The modified batch was a version of my (quite popular) Kolsch recipe, but with the volume turned up to 11. I believe it will end more like a pale ale than anything else. I was down to basically dregs on my current base malt stash, and decided to use it all; this bumped the starting gravity up about 25-30 points. I increased the bitterness by a similar amount, keeping the BU:GU ratio roughly the same... It will still be quite pale, I believe--something in the golden range--but with a firm bittering, and a solid malt backbone.
The experimental batch was based on the idea of caramelizing honey for a mead. Several folks have done so-called "bochet", or "burnt" meads, with the results being described as different, if not entirely to their liking. I was going for a slightly less "cooked" flavor, and hoping for an improved color. (Not that a straw-gold mead is a bad thing, but it's just a bit... well, overdone.) I took my "spare" pot (7.5 gallons) and emptied 10lbs of wildflower honey into it. With a touch of water to rinse the honey containers, the total volume was right about 1 gallon.
|Honey, before the boil|
|45 minutes into the boil; still climbing the pot, but a lovely color.|
|The mead and the Kolsch; the mead is the dark one just left of center.|