Bochet 170422: Kicking It Off

I kicked off a 5 gallon batch of Bochet this weekend.  It was a lot of fun putting it together.

All the honey I was planning to use for this batch turned out to be crystalized, so I spent the first hour or so warming it all up so it would pour out.  I really hate warming honey in those plastic jugs it comes in.  But what to do?  If it’s crystalized inside that thing, there’s no other (viable) choice.

I used a half-gallon of some old mesquite honey that wasn’t very tasty for the main burn.  An hour into that I added another quart of yummy wildflower honey.  Ninety minutes after that I put two pots of water on to boil, and added my last 4 ounces of maltodextrin to one of them.  After 15 minutes I killed all the flames and added in another half gallon of wildflower honey and all the hot water.  I let that sit for about 30 minutes while I made the boys some lunch, then poured it all into a 6.5 gallon carboy with some raisins.  Straightforward and simple, it just took a few hours for the burn.

For my original gravity reading, I got 1.15.  I’m using a new yeast for this batch.  It’s a new strain from Mangrove Jack’s for Belgian Ale, M31. It looks like they’ve phased out their previous Belgian Ale M27.  So far, I’m not nearly as impressed with this yeast.  It was incredibly slow to start and, a few days into it now, is still performing pretty sluggishly.  I’m right exactly in the middle of it’s recommended temperature range; I have 2.5 cups of raisins in the carboy; and over half the honey is unburnt.  I think everything should be Just Right for the little yeasties.

Here are some pictures:

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The mesquite honey just before starting the burn.

 

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Here’s the honey at full boil just before I killed the heat at the end.

 

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After adding the fresh honey and water, it still looks black as your soul.

 

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Here it is with everything in the carboy ready for the yeast.

Longoria Cyser 170108: Summary

Id 170108
Type Cyser
Start Date 08 Jan 2017
Original Gravity 1.11
Yeast Mangrove Jack’s Workhorse M10
Ingredients honey, apple cider, apricot, lemon peel, lemon juice, peppercorn, raisins
Rack Date 28 Jan 2017
Additions oak cube
Bottle Date 15 Apr 2017
Final Gravity 1.015
Alcohol by Volume 12.91%
Full Log Longoria Cyser 170108

Longoria Cyser 170108: Bottling

I had 2 gallons of a Cyser made from some of that rich Longoria honey from my friend’s father-in-law clarifying for the past few months. It was looking lovely and clear, so I bottled it up.

I got exactly 8 bottles out of those 2 gallons.  My final gravity was 1.015, which is just a touch sweeter than my target of 1.01.  That puts the ABV at 12.91%.

My taster of it was excellent right at bottle time.  It has a good nose, good front, middle and back of the mouth flavors, leaving with a pleasant aftertaste.  I’m planning to bottle age them another 3 months before delivering them, which should smooth everything together wonderfully.

Melarancio 170326: Summary

Id 170326
Type Still Melarancio Melomel
Start Date 26 Mar 2017
Original Gravity 1.11
Yeast Mangrove Jack’s Belgian Ale M27
Ingredients yaupon honey, orange blossom honey, orange juice & peel, lemon peel, raisins, amarillo hops, cascade hops
Full Log Melarancio 170326

Melarancio 170326: Kicking It Off

In my effort to scale up my brewing, I started a 5 gallon batch of my melarancio recipe last weekend. I couldn’t acquire the gallon of Yaupon honey I needed for it, at least not within a reasonable price range, so I ended up using 2 quarts of orange blossom honey and mixing it with the last 2 quarts of Yaupon honey I had left over from last year.

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I picked up a bag of mandarin oranges and another of lemons the day before. I peeled the oranges and lemons then chopped the peel a bit more into little pieces. I had my 4 year old plunk the pieces into a 6 gallon carboy while I squeezed the juice from the oranges.

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Last week I was chatting with a fellow brewer and he suggested using bottled water instead of tap water on the theory that the acidity is already in balance. So I picked up a few gallons of 68 cent per gallon water along with the orange juice and used that.

Once everything was in the carboy, I let it sit for a few hours, then rolled it around on the floor to mix it all together and aerate it. I got a gravity reading of 1.11 before I pitched the yeast.

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Xocolatl 160703: Summary

Id 160703
Type Xocolatl Bochet
Start Date 03 Jul 2016
Original Gravity 1.09
Yeast Mangrove Jack’s Workhorse M10
Ingredients honey, ginger, hops
Rack Date 17 Jul 2016
Rack Date 22 Oct 2016
Additions gelatin
Bottle Date 18 Mar 2017
Final Gravity 1.01
Alcohol by Volume 10.87%
Initial Taste Notes Good nose, initial taste is charcoal, followed by pleasant roasty chocolate flavors, bitter finish
Full Log Xocolatl 160703

Xocolatl 160703: Bottling

This guy has been sitting in the back of my “bulk ageing” closet (which is just the closet in my study) for like 9 months now. I cannot see through it, but I figured it’s probably about as clear as it’s going to get, and I need the carboys. So I bottled it up.

It has a very deep and rich chocolate nose. But the initial taste is of charcoal. After that it smooths out to a nice deep chocolate experience. I’m a bit disappointed I won’t be able to serve this to anybody, but I won’t mind drinking it myself. And I think I can work with this recipe a bit more at some point.

I got a final gravity of 1.01 and I got 8 bottles out of the 2 gallons. (Well, that plus about a pint, which I drank.) So that should put me at an ABV of about 10.87%.

Mountain Cedar 170212: Summary

Id 170212
Type Still Metheglin
Start Date 12 Feb 2017
Original Gravity 1.10
Yeast Mangrove Jack’s Mead M05
Ingredients wildflower honey, orange juice & peel, cardamom seed, mountain cedar berries, raisins
Rack Date 25 Feb 2017
Additions honey-water mix
Full Log Mountain Cedar 170212

Dandelion 170212: Summary

Id 170212
Type Still Metheglin
Start Date 12 Feb 2017
Original Gravity 1.11
Yeast Mangrove Jack’s Mead M05
Ingredients wildflower honey, dandelion petals, orange juice & peel, lemon juice & peel, raisins
Rack Date 25 Feb 2017
Additions honey-water mix
Full Log Dandelion 170212

Mountain Cedar 170212: Racking to Secondary

I racked this off the primary yesterday.  I added 1 cup of honey-water mixture to top it up.