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calicojack
11-11-2011, 10:37 AM
so last night was our monthly brewing club meeting. I didn't have anything to take, but i showed up anyways. Low and behold, there's another mead maker there. apparently this guy is a "senior member" but hasn't attended the three meetings i've been to.

Anyways. This guy had a 2 year old blueberry mead. I don't know his exact recipe but i know that he used a champagne yeast and put his blueberries in the secondary. it was around 16%. It tasted like it. don't get me wrong it was a good warming all the way down, but it lacked in flavor.

anyways. I told him that i too had made a blueberry mead, and that it was a big hit last month. Eventually it came out that i "cheated" (his term) and used ocean spray blueberry cocktail.

for the rest of the night i was getting snide comments about how i "cheated" and that he would "never stoop to using a commercial product to make his mead."

I really can't stand folks like that. Mead isn't rocket science. To me, home brewing is fun because you get to experiment and find out what works for YOU.

Apparently a couple of the members caught the attitude he was slinging around and came up to me later in the evening and said that mine was better tasting. and it was. i knew it. i guess that was what was ticking me off about his attitude.

commonsenseman
11-11-2011, 10:45 AM
Sorry to hear that.

Clearly he was jealous of your mead.

Haters be hatin'.

ZwolfUpir
11-11-2011, 10:51 AM
I got something similar at my LBS. He's a nice guy and all, don't get me wrong, but he prides himself on knowing all things brewing and fermenting. He has contradicted so many things i have learned on here and through my meager experience, I just kinda smile an nod to him at this point. He's very knowledgeable about beer and wine and all, but he's telling me I need to boil my must and rack off several times till it's clear. Oh, and absolutely nothing will ever be drinkable for at least 3 years. Come X-mas I plan to bring him down some of my JAOv D-47 I made for X-mas presents and see what he thinks after that.

...I expect him to say it's to strong and needs to age out... But, I know better and so do my friends.

fatbloke
11-11-2011, 11:14 AM
I notice that all hobbies tend to attract fools like the one described. Particularly when those hobbies are put into the semi-formal setting of a club emvironment.

Personally, I just say bollocks to them! If you're happy with your results, that's all that matters. Plus GM members are more friendly and probably more knowledgeable, as we're "proper" mead people.

Plus, apart from the Polish government rules, theres no standard, so its impossible to "cheat".

schlapppy
11-11-2011, 11:43 AM
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.urlesque.com/media/2010/05/hatereagle.jpg

No seriously, I've had a similar experience. I went to a mead maker's meeting.

I brought a bottle of JOA to the meeting, as I figured it'd be fairly well recognized by the brewers, and I may be able to root out anyone that's been a gotmead members.

The dude who ran this meeting bashed the recipe for like 5 minutes..

it's like a practical joke, how unconventional!
using bread yeast is like using a mut of a yeast
who would every put all this crap in a carboy, how the hell are you supposed to get it out?
it always turns out tasing like rubbush


He later admitted that my version of this was probably the best he's ever tried. But he's personally seen it fail with so many novice mead makers, that he warns everyone to stay away from it.

I tried a few of his meads.. he even brought out a 15 year old mead. But they were all so damn sweet, they tasted like syrup.

Anyway, you are not alone. Haters gonna hate.

Loadnabox
11-11-2011, 12:16 PM
I might have another one of my experiments in the fridge right now, but I am SOOO looking forward to giving a serious go at a trad next.

All my meads so far have been very much on the sweet side and I fear they would be super sweet in a few years, so something drier that I can taste in a couple years fascinates me!

YogiBearMead726
11-11-2011, 02:36 PM
Ignorance is bliss...

I will say, I've come close to getting upset with a few people like those described; a "know-it-all" that doesn't know it all. I tend to just nod and smile if I know I won't be able to get a word in edge-wise.

I've also been slightly guilty of it myself a few times, but I try not to say I know something for sure if I haven't ever tried it myself. It's those who close their minds to other opinions and points of view who are real stubborn jerks. Hopefully I won't ever get to that point!

What's the old phrase? Knowledge is thinking you know, and wisdom is realizing you're never done learning? I probably butchered that, but I think you get the point. ;)

Chevette Girl
11-11-2011, 02:53 PM
I met this guy at a party a few years ago who makes distilled spirits and sells then (yeah, hasn't been caught yet) try to tell me how to make mead "properly"... I mean, really. I suspect I've been making wines longer than he's been legal to drink them ;D He had one or two valid points that were just different from how I do things, but he was mostly irrelevant or downright wrong the rest of the time. I just smiled and nodded and pointed him to gotmead.com. I notice he's not signed up yet. :)

I've had some good discussions with the guys at two of my local brew supply places but we don't mesh so well, one place focuses on making kit wines and the other, they all do beer and kit wines, both of them are you-brew places and I make mostly fruit wines and meads, so they don't quite know what to do with me, I think I'm going to have some good resources when I eventually start making beers. I don't know what the protocol is for bringing in samples though...

The golden rule I follow: "There is no one way. My way is just how I do it, and I'll tell you all about it, but ultimately you're free to do it however you like." The only time I'll tell someone they're doing something WRONG is when they are doing something potentially dangerous, like priming bottle bombs.

TheAlchemist
11-11-2011, 03:19 PM
God Bless the Laboratory!

wildoates
11-11-2011, 10:40 PM
Yeah, I met up with a fella at Faire a year or so ago who proceeded to tell me that everything I've learned here is wrong. I didn't have any to share with him, but I did taste his (out of a communal crystal geyser water bottle) and it was young, sweet, and tasting faintly floral, basically your typical bring to Faire to get the ladies toasted around the campfire brew, adequate for its purpose. he is supposedly working to go pro, or so he said.

Pete and Wayne told me that those types are around, just ignore them and do what's best. :)

Medsen Fey
11-12-2011, 08:58 AM
I told him that i too had made a blueberry mead, and that it was a big hit last month. Eventually it came out that i "cheated" (his term) and used ocean spray blueberry cocktail.

for the rest of the night i was getting snide comments about how i "cheated" and that he would "never stoop to using a commercial product to make his mead."


There are more ways to make great mead than there are people who make mead. Anyone that cannot appreciate a good mead because of its pedigree is missing out.

I've encountered a few wine snobs who wouldn't deign to drink a homemade wine/mead. I figure that's fine - more good mead for the rest of us.

Soyala_Amaya
11-12-2011, 10:31 AM
I met a couple of SCA snobs not too long ago who, when they learned I made mead, sought me out at the event we were at (not SCA event). We talked pleasantly about brewing and such for a while till I said I had some bottles in my bag. I offered them choice of strawberry, blueberry, or orange, and their entire demeanor froze.

"Oh, we don't do...melomels. We only do [U]traditionals[U]." The way they sneered out traditionals you could tell they were saying 'real mead'.

I walked away and talked to other brewers and had fantastic reviews for the entire weekend. Their loss for never even taking a taste.

Jerks happen.

Chevette Girl
11-12-2011, 12:14 PM
I've encountered a few wine snobs who wouldn't deign to drink a homemade wine/mead. I figure that's fine - more good mead for the rest of us.

My friend's mother is an avowed wine snob, to the point where she has been known to spit "undrinkables" across the room. She tried but didn't like and politely declined more than a sip of a sweet mead I shared, but she finished her glass of my strawberry wine :) So I've broadened the horizons of one wine snob. So far so good. And I know next time she's around to bring something dry.

Loadnabox
11-12-2011, 12:36 PM
@CG:

My LHBS is pretty well focused around beer as well with one or two wine kits on the shelf for us strange people that waltz in.

It's also a vitamin/health juice bar like you would expect to find in SoCal

I brought in a sample of JOA for the owner and lead beer guy. They all loved it and wrote down the recipe :-D They didn't seem to mind in the slightest that I was bringing hooch into the shop

ken_schramm
11-13-2011, 12:15 PM
"As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."
Socrates

If Socrates was that smart, I should just shut the &^% up, but alas, I can't.

If your mead is good, then your mead is good. Congratulations, kind sir. Nice work. I don't think that ends the discussion, though. The semantic question lies in whether you made it, or someone else did, or helped. The other semantic question is whether you're cheating if you aren't in a game with rules.

I have no objection to someone using all manner of commercial product in a mead, but there is a limit to how much credit you can take for it if someone else took care of the blend of fruits or the degree of sweetness that blend creates. Some competitions frown on that kind of behavior for exactly that reason (don't enter anywhere, and you're not cheating).

The same can be said for any other creative endeavor. It takes some developed knowledge to find sources of truly great bacon. It is another skill and knowledge level entirely to raise pigs and cure your own. You and the guy next to you say you have totally homemade BLT sandwiches. You both made the bread, and grew the lettuce and the tomatoes, but you bought your bacon, and he's a farmer who raised and ground the wheat, raised pigs and made his own bacon (I know people like this - they are "gods" to me). Who wins the truth in advertising comparison here? And for that matter, sitting next to a guy who busts his butt and gets his fingernails dirty in ways it's hard to imagine, it takes some serious hubris to call him a snob.

That level of acknowledgement and obligation to divulge extends to wine - you can't say it is from estate grow fruit if it is not, and you can't say it is estate bottled if it is not. But you can still call it wine. Maybe we need to address those naming delineations in the nascent world of mead.

So your mead has commercial ingredients. That doesn't give anyone license to be rude to you. It's a delicious mead. You just might not be able to enter it into some competitions.

The other thing I will say in defense of the so-called "elitists" is that someone does actually have to grow and harvest and juice the fruit, and create the flavor/acidity/sweetness/tannin blend that is so satisfying. In the wine-making world, there is great and deserved reverence of those people. Grow your own grapes and your hands are brown in the spring and summer, purple in the fall, and frost bitten from pruning in the winter. Equating a mead or wine made with commercial ingredients - and the effort it takes to make it - to one crafted from the ground up is a bit of a slap in their face. Walk a mile in their shoes before you jump to conclusions about who is being insensitive. If perspective is taken into account, and respect is granted on both sides of the table, then both sides can move forward with dignity.

It's like the BLT analogy - the farmer doesn't have license to be rude to you, and you don't have license to call your sandwich "totally homemade." As for me, I may have written a book and may make some decent mead, but I bow down before people like Kirk Jones and Mark Beran who make mead with honey from their own bees. Those guys are bad @$$ed in ways that I simply am not. I'm just another schlep who makes some decent mead with someone else's honey. And likes to write too much.

Ken

ken_schramm
11-13-2011, 12:28 PM
I've encountered a few wine snobs who wouldn't deign to drink a homemade wine/mead.

There is great challenge for me in extending patience and courtesy to those who have never grown or fermented anything in their life, but who pass vitriolic judgment on those who have. But it must be done (extending courtesy), lest we sink ever closer to their level.

Am I as bad as they for feeling but not expressing it? Could well be.

KDS

AToE
11-13-2011, 04:07 PM
I have to say I agree completely, nobody "up the food chain of awesomeness" should be being rude to someone less far up the chain - if someone sneered at me for not having my own bees, growing my own fruit, or cutting and aging and toasting my own oak (don't think anyone actually lives long enough to grow their own persay!) I would definitely lose major respect for them.

That said, if they simply pointed out that they did these things themselves I would be in awe of them and would rightfully consider them more advanced than myself - and I would not present my wares as the same kind of product as theirs.

I think the problem lies in the rudeness, not necessarily someone considering themselves "elite" - the fact of the matter is that in any craft there truely is such a thing as an elite, those who just do things more wholistically, more hands on. In recording music for example the common standard now is for people to replace (or layer) their naturally recorded drum sounds with samples that were recorded by the best engineers in the best rooms with the best mics on the best drums. This allows the hobbiest to create better sounding recordings - I personally no longer do this (hopefully... never know when I may make a mistake and have to lean on samples again) as I have finally learned the skills to "truely" create the sounds myself... but there's always the people above me who also craft their own instruments, microphones, preamps, and build their recording spaces with their own hands. (And if someone actually has the skill to create amazing sounds but choses to use samples for artistic/creative purposes then that's a whole nuther matter)

I expect those above me to be respectful to me, and I never ever belittle those less advanced than myself - but those using samples should openly point out that they themselves did not create those drum sounds, just as I openly admit that I use tools/ingredients made by those more advanced than myself.

So ending my own rant, I'm not in any way defending elitists who look down on those less wholistic in the craft than themselves - I just wanted to agree with Ken that there is also a degree of humbleness that should extend to those who have taken the craft further than ourselves (there's a reason I very much consider myself beginner/intermediate level in meadmaking!).

Also take into consideration the level of passion some people have for a craft, to me mead making is something I care a "fair bit" about, but not something I dedicate my life to, not something that gets me up in the morning - so different people will rightfully have different degrees to how seriously they take this.

At the end of the day, we all are making, distributing and consuming drugs, so we should at least laugh at that part of it!

beeboy
11-13-2011, 09:52 PM
I took two bottles of mead into the local brewing store last year, one was made with (I bow my head in shame) Sam's Club honey while the second bottle was made with Cabbage Palm honey pulled from my hives. The favorite ended up being the mead from Sams Club, seems it had a lighter flavor and color. Go figure, I'm glad I didn't waste a bottle of Elderberry Mead on them.

TheAlchemist
11-13-2011, 10:53 PM
I'm glad I didn't waste a bottle of Elderberry Mead on them.

Isn't Elderberry said to impart wisdom? In which case casting such pearls before such swine may pay off in the longer term...

AToE
11-14-2011, 03:35 AM
;) There's never any accounting for taste.

Brimminghorn
11-14-2011, 08:16 AM
Very very well said Mr. Schramm.

Cheers,
Jon

Matrix4b
11-14-2011, 01:16 PM
Honestly, I haven't really encountered any of the type that you say.

Personally, I like knowing that I have whole ingredients that I went from raw honey, raw fruit/spice, and other ingredients. I may short cut a little using a comercial concentrate or an extract that I haven't used before.

The one horror that I came across was at a Ren Fair where they were selling mead in the craft show using Kool-Aid as the flavoring (for those not in the States, Kool-Aid is a kids drink consisiting of an artificially powder that you mix with sugar and water).

I supose the reason why I didn't come across someone that was an elitist is that I am not a part of any clubs and have relied on my own judgement after reading Ken's book and started on my own, with some advice and research of my own on websites such as this. Looking at recipies, comments and the like.

If some wish to use Ocen Spray, Concentrated Juice, or something else, then fine by them. I don't know how good my stuff is compaired to those that do sumit their Mead to contests but I brew for my taste and the taste of my friends and I like it sweet, prob more than most judges.

I am aways interested on how others do it but you do get the blow hards that don't know anything about a subject that they are talking about but insist that they know best. Agree with the smile and nod and walk away.

Matrix

wildoates
11-14-2011, 02:34 PM
;) There's never any accounting for taste.

That's what my mom always used to say, and it's true. I can appreciate the awesomeness of someone who is able to go it from scratch, but the fact that good results can be had from many different ingredients is good enough for me. There is a place for it all, sez I.

Chevette Girl
11-14-2011, 03:44 PM
One of my best early-on wines was from bottled juice, pomegranate and elderberry. There's no shame in anything you can ferment, as long as it tastes good at the end! I always report on my labels whether it was made from fresh fruit or bottled juice or wine kit or whatever so I do my best not to mislead anyone about my ingredients and their origins.

Really, using bottled juice in a mead is no more "cheating" than using grape juice from a wine kit, and plenty of people I know claim to make wine and have never processed a grape themselves.

You do what you can do, and whatever you can't do, you buy... and not everyone has the facilities to beekeep or grow all their own produce, if I put myself under that restriction, I could never even try JAO!

I claim to be a winemaker, I don't claim to be a good one, I don't think my tastes align with the rest of the world's, but I'm in this to make stuff I like to drink, because in general I like what I make better than I like what's on the market, and that's what's important to me.

BBBF
11-14-2011, 05:52 PM
"As for me, all I know is that I know nothing."
Socrates

If Socrates was that smart, I should just shut the &^% up, but alas, I can't.

If your mead is good, then your mead is good. Congratulations, kind sir. Nice work. I don't think that ends the discussion, though. The semantic question lies in whether you made it, or someone else did, or helped. The other semantic question is whether you're cheating if you aren't in a game with rules.

I have no objection to someone using all manner of commercial product in a mead, but there is a limit to how much credit you can take for it if someone else took care of the blend of fruits or the degree of sweetness that blend creates. Some competitions frown on that kind of behavior for exactly that reason (don't enter anywhere, and you're not cheating).

The same can be said for any other creative endeavor. It takes some developed knowledge to find sources of truly great bacon. It is another skill and knowledge level entirely to raise pigs and cure your own. You and the guy next to you say you have totally homemade BLT sandwiches. You both made the bread, and grew the lettuce and the tomatoes, but you bought your bacon, and he's a farmer who raised and ground the wheat, raised pigs and made his own bacon (I know people like this - they are "gods" to me). Who wins the truth in advertising comparison here? And for that matter, sitting next to a guy who busts his butt and gets his fingernails dirty in ways it's hard to imagine, it takes some serious hubris to call him a snob.

That level of acknowledgement and obligation to divulge extends to wine - you can't say it is from estate grow fruit if it is not, and you can't say it is estate bottled if it is not. But you can still call it wine. Maybe we need to address those naming delineations in the nascent world of mead.

So your mead has commercial ingredients. That doesn't give anyone license to be rude to you. It's a delicious mead. You just might not be able to enter it into some competitions.

The other thing I will say in defense of the so-called "elitists" is that someone does actually have to grow and harvest and juice the fruit, and create the flavor/acidity/sweetness/tannin blend that is so satisfying. In the wine-making world, there is great and deserved reverence of those people. Grow your own grapes and your hands are brown in the spring and summer, purple in the fall, and frost bitten from pruning in the winter. Equating a mead or wine made with commercial ingredients - and the effort it takes to make it - to one crafted from the ground up is a bit of a slap in their face. Walk a mile in their shoes before you jump to conclusions about who is being insensitive. If perspective is taken into account, and respect is granted on both sides of the table, then both sides can move forward with dignity.

It's like the BLT analogy - the farmer doesn't have license to be rude to you, and you don't have license to call your sandwich "totally homemade." As for me, I may have written a book and may make some decent mead, but I bow down before people like Kirk Jones and Mark Beran who make mead with honey from their own bees. Those guys are bad @$$ed in ways that I simply am not. I'm just another schlep who makes some decent mead with someone else's honey. And likes to write too much.

Ken

Ken,

While I agree with you that nobody has the right to be rude and that people (including you) that are growing even some part of their ingredients are doing something extra awesome, I don't think you have to go as far back as you say to call something home made. If I designed and built a "homemade" air plane, would it be any less impressive to know that I went to a big box store and bought some nuts and bolts off the shelf. Would I really have had to mine my own iron, create my own alloy and cast/machine every part to say I built my own plane? I think the term term homemade has a lot more wiggle room than you are giving it. I have malted my own grains and brewed with them (homegrown hops too). I might agree with you that my homebrew to be more homemade, but I would not tell an extract brewer that his beer isn't homemade. What else would it be? Malt extract isn't beer. He bought it, took it home and made it into beer.


Finally, the OP didn't cheat. What were the rules? Even if both meads were entered into the Mazer cup, there are no rules against using store bought juice.

AToE
11-14-2011, 06:05 PM
Like with all thing's it a sliding scale, not black and white, I agree. It's not whether or not something is homemade, it's to what degree is it homemade... anything other than fully store bought qualifies as homemade to at least some degree in my opinion.

TheAlchemist
11-14-2011, 07:13 PM
Yes.
We've entered the grey zone.

<rant on>

If I'm working on a sheep-to-shawl project, do I have to raise the sheep to call it 'home made?" Do I have to raise the grain that fed the sheep? If I dye my wool with kool-aid (not to malign kool-aid...I grew up on the stuff...) do I have to credit the kool-aid manufacturers?

And what about The Great Earth Mother Herself? What about Father Sky? Both have been involved in the making of any fermented beverage. What about Wankan Tanka? What about Creator of All? Not that I'm shy about offering credit, gratitude, you name it, to Creator... but does this mean I don't have a "homemade" mead?

Simon Buxton is the only beekeeper I know of who can let his bees know what the nektar need is when he's making his journeywork metheglyn and get the results that are intended.

<rant off>

ken_schramm
11-14-2011, 11:15 PM
Ken,

While I agree with you that nobody has the right to be rude and that people (including you) that are growing even some part of their ingredients are doing something extra awesome, I don't think you have to go as far back as you say to call something home made. If I designed and built a "homemade" air plane, would it be any less impressive to know that I went to a big box store and bought some nuts and bolts off the shelf. Would I really have had to mine my own iron, create my own alloy and cast/machine every part to say I built my own plane? I think the term term homemade has a lot more wiggle room than you are giving it. I have malted my own grains and brewed with them (homegrown hops too). I might agree with you that my homebrew to be more homemade, but I would not tell an extract brewer that his beer isn't homemade. What else would it be? Malt extract isn't beer. He bought it, took it home and made it into beer.

Finally, the OP didn't cheat. What were the rules? Even if both meads were entered into the Mazer cup, there are no rules against using store bought juice.

The main point is that those who do he initial crafting deserve the credit for doing so. Pancakes are not "from scratch" if you used Bisquick. A kit car is still a kit car. When you do not engage in the elemental levels of making something, you move from "making" it to "assembling" it. Kit carts can be cool, and they are great reflections on those who put in the time and skill to assemble them. Extract brews can be delicious. Are they "homebrews"? Sure, I guess. Extract beers, though, do not require the skill level of all grain beers. Paraphrasing Alan, it's about degrees, not absolutes.

Planes, though, are not a good comparison here. Home built? Yes. Impressive? Totally. Homemade? I dunno. That's a semantic question. At some point (and I think food, and mead or wine in particular, are good examples), you actually can make something from the ground up. I've got a Gewürtz pyment going from boxed juice right now. I don't think of it the same way I do THoD.

The issue of using commercially pre-blended ingredients has long been a sore spot among competitive brewers. The rules have been left vague in a lot of competitions, the Mazer Cup included, for a long time. Much of that was to be inclusive and not exclusive. Is it cheating? Not unless someone prohibited it in the rules. I'm afraid I have to come down on the side of those who prefer that you blend the flavors yourself, but I don't make the rules anymore.

Many great things are team efforts, and how could there possibly be shame in that? I simply feel I should err on the side of giving everyone who pitched in as much credit and gratitude as they have earned for their contributions.

BBBF
11-15-2011, 01:16 AM
I still fail to see how a chef in a city, that carefully blends ingredients chosen from any number of stores should have the meal he prepared be considered inferior to a farmer's because he didn't grow them himself. Bisquik is sold as pancake batter. Blueberry cocktail is not sold as a wine kit.

Now if you were trying to say that adding water and yeast to a box kit is more like making a BLT because it only uses 3 or 4 ingredients and had simple. practically foolproof instructions. And making great wine from grapes is a whole other league and takes more winemaking skill, that is understandable.

Making great wine from grapes that you grew yourself just means you have a green thumb in addition to being a good wine maker. The most talented wine maker in the world may never step on a vineyard. There might be a great meadmaker in Wyoming that needs to order orange blossom honey from FLORIDA and vanilla from Madagascar. Maybe he gets better orange flavor from mamalade than orange zest.

Of wine, mead and beer making, wine was the last one I tried. I had little interest in it because the most important part of the process was growing the grapes. However, you could take 5 gallons and I could take 5 gallons and we will still end up with something different. So there is still some skill on the fermenting side and that is what is judged. I can see where someone that is involved in the farming side would like to be in a competition where that is also a factor, but unless otherwise noted the end result is the only part that is evaluated. What you started with maters, but there aren't many restrictions.

AToE
11-15-2011, 01:39 AM
I don't think there's any dissagreement in concept here, just dissagreements in exact definitions of degrees along the scale.

Oh yes, I recognise when a conversation slides towards semantics! Especially written ones with no tone of voice or body language.

calicojack
11-15-2011, 10:06 AM
There is a difference between the person that goes down to the local brew shop, picks up a "kit" (extract, wine, or all grain) and "assembles" it and the person that takes the time to figure out what ingredients he wants to use to achieve his/her desired flavor, goes to the store, buys it, assembles it and have it turn out to be something that everyone likes.

It's like saying that a joe blow diyer didn't make his shed because he went to home depot, bought wood, nails, paint and shingles; then he applied well developed construction techniques to assemble it and turn it into a structure.

:rolleyes:

maybe i'm reading things the wrong way, but some of the posts in this thread made me go :eek: and become :(

AToE
11-15-2011, 04:03 PM
Nah, like my last post said, we're just debating semantics at this point.

Nobody would say that that person didn't build the shed! BUT who wouldn't be more impressed if someone mined the metal to make the tools, forged them (and the nails), cut the wood themselves... the point is that there are levels of DIY here that should be acknowledged, not that anyone in any of the levels for any craft should be disrespectful to others!

EDIT: I'll bring it full circle back to the original post - a mead made with a pre-made juice (and this isn't a pure juice, it's a pre-blended item) is worlds more advanced than fermenting a wine kit or beer kit with no modifications. But it's less advanced than taking all the pure juices that went into that blend and blending them oneself for the mead, which is less advanced than chosing the fruit and making the juices, which is less advanced than growing the fruit too, which is less advanced than having one's own hive on top of all this...

... which is less advanced than developing technology to speak to the bees and tell them which flowers to visit, and less advanced than spending 60 years breeding your own special kind of flower specifically for it's nectar and telling the bees to visit those! (Had to inject some humour here!)

AToE
11-15-2011, 04:14 PM
And one last thing that I think helps clarify what Ken was saying and why I agreed with it - it is absolutely out of line for someone to be rude to someone else for using products or techniques in meadmaking that they consider less advanced than their own. But this is a two way street, assuming that there is no rudeness involved, us who haven't advanced meadmaking as much as others should respect the extra time and devotion that has gone into their work.

Alllllllllllllll the rest of those 2 posts and the other posts were just examples to clarify where this thought was coming from, not to be taken as any kind of insult by anyone.

skunkboy
11-15-2011, 09:54 PM
Wow, bummer...

Medsen Fey
11-15-2011, 10:58 PM
There is a difference between the person that goes down to the local brew shop, picks up a "kit" (extract, wine, or all grain) and "assembles" it and the person that takes the time to figure out what ingredients he wants to use to achieve his/her desired flavor, goes to the store, buys it, assembles it and have it turn out to be something that everyone likes.





EDIT: I'll bring it full circle back to the original post - a mead made with a pre-made juice (and this isn't a pure juice, it's a pre-blended item) is worlds more advanced than fermenting a wine kit or beer kit with no modifications. But it's less advanced than taking all the pure juices that went into that blend and blending them oneself for the mead, which is less advanced than chosing the fruit and making the juices, which is less advanced than growing the fruit too, which is less advanced than having one's own hive on top of all this...

... which is less advanced than developing technology to speak to the bees and tell them which flowers to visit, and less advanced than spending 60 years breeding your own special kind of flower specifically for it's nectar and telling the bees to visit those! (Had to inject some humour here!)

Guys (and gals), this discussion has gone in an odd direction. Frankly I don't give a tinker's damn how much "effort" went into producing a mead or wine. I care about the taste of the final result. Whether you grabbed a bottle of juice and ferment it or whether you crossed you own grapes and created a whole new variety and grew them into a vineyard to make your wine is irrelevant to me. Being entirely selfish, I only care about how it smells and tastes as I imbibe it.

I have made wine kits, and ended up with a better bottle of wine than some that were estate bottled. I make some meads from fruit that I grow or pick in the wild. I take pride in this. I do not take as much pride in making a wine kit. But regardless of my effort or pride, I try to let my taste buds decide for themselves what is good, better and best. The amount of my effort may have no direct bearing on the quality of the results (though I do believe that better efforts, with better techniques and better ingredients to lead to better product).

Which gets back to what I said about pedigree and not judging a mead based on how much effort the mead crafter put in. A mead made from Kool-Aid may be superior to one made from hand harvested fruit, and even if a great mead is made with humble ingredients, it deserves to be savored on its own merits.

calicojack
11-15-2011, 11:19 PM
Guys Frankly I don't give a tinker's damn how much "effort" went into producing a mead or wine. I care about the taste of the final result. Whether you grabbed a bottle of juice and ferment it or whether you crossed you own grapes and created a whole new variety and grew them into a vineyard to make your wine is irrelevant to me. Being entirely selfish, I only care about how it smells and tastes as I imbibe it.


this... :D

TheAlchemist
11-15-2011, 11:33 PM
What makes good music?
1.) Good Composer writing a Good Composition
2.) Good Musicians playing Good Instruments
3.) Good Conductor

What makes a good wine/mead?
1.) Good Terroir
2.) Good Grape/Honey/Fruit
3.) Good Vintner/Mazer

AngryNord
11-16-2011, 01:32 AM
Good God, I need to be up in four hours. I hope this makes sense.

All I have to add that may be new is something my favorite writer said once.
"Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by @$$holes"
William Gibson.

I have made a couple dozen batches, I consider myself still learning about everything. I have been told "...Mead isn't wine, it isn't beer, it isn't anything", and still I plug on. I make what I and my friends like, and learn from my mistakes. And in the end what matters most is that you enjoy what you do, as you do it, and the result is shared among friends and enjoyed. And I have some brutally honest friends, I would know if what I made tasted bad, too dry/sweet, or if it made them want more. So far I have been lucky. Do what you like doing, screw the 1 in 20 that don't like it, they don't know what they have in the glass.

AToE
11-16-2011, 03:03 AM
Definitely. :) In the end it doesn't matter to me that most people say my meads are too dry - I like what I like and that's what I'll make! Those who make it sweet, well they aren't making it for me. If someone handed me some awesome mead made with Sunny-D I'd head right to the store, buy some Sunny-D and get fermenting!;)

calicojack
11-16-2011, 08:22 AM
. If someone handed me some awesome mead made with Sunny-D I'd head right to the store, buy some Sunny-D and get fermenting!;)

darnit dude.

<---- dashes out to wm....

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 01:03 PM
:) you know, I think I have the willpower to leave that one OFF my to-do list...

Boogaloo
11-16-2011, 02:26 PM
As a newbee I thought I'd give my two cents on this topic. I've prided myself for having the ability to partake in multiple hobbies and what I've found is that no matter what type of 'scene' you get into there will always be elitists. In a lot of circles I'm in they call these people Purists. It's good to have them and there is a place for them. They preserve technique and culture. The problem is they tend to get arrogant and cocky.

I was a professional dancer before and you would not believe the idiotic things club dancers do. YES.. it's kinda like those dance movies where the 'battle' it out on the dancefloor. To them it's always, 'you're doing this move wrong.' or 'you're mixing styles. Basically one group is all about keeping the dance moves as they were originally done and the other group is all about mixing in new styles to innovate new moves and styles.

As for my new Mead hobby I'm on my 4th batch. First was a traditional, 2nd a hydromel, and right now I have a JAO and a Cyser going. The Cyser is from a frozen concentrated apple juice can! I'm sure the elitists would frown upon this.. but you know what, it's bubblin away right now and I can't wait to try it out.

A main point I'm trying to make also is that these purists forget where they come from or they are not 'all about mead'. I hope that in the future I'll run into a mead maker and when they tell me they are using frozen apple concentrate or pre blended juice I can say,'Hey, I've done that too, let me try some!' To me someone who is unwilling to try these types of mead or who looks down on people who use these ingredients, is not as interesting as the mead makers we have on here.

Chevette Girl
11-16-2011, 04:37 PM
The Cyser is from a frozen concentrated apple juice can! I'm sure the elitists would frown upon this.. but you know what, it's bubblin away right now and I can't wait to try it out.

A main point I'm trying to make also is that these purists forget where they come from or they are not 'all about mead'. I hope that in the future I'll run into a mead maker and when they tell me they are using frozen apple concentrate or pre blended juice I can say,'Hey, I've done that too, let me try some!'

Everyone's gotta start somewhere. My first (rather messy and completely unresearched) wine experiment was with homemade wild grape juice, second was a merlot kit, and then some kind soul got me a book on brewing so my third wine was canned apple juice from that book. And I cracked a bottle of that within the last year or two, and it was pretty good. Not stellar like my fourth batch (red currant), but certainly better than some things I've made, even from fresh fruit.