Author Topic: Mead Bottles for NHC  (Read 1642 times)

Offline WattsOnTap

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Mead Bottles for NHC
« on: December 09, 2016, 01:59:14 PM »

Are 187ml bottles permissible for the mead categories in the NHC?

I was a steward for the final round in Baltimore this year and saw plenty of 6oz/187ml bottles being used, but the rules posted on the NHC page state bottles must "[h]old a minimum of 10 ounces (296 ml) in volume." 

Getting ready to package up several meads I've been bulk aging, and hopefully one or two might be worth an entry.  A few were 1 gallon pilot batches, so I'd like to be able to go with the lower volume bottles.

 

Offline johnny_mo

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2016, 09:45:13 AM »
Good question:
We put those bottle requirements in place to make sure judges have an adequate amount to properly judge an entry, and so we can categorize, box and palletize all the entries in standard case boxes.
To the question of bottle size - though we wouldn't necessarily disqualify your entries if you used a 6 oz/187 ml bottle, you'd be at a serious disadvantage because of the limited amount of mead per judge, especially if there are more than 2 judges reviewing your mead.
I'd highly suggest using a 10 oz bottle for your own benefit, as well as the judges' benefit.
If you have any further questions, feel free to send me an email, john@brewersassociation.org.

Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2016, 04:56:37 PM »
Thanks, John.

I didn't seem like any were getting disqualified.  I don't think it affected the judges nearly as much as it affected us stewards.  Not as much to sample when the judges were done doing their thing.

Guess I'll have to re-evaluate how much I'd like to have an entry vice how much I'd just like to enjoy for myself.  :D

Offline santoch

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 09:38:05 PM »
I haven't seen those bottles yet.  AHA should either enforce the rule or ditch it.
I'll see if I can get them to clarify.  (I'm Judge Director for Seattle region again this year)
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Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 09:08:44 AM »
The 187ml/6oz bottles are more commonly available than 10oz (at least at my LHBSs and the online retailers I've looked through), and I think they are more sensible for some of the categories where ingredients can be more expensive, ABV is typically higher, and batch sizes may be less than the standard 5 gallons.  For instance, I'm working on an Ice Cider right now which will only yield about 1.25 gal of delight in the end.

Perhaps AHA/NHC/BJCP could reevaluate or clarify the bottle size requirements for certain categories (mead, cider).

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2016, 07:49:13 AM »
since mini-BOS is a different bottle for NHC, 187mL bottles are more than sufficient IMO.  Two people, and 7oz (if filled to the rim) is plenty.  Three judges?  Still enough.

Want a data point?  I entered my ice cider in GLINTCAP in 187mL bottles.  I brought them 4 bottles, they took 3.  They use 3 judges for everything.
It was gold, runner-up for Best in Class, and there was still 1.5 bottles left to enjoy at the gathering afterwards. 

Mead is expensive and dear, and 5x 12oz bottles and $14+ 2x shipping is painful.  If the AHA wants to improve the currently low mead entry numbers they should, you know, actually make steps to encourage them.

Just sayin'


Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 11:50:53 AM »

Mead is expensive and dear, and 5x 12oz bottles and $14+ 2x shipping is painful.  If the AHA wants to improve the currently low mead entry numbers they should, you know, actually make steps to encourage them.

Good point, I hope someone takes notice.

Offline santoch

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 08:43:45 PM »
I read the site organizer's manual and it indeed says that entries presented in non-compliant bottles must be disqualified.

I agree with the others here, though, at least for meads and ciders. I have personally witnessed and can vouch for how much of a PITA the oversized and overly wide bottles are in big a competition like the NHC.  However, bottles that are SMALLER would not present the same problems, IMHO.  They will fit in a standard 6/12/24 pack holder and even though they are shorter and narrower than standard bottles, so they won't prevent the case boxes from closing.  As stated, there is a smaller volume for the judges, but 2oz per judge is plenty for judging, in my experience.

I would be in favor of relaxing the wording to allow entries with these 187ml bottles as an acceptable minimum volume for the mead and cider categories.


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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2017, 09:32:30 AM »
NHC Mead entries have been down.
Meanwhile, Mazer Cup fills up the homemade side of their competition (450 entries) in 1.5 days.

There's plenty of talented meadmakers out there and plenty of interest in competing. 
I *think* the AHA would like the numbers to go up, but being proactive rather than reactive (explore how to increase entries rather than explore combining categories) would help.

cheers--
--Michael

Offline Bruce B

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2017, 02:06:43 PM »
As someone who has managed and participated in several competitions I would suggest trying to stay at the 10 to 12 oz range. Yes anything bigger presents logistical challenges when it comes to putting bottles in cases, stacking them, and keeping entries in the same category together. On the flip side, when it comes to smaller bottles they are less of a logistical challenge but there is less product available for the judges in the event there is a spill of some sort. Also if there is any sediment at the bottom of the bottle there is less to decant.
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Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 07:13:53 PM »
As someone who has managed and participated in several competitions I would suggest trying to stay at the 10 to 12 oz range. Yes anything bigger presents logistical challenges when it comes to putting bottles in cases, stacking them, and keeping entries in the same category together. On the flip side, when it comes to smaller bottles they are less of a logistical challenge but there is less product available for the judges in the event there is a spill of some sort. Also if there is any sediment at the bottom of the bottle there is less to decant.

I only saw one bottle disqualified at finals in Baltimore last year.  Definitely over-size, and one or two other no-nos.  The point of the post was, I saw many entries in both mead and cider categories using the 187 ml bottles.  The rules state 10 oz minimum.  I didn't see any of the little guys get disqualified.  I'd like the NHC folks to clarify, make an amendment for mead and cider categories, or definitively state 10 oz minimum will be enforced.  Shipping dates are just around the corner.

Believe me, the judges had plenty left to enjoy from the small bottles, even after they were done judging...  ;D

Offline udubdawg

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 07:22:55 AM »
I don't have any 10oz bottles but I may just enter a couple of 9oz and see if anyone even notices.   ::)

Offline WattsOnTap

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Re: Mead Bottles for NHC
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2017, 08:11:14 AM »
I don't have any 10oz bottles but I may just enter a couple of 9oz and see if anyone even notices.   ::)

If you find some 10oz bottles, let me know!  I may just have to drink down some San Miguel's to get those 11 ouncers of theirs.