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.