Bochet coffeemel

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Oct 23, 2017
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55 lbs wildflower honey caramelized (dark)
11 Gal spring water
54g ferm O (upfront)
15g yeast starter (step fed) QA23

55lbs honey heated in a 20 gal pot on med heat for roughly 2 hours. Stirring frequently throughout the process.

Finished color is dark almost like molasses with notes of toffee and mallow plus slight caramel. No bitter notes and definitely not burnt. Some may disagree but tis what it tis lol

Whipped vigorously and loaded fermO and 8pm added the QA23 starter.

Will ferment at 71ish°f and aerate every other day for the first week or until 1/3 sugar depleted.

Coffee is still up in the air on level of roast but will be coarse cracked and will go in secondary. I read part of a thread on adding beans in secondary to let the alcohol extract what the beans have to offer seemed like a no-brainer to me.

Not sure on roast level because of the depth of flavors from the honey and I find that dark roast beans have a bitterness to them that I'm trying to eliminate in this mead.

If anyone who have used whole or cracked beans with good success, feel free to chime in please.

I'll post here with updates and pics.


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What was OG? Desired FG?

Also - offtopic - if I have burned honey - can I save it by making a bochet?
1.126 was the O.G.

It's chugging along at 71°f and now the s.g. is 1.068

My desired fg would have some residual sugars left but as most of the time the yeast will finish when they do lol

I believe QA 23 has a tolerance of 14% and it always makes for a clean ferment when properly taken care of.

Looking back thru my notes and from a previous batch, I should've stuck with BM4X4.

We shall see!!!

Been a few weeks now and it's starting to slow down but still on the move. SG is 1.022 and tasting great. Still a little too sweet so I'm hoping it falls closer to 1 but wherever it finishes it finishes and I'll be OK with it.

All of my local small distilleries have grown from the 5 gal barrel to 15 gal now so finding a barrel is out for now and it's about to be crunch time here soon. I do have a 15 gal that was bourbon, then maple syrup and finally a stout from a local brewery and has dried up sitting around so I may end up cutting up some of the staves and see what it will contribute. Possibly put a new level of char or I'll toast them at 400 for a little while and see what happen.

Still have time to decide so there's that!
it isn't necessarily that you need the presence of alcohol to extract the coffee compounds; you want to introduce them in secondary just so fermentation doesn't blow off their flavors and aromas.

The industry standard for high quality coffee houses for making cold brew coffee is to steep 1 1/3rd pounds course grind coffee per gallon of room temp or colder H20 for 12-24 hours.

I would advise going to talk with a local coffee shop that sells high quality beans from various sources/roasts and go over the profiles together to see what would work well, because the flavors and aromas of coffee beans can be all over the map - grape, caramel, marmalade, chocolate, apple, orange, brown sugar, - and then there's roast level. IMHO, darker roasts aren't as pleasant in a coffeemel. Also IMHO, flavor and aroma profiles that you'd associate with pastry works better.

I would suggest to get two bags at 1 1/3rd pounds, then do an actual cold brew, and begin bench testing it at 12 hours to dial in your desired strength.

Also, FYI, the caramelization process will make a certain percentage of the sugars unfermentable, so don't expect it to go completely dry (FYI 2 - this is why rum has a hint of sweetness to it)
Your experience may be very different, but I have never made a delightful mead (or wine) that treated coffee as a drink. When I simply extracted the flavors from the beans (macerating) rather than using water to make the coffee, the flavors were far less bitter and far better integrated. That also means that I much preferred the flavors when I added the beans After the alcohol was produced. Have not tried this but I wonder if extracting the flavors in vodka (coffee essence) and adding the essence to a mead might not also work well. This I gotta try.

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