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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > My first Bochet and what I've learned.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:05 PM   #1
Jukas
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Default My first Bochet and what I've learned.

Last night I started my first bochet, that will likely end up a chocolate & vanilla bochet, perhaps with some heavy toast oak aging. Along the way I learned a few things.

1) Heated honey expands, a lot. I knew it would expand so I used my 44qt pot for 18.5lbs of honey.. I had no idea it would expand as much as it did, over half the volume of the pot from 4" depth when cold. Had I used my 24qt pot I likely would have burned my kitchen down.

2) Have a fire extinguisher handy. (See point 1). Luckily I didn't need it, but it would have been really smart.

3) Vet your helpers. My wife said she'd help & we could take turns during the boil. At 5' 5" and using the 44qt stockpot on the stove she was too short to stir for long. I got 10 minutes out of her before she said she was done and wandered off. I should have gotten a shorter cooking surface or a taller wife.

4) Stirring for 2+ hours is boring. An open kitchen plan where you can see the flatscreen & watch a movie would be awesome. Sadly I don't have this and stared at a wall for 2.5hrs, at least I had my ipod.

5) Boiling honey can splatter, when it does it feels like molten lava if it touches your skin.

6) Even if it's 100+ degrees, wear long sleeves.. (see #5). I took one tiny splatter to the hands and put on oven mitts. Had I learned my lesson then & there I could have avoided the splatter I took to the forearm prior to putting on a long sleeve shirt.

7) Splattered honey is like lava on contact, but dries like cement. Clean up splatters as soon as possible to save elbow grease later.

8) Boiling honey smells amazeballs. Stoners should never make a bochet as I imagine the combination of the smell & the munchies could have fatal results. However the smell lingers for hours, I hope everyone in your house likes the smell of honey.

9) Hot water & Oxyclean makes cleanup a snap when done right away.

I ended up with an OG of 1.127, just slightly under my target of 1.130 so I feel pretty good. I'll pitch the 700ml starter I've got going later today and start on SNA. I do wish I had an oxygenation kit as attempting to aerate by hand sucks.

Since this thread is worthless without pics, I've attached the hone 90min into the boil, and the finished mixture in the carboy waiting for yeast pitch.

photo.jpg   photo-1.jpg  
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Yup, all good points, I would ;like to add to a few of them though:

4) Not only is it boring, but it can be pretty tiring on the arms, especially if you are having to keep stirring to avoid overflow.

8) This, I cannot overstate, DO NOT SMELL THE HONEY! Twice I stuck my face over boiling honey for a smell before realising that I could lose my face if it started spitting.
I was lucky but you may not be!

Hope yours goes well, mine has just slowed down on the fermenting having been going 2 weeks.

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Old 03-13-2012, 01:51 PM   #3
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If you want to smell the honey, use your hands to waft some of the odor to your face, don't put your face over the pot.

How do you calculate a target OG for bochet? Just assume an OG based on the amount of unburnt honey you used?

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
If you want to smell the honey, use your hands to waft some of the odor to your face, don't put your face over the pot.

How do you calculate a target OG for bochet? Just assume an OG based on the amount of unburnt honey you used?
I did it based on honey having 35 ppg (points per gallon).

18.5 * 35 = 647.50 / 5 gallons = 129.5 which rounds up to 1.130

Also since math isn't my day job, I double checked the mead calculator at gotmead I was recently informed about and selected 'Target Volume' and 'Additional Sugars' and let it calculate the target gravity
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:38 PM   #5
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Burning the honey doesn't change the amount of sugar, it does however make them harder for the yeast to get at so there may be some leftover at the end like in beer. But yes, my OG was dead on what I would have expected with it not burnt.

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