Author Topic: BJCP Tasting Exam  (Read 1028 times)

Offline cytorunner

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BJCP Tasting Exam
« on: December 23, 2012, 01:59:10 PM »
It's a Christmas Miracle, I passed the BJCP entrance exam. For those who have taken the tasting exam; how did you find the exam and what was preferred study method? I wasn't able get in on a formal study group so I plan on rereading "Brewing Classic Styles" and writing out score sheets for judged from the AHA.

Cheers

Jim
Jim

On Deck: Ode Bruin
Primary: 100% Brett Beer
Secondary: Nothing
Kegged: IPA, Dry Cider

Offline smkranz

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 04:12:51 PM »
I would suggest that you volunteer to judge as many competitions as you can find, to get live judging experience while paired with a ranked judge.  Go to the BJCP competition page and find registered comps that are in driving distance, and contact the organizer or go to the comp web site to sign up as a judge.  Definitely practice writing score sheets on your own, but there is nothing like the experience of judging with some different judges.

Brew as many different styles as you can.  I feel that I write much better score sheets on styles which I have studied and actually brewed at least once.  Short of that, study the style guidelines, and taste as many of the commercial examples as you can.

The styles tested for are pretty diverse...the last exam I took earlier this year included:

1. Weizenbock
2. Oktoberfest
3. Best Bitter
4. Foreign Extra Stout
5. Biere de Garde
6. American Barleywine

(Not an IPA in the bunch!)

Also be as familiar as you can get with common flaws and what causes them.  You can study the Troubleshooting section of the BJCP Exam Study Guide, but that doesn't substitute for tasting them in a beer.

Steve Kranz
AHA • BJCP
Midnight Homebrewers' League
Westminster, Maryland
http://www.midnighthomebrewers.org

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 05:16:41 PM »
I'm taking the new tasting exam in January for the first time to try and level up (I passed the "legacy exam" previously). My current plan is to read all of the exam study materials from the BJCP website first, right now I'm about 2/3 through the main exam study guide. Then I was going to read through the official style guides and "Classic Styles", which might be all the reading I'll do. I'm definitely going to fill out a bunch of scoresheets, too.

Offline cytorunner

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 08:04:45 PM »
Thanks Guys for the response.  I have already judged a few comps, that is what inspired me to take the exam.   
Jim

On Deck: Ode Bruin
Primary: 100% Brett Beer
Secondary: Nothing
Kegged: IPA, Dry Cider

Offline musseldoc

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2013, 08:02:06 AM »
By now the details of the styles should be memorized.  Now you need to get some fluency with judging and writing.  I would get a few classic examples of some styles, sit down with them and fill out a BJCP scoring sheet.  Then repeat and repeat until the structure of the responses come flowing out as naturally as possible.  Physically write out your responses until until you get some consistency in how you are presenting your evaluation.  Read the BJCP examples and mirror their flows and patterns to tasting and evaluating beer.  After a few times, evaluate a beer as if it were a different style. How would you evalute a dry stout as an APA?  How would you 'fix' the beer to taste like an APA?  All good practice for developing your own personal judging style. 
This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption... Beer! - Friar Tuck

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2013, 06:29:26 AM »
A key point from the testing materials is to treat the style guidelines like a rubric in your comments. This means you need to comment about characteristics you don't perceive as well as those you do.  If the guidelines say "No DMS" and you do not detect DMS, you need to write "No DMS". Leaving no comment will lose points.
 
Stick to descriptors with real meaning. "Great mouthfeel" doesn't say anything about what you actually experienced. Thin, creamy, chewy, etc do have meaning.
 
Shorten comments so you have room to mention more characteristics in each section. Anything that approaches a sentence is to long (except perhaps in the overall impression section).
« Last Edit: January 02, 2013, 06:31:54 AM by mtnrockhopper »
Jimmy K

Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup when the old president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP: B0958