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BJCP MEAD EXAM STUDY GUIDE

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BJCP MEAD EXAM STUDY GUIDE. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PASS THE MEAD EXAM. SEPTEMBER 2009. INITIAL RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2009. CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS ...

    BJCP Mead Exam Study Guide

    What you need to know to pass the Mead Exam

    September 2009

    Initial release: September 22, 2009

    Contributing Authors

    Gordon Strong

    Susan Ruud

    Kristen England

    Ken Schramm

    Curt Stock

    Petar Bakulić

    Michael Zapolski, Sr. (Hightest)

    Copyright ? 2009 by the authors and the BJCP

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Introduction .........................................................................................................................1

    1.1. Recommended Reading ...............................................................................................1 1.2. Advanced Reading .......................................................................................................3 1.3. Important BJCP References .........................................................................................3 2. The BJCP Mead Exam ........................................................................................................4

    2.1. Mead Exam Details......................................................................................................4

    2.1.1. Written Section ..................................................................................................4

    2.1.2. Tasting Section ..................................................................................................5 2.2. BJCP Mead Judge Question Pool .................................................................................5

    2.2.1. Section 1 ............................................................................................................5

    2.2.2. Section 2 .......................................................................................................... 10 2.3. Sample BJCP Mead Judge Exam ............................................................................... 17 2.4. Example of a Complete Answer ................................................................................. 21 3. The BJCP .......................................................................................................................... 24

    3.1. BJCP Background...................................................................................................... 24 3.2. Advancing in the BJCP .............................................................................................. 24 3.3. Experience Points ...................................................................................................... 24

    3.4. BJCP Experience Point Award Schedule ................................................................... 25 3.5. Definitions ................................................................................................................. 26

    3.6. Exam Administration ................................................................................................. 27 3.7. BJCP Administration ................................................................................................. 28 4. The Mead Judge Designation ............................................................................................. 29 5. What is Mead?................................................................................................................... 30

    5.1. What is Honey? ......................................................................................................... 30

    5.2. How does Mead differ from Other Beverages?........................................................... 31 6. Mead Styles ....................................................................................................................... 32

    6.1. Introduction to the Mead Guidelines .......................................................................... 32

    6.1.1. Important Mead Descriptors............................................................................. 32

    6.1.2. Common Mead Characteristics ........................................................................ 33

    6.1.3. Entering and Categorizing Meads .................................................................... 36 7. Balance in Mead ................................................................................................................ 37

    7.1. The Notion of Balance ............................................................................................... 37 7.2. Components of Balance ............................................................................................. 38

    7.2.1. Sweetness ........................................................................................................ 38

    7.2.2. Acidity............................................................................................................. 39

    7.2.3. Tannin ............................................................................................................. 39

    7.2.4. Alcohol Strength .............................................................................................. 39

    7.2.5. Honey Flavor ................................................................................................... 40

    7.2.6. Carbonation ..................................................................................................... 40

    7.2.7. Body ................................................................................................................ 40

    7.3. Achieving Balance ..................................................................................................... 41

    8. Honey ................................................................................................................................ 43

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8.1. Honey Attributes ....................................................................................................... 43

    8.1.1. Color ............................................................................................................... 44

    8.1.2. Flavor and Aroma ............................................................................................ 44 8.2. Honey Varieties ......................................................................................................... 45

    8.2.1. Apple Blossom ................................................................................................ 46 8.2.2. Alfalfa ............................................................................................................. 46

    8.2.3. Basswood ........................................................................................................ 46 8.2.4. Blackberry Blossom......................................................................................... 47 8.2.5. Blueberry Blossom .......................................................................................... 47 8.2.6. Buckwheat ....................................................................................................... 47 8.2.7. Clover .............................................................................................................. 48

    8.2.8. Cotton Blossom ............................................................................................... 48 8.2.9. Fireweed .......................................................................................................... 48 8.2.10. Guajillo ........................................................................................................... 49

    8.2.11. Heather ............................................................................................................ 49

    8.2.12. Mesquite .......................................................................................................... 49 8.2.13. Mint Blossom .................................................................................................. 50 8.2.14. Orange Blossom .............................................................................................. 50 8.2.15. Palmetto .......................................................................................................... 51 8.2.16. Raspberry Blossom .......................................................................................... 51 8.2.17. Sage Blossom (White Sage) ............................................................................. 51 8.2.18. Sourwood ........................................................................................................ 52 8.2.19. Star Thistle ...................................................................................................... 52 8.2.20. Tupelo ............................................................................................................. 52

    8.2.21. Wildflower ...................................................................................................... 53

    9. Fruit .................................................................................................................................. 54

    9.1. Fruit in Mead ............................................................................................................. 54

    9.1.1. Apple ............................................................................................................... 54

    9.1.2. Apricot ............................................................................................................ 55 9.1.3. Banana............................................................................................................. 55 9.1.4. Black Currant .................................................................................................. 55 9.1.5. Black Raspberry .............................................................................................. 55 9.1.6. Blackberry ....................................................................................................... 56 9.1.7. Blueberry ......................................................................................................... 56 9.1.8. Boysenberry .................................................................................................... 56 9.1.9. Cherry ............................................................................................................. 56 9.1.10. Cranberry ........................................................................................................ 57 9.1.11. Elderberry ........................................................................................................ 57 9.1.12. Huckleberry ..................................................................................................... 57 9.1.13. Key Lime ......................................................................................................... 57 9.1.14. Lemon ............................................................................................................. 58 9.1.15. Lime ................................................................................................................ 58

    9.1.16. Mango ............................................................................................................. 58 9.1.17. Marionberry ..................................................................................................... 58 9.1.18. Mulberry.......................................................................................................... 59 9.1.19. Orange ............................................................................................................. 59

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    9.1.20. Passion Fruit .................................................................................................... 59 9.1.21. Peach ............................................................................................................... 59

    9.1.22. Pear ................................................................................................................. 60

    9.1.23. Pineapple ......................................................................................................... 60 9.1.24. Plum ................................................................................................................ 60

    9.1.25. Pomegranate .................................................................................................... 60 9.1.26. Prickly Pear ..................................................................................................... 61 9.1.27. Raspberry ........................................................................................................ 61 9.1.28. Red Currant ..................................................................................................... 61 9.1.29. Strawberry ....................................................................................................... 61 9.2. Grape Varieties in Pyments ........................................................................................ 62 9.2.1. Cabernet Sauvignon ......................................................................................... 62 9.2.2. Chardonnay ..................................................................................................... 63 9.2.3. Chenin Blanc ................................................................................................... 63 9.2.4. Concord ........................................................................................................... 63 9.2.5. Gewurztraminer ............................................................................................... 64 9.2.6. Merlot .............................................................................................................. 64

    9.2.7. Muscat ............................................................................................................. 64 9.2.8. Pinot Noir ........................................................................................................ 64 9.2.9. Riesling ........................................................................................................... 65 9.2.10. Sangiovese....................................................................................................... 65 9.2.11. Shiraz (Syrah) .................................................................................................. 65 9.2.12. Tempranillo ..................................................................................................... 66 9.2.13. Vidal................................................................................................................ 66

    9.2.14. Zinfandel ......................................................................................................... 66

    10. Spices ............................................................................................................................ 67

    10.1.1. Agave Nectar ................................................................................................... 67 10.1.2. Allspice ........................................................................................................... 67

    10.1.3. Black Pepper ................................................................................................... 67 10.1.4. Black Tea ........................................................................................................ 68 10.1.5. Cardamom ....................................................................................................... 68 10.1.6. Chai Tea .......................................................................................................... 68 10.1.7. Chamomile ...................................................................................................... 69 10.1.8. Chipotle ........................................................................................................... 69

    10.1.9. Chocolate ........................................................................................................ 69 10.1.10. Cinnamon ........................................................................................................ 69 10.1.11. Clove ............................................................................................................... 70

    10.1.12. Coffee .............................................................................................................. 70

    10.1.13. Coriander ......................................................................................................... 70

    10.1.14. Ginger ............................................................................................................. 70

    10.1.15. Hazelnut (filbert) ............................................................................................. 71 10.1.16. Heather Tips .................................................................................................... 71 10.1.17. Lavender.......................................................................................................... 71 10.1.18. Lemongrass ..................................................................................................... 71 10.1.19. Maple Syrup .................................................................................................... 72 10.1.20. Mint ................................................................................................................. 72

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10.1.21. Nutmeg ............................................................................................................ 72

    10.1.22. Orange Peel ..................................................................................................... 72 10.1.23. Poblano ........................................................................................................... 73

    10.1.24. Rose Petals ...................................................................................................... 73 10.1.25. Rosemary ........................................................................................................ 73 10.1.26. Saffron............................................................................................................. 73

    10.1.27. Spruce Tips ...................................................................................................... 74 10.1.28. Star Anise ........................................................................................................ 74

    10.1.29. Vanilla ............................................................................................................. 74

    11. Braggot Ingredients ....................................................................................................... 75

    12. The Mead-Making Process ............................................................................................ 76 12.1. Ingredient Selection ............................................................................................... 76 12.1.1. Honey .............................................................................................................. 76

    12.1.2. Water ............................................................................................................... 77

    12.1.3. Yeast ............................................................................................................... 77

    12.1.4. Additives ......................................................................................................... 78 12.2. Basic Mead-Making Process .................................................................................. 80 12.3. Mead-Making Process Options .............................................................................. 82 12.3.1. Must Preparation ............................................................................................. 82 12.3.2. Yeast Preparation ............................................................................................. 83 12.3.3. Nutrient Additions ........................................................................................... 84 12.3.4. Fermentation.................................................................................................... 86 12.4. Melomels ............................................................................................................... 87

    12.5. Metheglins ............................................................................................................. 93

    12.6. Braggots ................................................................................................................ 95

    12.7. Open Category ....................................................................................................... 97 13. Advanced Topics in Mead-Making .............................................................................. 100 13.1. Oaking ................................................................................................................. 100

    13.2. Adjustment .......................................................................................................... 103

    13.3. Stabilization ......................................................................................................... 105

    13.4. Clarifying ............................................................................................................ 107

    13.5. Aging ................................................................................................................... 108

    13.6. Blending .............................................................................................................. 109

    14. Troubleshooting Mead ................................................................................................. 111 14.1. Common Mead Faults .......................................................................................... 111 14.1.1. Acetic ............................................................................................................ 111

    14.1.2. Acidic ............................................................................................................ 111

    14.1.3. Alcoholic ....................................................................................................... 112 14.1.4. Cardboard ...................................................................................................... 112 14.1.5. Chemical ....................................................................................................... 112 14.1.6. Cloudy ........................................................................................................... 112 14.1.7. Cloying .......................................................................................................... 113 14.1.8. Floral ............................................................................................................. 113

    14.1.9. Fruity ............................................................................................................. 113

    14.1.10. Harsh ............................................................................................................. 113

    14.1.11. Metallic ......................................................................................................... 114

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14.1.12. Moldy ............................................................................................................ 114

    14.1.13. Phenolic ......................................................................................................... 114

    14.1.14. Sherry ............................................................................................................ 114

    14.1.15. Solvent .......................................................................................................... 115

    14.1.16. Sulfury........................................................................................................... 115

    14.1.17. Sweet ............................................................................................................. 115

    14.1.18. Tannic ........................................................................................................... 116

    14.1.19. Thin ............................................................................................................... 116

    14.1.20. Vegetal .......................................................................................................... 116

    14.1.21. Waxy ............................................................................................................. 116

    14.1.22. Yeasty ........................................................................................................... 117

    14.2. Troubleshooting Fermentation ............................................................................. 117 15. Judging Mead .............................................................................................................. 120

    15.1. Evaluating Mead .................................................................................................. 120 15.1.1. Assessing Mead Aromatics ............................................................................ 120 15.1.2. Assessing Mead Appearance .......................................................................... 123 15.1.3. Assessing Mead Flavor .................................................................................. 124 15.1.4. Assessing Mead Mouthfeel ............................................................................ 127 15.2. Basic Mechanics of Mead Judging ....................................................................... 129 15.2.1. Getting Ready for the Flight........................................................................... 130 15.2.2. Judging a Single Entry ................................................................................... 130 15.3. Preparing Scoresheets at Competitions ................................................................. 132 15.3.1. The Standard BJCP Scoresheet ...................................................................... 132 15.4. Thoughts on Mead Judging .................................................................................. 137

    v

1. Introduction

    While the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) has long recognized mead in its style guidelines and competition materials, it has not been a subject covered by the BJCP Exam. Anyone wanting to judge mead would just indicate their desire to a competition organizer; however, the organizer would have no basis for judging the skill or credibility of the judge. The existing BJCP rank structure doesn‘t provide much help, either. A high rank indicates that the

    judge understands how to formally evaluate beer, but doesn‘t provide any information about the judge‘s knowledge of mead. The Mead Judge certification is designed to fill that gap, and to generally raise the awareness and skill level of those who judge mead.

    The BJCP Board approved a proposal to create a Mead Judge Certification in March 2006. A committee was organized to work on the project, with subcommittees of experts in the mead and cider domains. The question pool was finalized and field-tested in 2007, with the exam format determined in early 2008. A pilot mead judge exam was given in August 2008 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Results of that pilot test were then used to adjust the program, and to determine what information was most needed by examinees and graders.

    1.1. Recommended Reading

    Unfortunately, there are much fewer books on mead than on beer, and the books on mead tend to be dated and offer unfortunate advice. Books on winemaking may be of some limited use, although those tend to recommend using more chemicals and additives. Books on beer may dedicate a chapter to mead, but generally don‘t get into enough detail to be useful. The one recent book that is of most use to those learning about mead is Ken Schramm‘s The Compleat

    Meadmaker, although even some of its information has been superseded.

    It‘s ironic that meadmaking is one of the most ancient pursuits of man, yet the knowledge and wisdom involved in the process has not been adequately captured. Lacking a large market demand, research in meadmaking has been sorely lacking. Technical research often comes from the amateur level, where new, useful information seems to come out regularly. Reading brewing-related magazines and online forums tends to be the best way to stay on top of developments related to mead. The nature of the information in the body of knowledge suggests that there is still much more to learn about mead, and that best practices will continue to evolve. In developing the reading list for the mead judge certification, we had to make some compromises. We realize that not all sources will have equal levels of information, and that some of the relevant data for meadmakers may constitute a small portion of the books. We understand that you may need to read several sources and try to reconcile conflicting information. Hopefully in the main body of this study guide, we‘ve been able to identify the key concepts and modern understanding of mead, mead making and mead judging.

    This Mead Study Guide should present all the information you need to know to pass the exam, but it might not cover each topic in detail. Referring to reference sources is necessary to get the rest of the story. If you run across additional references that you think will help prospective mead judges, please pass them along.

    1

    ; The Compleat Meadmaker, Ken Schramm, Brewers Publications, 2003. Singularly the

    best current resource for meadmakers.

    ; Radical Brewing, Randy Mosher, Brewers Publications, 2004. Has good reference

    materials on fruits and spices.

    ; Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, Stephen Buhner, Brewers Publications, 1998. Good

    reference material on obscure herbs that may be used in some meads. ; Zymurgy, May/June 2000, The Mead Issue. Good collection of articles.

    ; The Jamil Show from December 1, 2008. Podcast of Ken Schramm on The Jamil Show.

    Great interview covering great information on the subject.

    (www.thebrewingnetwork.com/jamilshow.xml)

    ; The National Honey Board website (www.honey.com) contains good information related

    to honey.

    ; The wikipedia entry on Honey (en.wikipedia.com/wiki/Honey) isn‘t bad, either.

    ; Other Fruit Melomels, Curt Stock, Brew Your, Own July 2008. Great article on

    melomels with modern recommendations.

    ; Mastering Mead: Optimizing Honey Fermentation, Ken Schramm, Zymurgy,

    November/December 2005. Think of it as errata for The Compleat Meadmaker; it

    contains more modern findings on how to manage mead fermentation. ; Factors Considered in Wine Evaluation, Alexis Hartung, American Wine Society

    Journal, Winter 1999. While written for wine, the entire evaluation process is directly

    applicable to mead.

    ; A Treatise on Mead Judging, Michael L. Hall, Inside Mead, January 1996. The

    instructions for judges are quite relevant.

    ; Mead Lovers Digest is an Internet discussion group on mead. Not all information is

    helpful and some of the more vocal participants are distinctly lacking in knowledge, but it

    is a good forum for finding other meadmakers and having discussions related to mead. ; Mead Making FAQs is a treasure trove of useful and practical mead-making information

    and original research by the net user Hightest (Michael Zapolski, Sr.). As of publication,

    the latest version of his information can be found at:

    http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f30/sticky-mead-making-faqs-83030/.

    nd; Great Wine Made Simple, Andrea Immer, Bantam Books, 2000, 2005 (2 ed.). Great

    reference on tasting wine, the sensory and varietal characteristics of grapes and wine, and

    describing sensory characteristics.

    Avoid older mead books, such as Brewing Mead: Wassail! In Mazers of Mead by Gayre

    (Brewers Publications, 1986), Making Mead (Honey Wine) by Morse (Aztex Corp, 1992),

    Mad About Mead by Spence (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2002), and Making Wild Wine & Meads

    by Vargas (Storey Books, 1999). They may be interesting from a historical basis but have little

    practical use today. Schramm‘s book is a much better reference than all of these books combined.

    2

1.2. Advanced Reading

    A collection of references is placed online at http://www.bjcp.org/mead.php. This is where we

    will provide updates on topics of interest to mead judges. Not all material on the Mead Resources page is relevant for the exam, but it represents the body of published knowledge on mead. Anyone looking for additional insight should read the materials and check out the detailed bibliography.

    1.3. Important BJCP References

    Current competition materials can be found on the BJCP website in the Competition Center. Other important BJCP references include the most current program rules, information and structure. These documents are stored in the following locations:

    BJCP Mead Scoresheet http://www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_MeadScoreSheet.pdf

    BJCP Mead Checklist http://www.bjcp.org/mead/Mead_checklist.pdf

    BJCP Cover Sheet http://www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_CoverSheet.pdf

    BJCP Judge Instructions http://www.bjcp.org/docs/SCP_JudgeInstructions.pdf

    Judge Procedures Manual http://www.bjcp.org/docs/Judge_Procedures_Manual.pdf

    BJCP Competition Requirements http://www.bjcp.org/rules.php

    BJCP Member‘s Guide http://www.bjcp.org/membergd.php

    Sample Scoresheets http://www.bjcp.org/examscores.php

    Mastering the BJCP Exam http://www.bjcp.org/docs/mastering.pdf

    BJCP Style Guidelines http://www.bjcp.org/stylecenter.php

    Advanced Judging FAQ http://www.bjcp.org/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=53

    There are also a number of essays and helpful materials in the BJCP Exam Center (http://www.bjcp.org/examcenter.php). Look in the sections Studying for the Exam and Exam

    Grader Resources for additional information. Some of the references for exam graders are also useful for entrants, such as how to prepare better scoresheets.

    3

2. The BJCP Mead Exam

    The BJCP Mead Exam is a written and practical judging exam covering important knowledge necessary to properly evaluate mead. Subjects include mead styles, characteristics of mead, mead ingredients, troubleshooting faults, and controlling the mead-making process. The exam consists of seven essay questions in a two-hour session followed by judging three meads in a 45-minute session. The time allotted to the written and tasting sections can not be combined. No partial retakes of the mead exam are allowed; the entire test must be taken. While section scores are recorded, passing is based on total performance on a single exam. The Mead exam is jointly sponsored with the Mead Makers International (MMI, formerly the International Mead Association). Members of the MMI helped with the exam questions and study materials.

    2.1. Mead Exam Details

    There is no pre-requisite for taking the Mead Exam. The exam is open to BJCP judges and those not in the BJCP. The passing grade for the Mead Exam is 60%. Anyone who passes the Mead Exam will receive a BJCP Mead Judge pin and certificate.

    Mead Exams do not count towards program (rank) advancement. An existing BJCP judge may not advance in rank based on the score received on the Mead Exam. Non-BJCP members passing the Mead Exam may not advance in rank without taking the BJCP Beer Exam.

    More detail on the Mead Judge designation can be found in Section 4.

    2.1.1. Written Section

    Examinees will complete two written sections: one fill-in-the-blank and true-false section on the Mead Judge program and the general judging process and ethics, and one full essay section on selected topics. The fill-in-the-blank questions are designed to test knowledge of the Mead Judge program as described on the BJCP web site, and the judging process and ethics questions are taken from the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual.

    Essay questions should be answered in one to two pages, and cover the following topics:

    ; Mead Balance and Style Attributes

    ; Varietal Honey Identification and Usage

    ; Non-Honey Ingredients in Mead

    ; Identifying/Troubleshooting Mead Characteristics and Faults

    ; Mead Making and Process Control

    ; Scenario-based Troubleshooting

    4

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