Heather Bochet

For those making mead and related drinks
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Hollow Legs
Posts: 396
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:00 pm
Location: Aberdeenshire

Heather Bochet

Post by Jambo » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:56 pm

Hi folks

Has anyone done Bochet before? For the uninitiated this is mead made with caramelised honey.

I had some heather-ish honey left over from cappings which had been sitting around and absorbed too much water so thought I would give it a bash. Partly in the hope of making something I like more than ordinary mead but also since heather is so strong and the books say takes 8 years to be drinkable, I thought driving off much of the flavour by heating might be useful.

I followed this recipe pretty much
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... chet-mead/

Scaled down for a demijohn. Either my honey was extremely wet or there's something amiss with the recipe as I got an OG of around 1.115, vs the recipes 1.130+. I may add more honey later.

Photo attached shows it after three weeks fermenting when it has started to clarify and it's now a lovely colour. The honey isn't the purest of heather honeys so was only a medium brown colour before it was heated.

As per the recipe above I didn't add any acids, but I did add plenty of nutrient (not the DWB pictured :)). From an initial taste it seems to have some acidity of its own.

Keen to hear others' experiences.

Piss Artist
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:32 pm

Re: Heather Bochet

Post by Carnot » Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:06 pm

Personally I would not have caramelised the honey as this will reduce the sugar content. Our heather honey was drinkable after one year and certainly did not have any off flavours. I still have quite a sgnificant volume in a corny keg. I will look out the keg and draw a sample. If you send me a pm with your details I will send you a bottle, but it might take a while.

Unless you like dry mead then you need an OG of 1125 +. Most of my efforts are now with batches of 1125 to 1132 as very few people actually preferred the dryer meads. I have numerous kegs of dry mead ageing but will probably blend it away with sweeter meads over time.

I would suggest two points with your demi-john. Either cover it with a black bin bag or put it in a dark room. UV light, ie windowsill, is not the best way to age mead. It will cause off-flavours. Secondly the airspace is too big. Either add some mead or top it up with water to reduce the air space. I usually rack twice; first rack after about 30-35 days and second rack six months later. Keg after about 15 months. You can play around with oak chips in the keg to simulate ageing in oak. My final gravities end up around 1020-1025 with the starting gravities above.

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