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General Category => Beer Recipes => Topic started by: Lager on November 16, 2011, 10:56:25 am

Title: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: Lager on November 16, 2011, 10:56:25 am
Curiosity: You can ferment so many things, Honey, all types of fruit...so on. Why is Mead and Cider included in beer sites, discussion, competitions and classifications such as the BJCP guidelines? Beer has been historically considered to include grain of some sort - usually barley. There might have been the odd exceptions throughout history, but I would submit that these exceptions are incorrect. Wine is wine because of the use of grapes. Beer is beer because of the types of grain and process, otherwise we should just call it all fermentable drinks and be all inclusive. Even certain "hard" liquors use grain (sometimes the same types), but we have kept them separate.
If it is just a matter of tradition or history of including Cider and Mead, it still doesn't make any sense and should really be reconsidered.
Title: Re: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: morticaixavier on November 16, 2011, 11:17:12 am
Well first off this is a homebrewing site rather than a beer site. But the BJCP is, at least nominally a beer organization. However it is, practically, more concerned with fermented beverages in general. The hard liquors are distilled which is the difference there. I think alot of home beer brewers will decide to experiment with other fermentable at some point so it is good to have the knowledge here in a central place where they already frequent. JM2C
Title: Re: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: tschmidlin on November 16, 2011, 11:30:08 am
The other thing is that many people who call themselves "wine makers" reject mead and cider as inferior beverages and don't branch out and do different things.  I'm basing this on a large wine making club here that has no interest in brewing and few members who have brewed.  It is my understanding that the reason the BJCP has mead and cider guidelines in the first place is that the wine judging community was not interested in judging them.   They are wine snobs.

This is different from homebrewers who make beer, wine, mead, cider, sake, cheese, vinegar, etc.  Not all brewers do all of them, but they usually get interested in trying other things.  Maybe this is because with a basic brewing setup you can make pretty much any fermented beverage, but if you have a wine making setup you need to buy a bunch of stuff to make beer.
Title: Re: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: euge on November 16, 2011, 12:48:21 pm
Homebrewers are more likely to make mead and cider in addition to their beer. I don't think that the inclusion in the BJCP guidelines is accidental, incidental or arbitrary. Plenty of thought and consideration has been brought to bear in their regard by experts- they wouldn't be included in the guidelines if cider and mead didn't belong there.
Title: Re: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 16, 2011, 12:52:37 pm
Cider and mead were orphans in the wine world.  One has to remember that Charlie Papazian and others that were active in the formative years of the AHA and BJCP made ciders and mead.
Title: Re: Inclusion of other fermented beverages
Post by: tubercle on November 16, 2011, 05:01:30 pm
Most brewers don't have a backyard full of grapes to make wine and they are expensive to buy. + the snob factor.

 Ingridients for meads, fruit wines and ciders are readily available and like the good Dr. said, it is an interest to most brewers  because the process if very simular. I love to see things ferment for some reason.  I've even fermented a bucket of sweet feed once with bread yeast just to see what would happen...actually the spoonful I tried wasn't that bad.
Hmmm...sweet feed IPA??!!?? I hate when I get to thinking.