hist-brewing: Re: Historic Liqueur (SCA) -Reply

Wade Hutchison whutchis at bucknell.edu
Mon Apr 5 11:29:48 PDT 1999

At 10:54 AM 4/4/99 -0400, PBLoomis at aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 4/3/99 9:53:13 AM EST, pbureau at home.com writes:
><< I am looking to enter my first Honey Sparkling Mead into the next A&S
> contest, I need information on what is required to document my brew
> before next weekend (9th) please help
>  >>
>	You could try looking up Sir Kenelme Digby on the Web at 
><realbeer.com/spencer/Digby-recipes/>.  There are a bunch of mead recipes 
>there, and even though Digby is post-Period (1669), he is generally 
>acceptable anyhow.

There is also (at least one) mead recipe in _Cury on Ynglish_.  Check with
local cooking folks if you don't have a copy.

>	As for _Sparkling_, great meads (those with a ratio of two pounds of 
>honey to 
>one gallon of water) are naturally carbonated, as I learned to my sorrow
>my first batch shot their corks and contents across the room.  Little meads, 
>or small meads (honey/water ratio = one pound per gallon) are generally 
>carbonated too, because they are bottled at less than one month, while still 
>fermenting.  Don't know where to document those statements, but a 
>knowledgeable mead judge should already know that and accept your statement 
>of it as evidence that you know somewhat of the subject.

I have to disagree with this statement.  Documentation for a contest is to 
educate the judges and show them that you A - know what you're talking about, 
and B - used some sort of historical sources for your project.  I also have
to disagree that any mead made with 2 lb honey per gallon will _automatically_
be sparkling.  2 lb/gallon will lead to an initial gravity of 70 to 90.  No
than some (non-barleywine) beer styles.  Several of Digby's recipes scale
up to
over 3 lbs/gallon - producing a strong, sweet final product, but still not 
guaranteed to sparkle unless stoppered up while still fermenting.  If you
had corks pop, Scotti, then you must have bottled before fermentation was 

Just never assume that a judge knows something about the object being judged
in SCA brewing/vintning competitions - explain everything you did, why you
did it, and how it relates or differs from practices that can be documented
to be period.  Follow that formula and you can't go wrong.

	Wade Hutchison
	whutchis at bucknell.edu
	THL Gille MacDhnouill
	Mountain Confederation/Abhainn Ciach Ghlais

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