, just dont raise the starting gravity very high, take it to 1.080, see if the yeasts goes dry, if it stops at 1.01 then everyones guess that there is something about the caramelization that prevents the yeast from fermenting all the sugars may be correct, then you can just feed back some more honey and let it finish off at the final gravity that you wanted. If you use a strong yeast like EC1118 or K1V1116 that can ferment dry easily it would be a very clear experiment and you wouldnt need a side by side comparison though really you are not using your meadmaking imagination if you cant find room for even 1 extra carboy, put it in the middle of the dining room table and tell the wife is a centerpiece, put one in the living room with a lampshade on it, hide it in your closet under a pile of clothes, you have to be creative:):). WVMJ

fatbloke
09-15-2013, 11:25 AM
FatBloke, your kitchen is still torn up? I thought that project was done last year!!! I hope you're back in operation again soon....
yup! gonna be about another 6 to 8 weeks before done so I can get anywhere with sorting it out too start any new brews, even then it may be that I have to spend out on a number of brew belts and run the ferments in the shed - which will be a pain as the cheap brew belts seem to be fixed temp at 24C/75F, so I'd have to make a power controller to reduce it a little for the usual 20C/68F levels.

Plus I need to rig up some rainwater recycling so that I can use my RO filter and don't have to buy it.....

Luckily, most of the build/structural stuff has been completed now, they've just got to hang the last of the floor joists and get it floored over - and build a panel so that it keeps any rain out until the roof lantern window and bi-fold doors have been made and installed.....

Wish they'd speed up some though, as it's grapefest next weekend and I'd normally be coming home with 3 or 4 x 27 litre fermenters full of grape pulp, but the bloke who sources the grapes started doing 25 litre drums of de-stemmed and pre-pulped frozen grapes last year, so I've just ordered 3 from him and he's happy to keep hold of them till I'm ready for them, then ship them down here......

Probably gonna just make wine this time. Last year it was all pyment, that's turned out like a medium sweet red wine (pic here (http://imgur.com/0wAFf6O)). It's still ageing and I've used some of my home made oak sticks in it as well. So only time will tell if it comes out OK or whether I need to do something else too it.....

Actually, I've got to check, the sliver edge of the pic shows another 1 gallon DJ, that might be the pressure cooker bochet.....


As I said in a post elsewhere, I have a 12 quart pressure canner/cooker from the '80s, but didn't want to use it for a pint of honey, so I boiled it in a jar in water for like... 3 hours. Yes, it got very dark, and I/we have been using it judiciously to figure out where it would be good. Have some plum wine that will likely become a bochet with backsweetening using carmelized honey. First, I need to replenish my honey supply.Our pressure cooker is only about 1.5 to 2 gallons capacity (not exactly sure). So when I want too, I can just do 4lb of honey in 1lb jars at a time. Enough for 1 imp gallon batches.

Stocking up on honey isn't so much of an issue, as I get my honey here (http://www.paynesbeefarm.co.uk/honey-in-bulk/) mostly, and they're 10 miles up the road. Not the biggest selection but enough to keep me ticking over, also small enough choice to make me envious of the marvellous sounding stuff at places like Beefolks (http://www.beefolks.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=5&cat=Honey%2C+Bulk).....

rmccask
09-15-2013, 12:07 PM
This isn't the test you asked for but it is the data I have....

I have a 5 gallon bochet I pitched on 8/24. I under pitched and had a longer lag time but that shouldn't have too much effect on these results. This is around 15.5 lb of honey caramelized in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes. I also had the zest and juice from 4 oranges. The OG was 1.111. As of this morning, the SG is down to 1.006. This is using K1V-1116. It dropped 16 points in the last week and is still bubbling slowly so it will probably drop further.

joemirando
09-15-2013, 01:26 PM
This isn't the test you asked for but it is the data I have....

I have a 5 gallon bochet I pitched on 8/24. I under pitched and had a longer lag time but that shouldn't have too much effect on these results. This is around 15.5 lb of honey caramelized in a pressure cooker for 90 minutes. I also had the zest and juice from 4 oranges. The OG was 1.111. As of this morning, the SG is down to 1.006. This is using K1V-1116. It dropped 16 points in the last week and is still bubbling slowly so it will probably drop further.

Thanks. That is good information. It's fermenting about as I'd expect with 'regular' honey.


Thanks,

Joe

GntlKnigt1
09-16-2013, 01:18 AM
Good to know McCask. Thanks for the post.

LOL@WVMJack and uses for carboys....That could be it's own thread and could get really silly....

FatBloke, what you have there is a great selection of honeys !! WAY more than I have been able to find so far, although I struggle with the language barrier here and try to press the wife to do google searches for me. Killer bee honey was listed over there at The Bee Folks in Maryland.... now, I can't imagine who would have the bxxxs to harvest THAT, but their price for it isn't any more outrageous than the price of their other honeys!!! And your local place carries Spanish Rosemary honey? First of all, hard to imagine that they could isolate and collect that... I have never seen a field of nothing but rosemary that would allow them to label the honey as rosemary. Tasmanian Leatherwood? Do they really ship a boatload of honey for Tasmania and sell It economically in GB?

Chevette Girl
09-16-2013, 07:06 AM
LOL@WVMJack and uses for carboys....That could be it's own thread and could get really silly....

I've got one full of cider hiding under the kitchen table... Shhh...

Matrix4b
09-16-2013, 11:01 AM
From what I have read the carmelization process does not carmelize ALL of the sugars but it does carmelize some if not most of them. This is the reason that I read that many people have stalling problems when making a Bochett. I don't know how much but when I made my Ameretto Cream Bochett I only carmelized 6 pounds of honey and added another 6 pounds to the primary of a 5 gal batch.

So, to answer the question at hand: Much like Potassium Sorbate does not stop All fermentation, Carmelization of the sugars doesn't happen all at once and happen throughly. So it may be easier to make a carbonated mead with some of the camelization of honey but you would still need to be careful. Also, wouldn't that taste a bit like a butterscotch beer or something? Being a soda-like carmel.

From what I read there are two truely non-fermentable sugars: Lactose and Malto-dextrin. There may be others. Certianly the carmelized sugars aren't but how much of the carmelized honey is non-fermentable? I have no idea. Enough to make some Bochett recipies stall out easily.

I think that you would have to ask a chemist and have that chemist make some tests to find this out by carmelizing some honey and then testing it. Testing it at various levels of carmelization. In my mind, too much work.

I wonder is xanthan gum fermentable?

Hmm looking at wicki:
" It is composed of five sugars, glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid in the molar ratio 2.8:2.0:2.0.[4] It is produced by the fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactose. After a fermentation period, the polysaccharide is precipitated from a growth medium with isopropyl alcohol, dried, and ground into a fine powder. Later, it is added to a liquid medium to form the gum.[5]
"

Looks like it is fermentable at least in part. But could be interesting as an additive, wonder what it would contribute.

Matrix

WVMJack
09-16-2013, 04:28 PM
Fructose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose): 38.2%, 230F
Glucose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucose): 31.3%, 320F
Maltose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maltose): 7.1%, 356f
Sucrose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucrose): 1.3%, 320f
Fructose (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose) 110C, 230f

So honey contains different ratios of these sugars, Fructose caramelizes at the lowest temps and would seem to be the sugar that is caramelized by pressure cooking which goes up to I think 250F. To get the other sugars caramelized you would need to use fire to get the 320F. I havent checked the one we cooked in a kettle yet to see where it dropped to but will soon.



WVMJ

GntlKnigt1
09-16-2013, 04:42 PM
I just did some in pressure cooker tonight. It sure is dark! Too hot for taste test. Will check it in AM.