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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA

    Default Just thought I'd share..

    I started reading about wine making in the fall of '09.
    Made my first batch in August of 2010; a Peach wine - 12 gallons from 150lbs of peaches.
    Along came various other flavors; Blackberry, Blackberry-Cherry, Red Raspberry, Gold Raspberry, Apple-Pear, Riesling (wine grape)

    Then I started leaning towards honey, and mead. Lots to learn, lots to try - I've tried my best to soak it all up.

    So I read about this style of mead, called Bochet (beau-shay). Basically, it's boiling the honey with a small amount of water (to reduce spitting) until the sugars caramelize. 'Traditionally', its caramelized until the honey is black and something more akin to tree pitch than it is the original honey you start with. I wasn't looking for that severe of a 'Bochet', and upon my learning had pinpointed a few different levels of caramelization that I wanted to try; one referred to as 'Red' & the other as 'Gold'.

    I'm working with a really light, floral, PNW Blackberry honey

    So I tried this experiment;
    Took the first one to 'Red'

    5 Minutes of heat

    30 Minutes of boiling

    45 Minutes of boiling

    Color plate; 5-30-45 minutes

    SG came in low @ 1.060 ~
    But thats okay, as this is an experiment / top-up mead for a later batch
    Rehydrated EC-1118 (neutral-ish profile) into Go-Ferm; added Fermaid-O yeast nutrient to the 'must' (liquid pre-mead)


    Twas definitely red
    Tastes and smells of caramel, coffee, toffee & some toasted/campfire kind of notes

    Then I rinsed/repeated the whole process for a 'Gold' caramelization, although I dont have pictures of the boiling process.

    Same treatment; rehydrate EC-1118 with Go-Ferm, Fermaid-O in the must
    Here's the 'Gold' in primary:



    They both fermenting separately, but they were blended for the finish


    Separate from this, I had some bananas:
    40lbs of them


    And they ripened

    And ripened some more;

    Then BAM! Here's some brandy:

    The bananas that didnt fit in the 1/2 gallon of brandy (in a 1-gallon jug), approx 15 of the 40lbs, went into the Red + Gold Bochet 1.75 gallon experimental batch
    Last edited by Deezil; 08-14-2013 at 10:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA

    Default Re: Just thought I'd share..

    You could possibly be asking yourself at this point, "Where is this going?"

    Banana Bochet Port

    150lbs bananas
    3 quarts Blackberry honey
    5 gallons water
    1/2 gallon brandy - "blend(ed) it specifically for richness and full flavor", "begins with a delicate bouquet of sweet and brown spice, delicious notes coaxed from its extended time aging in barrel. On the palate, inviting flavors of vanilla cream, maple and sherry linger into a satisfyingly smooth finish"

    W-15 yeast - "bright fruit and heavy mouthfeel" & "produces higher levels of glycerol and succinic acid"

    Go-Ferm & Fermaid-O
    Booster Blanc - adding to the juice, "a smoother mid-palate and aromatic freshness"
    FT Blanc Soft - adding to the juice, "softness and improved mouthfeel", "enhances texture with a perception of sweetness on the palate" & "can contribute to minerality"
    Opti-White - adding near the end of fermentation, "for smoothing and better integration of wood and alcohol"

    Vanilla Bean

    French Oak - 3oz, Medium Toast; "aromatic sweetness and full mouthfeel", "a fruity, cinnamon/allspice character, along with custard/ crème brûlée, milk chocolate and campfire/roasted coffee notes"
    American Oak - 3oz, Medium Toast; "aromatic sweetness and mouthfeel/fullness" & "a campfire/roasted coffee attribute with cooked fruit more than a fresh or jammy"

    Prepare the brandy (months ahead)
    - Add the brandy to 1gal jug
    - Add blackened-ripe, peeled bananas to brandy in 1gal jug until it cant take anymore (up to 20lbs)
    - Set aside until later

    Prepare the honey

    - Add 3lbs honey to pot and bring to boil
    - Boil until honey deepens to a ruby color, stirring constantly
    - Allow to cool, add water to dissolve honey
    - Add cooled honey-water to fermenter

    - Add 3lbs honey to pot and bring to boil
    - Boil until honey deepens to a caramel color, stirring constantly
    - Allow to cool, add water to dissolve honey
    - Add cooled honey-water to fermenter

    Prepare the Bananas
    - Carefully separate blackened peels from bananas
    - Add peels to one straining bag, bananas to another
    - Add both straining bags to primary fermenter
    - Add pectic enzyme & let sit 12 hrs
    - Measure SG and adjust to 1.080 - 1.090, if necessary
    -Add Fermaid-O, Booster Blanc, FT Blanc
    -Add yeast starter

    - @ SG 1.030, add unheated honey to SG 1.060 - 1.070
    - @ SG 1.020, add Opti-White
    - Ferment until yeast give out

    -Rack to carboy, settle out gross lees
    -Rack to carboy, settle out sur lees
    -Rack to clean carboy

    -Add the banana-infused brandy
    -Add 3oz French Oak - taste every 2 weeks, rack off
    -Add 3oz American Oak - taste every 2 weeks, rack off
    -Add vanilla bean - taste weekly, rack off
    The bolded portion, is the Bananas and brandy;
    The 1.75 gallon test batch was to figure out how far to caramelize the sugars

    Think.... Banana's Foster, in a bottle...

    Another batch coming up, is an Apple-Pear Bochet (think caramel-apple in a bottle)
    As well as a 'normal' Mead, Blackberry Melomel (blackberries + honey) & a 'normal' Bochet (Red+Gold)

    Just thought I'd see if I could generate a small buzz; maybe convince a few more of you to make your own mead
    Feel free to bug me, ask questions

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Great Falls Montana

    Default Re: Just thought I'd share..

    Thanks for the detailed brewlog. It is good to give folks solid directions if they wish to brew. I make quite a bit of mead and have good results except for sticking a bochet fermentation this early summer. Dumping it down a floor drain was a definite mistake as I can't get rid of the smell everytime I flush the drain with hot water I think I have cured it but not yet! If it ever happens again it's into a hole outside in the garden.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA

    Default Re: Just thought I'd share..

    You dumped it?!

    What all did you try, to get it started again

    Did you try a yeast hull addition, with a good amount of stirring.. Let is settle, rack off & repitch yeast?

    The yeast hulls bind to the toxins that yeast secrete as fermentation happens - sometimes a lack of yeast nutrients can cause excessive amounts of these toxins to be created earlier than they would normally, which can hang/stick the fermentation..

    When you rack off the yeast hulls, you leave those toxins behind, & pitching with a new yeast - they're allowed to get a foothold in a less-toxic environment, and generally have enough oomph to finish up a stalled ferment... Particular yeast strains are better at this than others as well, the one that comes to mind immediately is K1V-1116

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA

    Default Re: Just thought I'd share..

    The latest batch..

    2013 Blackberry Melomel

    25lbs Blackberries
    3 quarts Blackberry Honey

    Dissolved honey in about 2/3 - 3/4 gallon of water & poured over thawing berries
    Added 5 tsp pectic enzyme

    This morning, it's thawed

    SG: 1.114

    Added 1 gallon of water
    SG: 1.082

    Dissolved 6.5g Go-Ferm in 1 cup ~110F water

    Added 8 grams of yeast: W-15

    Added to must:
    6.25g Fermaid-O
    10g FT Rouge Soft
    5g Opti-Red

    Pitched yeast

    Stay tuned; to come:

    Will rack to carboy @ ~1.010 & add Booster Rouge

    Rack off gross lees
    Rack off sur lees

    Add French Oak
    Add Vanilla Bean
    Rack off @ taste

    Age long as I can stand it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Federal Way / Wenatchee, WA

    Default Re: Just thought I'd share..

    Soooo... Things got kinda screwy.. Got a tooth yanked, so the Blackberry sat a day or two longer than I intended. Since I cant suck (and arent smart enough to have bought an auto-siphon... yet), I had to have help getting the wine racked

    But I/we got it..

    Here's a shot of the wine after I had strained out a majority of the floating solids but pre-racking:

    So I got it in the carboy, and let it settle some. I havent added the Booster Rouge yet, as I didnt want to lose it in the sediment. When I'm healed enough to rack the wine again, and isolate the sediment, I'll add Booster Rouge to the liquid & see how far I can get the solids to compact

    Obviously short on my 5 gallons, so I've been brainstorming - what to do, what to do..

    I still have last years [(2012 Blackberry + Riesling + Rhone 4600 yeast) + (2011 Blackberry+Honey+native yeast)] behemoth, that I could top off with, but only the 2011-part has honey in it.

    Time will tell; time I have..


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