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JLindsey
01-16-2010, 01:32 AM
I want to enter a couple of my home meads in the 2010 Mazer. I am open to any advice. My main concern is that I'll be shipping from CA to CO. While I used a finer and bulk aged, there are still seds/lees, though the mead is very clear. Can you send far enough ahead to resettle or should I rebottle?
Thanks!

wayneb
01-17-2010, 12:21 AM
That's a tough call. When you choose to re-bottle, you may introduce oxygen and/or spoilage organisms, neither of which are desirable. However, as the person in charge of receiving the entries here in Colorado, I can tell you that although we take care not to excessively shake them during transport, there is no guarantee that the lees won't be mixed back in during handling of the bottles just before the event, or during pouring. If you feel that you want your meads to be clear when they are judged, then I'd suggest you re-bottle.

Dan McFeeley
01-17-2010, 12:37 AM
I did that once, rebottled a melomel I wanted to enter in a competion because of sediment. It did ok, even won a medal. I suggest that if you're going to rebottle, do it as soon as possible so as to allow the mead to work through any "bottle shock" that could happen.

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JLindsey
02-06-2010, 12:46 AM
Thanks to both.
WayneB, it sounds like we can get entries there early enough for settling to occur. I understand you can't guarantee anything. I've been assured that clarity isn't a huge factor in overall scoring, hope this is true. I'll skip the rebottle.
Thanks!
Josh

wayneb
02-07-2010, 12:59 PM
Appearance is important, don't get me wrong. However, appearance is only allotted six points in the 50 point scale used when judging according to BJCP guidelines, and clarity is only one of several factors (also included are color, "legs," and carbonation - that is, does it have the carbonation level that you've claimed for it).

More important are aroma and "overall impression" (10 points each), and MUCH more important is flavor (24 points). So if you've made a killer mead that smells wonderful and tastes incredible, nobody's going to care if it is slightly less than crystal clear. ;D

Oskaar
02-07-2010, 02:33 PM
Just a caveat here.

If your mead goes head to head with meads of similar high quality, flavor, aroma, integration and presentation, I expect that a mead that is brilliant and gemlike will win out.

My suggestion is that you re-bottle.

I know it's a pain in the arse (I'm not really fond of bottling myself) but, if your mead is that great, it would be a shame to have cloudiness kill you. Remember that while the mead will arrive in time for it to settle. We still have to move it from the receiving point to the competition venue. From there it will be moved into the staging area and will likely be moved several times the day of the competition.

I personally would not leave this to chance.

We have such a large number of bottles (between 600-800 bottles) to work with that individual special handling is neither a reasonable nor desireable expectation. As a competition we are trying to factor out variables that may in fact influence the judge's objectivity. Special handling of individual entries does bring bias to a judging table. I just want to be very clear about this up front so that you understand what we're up against with special handling issues going into the competition.

Hope that helps,

Petar Bakulic, Director - MCI 2010 Home Meadmaker Competition