Author Topic: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet  (Read 4143 times)

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2012, 12:53:36 PM »
I am kind of on the fence with regards to comments that this should have been entered as a specialty beer.

Although I assumed that the beer looked, smelled and tasted like a RIPA, you make a very good point.

In competition, forget the ingredients, or what you intended the beer style to be, and enter it in the category in which it best hits the description for Aroma, Appearance, Flavor and Mouthfeel.

Sometimes you can hit gold with a happy accident. For example, a guy in my HB club had some fermentation problems with an English Pale Ale which gave it some tropical fruit esters and spicy phenols. He won second place with it as a Belgian Pale Ale.

Also, if you do enter a beer in categories 20-23, it sure as God engineered acetaldehyde into green apples better have your specialty ingredients in the aroma and the flavor. If it doesn't, the judges will jump all over that fact. So, if the original poster wasn't getting a whole lot of rye flavor and/or aroma, he was smart to just enter it as an American IPA.

Finally, apologies if I rubbed anyone the wrong way with my rather acerbic take on the judges' (lack of) comments. I'm a National judge myself, and while it's far less exalted a rank than Master or Grand Master, I believe that some responsibilities go with the rank. I take it a bit personally when I see someone who I believe should know better does a sloppy job.

Offline weithman5

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2012, 01:30:54 PM »
[
Finally, apologies if I rubbed anyone the wrong way with my rather acerbic take on the judges' (lack of) comments. I'm a National judge myself, and while it's far less exalted a rank than Master or Grand Master, I believe that some responsibilities go with the rank. I take it a bit personally when I see someone who I believe should know better does a sloppy job.

apologies hell,  i am embarrassed that i couldn't come up with a 10% take on your discussion.  i have a lot of work to do
Don AHA member

Offline Alewyfe

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2012, 12:25:41 PM »
aroma 8/12. slightly off funk in the front, backed by citrus and a light sweetness. no DMS, slight acetaldehyde

Unless you're editing the comments, IMO you didn't get your money's worth from the judge. I'd expect a lot more description than you got from a National level judge, and I really hate vague, unhelpful terms like "funk." If this guy was proctoring an exam beer, I'd be swearing at him through the entire exam set as I graded it. He might be Nationally ranked, but he wasn't up to scratch when he scored your beer.

Just excellent Thomas...all your commentary on this beer is the kind of feedback that I pay my money to the competitions for, but seldom receive. You have just motivated me to do a "judges scoresheet" which I will fill out and return to competition organizers, after I have gotten my results back from competitions. I have organized and stewarded in sanctioned competitions, so I know the difficulties of finding adequate numbers of qualified judges, but I agree, if you've got the certification, do a job worthy of your rank. (and for gawd's sake, get rid of that "more malt"
rubber stamp in your pocket)
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Offline melferburque

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 09:46:02 PM »
Thomas - thanks a ton for the feedback. unfortunately, I didn't edit the comments at all.  I did get a couple other BJCP judges from the same competition to give me their feedback as well.  it wasn't as thorough as your analysis, but they also weren't having to guess at vague descriptors.  I think between your analysis and their feedback, I'll be able to make some serious changes.

the mash does continue to confound me.  I've started using 5.2 ph stabilizer in the mash recently, but it hasn't helped much.  I get my strike water heated to where brewsmith advises it (usually around 165-168) and by the time I add my grains to the preheated cooler, I'm sitting right around 150-ish degrees, never more than 152 or 153, and if so I quickly stir to bring the temp down.  I verify the temp with a second probe thermometer, and the two readings usually jive with what beersmith predicts.  I always mash for 60 minutes, but haven't attempted any iodine tests (figuring an hour at 150 degrees should be sufficient).  I've abandoned my fly-sparging for a straight batch sparge, usually adding water around 185 degrees to the drained grain bed and giving a good stir to end up at 170.  maybe this is where I'm going wrong?  is my sparge water too hot?  and how long should I let the sparge sit?  you mentioned 30 minutes, is that for batch?  and is that sitting for thirty minutes, or slowly draining for thirty?  I definitely haven't had my batch sparges sit or take that long.  may explain why I have trouble hitting my higher pH on the sparge (it's usually only about .2 higher than the mash).

I do know I've been fermenting too hot.  I'd been keeping the primaries in a 70-72 degree climate controlled room.  I've since dropped that down to a 60 degree ambient room temp, and will rely on my fermometers on the fermenters to tell me if my temp is correct.  that should go a long way towards helping with haze and unwanted phenols.  I will also begin a regimen of at LEAST two weeks for all primaries from some previous feedback, that should also help considerably.

thanks again, to everyone.  I'm happy with the beer I brew, but I do want to get better at it and maybe start finishing better in competitions.  and I know I can't do that without help.  you guys are awesome!

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2012, 12:44:55 AM »
A few years ago at one of the NHC conferences a representative from Briess Malt did a presentation on mashing.

IIRC, his take was that most modern malts convert very quickly. You've got about 5 minutes to get your starch conversion temperature right before your stuck with it, and mash conversion is pretty well complete in about 30 minutes.

But, it takes time to get the sugar out, so go with a longer slower sparge time - perhaps 45-60 minutes.

I've used that advice and been pretty happy with it, although there are other problems with my mashing set-up that I haven't yet fixed.

Also, make sure that your sparge temperature is at about ~168 *F. That will help sugar extraction and make wort collection slightly better.

Finally, two stupid things that I learned the hard way:

1) Are your thermometers calibrated properly? I was using a cheapo chef's pocket thermometer for a long time before I realized that it had "uncalibrated' itself by about -5 *F.

2) Get your grain crush right. If you're grinding your grain with a Corona Mill, you'll be lucky to get 60% efficiency. There are plenty of pictures on the web (or in books like John Palmer's How to Brew or Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer) of what a good grain crush looks like. It should be about mostly fine "grits" of varying sizes and maybe about 10% flour, with mostly intact husks, and no intact or mostly intact grains. Ideally, you want fine flour inside virtually intact husks, but that's not possible even with professional grade equipment.

Offline danny

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 05:18:07 AM »

2) Get your grain crush right. If you're grinding your grain with a Corona Mill, you'll be lucky to get 60% efficiency. There are plenty of pictures on the web (or in books like John Palmer's How to Brew or Greg Noonan's New Brewing Lager Beer) of what a good grain crush looks like. It should be about mostly fine "grits" of varying sizes and maybe about 10% flour, with mostly intact husks, and no intact or mostly intact grains. Ideally, you want fine flour inside virtually intact husks, but that's not possible even with professional grade equipment.

I haven't been following this thread but FWIW I use a corona mill and I get 70-75% efficiency all the time.

Danny

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2012, 01:28:08 PM »
I used a Corona mill for a long time. I found that you could get a reasonably decent crush if you put a short stack of washers onto the screws used to hold the "C" shaped part of the mill in place, giving a slightly greater gap between the grinder plates.

Even so, I had lots of trouble with the grain husks being torn and getting an uneven crush.

Offline melferburque

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2012, 01:51:36 PM »
I just picked up a Barley Crusher MaltMill and plan to use it for the first time this weekend.  previously I had been using the HBS mills with mixed results depending on where I went.

I also received my scoresheets from the GEBL Hop Madness Bracket last night, and the comments on those were much more helpful.  I scored in the mid 30s on two beers, and had a 39.5 on my Cascadian.  I was pleasantly surprised by the CDA, it took a couple months to really come into its own, but I'm definitely going to use that recipe again, with a few tweaks.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2012, 04:11:19 PM »
I scored in the mid 30s on two beers, and had a 39.5 on my Cascadian.

That's an excellent score, normally good enough to win in its category. The competition must have been brutal if it didn't.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2012, 04:23:13 PM »
I scored in the mid 30s on two beers, and had a 39.5 on my Cascadian.

That's an excellent score, normally good enough to win in its category. The competition must have been brutal if it didn't.
It's not a standard competition, it's IPA (and sub categories) only and after judging the beers go head to head in a bracket challenge until a winner is chosen. :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline melferburque

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 02:48:08 PM »
I figured I was doing pretty well scoring in the mid 30s in my first competition, but like tschmidlin said, that was an insane competition.  I know they had over a hundred entries, all IPAs, and I was happy to just qualify for the initial 64 beer bracket with all three of my entries.

I'm on the fence about entering the same beers into the cascade cup pro-am in two weeks.  I don't have enough time to re-brew with improvements, and I won't be able to win with my current lineup (especially since I'm out of the 39.5 cascadian).  is it worth getting the extra feedback when I already have four good scoresheets on the beers?  I'd feel a little guilty for wasting the judges' time.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2012, 12:26:04 AM »
It's not a waste of the judges time if you want more feedback.  Or if you think it might win.  It's good to get it in front of multiple sets of judges.

Plus we like to get lots of entries for the Cascadia Cup :)
Tom Schmidlin

Offline melferburque

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2012, 08:22:03 AM »
It's not a waste of the judges time if you want more feedback.  Or if you think it might win.  It's good to get it in front of multiple sets of judges.

Plus we like to get lots of entries for the Cascadia Cup :)

seeing as I didn't make it out of the first round of the GEBL bracket challenge, I doubt I'd win.  I can at least up the carb on both of them, that might be worth an extra point or two.  I'll get them dropped off next week.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2012, 07:48:57 PM »
That's an excellent score, normally good enough to win in its category. The competition must have been brutal if it didn't.
It's not a standard competition, it's IPA (and sub categories) only and after judging the beers go head to head in a bracket challenge until a winner is chosen. :)

That's brutal! :)

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: help interpreting BJCP scoresheet
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2012, 08:04:12 PM »
Is it worth getting the extra feedback when I already have four good scoresheets on the beers?  I'd feel a little guilty for wasting the judges' time.

Entering a beer in competition isn't wasting the judges' time, that's why they're there.

But, if you don't have competitive beers, there's two reasons to enter them - to get feedback or to support the club running the contest.

If you're cheap and just want feedback, you don't have to enter the competition at all. Just take a bottle of a beer to your local HB shop or HB club meeting and corner someone you know to be an experienced judge who gives good advice (not necessarily BJCP-ranked). Have them taste your brew and give feedback. Since you're standing right there, they can ask questions about ingredients, process, etc., to further troubleshoot your problems.

If you are a serious competitor, getting feedback from experienced judges before you enter can also help you decide which beers are contenders and which are also-rans, which maximizes your chances of winning.

Of course, if you become a beer judge, or learn to troubleshoot as well as a judge, then you can provide your own feedback. That's one of the reasons why guys like Gordon Strong and Jamil Zainasheff are such heavy hitters in the NHC - they're also great judges.

Finally, if you want further feedback about a beer from a competition, just about every judge has their email address on the judging forms. That's an invitation to send them email and ask for more info. But, if you do send email, be polite and describe the beer - it's unlikely that the judge will remember your beer unless it was really terrible, really good, or really unusual. Also, not all judges respond to email.