View Full Version : IMF Home Competition Results posted

02-12-2007, 09:08 PM

The second annual IMF Home Mead Make Competition (HMMC) was a rousing success, with 242 entries from all over the United States. This staggering number of meads were sampled in January during the first round judging, and the winners of that round went on to the finals, which were judged on Thursday, February 8. Some pretty amazing meads were submitted, and the judges had a very enjoyable time tasting them.

Check out the results (http://www.gotmead.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=861)

Congrats to our own David Baldwin, who won Best in Show with his Orange Spice!!!

02-12-2007, 11:15 PM
Way to go David!!!!! That's awesome!


David Baldwin
02-13-2007, 04:37 PM
This is truly an unexpected honor.

I seriously could not have done it without the inspiration, guidance, and moral support from the wonderful people here at GotMead. (I lurked for almost 8 months after I found this forum before I plucked up the courage to make my very first - very horrible - mead.)

I credit the meadmaking skills I have learned to this wonderful forum to and everyone who contributes to it.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.


02-13-2007, 04:54 PM
a gallon of Orange Blossom honey - $30
equipment, yeast and spices - $50
Winning Best in Show in the HMMC - PRICELESS

Well, if you got any of the nectar left, dude, shoot a bottle down this way, and I'll reserve a bottle of the Meadowfoam for you that I'll be pitching shortly. If you've a mind to post (or email) the recipe, I'd love to see it. A buddy gave me a couple gallons of orange blossom to brew for him, and I'd love to be able to give him a batch like yours (especially since I keep a tithe for the use of the equipment, LOL).

Congrats, David! I feel like my kid just made the winning basket in the tournament game!!!!! ::sniff:: I'm just so proud of you son.....

Vicky - who saw *several* of my Gotmeaders make the grade this weekend - all y'all rock the house!

P.S. Wrath, lets get that digital brew club going so we can sweep the competition next year!

David Baldwin
02-13-2007, 06:01 PM

I think I have one bottle left. If so I'll put your name on it.


02-13-2007, 07:27 PM
congrats man! hopefully by next year ill have something mature enough to enter.....

02-13-2007, 09:54 PM
You had an all star cast judging your mead against the winners of the other 9 categories.

They were as I remember: Dr. Marion Ellis (Associate Professor, University of Nebraska Department of Entomology), Julia Herz (HoneyWine.com), Gretchen Bliss (Spruce Mountain Meadery), Ken Schramm (you know who he is right?), David Myers (Redstone Meadery), Vicky Rowe (Gotmead.com), Denice Ingalls (Sky River Mead), and Pete Bakulic (aka Oskaar)

Trust me this was a heavily contended match so to me that means the the quality of all the mead in the final round was excellent which made a decision very difficult. But in the end it was the Orange, Spice Oak that came out on top!

Congrats David! Well done indeed!

Pete Bakulic

02-14-2007, 05:21 AM
Congrats David!


David Baldwin
02-14-2007, 04:05 PM
Something started to itch my memory last night so I backtracked through last years IMF results.

I remembered correctly that GNTLKNGHT took last years BOS with his cyser. What I had not remembered was that Beertracker took 1st in 24B Semi-sweet & 2nd in 24C sweet mead, and Brewboy took 3rd in 24A dry.

Looks like a good motivation to move ahead with the GotMead brew club.


02-15-2007, 01:29 AM
I sent all the club info off to the AHA representative in charge of the club listings back in early December. A quick check of the site shows that "GotMead International Brewmasters" still isn't listed, so I just sent a followup email and hopefully we will be listed soon.
By the way... the only requirement to be a member of "Gotmead International Brewmasters" is to be a registered member of GotMead. That's all there is to it... no dues or fees, although becoming a GotMead Patron helps us better serve this international community of brewers.

and David, how about posting that Best of Show recipe in the Patrons only section?


richard lambert
02-15-2007, 03:34 PM
:cheers:Awesome Dave
Richard lambert

02-15-2007, 04:31 PM
Were are in the AHA's database, but due to buggy software upgrades (You're familiar with those, right?), their having trouble getting the info to take on their website, their looking into it. So, Yes, we are recognized, just not listed yet. And because the database sorts by "States" the club is listed under the state of the Contact, so GotMead will be listed under Iowa... though "Altered" would be more accurate. ;D


02-15-2007, 04:58 PM
Not a problem, Wrath. It shows in Iowa, no worries. You're sanctioned by GM, so its cool.

I spoke to David, and that recipe is his first production recipe, so we won't be seeing it here on Gotmead, which is perfectly understandable.

David Baldwin
02-15-2007, 06:24 PM

Vicky's let my great secret out of the bag. ;D

We have a long way to go before we are licensed, with lots of red tape to wade through, but this recipe will now be one of the first meads that Michigan Meadery LLC will offer. ...If I can keep the quality consistent in large volume batch sizes... :BangHead: The original 3 gallon batch was easy, we'll see how it goes when I step it up to 60 gallons.


02-18-2007, 06:23 PM
Congratulations David :icon_thumright: :icon_thumright:
Is this your variation on JAO??

David Baldwin
02-19-2007, 04:00 AM

If you are referring to my Theme and Variation on JAO that I posted a while back, there are some parallels. Note though that recipe still retained the Fleishman's - not something I would expect to be considered outstanding in any side-by-side comparison to a good wine yeast.


02-19-2007, 11:58 AM
This was the first mead-only competition I have entered, and I'm looking forward to seeing the judges notes so my next batch can be better. There were 28 entires in the category I entered. I assume that's total, not just the final round entries. Will the judges notes tell me where I placed in that flight of 28 entries?


02-20-2007, 04:32 PM
Hi Jack,

The listing will give you your scores and the judges comments. We're on a fifty point system under the BJCP and AHA auspices that awards a certain number of points for each category such as appearance, aroma, flavor, etc.

I'm pretty sure that only ordinal position within the flight is listed. We don't place meads below gold, silver and bronze.



02-21-2007, 06:14 PM
Thanks, Oskaar. I realized the scoring and awarding was different than the system used for wine competitions. And I know that if I was judged in the final round I will receive two sets of judges notes. Still, it would be nice to know if my score was 4th or 28th in the category I entered. Is that something that can be considered for future IMF comps? There obviously would not be any award for those placing 4th and lower, but at least each entrant in each category would know where they scored in the field. If scoring tabulation is done in spreadheet format, providing a scoring list (privately) should be pretty easy to accomplish. Just an idea...


02-21-2007, 11:34 PM
Hi Jack,

Thanks for the suggestion.

Honestly I doubt that we'll be moving past awarding and scoring past the top three. The logistics of doing so are prohibitive. Your group was 28 meads, there were 70 meads in another group and so on. Bottom line is that it would take probably triple the number of judges we had (30) to even consider going that deep into the groups.

That many judges means we would have to ask for more mead from each meadmaker, more stewards, and more of everything (glasses to pencils) to support that many people. The cost alone would break the competition so I don't see us moving in that direction in the foreseeable future.

The biggest factor is the amount of time it would take to compare, contrast and discuss the merits/faults of each mead judge by judge as we do in the medal round. It's very time consuming to do so with 8 meads and can run into a couple of hours easily so with 28 or 70 it's just too much.

Hope that helps,


02-22-2007, 03:50 AM
If every mead is judged and given a score in the first round (even though it may not be the same level of comparison and discussion of the merits and faults of each mead as you do in the final and medal rounds), why can't you use that score to list the meads in order of high score to low score? You're using that score to determine which meads go to the final round, correct?

Based on the scoring of the final round, you would change only the scoring order of the final round meads. That doesn't mean any more judges than you had...just list all the meads from high score to low score. That's only an exercise in using a spreadsheet. How is that physically and financially cost prohibitive?

02-22-2007, 04:34 AM
Hi Jack,

Thanks for the follow-up.

The scores on the sheets do not tell the entire story. When judging the initial scores given by the judges are tentative but not final, done in pencil as it were. We each take a look at the "top three" meads before us and then go back and compare each judges' individual top three meads. In some cases the top three do not agree, and a discussion, comparison and head to head evaluation of the each top three takes place. Some of the top three are initially scored lower than others. This is because taste is subjective, and each mead is different in and of itself, especially in the open mead, berry melomel, and several other categories. This is due to different varietal honey, different yeast, different treatments, different aging, etc.

Once we decide on a top three for the table that will move on to the medal round we go back and compare our numerical scores and discuss where they are in relation to each of the judges. We adjust our scores and thoughts to reflect the overall opinion of the mead.

In order to get a true representation of where your mead is in relation to the other meads we would have to do that for each mead from number one all the way down to number 28 in the category you entered, as well as for each other category. This would be the only fair way I could think of to give you an idea of where your mead stands by true comparison to the others. The numbers that are not in the top three are good evaluations with good comments. But, they have not been subjected to cross comparison in a head to head manner. That is what would take the time and cost to accomplish.

Hope that helps,


02-22-2007, 11:23 AM
So it's possible that the judges would hashed over what appeared to be,say, the top five entries before coming to a consensus on the top three. At that point, the remaining entries still have their scores that don't need adjusting since they would not have an affect on the consensus for the top three. I really don't see it being unfair to produce a list showing all the final scores knowing the scores for the top three or so were adjusted only to have a consensus on the top three eligible for final judging. Oh well.

02-22-2007, 12:01 PM
Jack, I think perhaps you aren't seeing the real issues here:

First: each entry has not one, but *three* scores, that might vary by as much as 5-7 points. The judges each take *their* top three, and discuss them with the other 2 judges at that table, and eventually come to a consensus of the top 3 for that flight.

A spreadsheet exercise would not be able to give you a sense of where you're at, because with 3 scores from the judges for your mead, you might be 10th, 13th and 17th in the same flight, which tells you nothing except that judge valuations vary all over the map.

Another thing: Assembling and managing the data in a competition this large is a *major* undertaking, and there are *never* enough people to do more than what we're doing now. As it is, data management goes on for days after the show just to deal with packing and shipping the scoresheets from the first and second round. I know, because I spend an afternoon at the MeadFest doing exactly that, with 2 other people.

Its not 'being unfair', its a sheer volume of data and the differences of opinion on each entry by three judges. That is why no competition in the country does this, they just issue the top 3 (or whatever level they medal), and send out the scoresheets for the rest.

It doesn't really matter where you are in the flight (unless you medal) anyway, because where you are in relation to the others is only valid for *that* festival for *that* year. Just because you were only 2 points behind 3rd place this year doesn't mean you won't be 15 points behind 3rd next year. Next year, you could enter the exact same thing, and do way worse or way better, depending on who else enters and what they enter.

Look at your scores, and where they fell against the 'perfect' score, i.e. a 50. Read the comments the judges left, and use that to learn to make a better competition mead. That is the purpose of the score sheet, not to rank you, but to give you a bench mark against the 'perfect' mead for that particular category.

Judging is a relative thing. And judging a mead (or wine or beer) isn't an exercise of 'is this mead a tastier or better mead than that mead', but more 'is this mead a better representative of its category than the other mead', which is a completely different thing. You aren't competing against the other meads, so much as you're competing against the 'perfect standard' for the category you enter.

02-22-2007, 01:14 PM
You could have a mead one year that scored 45, and it's 5th in ranking. Another mead in another year could score 45 and be awarded first. And if "Next year, you could enter the exact same thing, and do way worse or way better, depending on who else enters and what they enter.", then, what constitutes a medal score changes each year. Therefore, in reality, you are competing against the other entries.

I am very familiar with the subjectivity of these types of competitions. I have seen judges scores that have varied by no more than 1 point among three judges, and I've seen judges scores that have varied as much as 5 to 7 points as you suggested. More often than not the judges scores are averaged to settle on a single score for each entry (gee, there's that spreadsheet thing again). Granted, these were not associated with mead-only competitions.

In competitions where multiple medals are given for first, second, and third, the entrant can easily see where they fell in the scoring system as well as in comparison to other entries. That's because what constitutes a medal score is consistent each year.

Please be assured my only purpose in asking these questions, and offering these comments is to try to know as much information as possible about my entry. Apparently the kind of information I was hoping for just doesn't exist. Oh well...I'm moving on.


02-22-2007, 03:53 PM
Jack, I'm curious, did you receive this type of info in another competition? Enquiring minds want to know!!! I've never seen it done that way in a mead competition, but I'm curious if you've gotten that type of info elsewhere in a wine/beer/mead competition.

If so, I'd love to see what they did, I'm curious...

02-22-2007, 04:30 PM
This was the first mead-only competition I've entered. The others have been wine competitions. In every one of them, Winemaker, HWBTA, Indy, whatever, the judges scores are averaged to calculate a single score. I'm sure you're familiar with wine competitons - the scoring system is usually based on a 20-pt max score. Also, the typical medal scores might be something like:

gold: 18 to 20
silver: 15 to 17
bronze: 12 to 14

As such, when I look at my score (as well as the individual judge scores from the notes and score sheets provided) I can immediately tell where I fell in contention for a medal. And because there are established medal scores, I don't need to know the scores of the other entrants.

However, in a competition where only the top three scores are awarded medals, I cannot tell where I fell in contention for a medal unless a list of all scores is provided. What I was trying (hoping) to determine was: "how close did I come to a medal"?

Obviously mead-only competitions are scored and awarded differently than wine competitions. It is what it is.


02-22-2007, 05:09 PM
Well, I can't say that your observation will change the scoring (that is determined by the group that chairs the competition), it certainly provides interesting food for thought!

Also, keep in mind that while wine has a *very* long history of competing, and thus has extremely fine-tuned descriptions of various types, mead doesn't. The definitions of various types of mead are very general, and don't include the sort of finely honed details you see in wine scoring. That makes it harder to score, and much more subjective when being judged.

I can't say this is why mead competitions are judged the way they are, but it certainly does add to the info mix.....

02-26-2007, 11:13 AM
But it's really not a change in scoring. It would only be a matter of providing a list of what the scores were. Use only the entry numbers. Change the top three to their names after the final round is complete.

I received my score sheets over the weekend. Overall, I was pleased with how my 2-year old sack mead was received. The two judges scored the mead at 40 and 34, with an average of 37. I appreciate their comments on the mead. Both indicated the mead would benefit from more age, so I may enter it again in a couple of years...that is, if there's any left by then.


02-28-2007, 02:59 AM

There are no plans to include any further deconstruction of placing past the medal winners.

Thanks for your interest,


02-28-2007, 03:10 AM
I guess that settles that.

Thanks for your lack of interest.


02-28-2007, 05:38 AM

Sorry you feel that we're not interested in your opinion of how our scoring should be run. Vicky and I have both responded with our position on judging to your questions and suggestions and have indicated that at this time we have no plans to change our judging system. I'm sorry if that makes you feel that I have no interest in you. Fact is any suggestions (including yours) are kept and reviewed as we go forward each year toward the next year's competition.

You've made your suggestion, it's been recorded and will be considered along with all of the other suggestions we get from all the other contestants going forward. That's where we are right now. If that's not good enough for you I'm sorry.


02-28-2007, 08:46 AM
There's three reasons why someone enters a competition:

1. To get feedback from those they believe to be experts in the field:
2. To see how their creation stacks up against the creations of others; and,
3. To win something.

The quality of notes and comments in competitions varies. So getting real feedback is hit or miss. If all entrants got the same quality of comments I got, then you have satisfied 1.

In a competition where the entrants are judged only against a scoring standard, the entrant is able to see how they compared to the other entrants and how close they came to winning something because the medal scores are part of the standard.

However, in a competition where the entrant is judged against a scoring standard AND the scores of other entrants, winning something is a moving target. The only way an entrant can see how they compared to the other entrants and how close they came to winning anything is to publish a list of scores. That doesn't change how the judging is done. Giving the top several or so more scrutiny in order to have a consensus on the top three to send to the final round is exactly what should happen. But there's no reason to think the other entries should get that extra scrutiny if you are awarding only three medals in each category.

This issue I've created is not about changing how judging is done. It's about reporting the results of the judging you already do. FACT is, everyone has a score at the end of Round 1. And to not give the entrants that information so they can see not only how they stacked up against the standard, but also against the other entrants is not providing them with all of the useful information that can be obtained from your competition. You mentioned in an earlier post that the only way for any entry to get a real comparison of how they stacked up against the others was to give every entry the same extra scrutiny. I disagree. The ones that don't get extra scrutiny have all been judged with the same level of attention (or they should have). As I said before, it's a simple spreadsheet exercise. I really don't understand why you believe it needs to be something more complicated than that.

Oh well. I guess this dead horse has been beat enough. Good luck with your future competitions.


02-28-2007, 09:16 AM
As stated before your issue has been addressed, noted and logged for consideration as we move forward with our planning for next year’s competition.



02-28-2007, 11:41 AM
What we're doing in terms of scoring is how it is generally done in a mead competition.

When I entered the Mazer Cup, what I got was my scoresheets showing how I did on my mead. No breakdown of my category was given, and only the top 3 places were mentioned in the posting afterward. Did I want to know how my meth did against the others? Sure I did. But I accept that this is the way that the scoring was done.

Jack, I know that you've done wine competitions, but this is mead, and this is the way we, and the the other mead competitions, score at this time. I'm sorry it isn't what you expected, but is is how it is currently done in mead competitions.

As Oskaar said, we take *all* suggestions from those who entered, and consider them for the next competition. Yours is in there with the rest. It won't happen for this year, this year is done. Next year, we don't know yet, we've only had one meeting so far since the Festival 2 weeks ago, and that was to debrief after the competition. So be patient.

What you ask may happen at some point. I don't know. But please realize we do it the way we do it because that method works. We may or may not change that method in the future.

What you do is enter a mead, and wait to see how it did. What you *don't* see is the behind the scenes. I expect that if you went to a wine competition that you'd entered and said 'I'd like you to change your scoring, I think it would be better *this* way', you'd get much the same response (or perhaps you'd get no response at all), of 'We'll take it under advisement', which is what we told you several posts ago.

Getting mad at us won't make us work harder, and it certainly doesn't make us want to help you out by changing what we have that already works. You said it yourself, stop beating a dead horse. We got your suggestion, as we take *all* suggestions.

02-28-2007, 02:38 PM
FWIW, I agree that it would be cool to see how many people in each subcategory got 30, 31, 32, 33... etc.

But there are exactly 0 BJCP competitions that I'm aware of that compile that data and give it to the entrants. Sounds like IMF does it the same way every other BJCP comp does it to me.

About the wine comps, am I understanding this correctly that with their scoring system, every entrant could potentially be awarded a gold? All you have to do is hit the right score, and you and everyone else that hit that score get the medal?

David Baldwin
02-28-2007, 04:18 PM

I am by no means any authority on wine judging or competitios. However from tracking a good friend and winemaker's progress I've started learning about how the judging is done at some of the State Fairs in the Midwest

There are competitions that do bracket the winners into medal catagories based on the points awarded. Any wine entered that meets the bracketed points for that catagory are awarded the medal into which their wine scored.

So you could have several wines taking bronze, silver, or gold in any catagory or none at all in any particular point bracket. IE: 3 gold, 0 silver, 4 bronze...

Best of show is then awarded among the top scoring gold medalists (if I understand it correctly).

It is just a different method designating awards. Unless the awards are a paper certificate of award, I could see the multiple medals adding up to a significant expense.

02-28-2007, 04:56 PM
Interesting, David. Thanks for the info.

03-01-2007, 12:57 AM
Here's (http://www.hwbta.org/competition_results_us.php) a link to the HWBTA website posting for the 2006 competition listing gold,silver, bronze, etc. winners.

Read through it and you'll get an idea of what it's all about.



03-01-2007, 11:27 AM
Everybody's a winner! LOL

Thanks, Oskaar. I like how the kit awards are identified separately. Pretty cool to see all the great wines being made from kits.

03-02-2007, 11:16 AM
Woo hoo! Medals all around! LOL

Yes, it's great to see kit wines getting their due. There are a number of very nice kit wines out there that deserve recognition. I've only made a couple of them but was surprised at the end product's depth and complexity.

I'm so friggin lucky to live in California and have access to some of the best fruit in the world. I count my blessings every day. Anyone who had a couple of swigs of my Zinfandel can attest to that. Luckily the fruit is so damned awesome that it's really hard to screw it up!