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-   -   Best use for buckwheat honey? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/best-use-buckwheat-honey-360977/)

centworthy 10-14-2012 01:17 PM

Best use for buckwheat honey?
 
I have a gallon of buckwheat honey and was thinking this could either make a very interesting bochet or an incredibly lousy one. So I thought I'd ask the experts out there that have experience in either bochet or buckwheat mead making, what is your recomendation of how to "mead" this unusual honey?

Illuveatar 10-14-2012 03:29 PM

I have a few pounds of buckwheat honey that I was going to make a mead with. On someones recommendation I mixed 1 tsp of honey into 3 tsp of water to get an idea of the flavors hidden beneath the sweetness of the honey. It smelled like cow manure and tasted about the same so I've put the idea on hold for now.

Caramelizing the buckwheat might alter the underlying flavors, you could try boiling a small amount of the honey and then diluting it with water as I did to get a rough idea of what it would taste like. And if you do please report back because I'm curious about a buckwheat bochet.

Arpolis 10-14-2012 03:36 PM

I think the Bochet route is the way to go with Buckwheat. However compared to a normal light colored honey Bochet I bet this will still be a bit "wheaty/grassy" like. So I suggest a Bochet Braggot. I think the flavors of some liquid malt extract and hops would go well with the caramelized Buckwheat. I loved my Bochet Braggot and think if I had buckwheat instead of clover would just scale down on the hops additions to compensate for the extra flavors.

centworthy 10-14-2012 03:47 PM

illuveater,
I too have heard of the not so good underlying smell and taste of this honey. There is a thread on here that even describes it as "barnyard" so you have helped confirm my suspicion. I do like your idea of boiling a sample amount to see the affect. That was also a great suggestion of diluting a small amount to get the underlying subtleties ( or not so subtle qualities as the case may be). It's probably not a bad idea to do that with any honey since it can very from batch to batch.

centworthy 10-14-2012 04:03 PM

Arpolis,

That's a good thought only thing is I'm not a hoppy kind of gal (although my hubby would llove this idea). But you have given me some ideas. I think I'll burn a little like Illuveater suggested then experiment with other favors (spice) like you suggested to see what either helps or masks any unpleasentness. I definitely want to go the bochet route, only because I've been dying to try this type of mead. Will let you know how the experimenting goes

centworthy 10-14-2012 05:31 PM

Okay burnt a half cup of the buckwheat honey. The smell, at first, was that of a hot steaming barnyard but then that smell seemed to disapate. It actually started to take on, of all things, the smell of fresh cut wood once it started to burn. I was not intending to let it go this long, was just going to carmalize it, but this either is a fast burning honey or it went quick because it was a small amount. Once it reached a hard candy stage ( stuck to the spoon and hardened at room temp) I added one and a half cups of water (1part to 3parts as Illuveater suggested). There is still a hint of the manure taste but it has greatly diminished. It has kind of a woody flavor, definitely a much more interesting honey now. Will likely burn the rest of it today and get the must going. After this experiment i think I'm going to leave out any other flavorings in favor of seeing where this goes on its own.

Arpolis 10-14-2012 06:19 PM

Sounds interesting. When I made my first bochet I mixed it about 3 parts honey and one part water and boiled it on a gas stove on the lowest heat for 1.75 hours and that got it real dark but befor any carbon was being made. Since you had only a little honey it did probably go faster than normal. So going the traditional Bochet route makes yeast choice important. Here are a couple of thoughts for you. If some of the aromatics and subtle flavors are not the best and the primary flavor is the sweet woodsy taste that you want then you may want to go with Lalvin ec-1118 yeast to ferment your must. I usually back off from that yeast with meads because it does blow some aromatics and flavor out the airlock because of its super aggresive and fast fermentation process. But That may be a good thing in this case. If you have a way to keep the fermentation temperature below 68*F then Lalvin D47 can be a nice yeast because you can let it sit on the lees for about a month after fermentation has stopped & D47 will put on an almost fruity/citrousy flavor when you let it sit on the lees.

fatbloke 10-14-2012 07:53 PM

Don't forget, if you haven't already cooked it, you can mix it to reduce the barnyard thing. Say something like 2.5 to 3lb of clover or wild flower, and half a pound of the buckwheat made up to a gallon for a traditional. Maybe with a bit of rosemary or some other herb if it ended up as a sweet mead.....

opus345 12-08-2012 04:21 AM

Here is what you can do with Buckwheat: Carmel Apple Mead http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f80/caramel-apple-mead-68519/

centworthy 12-08-2012 11:12 PM

Figured I'd give an update on the buckwheat bochet. Tasted on the first racking and no barnyard taste nor smell. Very pleasant in fact, fairly dry already with a molasses flavor. Seems that burning the buckwheat honey significantly reduces any unpleasantness and leaves behind a very rich flavorful base for must. I have the feeling this is going to be a very special mead by next winter if I can keep my hands off it that long


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