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"Bocheglin" - Spiced Bochet

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rizzyman84

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My first ever recipe, I'd love to hear thoughts and criticism

Yeast: Lalvin D-47
Batch Size (gal): 1
Est. OG: 1.085
Est. FG: 1.005
Est. ABV: ~10%
Primary: 2 months


~3g Lalvin D-47
3lb + 5oz Clover honey
1 tsp Yeast nutrient
Cinnamon stick
Two cloves
A single vanilla fruit

- Caramelization
Bring the first 3lb of honey to a boil in a saucepan, then reduce to low and maintain temperature. Stir frequently but not quickly, just enough to keep it from possibly burning. After between 1.5 to 2 hours, the bubbles should be looking quite brown, around about twice as brown as caramel, turn off the heat at this point.

- Preparing fermenter
Pour water up to about halfway in your fermenter, then funnel the honey in. Pour water in the rest of the way, taking care to leave enough room for the rehydrated yeast. Combine the honey with the water however you like. Slice the vanilla fruit across its whole length, sanitize it with an open flame and plop it in. Add the cinnamon stick and cloves, then put the airlock on the fermenter and leave it and wait until it reaches room temp. Rehydrate and pitch the yeast.

- Fermentation
I added the yeast nutrient two weeks into fermentation, but it might be better if it's added at the very beginning. I also added another 5oz of honey at around the same time. After two months, taste to decide whether to ferment it longer. Add potassium sorbate and mix when fermentation is complete, then bottle.

Notes:
• According to reddit and some other recipes I found, bochets taste best after aging for three to four years, but it tasted great even before bottling.
• Sorry the caramelization process is vague, I just winged it and didn't bother to write down any details or take photos.
• I used filtered honey, so it looks absolutely gorgeous bottled, but unfiltered honey could possibly taste better.

Fermenting.jpgBottled.jpg
 

Ty520

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My humble opinion is that there's no reason to spend more money on more expensive unfiltered honey for bochet because the cooking process tends to eliminate all of the intricate, subtle flavors they offer.

I've done 2 bochets - I felt that they developed more toasty dryness after some aging that wasn't present earlier and I didn't really want but they both began to mellow out later
 

dvi

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Generally looks good, and congrats on your first recipe! A few overall thoughts and advice:

  • I think by saucepan you meant crockpot? Checking to clarify: honey expands dramatically while bocheting and doing that in a regular saucepan could lead to overflows or worse.
  • Unless you were adding a full gallon of water in addition to the honey, your OG should have been much higher than 1.085. At least 1.11, probably, if not a little above that.
  • I've never used a clove in a bochet before, but in a standard strength mead they can quickly become overpowering. It might be good to reduce that to one.
  • D47 is a fast acting yeast and will be finished with its work within two weeks. Adding the nutrients at that time is actually deleterious- it doesn't help the yeast but will get suspended in the mixture and potentially contribute some off-flavors. (Adding extra honey at the same time might have helped to partially mitigate that risk). I'd recommend adding at least 2tsp of yeast nutrient earlier on, around 24-48 hours after pitching the yeast.
  • At an OG of 1.11, I'd also recommend using about 2tsp of Fermaid O or K. I didn't see any mention of backsweetening in the recipe, but your final gravity was 1.005. That indicates that the yeast was unable to ferment all of the sugars and suggests that it stalled. It was probably starved of nutrients, so adding in some Fermaid around the 72 hour mark would be beneficial.
  • No need to add potassium sorbate at the end unless you plan on backsweetening.
 
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