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Thread: Bochet mead?

  1. Default Bochet mead?

    I just stumbled across something called a Bochet mead,made with caramelized honey. Sounded really intriguing

    Was wondering if anyone has experience with this variety of mead and could share advice

  2. #2

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    Most made mistake is people cook their honey at way to high of a temperature. No more than 200f. And dont go beyond a maple syrup color. Go slow and stir constantly. If it's boiling your cooking it to high. Vanilla bean in secondary. And /or American oak. Toasted nibbs is a nice add as well. Be careful you don't splatter it on you skin. It will burn you very badly. Never add water when it's too hot to touch. NEVER
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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    If you search the term Bochet, you'll find a whole bunch of threads and recipes to look at.
    This one is particularly interesting as it talks about doing it in a pressure cooker so you have no risk of scorching yourself. https://www.gotmead.com/forum/showth...ghlight=bochet

    Please let us know how you decide to proceed.

    Good meading,
    Medsen
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

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    It amazes me that folk still talk about bochet as "burnt honey" when bochet is all about caramelizing the honey. Burnt honey is to bochet as burned bread is to toast. It is all but inedible. It tastes bitter.
    Honey is about 40% fructose and about 30% glucose. Fructose caramelizes at 230 F while glucose caramelizes at 320. But it seems that you can caramelize honey at 160F, though the burnt honey folk seem to like their honey near black and bitter as all hell...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    It amazes me that folk still talk about bochet as "burnt honey" when bochet is all about caramelizing the honey. Burnt honey is to bochet as burned bread is to toast. It is all but inedible. It tastes bitter.
    Honey is about 40% fructose and about 30% glucose. Fructose caramelizes at 230 F while glucose caramelizes at 320. But it seems that you can caramelize honey at 160F, though the burnt honey folk seem to like their honey near black and bitter as all hell...
    There is a youtube video of a guy burning the hell out of his honey in a huge cast-iron pan outside. I think that's where this is born from.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squatchy View Post
    There is a youtube video of a guy burning the hell out of his honey in a huge cast-iron pan outside. I think that's where this is born from.
    I've seen that video and I cannot stop laughing - it's like someone roasting potatoes until they are pure carbon and then claiming that they are the tastiest morsels on the planet.. Where did the idea come from that you need to burn (sorry, cook) honey until you see black soot rising from the pot. I thought that was how the Cardinals in Rome indicated that a new Pope had been elected but someone must have understood that to be the same as determining when honey was properly burnt (I mean cooked ) for a bochet.

  7. Default

    Just asking for future reference, but when making a bochet, do you burn (I mean caramelize) all of the honey or just a portion of the honey you plan to use? Also, are there honey varieties that work better than others for a bochet?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by rb2112br View Post
    Just asking for future reference, but when making a bochet, do you burn (I mean caramelize) all of the honey or just a portion of the honey you plan to use? Also, are there honey varieties that work better than others for a bochet?
    That's up to you and what you're looking for. We can't answer that for you. I make a wide array. Sometimes I make all of the honey deeply caramelized and other times not as much. It depends on what other adjuncts you add. I like cocoa nibs and vanilla as adjuncts along with American Oak in medium-plus.
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

  9. Default

    That's the thing, I don't know what I'm looking for because I have never had one before, but it sounds like they would be really good. Something that I'd like to try and make some time down the road. I just don't know what the differences are of using like a 25-75 mix of caramelized to raw honey, or 50-50, or 100% caramelized. Also, once the honey is caramelized, can a portion of it be stored to use in back sweetening, or is it better to use uncooked honey for back sweetening?

    After thinking about it, I don't ever remember even tasting caramelized honey. If/when I do this, I'll definitely have to taste the honey after caramelizing it. Who knows, I may even have to try making a mead with uncooked honey, but back sweeten with caramelized honey.

  10. #10

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    You should always have EVERYTHING you use in any mead left over after you're finished fermenting to adjust your flavor profile. Otherwise, you're screwed
    7 out of 4 people have a hard time using their hydrometer!

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    My suggestion would be to try it with some less-expensive honey. This process can remove a lot of the varietal character from the honey itself, while it adds a completely different set of aromas and flavors. Using some costly, delicate honey might not be wise.

    You can use the caramelized honey for backsweetening, or you can use raw honey. Using raw honey for backsweetening may give you some varietal character that would otherwise be lost. There are no rules for this. You will simply need to test some and see what suits your palate.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

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    FRom what I remember reading (I never made a bochet myself) the pressure cooker method was safe and effective. Keep your batches to 1 gallon and you won't risk much honey. I like the Medsen idea of using a generic honey like wildflower rather than expensive varietals and then back-sweetening with a varietal you like. But first try the plain one!

    Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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    The other thing is that there is really nothing to stop you experimenting - Caramelize 3 lbs of honey and then take one pound and make a 100% caramelized bochet with that pound (It's an experiment so you won't get gallons from this but a hefty quart of water will get you a good ABV), a pound of the same caramelized honey added to a pound of the same variety of honey but not caramelized and with double the volume of water will get you a 50 50 version. And for a 33- 77 version you might add 2 lbs of a similar variety honey to the remaining pound...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernardsmith View Post
    The other thing is that there is really nothing to stop you experimenting - Caramelize 3 lbs of honey and then take one pound and make a 100% caramelized bochet with that pound (It's an experiment so you won't get gallons from this but a hefty quart of water will get you a good ABV), a pound of the same caramelized honey added to a pound of the same variety of honey but not caramelized and with double the volume of water will get you a 50 50 version. And for a 33- 77 version you might add 2 lbs of a similar variety honey to the remaining pound...
    This!!!!! Great idea!

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