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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: David Little on August 13, 2010, 05:22:21 PM

Title: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: David Little on August 13, 2010, 05:22:21 PM
My house beer is an oatmeal pale ale that uses about 9% malted oats in the grist. I'm sending it in to competition and am trying to decide on which category I should enter the beer. From reading the BJCP guidelines it would seem like I should probably enter the beer in category 23 since oatmeal is not a "normal" adjunct but since it's malted oats, the beer doesn't really carry the same oatmeal characteristic as using unmalted oats in an oatmeal stout.

I'm trying to decide if I should enter the beer as a Category 10A (American Pale Ale) since it fits all the criteria for that style except for the use of malted oats or if I should use Category 23 (Specialty) since it uses a non-standard adjunct.

I'm guessing the best answer is to send it to both and see where it gets judged better but why waste a couple bottles of good beer to only get scoresheets back saying "you should have entered this in the other category."

Thoughts?

David

ps: the recipe is here (http://www.macgruffusbrewery.com/recipes/opa-20100529.htm)
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: tschmidlin on August 13, 2010, 05:24:51 PM
Taste it.  If the oats are not evident, enter it as a 10A.  If it doesn't taste quite right for a 10A because of the oats, enter it as a 23.  If you can't decide, find some people to taste it and help you figure it out.  Worst case, if you're still undecided, enter it as both and see what those judges think.

It's all about the beer you made, not what the recipe is.
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: bonjour on August 13, 2010, 05:26:51 PM
The question is what does it taste like.  The judge will not know what the recipe is if entered as an APA and will be looking for the oats if you enter it as cat 23.

The judges judge on perception, so enter it as what it tastes like.

Fred
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: joelambic on August 14, 2010, 06:07:11 AM
As the others have said, it depends on how it tastes.  If the oats are not evident, enter as an APA and do not mention the oats.  If they are evident, enter as Specialty and note the special ingredient.
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: gordonstrong on August 14, 2010, 06:46:02 AM
Check out my Think Like a Judge article in Zymurgy or the Be Your Own Best Critic article in BYO for tips on assessing your own beer and entering in competitions.

I agree with the "taste it" comments, but keep in mind there is another answer besides A, B, or A+B; it's "none of the above."

If you can't taste the oats, then don't enter it as 23.  If the oats make the body seem too big or hurt the crispness of the style, don't enter it as 10a.  If it doesn't fit in either, then save yourself some money and don't enter it at all. It sounds like a good beer, but not all good beers have a clear fit in a competition.

Judges in the competition will be judging it against the respective guidelines, so objectively compare it to those.
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: niquejim on August 16, 2010, 04:53:06 PM
I learned this lesson recently with the Longshot competition. Gordon replied on my sheet "A better beer than the score indicates. You were marked down for how you descibed it" for my Sour mango ale http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f72/drunk-owl-mango-55227/

Live and learn
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: marty on August 16, 2010, 09:16:37 PM
was the final gravity 1.010 or 1.022?


with the oats, dextrine and C-120 in there, I'm wondering if you'd be better off entering as an American Amber (10B), body seems like it will be too much to score well as an Am. Pale and the calculated color for your beer is 9.4 and A.As start at 10


for category 23, it's not a Black IPA so it won't win the oats need to stand out
Title: Re: Choosing the correct BJCP category for competition
Post by: dmtaylor on August 17, 2010, 01:15:12 AM
for category 23, it's not a Black IPA so it won't win

*Dave likes this*