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Dan McFeeley
01-28-2005, 03:29 AM
Thought this would be better in a new thread -- here's a link, along with the recipe, for Bochet.

http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/mead.html



A mead recipe from Le Menagier de Paris, c. 1393

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"BEVERAGES FOR THE SICK - BOCHET To make six sesters of bochet take six pints of very soft honey and set it in a cauldron on the fire, and boil it and stir it for as long as it goes on rising and as long as you see it throwing up liquid in little bubbles which burst and in bursting give off a little blackish steam; and then move it, and put in seven sesters of water and boil them until it is reduced to six sesters, always stirring. And then put it in a tub to cool until it be just warm, and then run it through a sieve, and afterwards put it in a cask and add half a pint of leaven of beer, for it is this which makes it piquant (and if you put in leaven of bread, it is as good for the taste, but the colour will be duller), and cover it warmly and well when you prepare it. And if you would make it very good, add thereto an ounce of ginger, long pepper, grain of Paradise and cloves, as much of the one as of the other, save that there shall be less of the cloves, and put them in a linen bag and cast it therein. And when it hath been therein for two or three days, and the brochet tastes enough of the spices and is sufficiently piquant, take out the bag and squeeze it and put it in the other barrel that you are making. And thus this powder will serve you well two or three times over."

(Translation found in Eileen Power's The Goodman of Paris, 1928, pp. 293-4)

jab
01-28-2005, 10:35 AM
Awesome! Thank you very much sir!

Has anyone ever tried making it? I'm thinking of giving it a go. When I do I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

Dan McFeeley
01-28-2005, 12:41 PM
Has anyone ever tried making it? I'm thinking of giving it a go. When I do I'll let everyone know how it turns out.


This should help with translating the recipe into modern measurements -- it's from the same link: http://members.aol.com/renfrowcm/mead.html



'Sextier'?
The original French 'sextier' is explained by Jerome Pichon, in his notes as "Sans doute le setier de huit pintes plutôt que celui d'une demi-pinte (ou chopine)." ["Without doubt the sester of eight pints rather than that of one half-pint (or chopine)."*]

Using this definition of sextier to determine the proportion of honey to water, we get:

6 pints honey to (7 sesters x 8 pints/sester = 56 pints water), or 1 part honey to 9 1/3 parts water to begin with. (This is boiled and reduced to 48 pints (6 sesters) total volume.)

Digby's "Weak Honey Drink" has the proportion 1 part honey to 9 parts water. Digby (1669) also has a recipe for "Hydromel as I made it weak for the Queen Mother" that calls for 1 part honey to 18 parts water, so Le Ménagier's Bochet is not an unreasonably weak hydromel recipe.

Suzy_Q_Brewmistres
01-28-2005, 03:00 PM
If you are boiling to reduce volume of liquid.... how long would that take... hours??

I personally like the part...."very soft honey and set it in a cauldron on the fire, and boil it " Sounds kinda witchy to me..... <g> my kind of brewing.

What is soft honey? Mild? or perhaps more liquid as apposed to solid honey?

:) Suzy Q

Dan McFeeley
01-29-2005, 07:37 AM
What is soft honey? Mild? or perhaps more liquid as apposed to solid honey?


I've no idea -- this is a very old recipe from the late 14th century. Maybe something fresh from the hive?