A&S Judging: Mead Criteria / Packaging?
damaris at geocities.com
Wed Oct 23 14:40:13 PDT 1996
Gunnora Hallakarva wrote:
> For example, on a bottle of mead. (Caveat!! I'm not a brewer! I am a
> dedicated mead DRINKER, and I live with a very good brewer, whose work I
> have observed, however. A real, expert brewer should be one of the ones to
> set real standards for brewing mead! These are suggestions!)
> (1) Appearance. Mead should be clear. Hunks of pulp or dead yeast bodies
> should not be drifting along inside the bottle like Mississippi river mud.
> Pectin streamers should not make the fluid cloudy. (The remedy for cloudy
> mead is racking several times. Bad pectin may require addition of
> pectinase: in period an herb called alecost was added for this puropose.)
> (2) Color. There really isn't a standard color for mead. Most meads will
> vary from a pale straw yellow through various shades of amber or gold, and
> depending on fruit or spices added, may be brown, red, or even have a purple
> or blue cast.
> (3) Aroma. Mead should have a nose that includes honey and possibly floral
> or fruit notes. Some meads will have various spicy odors as well. It
> should not smell like new bread or like yeast. There should not be a
> vinegar odor.
> (4) Flavor. Mead should be aged enough to have a smooth flavor. Aging
> should have proceeded long enough to allow all additive flavors to blend
> smoothly. There should not be a yeasty flavor. There should not be vinegar
> flavors. There should not be a raw alcohol bite in a properly aged brew.
> (A) Dry mead. Should not taste sweet, or leave a sticky, sweet
> flavor on the tongue. Dry meads should be judged much like a white wine,
> and should have most of the same characteristics.
> (B) Sweet mead. Should not be syrupy; ie, the acid balance needs to
> be such that the mead tastes sweet, but doesn't leave a syrupy taste on the
> (5) Documentation. Give the recipe used. Note where you got the recipe;
> is it one you made up, one that is period that you got from (fill in the
> book title here), or one you have adapted from a period recipe, or one that
> you have adapted from someone else's recipe? If it is not directly a period
> recipe, you should do enough research to know what a period mead recipe is,
> and it would be a good idea to compare the period recipe to yours: how is
> yours different, why have you made changes, how is yours similar.
> Documentation should include your stillroom book (see next paragraph), and
> it's a good idea to explain where your brewing process was period, where it
> wasn't, and why you chose the non-period techniques etc.
Thanks darlin' for putting out these suggestions. If I were to have to judge
(God forbid) I would have just had to: taste, hmm, this mead, A is better than
mead B. But another person might like the taste of mead B better than mead A.
> During the brewing process, you should keep a stillroom book. This is a
> record that includes: your orignial ingredients, the procedure you followed,
> temperatures, when you pitched your yeast, what kind of yeast, etc. You
> should treat this book rather like a lab notebook. As the fermentation
> progresses, keep notes. Note when you racked the brew. Note if you add
> more sugar or honey later. If you taste the brew along the way, record the
> date and your impressions. Note down everything you add to the brew and the
> date it was added. It serves to show what exactly you did, and also it
> allows you (and others) to exactly re-create this exact type of brew again
> in the future.
I can't say enough good about this suggestion. Not only do you know what is
good. You know what NOT to do again. (believe it or not I have a few of those)
This not only is an art but a science. And those of you mundanely involved in
the sciences as I am probably have to keep a notebook.
Damaris of Greenhill /mka Susan Wieland
"Mead brewer extrodinaire"
---Azure, three labryses in pall inverted hafts to center
within a bordure or---
A great many people think they are thinking when they are
only rearranging their prejudices. William James.
More information about the Ansteorra