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webmaster
01-09-2011, 06:48 PM
Hi gang!!

It is time for the 3rd annual Mazer Cup International, the largest mead competition in the world (we are pretty sure, LOL).

It will be held March 31-April 2, 2011. The commercial competition is Friday, April 1, and the Home Competition is on April 2. Friday April 1 is the 2nd Annual Winners Circle Public tasting and food pairing, which was a big hit last year, featuring the gold medal winners from the 2009 commercial competition.

The competition will once again be in Boulder, CO at the Outlook Hotel (http://www.outlookhotel.com) and will have:

Home competition (over 200 entries last year)
Commercial competition (over 100 entries last year)
Friday night Winners Circle food pairing with 2010 Gold Medal commercial winners (tickets available on the website)
BJCP Mead Judging Certification Test


The Winners Circle tasting and food pairing was a HUGE success last year, and the 50 tickets we let out for sale were gone in less than a week. Reviews ranged from 'great' to 'freakin fantastic', and we fully expect the tickets this year to sell even quicker. We are commissioning custom tasting glassware to take with you as a memento of this great opportunity to taste the best commercial meads in the world.

We will be moving the event to a larger room and will have more tickets available. We will announce here on Gotmead when they go on sale, but keep an eye on the website at http://www.mazercup.com for them to open up so you can get yours.

Medals will be awarded to the first 3 places in commercial competition, and custom handmade mazers go to the winners in the home competition.

There will be an awards ceremony on Saturday night (competition entrants and guests only), and of course, all the delights of Boulder await you! (including some seriously excellent breweries).

Join the biggest mead event in the world! Join us in the Mazer Cup International!

Visit our website at http://www.mazercup.com for more details, entry information and photos from previous years.

mmclean
01-09-2011, 07:15 PM
Will the web site be updated for 2011? :confused:

webmaster
01-09-2011, 08:52 PM
Yes, it will be updated shortly. Work with me here, we're all volunteers and juggling as fast as we can, LOL...

mmclean
01-09-2011, 09:29 PM
No worries Vicky. I was just confussed since you posted the announcement.

I won't have anything ready this year anyway. :(

Still want to keep tabs on what's going on. ;D

TDMooney
01-09-2011, 10:27 PM
Ok im really new to mead so this may sound a little dumb but can you mail a bottle in and have it entered into the competition without actually having to be present at the competition?

Sorry if this is a new-bee question but I'd like to try to enter something in next year.

Thank you

webmaster
01-09-2011, 11:04 PM
No worries, mmclean, just pokin' atcha. We're updating the site this week, but we've had lots of inquiries, so I posted an announcement here so people would know when it was.

TDMooney, yes, you can enter without coming, most do. Some people come out to go to the tasting, or judge, or whatever, but 90% send in entries, and we mail out judging forms, and mail the awards if the entry wins. All get judging reports, regardless. Best in Show last year was actually entered from Europe.

mmclean
01-09-2011, 11:04 PM
Well, the short answer is yes and no. :rolleyes:

There are lots of posts on how to do it. Use the search tool, as which way to go about it will be up to you?

TDMooney
01-09-2011, 11:11 PM
awsome, thank you for your help. I'll be sending some bottles in next year ;D

webmaster
01-09-2011, 11:27 PM
Excellent! Good luck with your entries.

Medsen Fey
01-10-2011, 02:30 PM
...but can you mail a bottle in and have it entered into the competition without actually having to be present at the competition?


You can send it in.
But don't use the mail. Sending alcohol through the United States Postal Service is probably illegal. I say probably because there are some who feel that the regulations do no apply to untaxed alcohol such as homebrew, but unless you personally want to spend a lot of legal fees defending yourself to find out for sure, I'd suggest using UPS or Fed-Ex.

AToE
01-10-2011, 02:44 PM
I'd better start bottling! For the first time I actually have a some entries ready for the competition, not expecting to place with any of them, but certainly looking forward to the feedback I'll get!

Chevette Girl
01-10-2011, 04:14 PM
I'm not sure I want the reviews... I know what I like and that's what I try to make, but I don't have a particularly discerning palate and I'm worried that I'd be like a cafeteria cook ending up on Hell's Kitchen... I thought it was great, but nobody else liked it...

icedmetal
01-10-2011, 04:47 PM
I'm not sure I want the reviews... I know what I like and that's what I try to make, but I don't have a particularly discerning palate and I'm worried that I'd be like a cafeteria cook ending up on Hell's Kitchen... I thought it was great, but nobody else liked it...

Creme Fraiche! Don't forget the Creme Fraiche! ;)

Question: are the pours blind this year? I might have something around here deserving of an entry! ;D

edit: I think I may have found the answer to my question in last year's entry guidelines... "Entries will be pre-poured in a room separate from the judging location and brought to the judging tables. " Though, that was in the commercial guidelines.

Fisher kel Tath
01-10-2011, 06:29 PM
Hmmm... I could commit my Acerglyn to this, I'm thinking of bottling it this week.

akueck
01-10-2011, 06:57 PM
Will there be a block of rooms in the hotel with a group rate?

I am 90% traveling alone for this. Anyone want to split a 2-queens room?

Medsen Fey
01-10-2011, 07:05 PM
I'm not sure I want the reviews... I know what I like and that's what I try to make, but I don't have a particularly discerning palate and I'm worried that I'd be like a cafeteria cook ending up on Hell's Kitchen... I thought it was great, but nobody else liked it...

Don't fret over that. It really is helpful to get some other opinions on your product if you want to make it better. We all get certain "house aromas" or "house flavors" that we may become insensitive to, and others may notice them and point the potential for improvement. Even if they don't like your mead, they may have great suggestion on what would improve it, and that is extremely valuable when it comes time to tweak that recipe for the next batch.

It can happen that the judges don't appreciate your mead too much even though you like it - see my "loquat the cat dragged in" mead as an example. The judges thought it was mediocre, but I still think it is one of my favorite meads of all time, however, it is dry, and tart, and I think it is possible that sweeter mels seem to get more appreciation. Also, I think a few months of extra aging made my loquat batch better than is was at the time of the competition, so you have to take that into account - yours may not be judged in the time window when it is at its peak.

When it comes right down to it, although you are the only one you ultimately have to please, generally speaking, if you really like the way something tastes, you can bet that you won't be the only one that likes it. So give them a chance and your meads may surprise you.

Now I have 4 or 5 that I'd like to enter, but none of them are bottled. I guess I'm going to be busy this weekend...

AToE
01-10-2011, 07:07 PM
Arrrg, I want to go so badly! I'm not sure if I can swing the time off work though this year... I'm definitely going to look into this further.

TDMooney
01-10-2011, 09:58 PM
Creme Fraiche! Don't forget the Creme Fraiche! ;)
.

HAHA I hope we're thinking of the same South Park episode !

djslort
01-11-2011, 12:56 PM
I have two different meads I would love to enter and get critiqued, but I only have two splits of each. How much of an issue is the "suggested three bottles" per entry?

webmaster
01-11-2011, 01:37 PM
We expect and instruct our judges to make constructive comments and *not* to be jerks, and the sort of thing you can expect to see are 'adding a bit more sweetness would bring out the flavors more' or 'more aging will improve the complexity of this mead' and the like. Judges that get nasty don't get invited back to the Mazer Cup.....and we've 'fired' a few for just that reason.

Our goal for our judges is for them to use their expertise to help you make better mead, not dis you because they might not like it....


I'm not sure I want the reviews... I know what I like and that's what I try to make, but I don't have a particularly discerning palate and I'm worried that I'd be like a cafeteria cook ending up on Hell's Kitchen... I thought it was great, but nobody else liked it...

webmaster
01-11-2011, 01:38 PM
Yes, we plan to make blind pours.


Creme Fraiche! Don't forget the Creme Fraiche! ;)

Question: are the pours blind this year? I might have something around here deserving of an entry! ;D

edit: I think I may have found the answer to my question in last year's entry guidelines... "Entries will be pre-poured in a room separate from the judging location and brought to the judging tables. " Though, that was in the commercial guidelines.

webmaster
01-11-2011, 01:39 PM
Yep, we'll post the info to the Mazer Cup website when we have it, which should be soon (next week or so).

It'll be good to see you!!


Will there be a block of rooms in the hotel with a group rate?

I am 90% traveling alone for this. Anyone want to split a 2-queens room?

webmaster
01-11-2011, 01:43 PM
You can do that, some do. However, if it is good enough to make the 2nd round in the category (some categories are *huge* and we have to do a couple rounds to narrow it all the way down), or the Best in Show round, if you don't have enough, it won't be judged in that round. We've had a couple that couldn't be judged because they didn't send enough. But it *will* be judged in the first round, regardless.

I would say go ahead and enter it.


I have two different meads I would love to enter and get critiqued, but I only have two splits of each. How much of an issue is the "suggested three bottles" per entry?

akueck
01-11-2011, 04:00 PM
I've only been a judge once, but it was very instructive (this was for beer, I got the Oktoberfest category). There were 3 of us doing the judging for this category, and the atmosphere was very much "how similar is this to a classic Oktoberfest" and "how can this be better" and not "wow this is terrible" or "I've made/had better". We found good things to say about every beer, except for the one that was cloudy, flat, and smelled like socks (yes we tasted it, and no we didn't say that on the form). Even then the feedback was constructive and we offered advice from our own brewing history. Having people who brew judge your beer/mead is really nice since they've screwed up too, and might have an idea that hasn't occurred to you yet. Even though judging is a "competition", the products are not judged against each other or relative to personal taste. Each one is judged against a standard. If a beer/mead is supposed to smell like a barnyard, then you get high marks if yours does too. Whether or not the judge likes that smell is not important (and usually judges will try to not do categories they don't like or don't drink).

Homebrewing competitions are not zero-sum. One entry doesn't win because the others lose. The judging feedback is about elevating the level of all entries, not promoting one entry above all others. Medals and ribbons are nice, but I think every judge would rather be stuck choosing from lots of great entries than declaring how many entries are sub-par.

skunkboy
01-11-2011, 07:18 PM
Speaking of judging, anyone have comments on the BJCP mead judge test? I am taking a prep course the Bear Judge test over the next couple of months, but I was curious how if anyone has taken the mead one has studied?

jkane
01-12-2011, 03:59 PM
In beer judging, there are style guidelines. They make it easier to determine what a beer should be like. With meads, it's a lot more about what the entry says! For instance if you say it's a strawberry melomel and there is no strawberry, then it'll get less points. If you say it's a dry mead and it's sweet, you get lower points. If you say it's still, but there are a few bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass ... well, you get the point!

Declaring the honey is also important. If the judge can't identify the honey, they assume something like a wild flower. So weird tasting honey needs to be identified to get points for it.

Defects are the same as any beverage! If it has some, they are a problem.

In the end, it's more about balance than anything else. If you made a sack mead and it tastes like rocket fuel, saying it's a sac will get you a point for your description, but the balance towards rocket fuel with not enough sweetness or too much acidity will make it score lower.

I took the mead exam last year. There were not many oppertunities for classes. Study the mead study guide and learn all of the honey flavors. Go out and find those honey's and get a chance to ferment and taste them. Read all of the fruit descriptions. Memorize those! They are big on the test. Know how to describe each of the honey and fruits in the study guide on the BJCP web site.

Go here for examples of what to expect. http://www.bjcp.org/mead.php

I would highly recommend you judge in a few BJCP contests BEFORE taking the test. You can judge as a novice. If you are an experienced mead maker, tell the coordinator that and let him/her know you are studying for the mead judge exam. They may be nice and team you up on a mead table. You can also be a steward. Again, tell the coordinator that you are studying for the mead exam and ask to steward at a mead table. Listen to the judges. Sample with them and ask questions. Some judges will be the quiet types, but many are more than willing to discuss the mead after they have finished their score sheets. If there are novice judges, there will be a bit of discussion while filling the sheets out to help the new judge know what they are tasting/smelling. Listen in and feel free to ask questions also.

Find a local beer club and get them interested in mead! Many clubs are starting to offer study sessions. My wife and I are planning one for this fall for our club.

Mars Colonist
01-12-2011, 06:51 PM
You can send it in.
But don't use the mail. Sending alcohol through the United States Postal Service is probably illegal. I say probably because there are some who feel that the regulations do no apply to untaxed alcohol such as homebrew, but unless you personally want to spend a lot of legal fees defending yourself to find out for sure, I'd suggest using UPS or Fed-Ex.

+1 on the UPS/Fed Ex, however, my beer competition entries have been denied by both. If they ask questions, tell them they are marinades.


Speaking of judging, anyone have comments on the BJCP mead judge test? I am taking a prep course the Bear Judge test over the next couple of months, but I was curious how if anyone has taken the mead one has studied?

I just took the BJCP beer test this last weekend (felt pretty good about it!)... haven't had that intense of a writing session since college. I talked to the proctor (Grand Master I) and he noted that the Mead tests are just starting to make the rounds (at least in Texas); apparently, it is fairly new? There are no "levels" like with the beer tests, you just get to check the "Mead Judge" box on the BJCP score sheets.

wayneb
01-12-2011, 06:57 PM
The mead exam is pretty new. In fact, Ken Schramm, Oskaar and Vicky have been contributors in the development of it for the past several years, with some of the rest of us either providing a little additional info or serving as guinea pigs for some of the questions in development. I'm pretty sure that it has been offered officially only for the past year or so. I haven't taken it yet, but I am planning to get to it during the Mazer Cup if we do manage to fit an exam into the event schedule. It will be interesting to see just what it has evolved into! ;D

mmclean
01-12-2011, 11:34 PM
[QUOTE=Mars Colonist;156538]+1 on the UPS/Fed Ex, however, my beer competition entries have been denied by both. If they ask questions, tell them they are marinades.
QUOTE]

I like:

"Flavor samlpes - For Analysis Only".

akueck
01-17-2011, 09:00 PM
Looks like details are up on the Mazer Cup site. :)

Question for Vicky/Pete/others: What is the general agenda for the event? I'd like to volunteer for some things but don't want to overlap anything too exciting.

webmaster
01-17-2011, 09:42 PM
Click the 'volunteer' link in the lower left column and it gives the jobs and days and times.....

akueck
01-17-2011, 11:29 PM
Right. Are there other events going on besides the judging & dinners? Or just informal tastings/about the town stuff?

webmaster
01-17-2011, 11:36 PM
We have the mead certification exam (that is still being set up and doesn't have a time/date yet), pro comp and paired tasting Friday, and the commercial comp on Saturday. The rest is whatever you do personally.

akueck
01-18-2011, 01:12 AM
Awesome! I am volunteering to judge but you can have me pour stuff instead if you get more experienced folks.

Medsen Fey
01-18-2011, 09:56 AM
According to the rules, Zorks are still not allowed. :(

Any chance that will be amended sometime soon?

Oskaar
01-18-2011, 01:04 PM
If we are able to do blind judging for the home competition it wouldn't be an issue. Otherwise no, it is an obvious identifier.

We're not sure about blind judging this year yet as we have several challenges based on the venue and transport of the mead to and from the judging area.

Will advise when we reach a final decision on blind judging.

Thanks so much,

Oskaar

AToE
01-18-2011, 06:09 PM
Shoot, I thought the blind pour thing was a done deal, I've got to bottle a couple meads right away for this year's competition... might have to try to track down some plain brown bottles.

webmaster
01-18-2011, 06:59 PM
No, I said we *plan* to do blind pours, but that is contingent on the space and having the ability to do it. It has always been the plan, one we are working towards.

You've got a few weeks yet before entries open, and we'll announce for sure one way or the other.

AToE
01-18-2011, 08:26 PM
I understand, it's got to be tough to do. I'm sure if I look hard enough at the liquor store I can find some brown bottles to use (most of the beer in brown bottles here is in screw top bottles, not the good kind).

Medsen Fey
01-18-2011, 11:00 PM
Sam Adams bottles will work - you can usually find them around.

AToE
01-18-2011, 11:30 PM
I don't think I've ever seen them. I'll probably just have to buy some more dogfish head beer (their bottles seem way thinner than normal beer bottles, but I guess must be fine?)... one of my submissions will be carbonated, but not super highly carb'd.

I'd rather try and track down the proper brown bottles right now than take a risk with green ones getting disqualified (and I really should get these bottled within the next week or so to make sure they're totally ready in time for the Mazer Cup).

akueck
01-19-2011, 12:08 AM
How about Sierra Nevada? They have pop-top bottles and the Pale ale is pretty widely distributed.

Oskaar
01-19-2011, 01:37 AM
Sam Adams bottles will work - you can usually find them around.

Raised letters so not so good for the competition.

We had some good news today and are very close to finalizing a deal with the hotel about doing all judging blind.

Plan for standard bottle rules, but hope for blind judging.

Cheers,

Oskaar

Oskaar
01-19-2011, 01:38 AM
I don't think I've ever seen them. I'll probably just have to buy some more dogfish head beer (their bottles seem way thinner than normal beer bottles, but I guess must be fine?)... one of my submissions will be carbonated, but not super highly carb'd.

I'd rather try and track down the proper brown bottles right now than take a risk with green ones getting disqualified (and I really should get these bottled within the next week or so to make sure they're totally ready in time for the Mazer Cup).

Come on folks you gotta read the bottle requirements. Brown or green are fine so go for it!

Oskaar
01-19-2011, 01:39 AM
How about Sierra Nevada? They have pop-top bottles and the Pale ale is pretty widely distributed.

Sierra Nevada work great and the labels come off very easily. Only one bottle that is easier to 86 the labels on and that's Pacifico!

Medsen Fey
01-19-2011, 11:12 AM
Raised letters so not so good for the competition.

We had some good news today and are very close to finalizing a deal with the hotel about doing all judging blind.


:confused: Last year Sam Adams bottles were okay.
If they aren't okay this year, please confirm that because they are pretty common and many of us may use them. I don't know if I've bottled anything in a Sam Adams bottle so far, but since I bottled some stuff last year, there may be. If they aren't allowed, I'll go through and remove any Sam Adams bottles I find. I don't want to send in entries that will be disqualified, but there is no way that I'm re-bottling anything even if that means I won't be able to send in some batches.

I do hope the blind pours come through.

AToE
01-19-2011, 01:12 PM
Come on folks you gotta read the bottle requirements. Brown or green are fine so go for it!

Sorry, I should have been more specific - all the green ones I can get are distinctly shaped (more tapered than the usual beer bottle with "shoulders") and/or silkscreened and/or have raised lettering. I've read the rules (which actually say raised letting is ok) but as I understand them the bottles I usually use would get me kicked out because it would be 100% obvious which batches were from the same person (which is the point of the bottle rules right?).

I want to play it safe, so plain brown bottles from Dogfish seems like my best bet. PLUS, it's an excuse to buy more Dogfish Head beer! ;D

Fisher kel Tath
01-19-2011, 02:04 PM
Magic Hat and Bell's labels fall off after 30mins soaking in hot water

skunkboy
01-20-2011, 09:37 PM
Bass labels fall off real easy with hot water...

danidiver
01-23-2011, 02:12 PM
Well folks its official....

We've worked it out with the hotel and will be doing blind pours for the Home competion!

Check out the updated bottle information at http://www.mazercup.com/mcih_entry_rules.htm

Cheers!

Dani

AToE
01-23-2011, 04:08 PM
That's killer news, I'd been putting of bottling trying to track down more bottles, now I can just go ahead with it! Wooooohoooooo!

akueck
01-24-2011, 02:02 AM
Tickets to the paired dinner seem to be available. Already snagged mine!

AToE
01-24-2011, 03:12 AM
Tickets to the paired dinner seem to be available. Already snagged mine!

Wow, $50 is really reasonable for a price, and the website says there are still 147 seats available?!?!?! That's one freaking HUGE tasting event!

Man, I'm getting more and more tempted to buy some plane tickets and come down... I was planning on waiting until 2012 but really what's my holdup? Time off work is easy, flight won't be that expensive (plus I can likely beg some airmiles off my parents who collect truely insane amounts of airmiles), and it'll be a heck of an experience.

I'm going to sleep on this for at least tonight then try to convince myself to come down and volunteer for this. ;D

akueck
01-24-2011, 12:25 PM
I'm still looking to split my hotel room too. ;)

AToE
01-27-2011, 08:16 PM
Alright, my ticket to the paired tasting is bought, and place to stay taken care of thanks to Akueck. Filled out the volunteer form to steward for both days (about the only think I think is within my skill range! Other than cleanup, but I'll have to be heading back to Canada at that time).

One stupid question - it says dress in solid colours in the volunteer form. I'm guessing jeans and plain 1-colour t-shirts would be ok?

I promise to not wear any Hawaiian shirts!

wayneb
01-27-2011, 11:42 PM
Yup - you'll be fine, Alan! Looking forward to meeting you in person!!

AToE
01-27-2011, 11:59 PM
I figured I'd add my name to my signature so people don't have to try to pronounce AToE when they meet me! And then I figured I'd explain AToE so that they don't think those are my initials or something...:p

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone too, it'll be funny to see how my preconcieved images line up/don't with the real deal!

epetkus
01-28-2011, 12:45 PM
Well folks its official....

We've worked it out with the hotel and will be doing blind pours for the Home competion!

Check out the updated bottle information at http://www.mazercup.com/mcih_entry_rules.htm

Cheers!

Dani

OK, so beer bottles are preferred, but if we already have ours in 750ml wine bottles, it seems that will be acceptable, yes?

Also, can someone with first-hand experience comment on whether or not a 750ml wine bottle provides enough quantity for the tasting rounds?

Thanks!

wayneb
01-28-2011, 01:39 PM
750 ml wine bottles ARE acceptable this year. However, keep in mind that a single 12 US fl. oz. beer bottle is approximately 355 ml, so a single 750 ml wine bottle is just slightly more than two beer bottles' net volume. In order to ensure that you have enough mead on hand to survive the prelim judging, then a possible second round (to select best of category), then possibly Best of Show and/or subsequent tasting for the Pro-Am, the minimum you should send per entry is two wine bottles if your mead is still. For sparkling meads I would recommend sending three bottles, since you don't want your mead de-gassing between rounds and losing your intended degree of sparkle as the day wears on.

And yes, to be completely comprehensive about it, one 750ml plus one 375ml is slightly more than three beer bottles' volume so if you sent in a one-and-one entry like that, you'd be supplying enough mead to "run the gauntlet" of rounds, but if you're that protective of your mead then I'd recommend you just send it in beer bottles to begin with - it'll be much easier for us to handle that way! ;D

Oskaar
01-28-2011, 02:24 PM
750 ml wine bottles ARE acceptable this year. However, keep in mind that a single 12 US fl. oz. beer bottle is approximately 355 ml, so a single 750 ml wine bottle is just slightly more than two beer bottles' net volume. In order to ensure that you have enough mead on hand to survive the prelim judging, then a possible second round (to select best of category), then possibly Best of Show and/or subsequent tasting for the Pro-Am, the minimum you should send per entry is two wine bottles if your mead is still. For sparkling meads I would recommend sending three bottles, since you don't want your mead de-gassing between rounds and losing your intended degree of sparkle as the day wears on.

And yes, to be completely comprehensive about it, one 750ml plus one 375ml is slightly more than three beer bottles' volume so if you sent in a one-and-one entry like that, you'd be supplying enough mead to "run the gauntlet" of rounds, but if you're that protective of your mead then I'd recommend you just send it in beer bottles to begin with - it'll be much easier for us to handle that way! ;D

Just a note here.

Sending mismatched entry sizes presents us with a number of issues. Storage of entries becomes complicated with mismatched bottle sizes since we try to minimize the footprint of our storage area by keeping like-sized bottles together and as a result the potential for loss his higher. At the competition there is a higher potential that your mead will sit through several other flights of judging (hours) after being opened before it gets back to the judging tables for the BoS round if it makes it that far. Another key factor is, that if one of those bottles gets broken, leaks, or has an issue, you're done! You won't make it past the first round.

If you already have your mead in wine bottles, send two and you should be covered unless one breaks during shipment.

I also want to say that Wayne is a very patient and dedicated guy and he already goes way out of his way to do everything he can to accommodate really questionable entries that we have received in the past. I ask that you folks bear in mind the really daunting task that Wayne faces every year of going through six hundred bottles or more, by hand, after work, on his own time in order to verify, identify, register and account for your entries. He is a star in every sense of the word.

It is just simpler, more secure and overall more conducive to the flow of the competition to go with three like sized and shaped bottles of 10oz or more, or 4 bottles under 10oz. Color, closures, raised lettering and shape isn't an issue this year.

Cheers,

Oskaar

epetkus
01-28-2011, 03:25 PM
Thanks gents!

I'm running "low" on competition worthy mead (due to self and friends consumption!), so I'm simply trying to optimize.

I'll see what I can do...!

Eric

AToE
01-28-2011, 04:00 PM
I've taken to bottling at least 8 beer bottles for every mead I do, not just for the sake of competitions, but so that I can sample smaller amounts as it continues to age - in cases where I've bottled early this has saved me a lot of wasted mead!

capoeirista13
02-06-2011, 06:13 PM
I'm not sure I want the reviews... I know what I like and that's what I try to make, but I don't have a particularly discerning palate and I'm worried that I'd be like a cafeteria cook ending up on Hell's Kitchen... I thought it was great, but nobody else liked it...

I did it last year, first time I ever sent something in, and it was nothing BUT helpful and constructive criticism. If you made something and you think it's good, send it on in!

On a different note, what's the deal with going to this if you aren't a judge?

danidiver
02-06-2011, 11:19 PM
Check out the volunteer link on www.mazercup.com. There are a numer of other roles where help is needed for both the home and commercial competition.

The only public event is the paired tasting and that should be worth a trip all by iteself :)

Dani

wayneb
02-07-2011, 02:21 PM
To amplify on what Dani said, we aren't a "full public" event; only the Paired Tasting is open to the public. But we're definitely in need of volunteers, so if you're willing to sign up (and show up) as a volunteer in any of the listed capacities on the volunteers form, then you get to attend the rest of the show!

AToE
02-07-2011, 02:50 PM
Does it generally take a while to be contacted if you signed up to volunteer? I'm not really concerned, but haven't been contacted yet so I figured I'd bring it up while we're talking about it.

capoeirista13
02-07-2011, 02:55 PM
I think I will actually be done school in time for this, though I don't know the area and I am not qualified to judge, so I suppose that leaves the setup, paperwork, cleaning-type duties. Hm, I think I may just volunteer for this after all once I double check my schedule.

Oskaar
02-08-2011, 12:05 AM
We will be contacting people as soon as we have a better sense of the number of volunteers and where they will be placed.

Thanks for your patience.

Oskaar

TheAlchemist
02-08-2011, 08:15 PM
I've taken to bottling at least 8 beer bottles for every mead I do, not just for the sake of competitions, but so that I can sample smaller amounts as it continues to age - in cases where I've bottled early this has saved me a lot of wasted mead!

Brilliant!

I should try this...but I don't have any beer bottles...plus, how am I gonna cap 'em? I only have a corker.

icedmetal
02-09-2011, 12:23 AM
ATTN: Wayne Boncyk, MCI - Home 2010

Hey Wayne, is it safe to assume that should be 2011, and it doesn't really matter either way? :)

(from http://www.mazercup.com/mcih_shipping.htm#)

icedmetal
02-09-2011, 12:38 AM
Another thing: the entry form (http://www.mazercup.com/home/Web_Entry.htm) specifies 4 subcategories to 25, but the BJCP guidelines posted on the site only have three.

The official guidelines only list three as well... (http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style25.php)

I'm pretty sure I know the difference between C and D, but wasn't sure if there was associated text describing it. :rolleyes: Is a strawberry a berry? ;D

Oskaar
02-09-2011, 01:18 AM
We generally break out berry melomels because there are so many entries in this category. The other fruit entries aren't quite as numerous and stand a better chance at a fair evaluation against each other as opposed to berries. Strawberries, while not actually a berry can be entered as a berry 25D.

icedmetal
02-09-2011, 04:23 AM
Ahh, that makes a lot of sense! Thanks.

AToE
02-09-2011, 11:54 AM
Brilliant!

I should try this...but I don't have any beer bottles...plus, how am I gonna cap 'em? I only have a corker.

I just borrow a capper from the local home brew store, they give it out free. Make sure to use the beer bottles with a thick lip (the ones that require a cap remover, not the twist off) as they make a better seal.

wayneb
02-09-2011, 02:41 PM
Hey Wayne, is it safe to assume that should be 2011, and it doesn't really matter either way? :)

(from http://www.mazercup.com/mcih_shipping.htm#)

Yup! :drunken_smilie:

wildoates
02-09-2011, 07:56 PM
Good to know...when I get 'round to bottling my largess, I'll put at least 3 or 4 bottles worth of each batch into identical beer bottles in case I end up wanting to send them off to next year's MCI. Plan ahead, I always say.

I don't always do it, but I at least say it. :rolleyes:

yabodie
02-25-2011, 10:23 AM
7 entries should be at your door step on Monday Wayne.

I had extras of the three entries I submitted last year, including the really good mead from Mead Free or Die, and the other really good mead for Mazers Cup. I hope they aged well in the bottle and if not oh well.

Moderated by Oskaar

Oskaar
02-25-2011, 04:15 PM
7 entries should be at your door step on Monday Wayne.

I had extras of the three entries I submitted last year, including the really good mead from Mead Free or Die, and the other really good mead for Mazers Cup. I hope they aged well in the bottle and if not oh well.

Moderated by Oskaar

Heya Yabodie!

I had to moderate your post so that the other judges that frequent Got Mead wouldn't know what meads you are entering and have any pre-disposition one way or another toward what they may end up judging.

adTHANKSvance,

Oskaar

wildoates
02-25-2011, 04:24 PM
Picky, picky, picky.

;D

wayneb
02-25-2011, 05:00 PM
Glad you saw it before I did, Oskaar, or I might have had to disqualify myself from judging those categories. :rolleyes:

Seriously, we take that kind of thing very seriously at the Mazer Cup event. In order to preserve absolute anonymity, once the meads arrive here at my place, I will unpack them, but other folks will sort and tag the bottles with random numbers, so that I can't see what numbers go with what meads. We have to preserve the integrity of our judge pool.

Allen Brown
02-25-2011, 05:31 PM
Would it be in the traditional, or spiced category?

I would assume spiced, but I want to be sure.

Thanks!

wayneb
02-25-2011, 05:45 PM
Definitely not traditional, as traditional is reserved for meads that are honey, water, yeast (and optional nutrients) ONLY. The only point of contention might be whether it goes into category 26A (Metheglin) or 26C (Open Category). If cacao/cocoa/chocolate is the only additional ingredient, then 26A would be appropriate. Although chocolate is not universally regarded as an herb or spice, there is precedent for considering it as such in a mead, since chocolate adjuncts in beer would generally place the beer in BJCP Category 21 (Spice, Herb, Vegetable Beer), and the full guideline description of 26A says that chocolate is permitted. If there are other ingredients (besides the chocolate and honey) that influence the flavor profile in a noticeable way, then Category 26C is the appropriate place.

Bottom line is that any "weirdomel" that doesn't seem to fit completely into one of the other mead categories, should go in the Open Mead category.

wildoates
02-25-2011, 06:34 PM
Glad you saw it before I did, Oskaar, or I might have had to disqualify myself from judging those categories. :rolleyes:

Seriously, we take that kind of thing very seriously at the Mazer Cup event. In order to preserve absolute anonymity, once the meads arrive here at my place, I will unpack them, but other folks will sort and tag the bottles with random numbers, so that I can't see what numbers go with what meads. We have to preserve the integrity of our judge pool.

You ought to have someone like me judge, then...because no way would I even remember 30 seconds later.

??? Did I open that box? Whose entry was it? What's my name again?!

Heh

Dragonslayer
02-28-2011, 12:46 AM
Brilliant!

I should try this...but I don't have any beer bottles...plus, how am I gonna cap 'em? I only have a corker.

I always set aside a case of 750's from every batch for competitions. If it is a small batch (less than 10 gallons) I bottle the remainder in hoch splits. I have a bad habit of being very generous with family and friends. My best critics.

Last year I did a collaboration braggot with some beer making friends. We bottled it in 22 oz brown bottles. We will be shipping a few samples in the next week.

AToE
03-07-2011, 02:31 PM
I have 2 questions, one I feel dumb asking, the other I don't.

Feel dumb asking: are the paired tasting tickets mailed out or is my name just on a list? I half remember it was supposed to be mailed, but I can't find any info for or against that idea on the Mazer Cup site, and I ordered mine a month ago. As long as there's a list somewhere with my name on it I'm not concerned though.

Don't feel so dumb asking: Are volunteer confirmations supposed to have been sent out already or is this still in the works? I don't mean to be annoying about this, I just want to make sure I wasn't missed somehow! Don't want to show up there and not have tasks to do.

wayneb
03-07-2011, 04:05 PM
Paired Tasting tix are will-call, to be picked up at the door. That way you don't have to worry about losing them! All you'll need is an ID with your picture on it to pick them up.

As far as volunteer notifications, they went out earlier today. I don't see your name on the list of volunteers - did you fill out the volunteer online form? If not, no worries, we still have openings so you can do it now.

AToE
03-07-2011, 04:12 PM
Ha, guess I had good timing on that question then. I definitely did fill out the online form, but if something went wrong I can do it again right now.

AToE
03-07-2011, 04:33 PM
Ok, I resent the form. I think what might have happened last time is that I didn't fill out the experience box (because I don't have any special experience) and I probably didn't realize it was asking me to go back and fill that out.

akueck
03-08-2011, 01:16 AM
Sweet, three more weeks to mead. I should figure out what bottles I am bringing.

AToE
03-08-2011, 04:32 AM
Me too, I also have to figure out how best to pack it for my checked baggage.

danidiver
03-08-2011, 10:06 PM
Twelve bottle wine shipping boxes (the ones with the syrofoam inserts) can be checked as baggage. They protect the bottles from the baggage apes AND keep the contents at a fairly stable temperature.

This is how my husband and I have traveled with wine/beer/mead for the last 8 years. In the US TSA will look inside and leave you a nice love note but we've never lost a bottle of commercial or homebrew (fingers crossed).

Cheers!

Dani

AToE
03-09-2011, 12:42 PM
Thanks! I've never seen those, I might have to ask around at the liqour stores.

wayneb
03-09-2011, 01:17 PM
I personally like these: http://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S-6518/Wine-Shippers/Wine-Bottle-Shippers-12-Bottle-Pack

I don't know if ULINE has a Canadian distribution point, though. Something similar, if you can find it locally, will work fine.

AToE
03-09-2011, 07:38 PM
Nice. I might only bring a few 750ml's and a couple beer bottles worth though, so I'm considering just finding a rigid case that will fit into my luggage that I can fill with soft packing material (ie: my clothes, 2 birds, 1 stone!).

We'll see. I might also declare it as fragile, then it'll be handled a little better and they at least won't be as surprised when they see bottles in it on the x-ray.

Chevette Girl
03-10-2011, 12:58 AM
Wayne, thanks for the link, uline does have a Canadian distribution setup. That'll be good info for the chocolate group brew!