Author Topic: Competition  (Read 2477 times)

Offline cheba420

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Competition
« on: October 06, 2012, 08:08:35 PM »
Ive been brewing for about 6 years now. Earlier this year I entered a couple beers into a local competition for the first time. I was just looking for feedback and man, did I get it. Horrible results. I entered 1 beer in the wrong category and I entered another beer that I knew wasnt up to par. They ripped them apart. Good lesson. I learned some things and I was humbled.

My brewing buddy and I just entered two new beers into the local home brew club's Octoberfest. We entered a Saison and a Vanilla Porter. We took bronze with both entries and the Vanilla Porter pulled a 38 and the Saison pulled a 40 and moved on to the Best of Show line up, where it got knocked out.

I know that comps arent everything but it is nice to use the info to improve your process and its obviously nice to get the validation that others enjoyed your beer. I've learned a hell of a lot on this forum so I'd like to that all of you that have offered up advice and pointed me in the right direction over the last few years.  I look forward to entering more beers into more contests.
Matt
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Competition
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2012, 07:06:01 AM »
One enters competitions to get feedback and learn. On the first one you learned that a sure way to get a low score is to enter in the wrong category,  ;). Hopefully they said something along the lines that the beer would have done better in whatever category it should have been entered in.

Your second competition had better results for you, and now you are hooked. Congradulations on the good scores, a 38 and 40 mean that you are making beer that has good process and to style . - and that you can be proud of.

There is a section in Brewing Better Beer by some guy named Gordon Strong that goes into details of entering competions. It gave some information that was beyond what we were doing, and that we added to our competion beer routine.

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Offline cheba420

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Re: Competition
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2012, 08:41:28 AM »
Jeff,

Thanks for the kind words. I have to admit that that book hasnt made it into my collection yet. I'll have to get my hands on it soon. My brewing has improved significantly over the last year or so. We've noticed it here at the house and among friends but it was great to get that neutral, 3rd party endorsement yesterday. Like I said in the original post, I've learned a lot on this forum and have put the things I've learned into practice. There's a lot of talent here! Hooked? Yeah...probably!

Matt
Mesa, AZ.
#197645

On Tap: Vanilla Porter, Belgian Blonde, Saison, Black IPA, Punkin Porter
Primary: Pale 31 Clone, Raspberry Cider
Secondary: Vanilla Porter
Conditioning: Brett IPA
Bottles:Mosaic Wheat
On Deck: Flanders Red, Berliner weisse, Punkin Saison, Saison Brett

Offline dannyjed

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Re: Competition
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2012, 04:40:40 PM »
congrats on the scores!  Entering competitions has definitely helped me with my brewing.  BJCP judges have done a fantastic job in all the comps I've entered.  They give good feedback, critiques, and encouragement which help improve on my process, recipe, and my own tasting.  I still enjoy learning more about brewing. 
Dan Chisholm

Offline brad79

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Re: Competition
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2012, 01:51:08 PM »
Competitions, are subjective to the palate of the judge.  They have guide lines, that they follow, however, if the judge has the sniffles or has tasted several beers in front of yours, their palate can be off.  If you are getting scores like 18-15 or lower, you might rethink what you have done.  If not, and you and your friends like your beer, keep on keeping on!!!!!!!!

I entered a competition with a Northern English Brown.  I scored a 36 and didn't even place.  The biggest complaint from one judge was no esters,  from the other, esters were slightly too strong.   So you can see how we all have a different palate, and we all use our palate differently. 

As far as entering in the wrong category, go to the BJCP style page   http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php

From here plan your recipe based on the style guidelines, and use some of the ingredient suggestions.  Plan your beer for the competition, don't just throw a beer into one, unless your are certain it will fit the style specs. 

Online theDarkSide

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Re: Competition
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 05:05:23 AM »
I entered a competition with a Northern English Brown.  I scored a 36 and didn't even place. 

I had an IPA one year that scored a 40 and didn't place.  It was a sizable comp so I'm sure there were tons of entries in the IPA category.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Competition
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 05:16:39 AM »
Congrats. I entered a few comps early on but it gets expensive, especially shipping.
Keep at it and I second Gordon's book.

p.s.  Anyone want to bet how long until Majorvices moves this out of all grain?

Offline hubie

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Re: Competition
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 12:44:02 PM »
How does "Best of Show" work?  Is it only the category winners that advance, or the top point getters, or is it competition-specific?  How is the judging done anyway, are the beers being compared to each other, or are they being compared to their own styles?

Offline blatz

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Re: Competition
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 12:56:01 PM »
How does "Best of Show" work?  Is it only the category winners that advance, or the top point getters, or is it competition-specific?  How is the judging done anyway, are the beers being compared to each other, or are they being compared to their own styles?

usually all the gold medal winners move to the BOS, where the beers that best represent their style are chosen and ranked.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Competition
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 01:08:18 PM »
How does "Best of Show" work?  Is it only the category winners that advance, or the top point getters, or is it competition-specific?  How is the judging done anyway, are the beers being compared to each other, or are they being compared to their own styles?

In most competitions the BOS round contains the winners from each category. Organizers are allowed to change that though. Often there is a minimum score required to go to BOS.
 
In BJCP sanctioned competitions, each beer is scored individually according to how well it meets style and technical requirements. At the end of a flight, judges sometimes re-taste the highest scoring beers to pick the winners for the category. If that is done, then they are being judged against each other, although the style guidelines are still in mind.
 
In other competitions, anything goes.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Competition
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 01:53:23 PM »
If there are too many entries of a style for one pair of judges to evaluate, then they pick the top two or three from each flight and do a mini-best of show to chose the first, second and third place beers.  Sometimes there will be no notes to the entrant from this round, so he may have had a very high scoring beer that didn't win the flight.  I prefer second round score sheets or mini-bos notes, personally, but a lot of competitions don't have the time to do this.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: Competition
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 01:06:07 PM »
How does "Best of Show" work?  Is it only the category winners that advance, or the top point getters, or is it competition-specific?  How is the judging done anyway, are the beers being compared to each other, or are they being compared to their own styles?

I'm assuming you're asking about how the BOS runs? Surprisingly, it's usually left up to the panel of judges involved how to winnow their way through the entries. The entry pool is as defined previously, usually made up of any 1st place beer meeting whatever the competition's minimum guidelines are. For instance, in the Falcons comps, it's usually all 1st place beers because we allow judges to not award a first place if they don't feel a beer deserves it.

At the BOS table, how I typically run it:

All of the BOS beers/meads/ciders are poured out (so 28 for the Falcons). Each panelist has a style and notes for the beers. (e.g. IPA with Citra and Mango)

The panelists quickly taste through all the beers, jotting down notes, impressions and rough thumbs up/thumbs downs on each.

Then, we proceed with the talk. I usually do a round robin format asking each panelist for what beer stands out to them as being weak and why. Discussion ensues, yielding a go/no go decision. We keep that going until people have run out of beers they feel merit cutting.

Then we go through the remaining beers / revisit survivors of the first discussion (<14) .

After every beer has been discussed, we look at how many remain (<6) and take a straw pool to see how people feel about ranking. Beers with lower totals then usually are winnowed out unless some feels very strongly.

This is the fun part, because this is hard and this is where the merits of a beer get discussed in depth - both in terms of style and in terms of quality overall. In my experience BOS panels with experienced judges will factor in just how hard it it to pull off a style in a quality fashion. (e.g. a Mild or a Pilsner at this stage would definitely be recognized and given props for creating a great beer in an unforgiving style)

Then more straw polls, more discussion, more monkey knife fights and then suddenly a winner.

I will be honest - if you're in the top 3 (BOS, 1st Runnerup and 2nd Runnerup) then you did pretty damn well and probably only missed on by a few points.
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Online theDarkSide

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Re: Competition
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 01:25:03 PM »
Admit it...they number the entries 1 - 20 and use this:

 ;D
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