Welcome to the 2015/2016 CSB Mead Challenge!

Following the success of the 2014/2015 CSB Mead Challenge, we are continuing forth with another one this year!

This year we are hoping to be bigger and better!

This year’s challenge is: CHOCOLATE !

Okay, chocolate, what does that mean?  It means, make a mead with chocolate in it.  Cocoa powder, beans, chocolate bars, baker’s bark, whatever kind of chocolate you can find or want to use, you can use it.  Make a traditional with chocolate, make a melomel with chocolate, make a weirdomel… Yup, you got it.  With chocolate.  It doesn’t matter what kind of mead, just as long as it has chocolate in it.

Last year we put a cap of 10 people on the contest and had 5 people follow through to the end.  This year we are going to put a cap of 20 people, with 2 entries per person (thank Larmo22 for this rule!)  We will open the registration up on September 1st, 2015 and the first 20 people that sign up will be in.  But we will continue to have registration open through June 1st, 2016. Why?  This is because if people want to be in the challenge, after the first 20 people sign up, we will have a wait list.

Register Here!

The contest is a long one (10 months!) and life can get in the way of things, and some people may not be able to follow all the way through.  So even if you are on the wait list, don’t wait! Start the mead right away so you are ready in the event you get called up!

With that in mind, we know how much to brew, which is 3 gallons.  This way we can ship around twenty, 12 ounce (355ml) bottles to everyone who joins in, plus have some left over for ourselves!  And on those bottles we need some labeling done.  We want to know:

  1. Who made it.  So we know whose score sheet to fill out!
  2. Type of honey.  What kind of honey did you use? Part of the reason for doing these challenges is to learn, if we use different varietals of honey, then we can learn new flavour profiles.
  3. Type of chocolate.  Did you use cocoa powder? Beans? Candy bars?  Let us know, again so we can learn flavour profiles!
  4. Other ingredients.  Did you put in raspberries? Vanilla? Any other ingredients that you used, which will contribute to the flavouring of the mead.
  5. ABV.  This one is to allow us to be able to drink more or less, and not get smashed unexpectedly.  Some meads can be 16% but taste like 8%, drink a couple of those and *SMASHED*
  6. Date started and Date Bottled. What was the date you started this mead? What was the date you bottled this mead?
  7. Anything else you want to toss on the label.

Then, June 8th, 2016,  we will start shipping the meads around.  Once registration closes (June 1st, 2016) we will know where we are shipping to, and how many exactly (hopefully the fully 20!) Once we have the info on who and where, we will also ask for a small amount of money to help with the shipping if you ship it to someone else, to ship it to other people (via hubs.)  Sometimes it’s cheaper to ship everything to one person and then spread them out.  Sometimes it’s cheaper for one person to ship everything out individually.  Once we have more info, we will work this out.  But it won’t be more than $15-$20 per person per entry (if you are sending two entries, it will cost twice as much.)   Shipping is expensive, the cost of postage, and the materials and such, it adds up fast! So, a little bit of help will be requested.

As soon as you get the meads, you can start drinking and reviewing them! We will have a Google Docs setup for this and information will be sent out when we get closer to the time.

The Scoring will be done based on: Aroma, Appearance, Flavour, and Overall Impression.   Each area will be graded between 1 and 10.  Then we will add the numbers from the four categories together to get a total score.  Once we are done, we will take an average of the scores (total of scores added together divided by the number of score sheets created for that mead.) So that if there are some meads with more, or less score sheets they can still be in the running on a more or less level playing field.

Next burning question: Can I grade my own mead?  No.   We are never truly objective with ourselves.  We either rate it lower than what it really is, or we try to skew the results in our favour by rating out own.  So, no.

The Whats:
How much to brew: 3 gallons
What size to bottle: 12oz/355ml
How many bottles: 20
Label required! We need to know the honey, chocolate, abv, other ingredients.
When to start: NOW!
Cost: No more than $15-$20 per person, per entry. (But to be determined once we know who and where for all entrants)

Time table:
September 1, 2015: Registration opens
June 1st, 2016: Registration closes
June 8th, 2016: Start shipping bottles & judging starts
July 23rd, 2016: Judging closes
July 24th, 2016: Scoring and winners announced


Scoring and Winners!

Sixth Place – Larry aka Larmo22 (No Extract)
Fifth Place – Larry aka Larmo22  (With Extract)
Fouth Place – Dan from FitLetsBrewIt!
Third Place – Dave The Welsh Brewer
Second Place – Steve The Canadian Sasquatch
First Place – The one and only Grant Baker!


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