Author Topic: Competition routine question  (Read 1334 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Competition routine question
« on: June 01, 2013, 09:56:55 PM »
How do you plan your brewing for competition?

Especially the NHC ones... I'm thinking about entering a couple next year. I have no idea how it works, how you time the brewing, when the first stage is. Any and all info would be great.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 04:41:29 AM »
You need to think about the beer(s) you would want to enter, and how long it takes to mature them. Look to see when the entries are due, then count back on the calendar to see when to brew. You might allow an extra week or 2 for fine tuning of the carbonation in kegs, packaging, etc. if you don't have all contingencies in you original timing.

I do lagers in the late December to Jan, stronger ones first, so that they are lagered out. A German Wheat would be brewed only 2-3 weeks or so before the entry date for the first round (I don't brew these, so chime in if anyone has better timing). You might want to think about when the beer is at its best, and time back from the judging window, rather than the shipping window.

Experience with certain beer styles plays a part in this. In Brewing Better Beer Gordon Strong has a chapter on competitions and how to do it, and it has good points on the process.



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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 04:44:16 AM »
Awesome thanks. Any idea when round one usually is?

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 08:30:07 AM »
Mid April, but each region has slightly different timing, depending on when they can get judges.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 08:38:10 AM »
Perfect. Fits well with peak brewing season. Assuming most people like to brew more in the boring winter months. I do believe I'll make a run at it next year. Thanks

Offline james

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2013, 12:36:58 PM »
Honestly I'd try to find some more local competitions to enter first before entering NHC.  You're cost per entry will be a lot cheaper and you might not even have to ship the bottles.  Often you get the same level of feedback or better at a smaller well run competition vs the NHC 1st round.

County fair season is coming up too.  They can be sometimes cheap or free to enter.

Check the schedule for a few nearby.  http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php


Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2013, 01:35:53 PM »
Honestly I'd try to find some more local competitions to enter first before entering NHC.  You're cost per entry will be a lot cheaper and you might not even have to ship the bottles.  Often you get the same level of feedback or better at a smaller well run competition vs the NHC 1st round.

County fair season is coming up too.  They can be sometimes cheap or free to enter.

Check the schedule for a few nearby.  http://www.bjcp.org/apps/comp_schedule/competition_schedule.php

Good advice.

Through experience, it is a good idea to have some beers that you spend time dialing in, and seeing what the judges like/don't like. You might also see some variation in results for the same batch of beer, which is the nature of the beast.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2013, 06:49:53 PM »
I will do some looking around. For me a competition will be all about the unbiased feedback. Obviously if I won it would hang on the wall, but that's not at all the point. It seems like the bjcp could build their funds up if they offered feedback tasting for a reasonable fee. Send in beer just like for competition and get back a judgment sheet with score and feedback just no awards.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2013, 08:18:24 AM »
I will do some looking around. For me a competition will be all about the unbiased feedback. Obviously if I won it would hang on the wall, but that's not at all the point. It seems like the bjcp could build their funds up if they offered feedback tasting for a reasonable fee. Send in beer just like for competition and get back a judgment sheet with score and feedback just no awards.
BJCP is all-volunteer.  This is exactly what the numerous homebrew contests acheive, multiple opportunities to get feedback.  Theres one next week in Peroia, and the week after in Lexington KY.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2013, 08:23:31 AM »
Mid April, but each region has slightly different timing, depending on when they can get judges.

Be aware that the comps judge in April, but all beer is due to the site by the end of March.

I only plan for the NHC comp ( taking the due date and counting back for each style I have and trying to make the schedule fit ).  Other comps, I'll enter what I have on hand.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2013, 08:29:00 AM »
In case you didn't know, all BJCP competitions are listed here.
http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/pages/competitions/aha-bjcp-sanctioned-competition/calendar
 
I wouldn't plan on NHC just for feedback. Not that you won't get great feedback there, but it's twice the cost and demand currently far exceeds entry slots. You could easily brew for it and wind up not being able to enter.  It's a little too much frustration just to get feedback.  Plus, using other competitions will allow you more brewing schedule flexibility.
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Offline leejoreilly

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2013, 11:46:12 AM »
Jim -

You might check to see about a homebrew club in your area. Our club holds several different sorts of local competitions, from the Club-Only Comps (sadly now defunct) to our own local "Master Brewer" comps. We have a ton of qualified judges who attend our monthly meetings and are always willing to give less formal one-on-one advise about our current brews. I don't compete, but I've gotten all sorts of hugely valuable feedback from our judges and other non-rated brewing members. Plus, you get to sample great beers...

LJ

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 11:48:11 AM »
Thanks I'll do some digging

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Competition routine question
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2013, 11:51:10 AM »
Jim -

You might check to see about a homebrew club in your area. Our club holds several different sorts of local competitions, from the Club-Only Comps (sadly now defunct) to our own local "Master Brewer" comps. We have a ton of qualified judges who attend our monthly meetings and are always willing to give less formal one-on-one advise about our current brews. I don't compete, but I've gotten all sorts of hugely valuable feedback from our judges and other non-rated brewing members. Plus, you get to sample great beers...

LJ
Several club members are go to guys for feedback. That was a valuable asset when need feedback.
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