BVC - Re: BVC: Meade instructions for beginners (fwd)

Mills, Scott Scott.Mills at
Wed Feb 9 12:46:24 PST 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chuck_CTR_Graves at
> I don't like aluminum because they are typically too thin. 
> Without the thermal mass of the pot (like stainless steel), 
> the cooking is not as  consistent. It is too easy to burn the must.

You can buy thin stainless pots also.  I have a 12 gallon commercial
aluminum pot that is about 3/8 inch thick.  The aluminum conducts the heat
very well.  I have never scorched a must but then again I don't boil.  When
I add the honey the heat has already been turned off. 

> You know I have to ask this:
>     What is the definition of "traditional"?

Fair question.  Because of my experience in judging AMA, AHA, and BJCP style
competitions I think of mead styles in modern terms.    I realize that
"tradition: can mean many things. Here are the basic definitions most modern
competitions subscribe to.

Honey, water, and yeast.  nothing else.  This is a fairly new category that
is starting to be used in the larger competitions because many of the
traditional meads where having spices added at such a low level that they
could not be clearly perceived.  Most places this is just a traditional

Honey, Water, yeast.  Spices may be present at sub-threshold levels to add
complexity but honey should remain the dominate flavor and aroma.  In short
if the judges can pick out and identify any additives then it is not a
traditional mead.

Honey, water, yeast, fruit.  Many subcategories can exist like pyments,
cysers, etc.

Honey, water, yeast, spices or herbs.  Once again there can be distinct

Honey, water, yeast, malt.  Can also have hops or other beerish flavorings,
dark malts, etc.  Care needs to be taken here to distinguish between a
Braggot and a Honey Beer.  To be a good braggot there needs to remain good
honey character balanced with the other flavors.  If the honey just adds
lightness to a beer with any honey character then it is a beer and not a

A mead that exhibits several of the characters above.  Most commonly spiced
melomels like a Hippocras (spiced pyment) or Apple pie spiced cysers.  Also
meads with malt and fruit or malt and spices, etc.

For all of the basic categories there are modifiers like

Hydromel, Standard, Sack.

Dry, Medium, Sweet, and sometimes Dessert

Still or Sparkling

We have Michael Halls treatise on mead judging at the SCA_BREW website in
the Judging and appreciation section that goes into more detail.



Scott Mills	 
Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com <mailto:Scott.Mills at Compaq.Com> 	 
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