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Old 05-16-2009, 05:41 PM   #21
KingBrianI
 
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Alright, well, brewed this one up last night. Ran into a couple of problems, not the least of which was catching my stove on fire. Everything's fine though, and the fiancee didn't hit me or anything so that's good. Anyway, I made a gallon batch, and started with 4 lbs. of clover honey. Figured it didn't need to be anything special since all the aromatics would be burned off anyway. Upon heating, it almost immediately began to foam up, and didn't stop foaming up the whole time. Therefore, for the hour and a half I was cooking it on the stove, I was constantly adjusting the stove temp, stirring, and pulling it off of the eye when boilover was inevitable. After the hour and a half, the honey had turned a very dark brown, but not black, and the smell was beginning to develop a bit of "burnt", though not in a bad way. At that point I was tired of stirring and the constant attention necessary, so I figured it was dark enough. I watched the video of the guy on youtube making it, and although I thought for sure the sudden vaporization of the water when it contacted the hot sugar and the subsequent steam would throw his honey everywhere in a violent explosion, no such thing happened... for him. So armed with false confidence, I casually dumped 4 cups of water straight onto the molten sugar. And guess what. Yeah, I shot liquid magma all over the stove, the walls, the floor and not least of all, myself. Go figure, that's the kind of week I've been having. Luckily, it looked like most of the honey/water mixture stayed in the pot, so not to be dissuaded, I trudged on. My plan was to bring the mixture up to a boil, boil for 10 minutes, then take it off the heat, add the handful of sage and rosemary I picked from the yard, then let it cool overnight. I only made it 7 minutes into the boil. That's when the honey mixture that exploded and collected under the eye decided to combust. Now I had been smelling the burning honey for some time, but I was more like "hey, cool, roasted marshmallows" while I should have been like "dude, the stove smells like a marshmallow right before it becomes a fireball." So whoosh, the flames came up and danced merrily around the pot of boiling honey water. So I pulled the pot off the stove, dumped some baking soda on the flames (which worked very well actually to smother them), tossed the herbs in the pot, put the lid on, and began the arduous task of cleaning up. Luckily the fiancee was understanding and didn't injure me anymore than the napalm honey already did.

So that's the story. At one point I opened up the lid to look at the must and the herbal smell almost knocked me down. So I panicked and thought I must have added too much, so sanitized a slotted spoon and scooped them out. Luckily, this morning when everything was cool, I gave it a taste and the herbiness is just right. The sage and rosemary actually blend with the deep toffee and roasty flavors quite well. I pitched Nottingham because I had some handy. Hope that works out. Anyway I'm pretty excited about this one. Should come in somewhere between 15 and 16% ABV. I'm getting married in December so I'll plan on having a bottle then, though it will probably still taste quite young. Then again on anniversaries in years to come.
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:07 PM   #22
Big10Seaner
 
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I boil everything outside due to reasons as stated above
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:22 PM   #23
KingBrianI
 
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Oh yeah, here's how it looks for the curious. A bunch of small particles formed at some point during the caramelization, any ideas what they are?

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Old 05-16-2009, 08:06 PM   #24
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Pretty sure I warned against it and used pics. Coloring of your sample is great!
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:26 PM   #25
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The only problem I see is that Nottingham will not take you to 15-16% It just won't make it up that high, it's ok for now, but you should probably grab a pack of 1116 or 1118, unless you want to keep it sweet.
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Old 05-16-2009, 08:33 PM   #26
KingBrianI
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freezeblade View Post
The only problem I see is that Nottingham will not take you to 15-16% It just won't make it up that high, it's ok for now, but you should probably grab a pack of 1116 or 1118, unless you want to keep it sweet.
How far do you think nottingham will take it? I thought it had a pretty high tolerance. I'd like to end up semi-sweet. Like maybe 1.004-1.008 or so. I'm not sure, I don't have that much experience with meads so I don't know what FG would give me a bit of sweetness without being cloying.
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Old 05-17-2009, 02:59 AM   #27
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I have been interested in trying this as well.. Even more now that i hear you guys talk about it. Hmmm I wonder what boiling 24 pounds of honey would be like..
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Old 05-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #28
BeerRunner
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What happens if you wait 20 years to try it and it's the best thing EVAR? I'd make a 10 gallon batch. Just sayin'...

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Old 05-17-2009, 08:00 PM   #29
KingBrianI
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerRunner View Post
What happens if you wait 20 years to try it and it's the best thing EVAR? I'd make a 10 gallon batch. Just sayin'...
Good point! Let's see, I'll be 47 in 20 years, so that would make me 67 by the time I had another batch of the stuff aged 20 years. If after a year it's tasting like it has some potential, I'll brew up some more!
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Old 05-17-2009, 08:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Blow Leprechaun View Post
Yeah, it's called bochet mead... I saw that video a while back, I think, and he didn't post any tasting notes, which would've been nice. Maybe he's updated?
This is the guy from "BrewCrazy" named Johnny Max i believe. I'll shoot him an email and see if I can get an update.

 
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