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View Full Version : Four questions about making a bochet?



bernardsmith
11-13-2015, 08:52 AM
I have a desire to make a bochet, but have never made one before.
Can I boil honey in a crockpot (slow cooker) or does the honey require to be stirred?
If I can use a crockpot should this be set at the lowest or highest temperature setting?
If a crockpot is a good way to boil the honey, how long would I need to cook it to obtain a black honey - 2 hours? 4? 8?
The volume of the honey will increase as it cooks, yes? by how much? In other words, how large a crockpot will I need to cook 3 lbs of honey? Thanks

valverij
11-13-2015, 10:31 AM
Loveofrose mentioned using a crock pot on HomeBrewTalk in this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=537030


Looks tasty! Next time, try a crock pot to cook the honey. Far easier and more reproducible!


No foam at all. How long to cook depends on how dark you want it. 2-8 hours.

I haven't tried it yet, but I definitely want to. As he said, it shouldn't foam up, because it's never going to actually reach honey boiling temperature (or shouldn't, anyway, if you keep it on low).

Mazer828
11-13-2015, 10:36 AM
I have made a few. Though that certainly doesn't make me an expert. I don't think the crock pot will work well, due to the fact that the carmelization temperatures you're going to need to reach are well out of crock pot range.

Put your desired amount of honey in a stainless steel pot that is AT LEAST three to four times the volume of the honey you'll be carmelizing. It really fluffs up during the process. Don't add any water or anything at this point, and my experience is that you don't really have to stir it, but I still do from time to time for reasons I explain below. And you certainly can't leave it unattended even for a moment.

Turn your burner on high and keep an eye on it. Have a white ceramic plate nearby, with a chopstick or a long spoon. When the honey gets to the right temp it will begin to boil and foam. As it does, it will lose water content and begin carmelizing. Every few minutes after that, swirl the chopstick or spoon around in the honey, and dab a little bit of it onto your white plate. This will let you see how much the honey has carmelized and you can also taste a bit to test for the flavor profile you're aiming for. Keep doing this every few minutes, and you will see and taste the darkening of the honey, until you have a palette on your plate. Turn off the heat when you've gotten it as dark as you want it.

Here's what mine looked like:
https://instagram.com/p/9jrJP4gBd7/

Now comes the exciting part. Get a lid for the pot, and some cool water. Pour a little of the cool water into the carmelized honey and immediately put the lid back on. Wait for all the cursing and spitting inside the pot to subside, and do it again. Eventually you'll have cooled it down enough to work with. If you don't do this step, you'll end up with a pot full of very hard honey toffee.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

bernardsmith
11-13-2015, 11:44 AM
Mazer828, Many thanks. This is very helpful. How long did it take to go from the light color to the darkest color on your palette?
and Valverij... I will check out the post you mention by loveofrose. I think my slow cooker can reach quite high temperatures when the contents are not water based (in which case the temps cannot exceed 100 or thereabouts).

Mazer828
11-13-2015, 12:05 PM
I didn't time it but it will vary depending on the heat output of your burner (I used an electric range top) and the volume of honey you're working with. The last batch I did, I only used 5 lbs of honey, and it took me probably 45 minutes to get to the level I was aiming for, which was pretty dark as you can see on the picture. And that's from the time I turned the burner on. I would say each level of color in my palette represents about 3-4 minutes of time after carmelization began.

Hope you'll post on how yours turns out!

valverij
11-13-2015, 12:11 PM
Just a note, there are several slow cooker/crock pot caramel recipes online, and a couple of instances where someone has used a cock pot to caramelize the honey for a bochet (including this thread: http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php/21132-Opinions-on-a-Bochet-I-m-starting-Questions-too). Looking into it a bit more, it seems like the lower limit on caramelization varies significantly: http://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/29927/18731

Having never done it myself, though, I can't say how the flavor varies between crock pot honey and stove-top honey (or pressure cooked, for that matter).

You could always split 6 lbs between two 1-gallon batches and test out both methods.

WVMJack
11-13-2015, 12:19 PM
Have another pot on the stove and boil the water you want to add back, allow the hot honey to cool a little so that when you add some hot water back its not going to want to jump as much back out the pot. There are different levels of caremalizing, a crock pot can boil water and it can cook the honey, a pressure cooker with the honey in jars also makes a nice smooth Bochet, but if you want total black burnt marshmalow taste you have to use real heat. When it puffs grey smoke you are almost there.

bernardsmith
11-13-2015, 03:17 PM
But if you use "real heat" how do you ensure that the bottom does not scorch - seems to me that you would need to constantly stir but stirring will prevent the sugars from properly caramelizing... Does it make sense to try this in a regular oven?

WVMJack
11-13-2015, 04:29 PM
Read up on how to make caremal from sugar, you are basically doing the same thing, I do suggest putting it thru a screen filter to remove the protein clumps. WVMJ

Mondor
11-14-2015, 09:37 AM
I caramelized about 10lbs of honey in preparation for a bochet. Over a couple of weeks I cooked the honey in 2lb batches.

During boil it would easily quadruple in volume, but when cooled it was lost approx 15% in overall volume. Filled the entire house with a wonderful aroma.

Original 10lbs of honey now don't quite fill two quart jars.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

McJeff
11-14-2015, 11:21 AM
do you guys skim the foam off and discard?


Edit: last time I made a bochet I didn't skim the foam off and I had a bitter flavor. but I also went 90 mins on a cook top with constant stirring.

Cal
11-14-2015, 12:55 PM
I made a Boucher using a crockpot. Took longer but got the honey dark black. Foamed up a lot.

Mazer828
11-14-2015, 03:05 PM
Interesting. Wouldn't have thought it possible. What would be the advantage though? Wouldn't you get the same result quicker with a standard pot on a burner?

Mondor
11-14-2015, 04:39 PM
No, didn't see the point or have a chance. Once the foam started forming it was only seconds before the whole lot boiled up. It would have been like trying to skim boiling sugar. As to bitter, I tested the caramelized honey and got some interesting smells and tastes, but no hint of bitter.


Of course once I haven't actually made a mead with it yet, so any bitter flavors could still manifest during the fermentation process.

McJeff
11-14-2015, 06:41 PM
yeah I figured

Mondor
11-14-2015, 06:54 PM
Figured what?

bernardsmith
11-14-2015, 07:32 PM
I made a Boucher using a crockpot. Took longer but got the honey dark black. Foamed up a lot.

with the lid on or off?

WVMJack
11-14-2015, 08:27 PM
This is how you burn 5 gallons of honey at a time! WVMJ

1703

McJeff
11-15-2015, 07:56 AM
Figured what?

figured people don't skim the foam off.

Mazer828
11-15-2015, 10:42 AM
I found it quite a bit different than boiling a must (which I haven't done since my earliest mead making days). Boiling a must raises up a scum that some say should be skimmed. I've never had this happen with boiling pure (non diluted) honey for a bochet. I think if one were to skim foam during carmelization for a bochet, a lot of the good stuff would be lost.

kudapucat
11-16-2015, 02:05 AM
In the patrons section, you can find my brewlog on a spiced chai Bochet. It just won best in show.
It has cook times and photographs of before and after, though I do like the look of that white plate method.
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25182

Marshmallow Blue
11-18-2015, 04:25 PM
do you guys skim the foam off and discard?


Edit: last time I made a bochet I didn't skim the foam off and I had a bitter flavor. but I also went 90 mins on a cook top with constant stirring.

I do not. The burnt bitter flavor comes form cooking your honey too long IMO. Bochets are finicky and everyone likes them a different way. Find the cooking time and method that works best for you via experimentation.

McJeff
11-18-2015, 05:03 PM
I do not. The burnt bitter flavor comes form cooking your honey too long IMO. Bochets are finicky and everyone likes them a different way. Find the cooking time and method that works best for you via experimentation.

Awesome thank you

side question, where you at in northern NH? Im in western Maine, Want to trade some meads? ;)

Marshmallow Blue
11-18-2015, 05:24 PM
Bethlehem, it's north of the Franconia Notch.

McJeff
11-18-2015, 06:21 PM
I had to google that!

Marshmallow Blue
11-19-2015, 08:46 PM
Whereabouts are you? I find myself in north conway sometimes.

McJeff
11-20-2015, 08:10 AM
I'm in Farmington maine, I would head straight west and hit Gorham nh easy enough