Author Topic: Style Guidelines and Judging  (Read 7677 times)

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2012, 04:48:22 PM »
Many commercial beers have been getting bigger and bolder. Maybe this is just a response to make something like they can buy?

Definitely. Anything you can do I can do bigger and stronger.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2012, 07:08:15 PM »
I've heard that entering a beer in a "step down" category (brown porter as brown ale, or scottish 70/- as 60/-) can help you win and I've seen this play out in a few instances as well.
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2012, 08:51:44 PM »
it isn't ideal but it could be worse.  The best beers win, usually.  Alternately, I think it is wrong for beers to win a first round ribbon, for the brewer to be asked to send 3 more bottles at their own expense, and THEN for the beer to be kicked out as out of style.  Which is exactly what happened with a Fruit Beer this year.  That person deserved the gold and if it had been my beer that got screwed I'd be pretty pissed.  Oh, and mini-BOS included a couple coconut beers (21A) and a Belgian (16E).    ::)

in the end we do the best we can as judges.  There are a lot of skilled brewers out there, and skillfully made beers can mask alcohol pretty well as Jeff has noted.  If multiple rounds perceive it as in style, nice job.  As long as the best beers keep winning, I can live with it.

cheers--
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2012, 05:27:17 AM »
it isn't ideal but it could be worse.  The best beers win, usually.  Alternately, I think it is wrong for beers to win a first round ribbon, for the brewer to be asked to send 3 more bottles at their own expense, and THEN for the beer to be kicked out as out of style.  Which is exactly what happened with a Fruit Beer this year.  That person deserved the gold and if it had been my beer that got screwed I'd be pretty pissed.  Oh, and mini-BOS included a couple coconut beers (21A) and a Belgian (16E).    ::)

If it were out of style then it got lucky to win the first round, not screwed to loose the second. Plus first round beers can be all over the place, maybe it was out of style but still the best example. Then progress to the second round where it is judged against other winners and being out of style is more of a flaw relative to the other entries.
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
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BJCP: B0958

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2012, 05:48:53 AM »
In reading this thread, it's hard not to wonder:  Why have style guidelines if entries significantly outside of said guidelines are winning competitions? 

IMHO-It's either an education issue for the judges or the guidelines need to be changed......

Dave
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2012, 06:09:05 AM »
As a person who is starting down the road of a BJCP judge, this topic seems a bit confusing. We have style guidelines and judge beers based on the criteria of a category. Though we can't tell the actual OG of a beer, I think we can pinpoint a stronger beer when we drink it.

Is this an issue with judging? No one has a recipe sheet in front of them after all. Is this a trend that seems to be consuming the brewing world where bigger is better? Or is it an awesome beer that tasted great and the gravity was hard to detect?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 06:12:05 AM by mmitchem »
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2012, 06:28:41 AM »
it isn't ideal but it could be worse.  The best beers win, usually.  Alternately, I think it is wrong for beers to win a first round ribbon, for the brewer to be asked to send 3 more bottles at their own expense, and THEN for the beer to be kicked out as out of style.  Which is exactly what happened with a Fruit Beer this year.  That person deserved the gold and if it had been my beer that got screwed I'd be pretty pissed.  Oh, and mini-BOS included a couple coconut beers (21A) and a Belgian (16E).    ::)

If it were out of style then it got lucky to win the first round, not screwed to loose the second. Plus first round beers can be all over the place, maybe it was out of style but still the best example. Then progress to the second round where it is judged against other winners and being out of style is more of a flaw relative to the other entries.

IMO it wasn't out of style.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2012, 06:31:14 AM »
The best beers do win. My example is category 8, where a 1.040 bitter won. I would put good money up that the winner was up against some 1.060 or higher ESBs in that category.

Of course the Homebrewer of the Year award went to a guy with a Munich Helles at 1.051, which is right at the top of the guidlines, but it beat out some really big beers.
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Online AmandaK

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2012, 07:14:27 AM »
The best beers do win. My example is category 8, where a 1.040 bitter won. I would put good money up that the winner was up against some 1.060 or higher ESBs in that category.

Of course the Homebrewer of the Year award went to a guy with a Munich Helles at 1.051, which is right at the top of the guidlines, but it beat out some really big beers.

I do love seeing the "small beers" win, case in point Ordinary Bitters & Munich Helles. I've also seen cases outside of the NHC where a 60/- will be in the top three at a comp.

But back to the original topic, how can we as judges know for sure what the parameters are of the beer in hand? Testing of each beer is obviously out of the question, and relying on a home brewer to provide you with the OG/FG info may just invite some people to fudge the numbers a bit to be "in style". ABV is one of the hardest things to pick out - some brewers are very skilled and can hide 8% in a 6% style. Should they be dinged for being good at what they do? Maybe... if you can even detect it. This is why I believe the guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not hard and fast rules, they are aids to help the judges determine if a beer is great at what it claims to be. Should there be a discussion between the 2 or 3 judges drinking these beers? Absolutely. But some things (especially beer drinking) are just subjective.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2012, 07:57:36 AM »
I would also point out that while we all make our calculations of what the IBUs and the ABV is for a recipe, the fact is that there are uncertainties involved that make it difficult to know the actual levels.  Things like age and storage conditions of hops, mash method, how long the beer was aged all affect IBUs.  Fewer variables for ABV I suppose but even there you have measurement error and some differences in fermentables that could affect actual ABV.

I do think it would behoove people to brew to style for contests, but when you are wanting to win there are strategies that are obviously effective.  And besides, we all already know what a typical recipe is for these styles, the nice thing about the NHC is that you get more complexity and yes some more liberal takes on a style.
Lennie
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Offline denny

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #25 on: August 27, 2012, 08:11:58 AM »
This is why I believe the guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not hard and fast rules, they are aids to help the judges determine if a beer is great at what it claims to be. Should there be a discussion between the 2 or 3 judges drinking these beers? Absolutely. But some things (especially beer drinking) are just subjective.

Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2012, 08:12:37 AM »
+1 to the past couple of posts.  I can appreciate what is being said.....
Dave Zach

Offline bonjour

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2012, 08:46:13 AM »
This is why I believe the guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not hard and fast rules, they are aids to help the judges determine if a beer is great at what it claims to be. Should there be a discussion between the 2 or 3 judges drinking these beers? Absolutely. But some things (especially beer drinking) are just subjective.


Nicely put
Fred Bonjour
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2012, 09:02:57 AM »
This is why I believe the guidelines are just that, guidelines. They are not hard and fast rules, they are aids to help the judges determine if a beer is great at what it claims to be. Should there be a discussion between the 2 or 3 judges drinking these beers? Absolutely. But some things (especially beer drinking) are just subjective.



+1x10^9

Offline mmitchem

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Re: Style Guidelines and Judging
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2012, 09:06:58 AM »
Speaking of judging, I have the BJCP tasting exam in January. Does anyone have a good method for study? Any tips from experience?
Michael P Mitchem
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