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Medsen Fey
06-13-2008, 10:12 AM
Okay, for no particular reason, I have been contemplating my development as a mead maker. Well, what else are you going to do when all your fermenters are full and you’re waiting for stuff to clear? I figured I would take a stab at identifying the various stages a mead maker progresses through.

Why do this? For starters it fills some deep internal need in me to try to classify and pigeon hole things – but hey, that’s my personal hang-up. From a continuous quality improvement standpoint, I have always a believed that “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it!” With something involving as much art as mead making, this may not hold true, but I think it is still worth a try. What’s more, such a scale may provide some individuals with motivation for advancement, and I am all for “progress” (note – that is not the same thing as “change”). After all, a little self-actualization never hurt anyone

So here is my first go at it. This is just an outline and has plenty of shortcomings, so please feel free to beat it up, add/delete, or otherwise refine it to provide a better way to chart one’s progress along the mead continuum.


Stages of a Meadmaker

1. NewBee – Has made little or no mead. May not have even tasted mead. Groping to learn terms and basic process. Usually found asking, “Is it supposed to look/taste/smell like this?”

2. NuVice Meadmaker – Has made mead beyond JAO. Understands basic terms in mead making. Basic techniques still being learned. Questions abound regarding nutrients, additions, and processes. Easily follows basic recipes. Wants to taste more meads.

3. InterMeadiot Meadmaker – Has mastered basic techniques and explores advanced processes including fining, pH management, and staggering nutrients. Modifies recipes with unpredictable consequences. Mead taking up most of spare time.

4. AccompLushed Meadmaker- Understands advanced management techniques. Can reliably reproduce the most complex recipes, and can plan meads and routinely achieve predictable results. Explores sensory components and outcomes. Mead crowding out other activities.

5. Mead Mazestro – Has mastered advanced technique as well as the art of flavor and sensory harmonization. Consistently designs recipes producing outstanding meads, making optimal use of available ingredients. Understands mead/food pairing. Pushes the mead frontier forward. Would rather do without food than mead.

6. Meadhisattva – A Meadmaker who combines advanced technique along with artistry in combining honeys and ingredients to create masterpieces of liquid poetry. Mead circulates in their veins, and for them, mead is life. They unselfishly offer their wisdom and experience to assist other mead makers to advance their skills. Oskaar and Ken Schramm are prime examples.




Personally, I am hovering in the InterMeadiot stage near the AccompLushed border, but I am working on it day by day (by day by day). If anyone else wants to share where you think you are on the scale, please feel free.

Good meading to all!
Medsen

lastbornjoker
06-13-2008, 10:40 AM
is there one before newbee?

Arjan
06-13-2008, 10:59 AM
is there one before newbee?


yep, Compleat NewBee
Doens know what mead is, never heard about it...is this new? (sounds like many in my surroundings)

Angus
06-13-2008, 11:33 AM
:D

I have thought about making just such a list. Let me add these based on what I went through:

NewBee - Excited and impatient. Not just jumping into the deep end, but doing a bomb with a big old smile. Questions, questions, questions.

NuVice - Ingredients? Anything and everything, just throw it in there. As for honey, if it once was near a bee, use it. Nutrients? Whatever. Answers, answers, answers.

InterMeadiot - Stop! Think first, speak last. Learn the #1 rule in brewing Mead - patience. Go back to basics, to perfect the techniques, to hone the skills learned.

That is where I am now. I am moving into the Accomplushed, knowing enough, understanding flavors and how they contribute, formulating recipes etc. But I do not have the tenure in this hobby to be able routinely recreate a result. Give me 10 more years and I may be there.

Fun list Medsen.

Angus

Yo momma
06-13-2008, 04:19 PM
I am a straight Intermeadiot! No question about it. Still learning and have some answers to newbee questions but get corrected sometimes. I am always doing a little research to make my meading better. I can Also recreate certain recipes with the same results. Another year or two and I will be moving up the ladder of accomplishment, with Gotmeads help of course. ;)

sandman
06-13-2008, 08:42 PM
I'd place myself between a 2.7 and a 3.3 on that scale. Lots and lots to learn before I consider myself a knowledgable mead maker.
I've been lucky on a few recipes though. :cheers:

wayneb
06-13-2008, 10:20 PM
I'm somewhere between a 1 and a 5, I think. ;D

ucflumberjack
06-13-2008, 10:58 PM
I think im between a 2 and a 3..... Still need to work out fermentation temps, I linve in FL, I just need to get a chest freezer and a temp controller.

Medsen Fey
06-13-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm somewhere between a 1 and a 5, I think. ;D


Tut, tut! Let's have none of this undue modesty Wayne. Anyone who recreates recipes for stone-age brews and keeps their own Terrior yeast is definitely Mazestro material! We all just appreciate the humble way in which you share with the rest of us. :icon_salut:

Oskaar
06-14-2008, 01:02 AM
I'm somewhere between a 1 and a 5, I think. ;D


Tut, tut! Let's have none of this undue modesty Wayne. Anyone who recreates recipes for stone-age brews and keeps their own Terrior yeast is definitely Mazestro material! We all just appreciate the humble way in which you share with the rest of us. :icon_salut:


Totally!!

Wayne has his collective ka ka together, and is a peer with any other well known meadmaker out there and here on Got Mead?

Personally I classify myself as an oft sober, foaming at the mouth, rabid mead dude who's slightly sane, and doesn't rely on anti-depressants to carry on a semi-coherent conversation (just ask Vicky, Ken, Wayne, Wrathwilde, Leonora, Brimminghorn, Launce, or anyone else who's actually spoken with me....Okay, maybe I overstate that....at least I'm pretty good about sticking to a subject for at least 20-30 seconds!) Julia Herz has given me a nickname that I kind of like, "The Mead Buddha." LOL, Cracks me up! Well at least I've managed to parley my OCD into something constructive. In my best Simpson's Texan dude voice! stomp stomp stomp stomp BANG BANG BANG BANG ..........in my best Monty Burns voice, "Smithers .....Release the hounds!"


Seriously though, I'm really flattered by your post, but, I'm just a guy that makes mead and has taken complete leave of his senses and allowed mead to take over his life. Just ask the long line of females I've left behind!

Cheers,
Oskaar

wayneb
06-14-2008, 01:05 AM
Seriously though, I'm really flattered by the ranking level you bestow upon me, but, I'm just a guy that makes mead and has taken complete leave of his senses and allowed mead to take over his life.



... and they're calling my modesty "unjustified!" ::)

Oskaar, face it, you are in the pantheon! Even better yet, you share (both your knowledge and your brews)!! :cheers:

skunkboy
06-14-2008, 01:07 AM
I'll stick with intermeadiot extraordinary, emphasis on the ordinary! :drunken_smilie: