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LBussy
03-26-2013, 09:54 AM
There's not really a clear forum choice that I can see for a question like this so apologies if it is misplaced.

May a Show Mead use stabilizers and back-sweetening (honey of course)? Made my "return to brewing" mead that's just turned out real pretty and I want to make sure *just in case* I ever decide to compete.

Obligatory picture:

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-H0eL5AMHsFo/UU9jQp6st_I/AAAAAAAABOk/RMexFo4IEWo/s512/photo%2520%25281%2529.jpg

It is a N Dakota Wildflower Honey which was just a gorgeous color. I hope I can get more.

fatbloke
03-26-2013, 10:11 AM
Show mead = honey, water and yeast.

Anything else would be classed as traditional.

So if you don't mind that i.e. a traditional rather than a show mead, then stabilise away.......back sweetening with honey can cause a bit of a protein haze. If you get that it'd need clearing again.....

LBussy
03-26-2013, 10:24 AM
So how many people actually compete with a show mead? IS there typically enough to stand separate, or does it get lumped in with traditional anyway?

WVMJack
03-26-2013, 05:34 PM
Would a fining agent like Bentonite be forbidden from a show mead since it does not actually become a part of the mead, its similar to filtering, certainly you can filter a show mead? WVMJ

Midnight Sun
03-26-2013, 05:48 PM
So how many people actually compete with a show mead? IS there typically enough to stand separate, or does it get lumped in with traditional anyway?

At least at the local competitions around here (read "throughout Alaska"), there is no separate division for show mead. It makes sense when you consider that the end result of a show mead is the same as a traditional: exhibiting the character(s) the honey used. The differences, if there are any, will be more subtle than a judge can typically detect.

Many competitions adhere to the BJCP guidelines. These mainly concern beer, but there are categories for mead. Click here (http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php) for the online style guidelines.

LBussy
03-28-2013, 09:36 AM
I'm familiar with the BJCP guidelines. The challenge I have here is that the Mazer Cup guidelines do not appear to be published online and all I can find is opinions on a discussion forum about what makes and doesn't make a show mead. That does not seem very transparent to me.

Maybe I'm over-studying for the test?

Soyala_Amaya
03-28-2013, 11:25 AM
The Mazer Cup uses BJCP guidelines and I can find no separate category for Show Meads in either home or commercial competition. As for the Mazer Cup home entry rules http://www.mazercup.com/MCI_docs/mch_entry_rules.pdf

If you can't read the online PDF a download is on this page http://www.mazercup.com/mch_enter.htm

LBussy
03-28-2013, 11:44 AM
Thanks.

So now I'm really confuzzled. I was led to believe that a "show mead" category was recognized somewhere as a distinct category to highlight the increased level of difficulty overcome in making a mead with just honey, yeast and water.

Is that not the case? Or is this just a "discussion" classification where I can brag but it really doesn't apply anywhere?

Soyala_Amaya
03-28-2013, 11:49 AM
Let me tell you exactly what I told my fiance the other day when he asked me the same thing about why I was making one...

TADA!!! *jazz hands*

As far as I can figure out, it's a brewer's brew for other brewer's that you can brag about. It's for show. And that's ok, as long as you're ok with that.

LBussy
03-28-2013, 12:00 PM
Well I can completely understand that, the way people were talking about it in other threads/forums you'd think there were some ruling authority that was going to smite me if the vodka from my airlock got sucked back in. :)

fatbloke
03-28-2013, 03:44 PM
Well I can completely understand that, the way people were talking about it in other threads/forums you'd think there were some ruling authority that was going to smite me if the vodka from my airlock got sucked back in. :)
I suspect that show meads are about the purests and an obsession. I understand that some shows/competitions do separate them out as a different category. dunno about the mazer, just see the various pictures etc hereabouts.

I suspect it's all to do with if you make a traditional, you get to use the nutrients/energiser etc, but each different type/brand/make will likely give a test batch of the same honey/water/yeast a different flavour. Plus with "trads" you get to modify the flavour with acids, maybe tannins, or god alone knows what.

Whereas with a "show" it's just the water/honey/yeast that can affect flavour (mainly, as the yeasts can react differently depending on the temperature etc etc).

Hence I suspect it's just easier to follow convention and if you decide to use nutrients etc, then just call it a "trad". If you get a good result from just honey/water/yeast, then what the hell, boast about it being a "show".....

Grimm312
03-28-2013, 08:56 PM
As I probably won't be competing with my meads, unless I get really good and people are like "WOW, this is brilliant!", I'm done with show meads. I've done one and it's going horribly slow, and I'm worried it's going to stall.

All I can say is it better bloody taste good ...

Medsen Fey
03-28-2013, 09:23 PM
Would a fining agent like Bentonite be forbidden from a show mead...

That is an excellent question!
I don't believe there is any governing body to make these determinations which is more qualified than us "GotMeaders." Perhaps we should make a poll and take a vote?

Soyala_Amaya
03-28-2013, 09:36 PM
My personal vote is "no". Show=honey, yeast, water. No filtering, no fining, no stabilizing, nothing but yeast and time. I'm completely committed to the idea that it might be 3-4 years before it is 'done'.

NZMatt
03-29-2013, 02:20 AM
It is a N Dakota Wildflower Honey which was just a gorgeous color. I hope I can get more.

That is indeed a beautiful color. How dark was the honey to start with? About that color?

LBussy
03-29-2013, 06:32 AM
That is indeed a beautiful color. How dark was the honey to start with? About that color?

It was ... brown I guess is all I can say. Similar to buckwheat honey I have seen, Wonderful taste. All I can do is hope it came from flowers and not from some toxic clean-up site. :)