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General Category => Events => Topic started by: glide on February 23, 2012, 05:01:11 pm

Title: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: glide on February 23, 2012, 05:01:11 pm
Does anyone know if Orval bottles meet the bottle requirements for the National Homebrew Competition? My measurements say the diamater is within a few hundredths of an inch of meeting it, but that's within the error of my measuring skills.  I know it's tough to get 6 Orvals into a standard six pack holder, but it can be done.  Has anyone ever had an Orval style bottle rejected or accepted for the National Homebrew Competition?

Thanks,
Jim
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: dmtaylor on February 24, 2012, 07:42:35 am
I haven't entered the NHC so I guess I don't know how picky they are.  But I've used Orval bottles in regular BJCP competitions before.  They didn't ding me for it, but they noted on the bottle appearance line of the score sheet: "Orval bottle".  Which I thought was kind of cool because it indicated all the more that the judges knew a little something about beer.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: ryang on February 24, 2012, 09:14:13 am
I assume it's ok, and I was planning on putting some in, but I suppose it would be a slight relief to know for sure.
I've not had issues in the past.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: denny on February 24, 2012, 09:20:54 am
Based on past discussions and situations, the main concern is the uniformity of bottle size to ease storage for the judging centers.  I'd guess that if the bottles fit ion the same containers other bottles od, they'd be OK.  You might want to contact Janis Gross at the AHA and see what she has to say.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: jeffy on February 25, 2012, 06:17:50 am
I haven't entered the NHC so I guess I don't know how picky they are.  But I've used Orval bottles in regular BJCP competitions before.  They didn't ding me for it, but they noted on the bottle appearance line of the score sheet: "Orval bottle".  Which I thought was kind of cool because it indicated all the more that the judges knew a little something about beer.
Not only that, but you knew they got your beer and not someone else's.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: punatic on February 25, 2012, 08:22:09 am
I think the bottle requirements are more for anonymity than anything else.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: Hokerer on February 25, 2012, 08:52:58 am
I think the bottle requirements are more for anonymity than anything else.

For most comps yes, but for the NHC, since they're dealing with so many bottles to store, they are extremely concerned that they be able to fit bottles into standard case boxes.  If a bottle doesn't fit, it screws everything up.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: denny on February 25, 2012, 09:43:38 am
I think the bottle requirements are more for anonymity than anything else.

That may be the case at smaller comps, but from direct experience I can tell you that at the national level it's pretty much all about storage requirements.
Title: Re: NHC bottle requirements - Orval okay?
Post by: gordonstrong on February 26, 2012, 01:48:34 pm
Yes, it's all about storage requirements.  If they don't fit in a case box, the organizers have to put them somewhere else.  And then make note of the extra bottles.  And then make sure everyone who handles the beer knows where to find the extra bottles.  And then hopes that nobody breaks them because they can't be stacked and stored like the other ones.

You probably don't know how many different people have to handle the beer once you've shipped it.  Unpackers, sorters, box movers in the receiving location, moving them for transport to the judging site, moving them to the judging room, stewards finding the beers, judges opening them.  For the NHC, you're talking about 2-3 pallets of beer.  If your beer doesn't fit, basically everyone in that process will be cursing you.

Your beer is more likely to be lost, broken, or mishandled if it doesn't fit.  I've seen people invert bottles to make them fit in case boxes.  Not really the handling I'd want me beer to have in a competition.

So if your beer is oversize in some dimension, it might or might not work, depending on the other entries.  If it's too tall, it will never work.  If they put it in the box, you will likely have it be broken when the boxes are stacked.  If it's too wide, it might not fit in the box, unless the adjacent bottles are smaller in size and the case dividers are flexible.  How do you know what size the adjacent bottles are?  You don't.  So if you use a bigger bottle, it might work or it might not.  If it doesn't and it's too big, then you lose.

I'd say if it's close enough (few hundreds of an inch), then you are likely to be OK.  Unless everyone uses them, or at least those in your flight.  It's a risk, but probably a low one.  But it's a risk you have to be willing to assume.