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Thread: Oaked Show Mead

  1. #1

    Default Oaked Show Mead

    So, if I age my traditional mead in an oak container can I still enter it in a competition, Mazer Cup for example, as a traditional or do I have to enter it into the open category? Is there any difference in aging in an oak container and using oak cubes/slats/chips, competition wise?

  2. #2

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    If the oak flavor is upfront or dominant, then it's considered an ingredient so you enter it in the open category. If the flavor is faint or subtle you can enter it in the traditional category. If you plan on entering in the traditional category, I suggest tasting it frequently... at least once a week. Remember, the smaller the barrel the more contact the mead has with the wood. This means the flavor absorbs faster. The oak flavor doesn't fade with time. You can over oak these. If you pay for a patron membership there's a great thread about oak barrels by Oskaar.
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

  3. #3

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    Excellent information, thank you.

  4. #4

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    Although there was a guy on the Facebook mead maker forum who oaked his port for 6 years. Rabbit's foot Meadery has one that's been in for 16 years I think. Taste is subjective... oak the hell out of it I guess.

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  5. #5

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    Well I might, but for now I just want to be able to enter something into the dry traditional category and not do something that will make my mesquite traditional ineligible. It needs just a bit of body to make it pop.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pokerfacepablo View Post
    Although there was a guy on the Facebook mead maker forum who oaked his port for 6 years. Rabbit's foot Meadery has one that's been in for 16 years I think. Taste is subjective... oak the hell out of it I guess.

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    Thi will of course depend on how used your barrel is.
    Once all the good bits leech out, they're gone.
    That's why bourbon barrels are used only once, making them great for mead, and why wineries dispose of them after 4 years - much more used and less flavour will impart.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  7. #7
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    Thats interesting. I always thought that traditional mead wouldn't be penalized if it was aged in oak. Considering if we were making mead 200 years ago, heck, 500 years ago, wouldn't we be using oak vessels?

    Or am I thinking about clay/ceramic?


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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondor View Post
    Well I might, but for now I just want to be able to enter something into the dry traditional category and not do something that will make my mesquite traditional ineligible. It needs just a bit of body to make it pop.
    I'm not positive,,,but. I think you will get some "Grip" added but not "body". I would do a small test first if your looking for body. I haven't seen that, (body) from my own experience.
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  9. #9

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    No body but complexity.

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  10. #10
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    ~chuckle~ I am the one that has aged my elder mead (port style) in oak for 6 (actually 7) years. But it was mostly neutral By that time. I had to add oak staves to it to get oak into it. The barrel aging was mostly for the micro evaporation and the concentration that brings. I will be bringing a couple of bottles of it to the mazer cup this year, if anyone wants to taste it.

    Brian

  11. #11

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    That is so friggn cool man. I have a port recipe that I want to oak so badly after seeing your post. Did you use a new or old barrel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mannye View Post
    Thats interesting. I always thought that traditional mead wouldn't be penalized if it was aged in oak. Considering if we were making mead 200 years ago, heck, 500 years ago, wouldn't we be using oak vessels?

    Or am I thinking about clay/ceramic?


    Sent from my TARDIS at the restaurant at the end of the universe while eating Phil.
    My guess would be quite probably. Wines went in amphorae up to Roman times, but it looks like the Romans were the ones who converted to transporting wine into oak barrels. And then they discovered the yumminess of it. http://vinepair.com/wine-101/wine-ag...istory-lesson/
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by storm1969 View Post
    ~chuckle~ I am the one that has aged my elder mead (port style) in oak for 6 (actually 7) years. But it was mostly neutral By that time. I had to add oak staves to it to get oak into it. The barrel aging was mostly for the micro evaporation and the concentration that brings. I will be bringing a couple of bottles of it to the mazer cup this year, if anyone wants to taste it.

    Brian
    I would love a taste Storm. When you get the micro evaporation do you notice better mouthfeel? A more intense flavor. Please do tell!
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  14. #14
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    Better mouthfeel, way more intensity. I've lost through evaporation about a quarter of the barrel. That really intensifies that flavors and everything. This is a very deliberate style, there is oxynification (sp?), the color is black....

    I will be starting a new batch in a week. I will put it in the brew log.

  15. #15

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    For whatever this adds, the 2015 BJCP guidelines state: "Oak aging is allowable in any category as a subtle to noticeable enhancement without causing the mead to be an Experimental Mead; excessive oak is a fault." Another note there is: "Oak aging does not necessarily force a mead into the Experimental Mead style unless the barrel has another characteristic (such as bourbon) in addition to the wood."

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    That makes sense. I guess if you get a big whiff of "bbq" before you smell mead you are in experimental territory. I am glad to know that its still traditional even with a hint of oak. Maybe its just me but I like my rules to make sense.


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  17. #17

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    I guess actually reading the guidelines would have been a good first step rather than posting here. On the other hand, I was able to glean some good info

    Thanks foothiller

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mondor View Post
    I guess actually reading the guidelines would have been a good first step rather than posting here. On the other hand, I was able to glean some good info

    Thanks foothiller
    Are you kidding? That was a great post. I never even thought to check the guidelines. I got plenty from this thread.


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  19. #19
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    Default Oaked Show Mead

    Yeah. Me too.
    And I've read the guidelines.
    Sometimes the finer points need to be discussed for true understanding.
    Mae'r teithiau golau ceffyl eto

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by kudapucat View Post
    Yeah. Me too.
    And I've read the guidelines.
    Sometimes the finer points need to be discussed for true understanding.
    Exactly, the guidelines don't give you an idea on how long to oak, how big of a barrel, etc...

    I love this thread. Hashing things out.
    Making fake establishing dates since 1864!

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