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14th Century Bouchet / Burnt Honey Mead

Mead

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#1 Mr Wibble

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 07:42 AM

Chelsea has a write-up of brewing of making a 14th century mead over at Game of Brews.

 

"The smell of this mead in progress is awesome. The whole house smells of toffee and burnt sugar, and, inexplicably, brownies, and the delicious aroma lasts for days. Coming home to that smell is a joy."

 

I bought a shipload of honey the other day to make another batch of JAO Mead, but after reading this I might have to make two batches.

 

The "slightly bitter" flavour profile concerns me a bit though, but I guess that could balance the sweetness.

 

 



#2 TimT

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

Ever since Dave posted about bochet a few weeks ago I've wanted to try it, but I'm constrained by wanting to keep the original honey character - the resins and odours and smells from the original plants, and the mixture of different sugars, which would mostly be lost in the boil. I think what I may try sometime will be a version in which only a small portion of the honey is set aside, boiled, and caramelised, so we get a mixture of both worlds. I love toffee and caramel flavours but I'm not sure I'd be able to justify doing this to several litres of honey....!



#3 Mardoo

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 01:42 PM

Same boat here. I'm going to have a go at something like 75 honey/25 caramelised since caramel flavors are so easily picked up by the tongue. Maybe Airgead would have some ideas.

#4 Airgead

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 02:29 PM

Sorry guys... never tried one of these.

 

You could try making a small amount of burned honey and adding to water to get an idea of the taste... blend with regular honey water and see what proportion you like.



#5 Dave70

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

Nice one.

Time permitting I'm giving this a go on the weekend. I've had a washed jar of 1388 sitting around so I'll chuck half of that in and see how it goes. 

 

And is it actually  true the process attracts bees?

 

One of my neighbors has a few hives.

 

Some of his pets stopped by to say hello last year. 

 

Just sayin..    

 

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Edited by Dave70, 05 May 2014 - 12:11 PM.


#6 TimT

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:19 PM

is it actually  true the process attracts bees?

 

Quite possible. The heat will throw lots of smells into the air, and bees will go straight for honey smells.

 

I was waxing a few cheeses the other week with beeswax and all of a sudden the hive in our backyard decided to relocate to our house.

 

They should be quite friendly as it's not in the context of you robbing their hive or anything like that.



#7 Airgead

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:51 PM

I have heard (from a beekeeper) that boiling or burning honey will attract bees from miles around because they think the hive is on fire (or the tree that the hive is in is on fire) so they will try to save the honey to relocate to a new hive. 



#8 Yeastfridge

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:22 PM

I bought a shipload of honey the other day...


Where can I buy myself a shipload of honey?

#9 Mardoo

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:28 PM

Where can I buy myself a shipload of honey?

Where are you? Can't see as Im in the app.

#10 Mr Wibble

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 06:02 PM

Where can I buy myself a shipload of honey?

 

I'm fairly sure you're not being serious, but I bought it in a 3 litre bucket from the producer.

That was at the Nundle Gold Festival markets over easter.



#11 TimT

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:27 AM

OT (sort of), but related to the subject of beekeeping neighbours, this story gave me a laugh.



#12 motch02

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:11 AM

http://www.clayridge...honeyrange.html

 

These guys are quite good and free delivery on orders over 3kg



#13 Airgead

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 10:16 AM

Still 10 bucks a kilo though. You can get better deals if you shop around.



#14 Mr Wibble

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:14 PM

$10 a kilo? I paid $18 for a 3kg bucket (IIRC)

Anyway, i made this today. Started with stringybark honey, which is a bit dark to begin with.
It boiled and boiled, I stirred and stirred. Suddenly i smelt, not burnt... but roasted toffee.
Off with the heat, and stand back when you drop those first few glugs of water into the boiling honey ... If you're a nudist, well geeze, you better be careful.

OG 1.101 quite a choclatey brown colour. Smells great.
I ordered the Grains of Paradise and Long Pepper from Herbies spices

But i'll give the Safale S-04 a week or so first

Edit: added some yeast nutrient too

Edited by Mr Wibble, 10 May 2014 - 04:18 PM.


#15 Mr Wibble

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:27 PM

This is a weird thing.

 

First of all during the boil, there was some kind of precipitate.  I dunno what it is, but it came from the honey.

 

It's been fermenting now for 5 days, I checked on it this morning, and there's a lot of action in there - the floaty stuff is swirling around quite vigorously - never seen beer do that (nor JAO actually).

 

Smells great too.

 

 

 

Edit: quite, not quiet


Edited by Mr Wibble, 15 May 2014 - 04:27 PM.


#16 TimT

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:20 PM

Some honey just has gunk in it. One of our meads came from honey we took from very very old frames in the hive that had obviously been used for lots of different things over the years; when I pitched the yeast in it the must was closer to brown than the classic orange/yellow! It cleared up but still has particles floating about in it. I dubbed it 'Pollenaceous mead' on the somewhat hopeful assumption that the majority of the particulate matter was pollen.



#17 Mardoo

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:27 PM

Not pollen, bee dicks :P . (Disclaimer for those who don't know: Worker bees are female and constitute the vast majority of the bees you see. Then there's the queen. Then there's the males, who are pretty much only there to mate. They die after mating. The ones who don't get to mate get thrown out of the hive in the winter to die. So it goes.)

 

Most unfiltered honeys will throw gunk when you caramelize them. It's not an issue. You can get rid of it. I don't.

 

TimT back when I kept bees I got a black honey at the end of the season from a hive I hadn't touched. It was quite acidic and tasted like molasses. Stout mead???



#18 TimT

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:48 PM

Acidic molasses honey. That's a poser. Going to my bee group on Monday, maybe they know! Maybe they weren't getting it from nectar at all, but some other source of sugar, which might explain why it was already quite acidic.

 

Remember this? "M&M’s blamed for turning honey of French bees blue and green"
 

As you were, ladies and gentlemen....



#19 Airgead

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 02:43 PM

TimT back when I kept bees I got a black honey at the end of the season from a hive I hadn't touched. It was quite acidic and tasted like molasses. Stout mead???

I made a mead once with honey from a neglected hive. The beekeeper I bought it from inherited the hive from an old bloke who had died. he hadn't looked after them for a year or so and the honey was, as you say  black, acidic and like molasses. I took one taste and grabbed the entire 15 kg he had. 

 

I made a couple of meads out of it and it came out deep amber/gold. Took a few years to get good but boy it was fantastic once it had aged out. Was foul when young but 5 years later...

 

Cheers

Dave



#20 TimT

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 04:46 PM

We've shrunk the hive down to two boxes for winter and are in for another glut of honey.  I'm keen to give bochet a go, probably with the sort of plan I discussed before - burning a bit of the honey and mixing it in with a larger amount of unburned honey.

 

Mostly discussion about burning honey has centred around the *length* of time you boil the honey for; I wonder if there is information online about the *temperature* you need to bring the honey too? Temperature control can be fairly important when you're dealing with hot sugars. I don't imagine it would be an area brewers would shy away from either, temperature control is kind of our thang....

 

My guess is the interesting stuff will happen around 150-175 degrees - which my cookbook on fudge tells me are those temps at which sugar goes from the 'hard crack stage' to the stage at which you produce caramlised sugar and the syrup begins to change colour and burnt notes begin to enter into the flavour. 

 

Indeed I think the temperature is the measure you want to be relying on - not the time. Since cooking time would vary a bit depending on how much honey you're boiling, in what pot, etc, while you will always get a predictable result if you keep a close eye on the temperature you heat your sugar too.