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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: james on April 24, 2011, 05:13:04 AM

Title: Doctoring Beers
Post by: james on April 24, 2011, 05:13:04 AM
I've seen the recommendations at http://www.bjcp.org/study.php#drbeer for doctoring beers.  Does anyone have any additional suggestions for things that can be done quickly to prep for the BJCP exam?  We have one more study group session before our BJCP exam and I'd like our members to be as prepared as possible.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tumarkin on April 24, 2011, 11:29:53 AM
A little late in the game for your study group, but the BJCP will provide a flavor evaluation kit to organized & registered study groups that are prepping for the exam. Sit down, and grab your beer....... these are FREE.

They are provided (in partnership with Siebel) through the BJCP CEP (continuing education program). This is an awesome resource and more study groups should take advantage of it. The kits contain enough of each  chemical to provide 20 samples.  http://www.bjcp.org/cep/kits.php
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: james on April 24, 2011, 02:18:29 PM
A little late in the game for your study group, but the BJCP will provide a flavor evaluation kit to organized & registered study groups that are prepping for the exam. Sit down, and grab your beer....... these are FREE.

They are provided (in partnership with Siebel) through the BJCP CEP (continuing education program). This is an awesome resource and more study groups should take advantage of it. The kits contain enough of each  chemical to provide 20 samples.  http://www.bjcp.org/cep/kits.php

Tried that.  Didn't get here in time, hence the last minute rush to find something.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: jeffy on April 24, 2011, 03:13:18 PM
Rather than trying to get sensory evaluation of off-flavors in at this late date, I'd recommend practice judging.  Get together with several people and together fill out score sheets on some homebrews and/or commercial beers.  Have each person critique what has been written by the others.
This will hone you in on being descriptive and complete.
Practice writing out answers to some of the sample questions, not just for the mental exercise, but to exercise the hand, too.  It's tough writing for three hours straight.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tom on April 24, 2011, 03:24:26 PM
The bjcp list covers most things.  We didn't get ours in time (or yet) either.

You can also buy one through the bjcp for $50, but that takes a while too.  What parts are you from?  Maybe someone nearby has some.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: denny on April 24, 2011, 04:52:06 PM
The bjcp list covers most things.  We didn't get ours in time (or yet) either.

It does seem to be a slow process.  Kris is (was) in charge of that and now that he's opening a brewery it might put even more of a strain on his time.  We didn't get ours in time for the scheduled session, even though I'd let him know months in advance when we needed it.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: jeffy on April 24, 2011, 05:19:41 PM
I tried to order one and got a message that I could only order one per year, yet it was my first try.  It never did get resolved.  I'll try again one day as I understand it's a very good kit.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: denny on April 24, 2011, 08:17:19 PM
Yeah, it's very good.  Definitely worth another try.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: phillamb168 on April 25, 2011, 08:30:45 AM
Hey, this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my club for an event sometime soon. Is there the option to pay for a kit if we're not doing anything BJCP-related?
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 08, 2011, 09:02:12 AM
Hey, this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my club for an event sometime soon. Is there the option to pay for a kit if we're not doing anything BJCP-related?

I'd say that training homebrew club members to recognize off-flavors is definitely BJCP-related.

Get a club member who's a member of the BJCP (i.e., has taken the exam) to ask the BJCP Continuing Education Director for a kit (details here: http://www.bjcp.org/cep/kits.php). Then, once you get it, have him bill your club for the cost.

If you want to get fancy, you could try to turn the tasting into a BREWS session. It's my experience, though, that 20 different off-flavors is just too much for one session. Break it down into 2-4 sessions over a couple of weeks or months.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: phillamb168 on May 09, 2011, 07:31:48 AM
Hey, this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my club for an event sometime soon. Is there the option to pay for a kit if we're not doing anything BJCP-related?

I'd say that training homebrew club members to recognize off-flavors is definitely BJCP-related.

Get a club member who's a member of the BJCP (i.e., has taken the exam) to ask the BJCP Continuing Education Director for a kit (details here: http://www.bjcp.org/cep/kits.php). Then, once you get it, have him bill your club for the cost.

If you want to get fancy, you could try to turn the tasting into a BREWS session. It's my experience, though, that 20 different off-flavors is just too much for one session. Break it down into 2-4 sessions over a couple of weeks or months.

Sadly we have no members who are in the BJCP. In fact I don't think there's anyone in this country who's a BJCP member. $180 for the kit is too much to be honest, I'm just going to follow the doctoring guidelines set out in the BJCP manual.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: james on May 09, 2011, 01:33:14 PM
Hey, this is EXACTLY what I want to do with my club for an event sometime soon. Is there the option to pay for a kit if we're not doing anything BJCP-related?

I'd say that training homebrew club members to recognize off-flavors is definitely BJCP-related.

Get a club member who's a member of the BJCP (i.e., has taken the exam) to ask the BJCP Continuing Education Director for a kit (details here: http://www.bjcp.org/cep/kits.php). Then, once you get it, have him bill your club for the cost.

If you want to get fancy, you could try to turn the tasting into a BREWS session. It's my experience, though, that 20 different off-flavors is just too much for one session. Break it down into 2-4 sessions over a couple of weeks or months.

Sadly we have no members who are in the BJCP. In fact I don't think there's anyone in this country who's a BJCP member. $180 for the kit is too much to be honest, I'm just going to follow the doctoring guidelines set out in the BJCP manual.

We did get our kit in time so we ended up using that.  We blind tasted 2 samples of each, one at the recommended dose and one at double dose.  Some of them worked very good, but some were just not there.  DMS was totally laking at both dosages, we had better examples of DMS in commercial and homebrewed beers.

I think you can home doctor beers almost as good or better in some cases than the kit.  It will take more work to put it all together though.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 10, 2011, 10:14:54 AM
Sadly we have no members who are in the BJCP. In fact I don't think there's anyone in this country who's a BJCP member. $180 for the kit is too much to be honest, I'm just going to follow the doctoring guidelines set out in the BJCP manual.

The BJCP might make allowances for people outside North America who are planning on taking the exam. Also, in Europe, Flavor Activ's products (http://www.flavoractiv.com/) might be cheaper than flying a kit over from the US.

Before you pay for a professional kit, though, look at the ingredients. No reason to pay more money for a specialty product when you can get it for cheap at a grocery, homebrew store or baking supply shop.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: phillamb168 on May 10, 2011, 12:07:28 PM
Sadly we have no members who are in the BJCP. In fact I don't think there's anyone in this country who's a BJCP member. $180 for the kit is too much to be honest, I'm just going to follow the doctoring guidelines set out in the BJCP manual.

The BJCP might make allowances for people outside North America who are planning on taking the exam. Also, in Europe, Flavor Activ's products (http://www.flavoractiv.com/) might be cheaper than flying a kit over from the US.

Before you pay for a professional kit, though, look at the ingredients. No reason to pay more money for a specialty product when you can get it for cheap at a grocery, homebrew store or baking supply shop.

I've considered the BJCP exam in general but 1. finding a place to take the test and 2. finding a place that has classes are both effectively impossible. I think there was an exam in London a few months ago, but I have no idea when the next one will be.

I think the homemade route is the best one - plus, the flavoractiv people are charging a huge amount of money for their kits. Still, it's a great resource - thanks for sharing the link.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tom on May 10, 2011, 05:38:38 PM
It's my experience, though, that 20 different off-flavors is just too much for one session. Break it down into 2-4 sessions over a couple of weeks or months.
Ditto.  Our last BJCP study group spread the off-flavors throughout the sessions.  One or two at a time. 
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 11, 2011, 07:36:44 PM
I've considered the BJCP exam in general but 1. finding a place to take the test and 2. finding a place that has classes are both effectively impossible. I think there was an exam in London a few months ago, but I have no idea when the next one will be.

Now that Ant Hayes is gone, I have to wonder if there will be more BJCP exams in Europe, since he seemed to be one of the main drivers of the program in South Africa and the UK. If there's sufficient interest, though, the BJCP might try to organize an exam in your country, as it has in various South American countries. It might be worth talking to someone in the BJCP leadership.

As for classes, there are lots of online resources. David Teckham (BJCP GM judge) offers an online test tutoring course (http://www.beerjudgeschool.com/) for a smallish fee. There are also plenty of BJCP judges, senior and otherwise, on the AHA forum, so if you have questions about the test you can ask here.

I think the homemade route is the best one - plus, the flavoractiv people are charging a huge amount of money for their kits. Still, it's a great resource - thanks for sharing the link.

The Flavor Activ web site is quite good, both for descriptors and for active ingredients in their kits. For home-made kits, in addition the off-flavor recommendations in the Interim study guide, Randy Mosher gives beer doctoring ideas in his books "Radical Brewing" and "Tasting Beer." I also gave detailed beer doctoring ideas here:

http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=2506.msg32992#msg32992
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on May 11, 2011, 08:43:06 PM
I've considered the BJCP exam in general but 1. finding a place to take the test and 2. finding a place that has classes are both effectively impossible. I think there was an exam in London a few months ago, but I have no idea when the next one will be.

Now that Ant Hayes is gone, I have to wonder if there will be more BJCP exams in Europe, since he seemed to be one of the main drivers of the program in South Africa and the UK. If there's sufficient interest, though, the BJCP might try to organize an exam in your country, as it has in various South American countries. It might be worth talking to someone in the BJCP leadership.
The main restrictions on exams is that the proctors "must" be National rank or higher, but exceptions have been made in the past.  The administrator can be anyone.  As for classes, you'll probably have to run them yourself just like the rest of us ;)

Depending on when you have it, you might be able to recruit some proctors to come over there - if not the people who just took the exam in UK, then maybe from the US.   If you really want to have an exam, talk to Gordon and he'll help you figure out how to get it done.

Places to take the exam - restaurants before they open are great.  They are usually there anyway getting things ready for the day, so letting you sit and take the exam with the promise you'll stay and eat/drink has worked out well for us in the past.  Of course for us it is usually a brew pub or a place with a good beer menu.

Anyway, it will be a lot easier to get started when the new exam is in place, since people will take it online and you just have to schedule the tasting.  That will be much shorter than the current 3 hours for the exam.  You're looking at August of 2012 at the earliest anyway, maybe you should schedule one now and worry about the details later :)
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: gordonstrong on May 11, 2011, 09:51:17 PM
Depending on when you have it, you might be able to recruit some proctors to come over there - if not the people who just took the exam in UK, then maybe from the US.   If you really want to have an exam, talk to Gordon and he'll help you figure out how to get it done.

We had two proctors from the US (Tom and Colleen Cannon) go over for the UK exam.  I think there was some negotiating over a mutually agreeable time, but several proctor-eligible judges go over there all the time so I'm sure something could be arranged.

We understand how difficult it is to get BJCP infrastructure started in a new country, so we're willing to work with people who can handle the local logistics.  Steve Piatz was able to go down to Argentina to help them get started recently.  Australia is now self-sustaining, and has several National judges.  They're the real model for starting up and growing a local BJCP chapter.

Contact me or the exam directors and I'm sure we can work something out.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on May 11, 2011, 10:44:45 PM
Hopefully the BJCP can give special dispensation to allow a Paris exam that coincides with some proctors' trip there, regardless of how full the exam schedule is.  Nudge nudge Gordon.  ;D
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: gordonstrong on May 12, 2011, 03:01:16 AM
Well, Paris isn't too far from Belgium...
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on May 12, 2011, 03:12:31 AM
I was actually thinking a Belgium exam would be better, because I'm more likely to go there than Paris.  I imagine most brewers feel the same way. :)
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: gordonstrong on May 12, 2011, 03:15:58 AM
You get that 90 yet?
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: Will's Swill on May 12, 2011, 03:16:47 AM
Well, speaking for myself, I much prefer Paris to Belgium.  An upcoming trip will likely be to Paris.  But I won't be drinking much beer.   :-\
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on May 12, 2011, 03:19:13 AM
You get that 90 yet?
91.  Now I need to redo the written.  I had a slot in San Diego, but had to give it up since it conflicts with the GC meeting.  That's fine though, it will wait until I have time to study, sometime after I graduate.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: phillamb168 on May 12, 2011, 07:49:21 AM
I know Ant Hayes' shoes would be a little too big for me to fill, but I'd certainly be willing to pick up where he left off in terms of getting the BJCP in Europe. This coincides with our efforts to get a larger Homebrewing association going in Europe - the two go hand-in-hand, really.

Gordon I'll PM you.

Me and Darin "know" the co-owner of Chez Moeder Lambic, he's a pretty cool guy and I'm sure he'd be happy to have the tasting test before they open or something. Belgium does seem like the natural starting place for that, plus Moeder has one of the largest selections of well-kept draft beers in the world. Gordon you're quite right of course, Paris is only about 80 minutes away from Brussels. We could have an after-after-party at my house :-)

Will, let me know when you're here - at the very least if you have time we should meet up at Cave á bulles…

One question about all this, is where can I get a concise list of BJCP-authorized examples of styles? I know Zymurgy has a tasting panel published every now and then which lists commercial examples, but a concise list would be ideal.
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: tschmidlin on May 12, 2011, 07:59:09 AM
One question about all this, is where can I get a concise list of BJCP-authorized examples of styles? I know Zymurgy has a tasting panel published every now and then which lists commercial examples, but a concise list would be ideal.
In the style guidelines there is a list of classic commercial examples or each style.
http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php
Title: Re: Doctoring Beers
Post by: Will's Swill on May 15, 2011, 09:20:43 PM
Will, let me know when you're here - at the very least if you have time we should meet up at Cave á bulles…


If you know where to get get decent beer in France, then I'm in.  I'm going to need a place to hide when my wife goes furniture shopping anyway.  Perhaps you can save me.  It'll probably be sometime this summer, but the trip isn't scheduled yet.