"Staggered" Bochet

Discussion in 'Meads' started by tradowsk, May 21, 2019.

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  1. May 21, 2019 #1

    tradowsk

    tradowsk

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    I wanted to run an idea by the mead experts on here for what I'm calling a "staggered bochet."

    Full disclosure, I'm ripping the base recipe from https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/orange-bochet-recipe-please-comment.68692/ with credit to @Mazaruni. I've also read about a few people trying this technique on the typical mead forums as well.

    I'm going for a 2-gallon bochet using 5lb caramelized clover honey and 1.5lb fresh orange blossom honey in the primary with D-47 and TOSNA-2. I might step-feed with 1lb clover honey at the end to reach the 14% ABV limit of the D47, but I'm not sure on that yet. My goal is for a semi-sweet mead that would be great room temp or slightly warmed in the winter, hence the preference for higher ABV.

    My idea for this was to break the clover honey into 3 smaller batches that would each be boiled for a different length of time, hence "staggered." In the above thread, the recommendation was for about 25min of boiling so I would do that for 2.5lb of the clover honey. Then I would do a separate boiling for 1.5lb to say 40min to get deeper flavors, and the last pound would go for 50-60min to get smokey/burnt flavors and more unfermentable sugars. The idea is then I can get a range of different caramelized-type flavors in the same batch of mead. Tasting along the way would help determine the exact cutoff points for each of the boils, but I would like a combo of caramel, toffee, spices, and toasted marshmallow in the end product.

    Any thoughts on this? Would it be worth the extra time/effort to do these 3 boils or will there not be enough differentiation to make it worthwhile?
     
  2. May 23, 2019 #2

    Mazaruni

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    I like this idea --not that I know about meads -- but it's a good idea because if it works perfectly, you could get lots of nice flavors that fit together, and if you overshoot on one of the later ones, you didn't ruin all your honey. My only worry is the timing. The caramelizing process might speed up. Also I would guess the smaller volumes would caramelize faster, so maybe you just need 25 to 30 on each boil.
     
  3. May 24, 2019 #3

    tradowsk

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    That's an interesting point about the different quantities caramelizing at different rates, I hadn't thought of that. I guess I'll just have to go based on smell/color/taste vs time then. Do you remember what color your 20min boil was at the end? I'll probably go amber, dark amber, and black for the 3 boils.
     
  4. May 24, 2019 #4

    Mazaruni

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  5. May 27, 2019 #5

    BernardSmith

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    Don't consider myself an expert on bochet but I think the critical factor is not time but temperature. Different sugars caramalize at different temperatures. If you don't know the temperature of the honey but assume that it makes no difference try baking bread over an open fire. You'll get about the same kind of result - totally unpredictable, totally unrepeatable, almost inedible and almost certainly charcoal. This is 2019 not 1519. We have temperature controlled ovens and we can control the temperature of everything we cook on a stove.

    Glucose (31% of honey) caramelizes at 320 F and fructose (38%) at 230F. Maltose (7%) caramelizes at 356 F. Stick a thermometer in the honey and monitor its temperature.
     
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  6. May 28, 2019 #6

    tradowsk

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    @BernardSmith good point, I just defaulted to time since that's what every recipe and tutorial I could find used. But just as a counterpoint, time would also be a factor with temperature. Like smoking meats: cook a brisket to 198F in a 400F oven and you get a brick, cook it at 225F for hours up to 198F and you get heaven.

    I think for my bochet I'm probably going to use color as my indicator, taking samples every 5min until I get to what I want like Mazurani did. Perhaps tasting some cooled samples as well along the way. But I would love to come up with a time/temperature procedure that more scientific and repeatable. Perhaps one day
     
  7. May 29, 2019 #7

    tradowsk

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    So I made the bochet today. I only did 2 batches of honey boils due to time restrictions. The first one was almost black after adding the water, while the second was like a chestnut color. I did dots every 5min after it started boiling, so the first batch was 30min total and the second was about 25min but was at a lower heat. Added 1.5lb orange blossom honey as well and water to 2gal, BM4x4 with GoFerm and TOSNA-3 with FermO. OG was 1.130

    I probably should have gone longer on the first boil, but I tasted it and got a fairly bitter aftertaste so I stopped there. Time will tell if I should have gone more, but I didn't want to risk the whole batch by burning something.
     

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  8. Jun 22, 2019 #8

    Mazaruni

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    How's your bochet going?
     
  9. Jun 22, 2019 #9

    tradowsk

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    Unfortunately my bochet didn't bochet. Even ~4weeks later, there's no trace or caramel or any other flavors outside the standard honey and some orange/apricot marmalade. I guess I didn't caramelize the honey nearly enough.

    So I'm splitting my 2 gallon batch into 2 one gallon batches. The first will be an orange chai mead and the second will be orange chocolate. Both will be good for winter since my current SG yields around 18% ABV.

    So I guess I will have to take a second crack at the bochet in the future. @Mazaruni how is yours going?
     
  10. Jul 1, 2019 #10

    Mazaruni

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    Hi tradowsk...in my orange bochet, I think there is a hint of caramel, but it is light. Still, I like it a lot. I haven't made a lot of meads, and it's nice to have one that doesn't have any nasty flavors. It won 2nd place in nouveau competition in my wine club, but the senior fruit wine judge commented, "confusion in the mouth." That's great line, feel free to use it!

    I would make this recipe again, but maybe put some caramelized sugar in the F-pac. I caramalized a bunch of sugar and just dumped it in vodka, and shook until it dissolved, and it tastes perfectly nice after work. So I think it might boost the caramel in the bochet, if you're sweetening anyway.
     
  11. Jul 1, 2019 #11

    tradowsk

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    Wow, congrats on the award! That's so cool! I wish we had those kind of competitions in my area.

    I'm probably just gonna continue on the route I started with the Chai/orange and orange/chocolate and give the bochet another attempt later. I have a tendency to overdo changes so I'm taking my time with this one since what I have now is very rocket fuel-like haha
     
  12. Jul 4, 2019 #12

    Mazaruni

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    Chai/orange and orange/chocolate sound like delicious "saves." What do you use for the chai and the chocolate, and how do you add them?
     
  13. Jul 4, 2019 #13

    BernardSmith

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    Just saw your comment , tradowsk, that you cooked the honey 'til it was black. That sounds like you carbonized the sugars -That is wayyyy beyond caramelization. Black = burnt. Do you know what the internal temperature of that honey was? Carbon is bitter and like burnt toast there is no effective way of removing the bitterness. But if that is something you like , more power to ya. (I once had a boss who demanded his toast be burnt to a cinder).
     
  14. Jul 5, 2019 #14

    tradowsk

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    I had some loose leaf chai tea so I made a strong cup and added it to the mead on first racking along with the juice of an orange. I drew a sample and added a drop of honey to sweeten and it was actually really good! Definitely warmed the belly and the soul haha

    I'm still working on how best to add the chocolate flavor, I'm waiting on a response from a local meadmaker who did a chocolate peppermint last year. But I've seen everything from cocoa powders to cacao nibs to nesquik. I might make a tincture with brandy or everclear so I can better control the chocolate flavor without risking my whole batch.
     
  15. Jul 5, 2019 #15

    tradowsk

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    It's a weird phenomenon where in the primary bucket, the honey mixture looked very dark, but a small sample in a glass was much lighter. Right now, a glass of the mead has a very attractive golden color, while the carboy looks more brownish.

    You can see in the image I attached in that previous post that the honey was not at the burnt stage, so I probably had to go further to get the bochet characteristics I wanted.

    The bitterness I first noted is now gone, although the high ABV requires backsweetening. That was the plan anyway, to have a port-like mead that would be good in the winter by the fireplace.
     
  16. Jul 5, 2019 #16

    sour_grapes

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    If you want to learn more about this "weird phenomenon," google "Lambert's Law or "the Beer-Lambert Law."
     
  17. Jul 6, 2019 #17

    tradowsk

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    Funnily enough, my dissertation involved simulating laser absorption spectroscopy (using the BLL) in reacting flows using adaptive finite elements haha so good to know my engineering degree helps with winemaking, I should add that to my resume haha
     
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  18. Jul 6, 2019 #18

    sour_grapes

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    Ha, so I think you have just provided us with a good lesson in domain specificity!

    Sooo, you were simulating the absorption of stimulated emission? :) That makes my head hurt.
     
  19. Jul 20, 2019 at 3:07 AM #19

    tradowsk

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    So for my orange chocolate batch, I decided to make a tincture using brandy and Lindt dark truffles. Basically 1 cup of brandy and 7 truffles of 50%-70% cacao, put in a jar and let sit for a few days, shaking twice a day. Once done, strain through a coffee filter and then freeze to get the fat to solidify and easy to scrape off. I figure this is the safest way where I'm not risking the batch.
     

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