Author Topic: First Competition  (Read 2145 times)

Offline jweiss206

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2014, 11:44:46 AM »
My buddy and I entered our first competition a few months back. We just entered beers we happened to have in unlabeled bottles, none brewed with a comp in mind. He finished 3rd in the other category with a wheat based stout. Mine was rated good, a 26 I think, with some flaws, which I knew going in. It was an ESB that I just kinda whipped out without a fine attention to detail. It's great getting feedback from non-partisan reviews. It reinforced what I already knew (mash temps, oxidation etc.) I now put greater focus in controlling temps and making sure I introduce as little oxygen as possible when transferring from the carboy to bottling bucket.

Good luck!

Offline jaftak22

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2014, 09:10:04 PM »
Pretty excited about it. But I am nervous as hell. Only had close friends and family try my beer. Everyone says they really like it. It's different to have complete strangers try your beer

Offline fmader

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2014, 06:45:11 AM »
Pretty excited about it. But I am nervous as hell. Only had close friends and family try my beer. Everyone says they really like it. It's different to have complete strangers try your beer

This was actually the main reason for me to enter. My beer is great to everybody I know. I just wanted somebody else to taste it and get some unbiased feedback.
Frank

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2014, 06:56:09 AM »
Family and friends are not critical judges, typically.

My first competition was back in the 90s. The one beer entered got a 28 or 29. 
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 07:47:07 AM »
29 isn't horrible for a first, right? I just hope I don't get a 12

Offline philm63

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2014, 08:01:44 AM »
My first competition entry was in American Pale Ale.  Didn't realize back then the competition in that category.  Didn't place but did get some great feedback.  I did get a gold the following year in that same category.

Same exact experience here - got good comments with the first one, took gold with the next one. Even if I don't think a beer is a great example, if I can enter it in a comp and get comments, it's always worth it.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2014, 08:12:44 AM »
Similar to hopfenundmalz, I entered my first ~ 1994 or so (?) . It was an APA that scored 29. I took all the feedback to heart and, a couple comps later, bumped it to 39. I kind of got burned out with the comp thing after the first few years since I was working a ton of hours then, but i'd like to enter a couple comps this year to get tuned up and enter a couple beers in NHC next year maybe.
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Offline darwin18

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2014, 08:22:46 AM »
Pretty excited about it. But I am nervous as hell. Only had close friends and family try my beer. Everyone says they really like it. It's different to have complete strangers try your beer

Most first-time competition brewers, especially new brewers, don't score very well at first due to a number of reasons.  Without ever trying your beer, my recommendation would be to take the judge's comments constructively and don't take it too harshly.  In my first competition, I submitted a pale ale that scored a 21.  I was disheartened and my first impulse was to trash the scoresheet, but my wife talked me down.  Going through the scoresheet where all the flaws were pointed out wasn't very fun, but they were right and it made me a better brewer.  Regardless of how you score or place, try to apply the comments constructively.  That's the whole point of the competition, otherwise the judges wouldn't have to bother filling out scoresheets!  I have a wall full of ribbons now and I'm an active judge, but none of that would have happened if I had trashed the scoresheet. 
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Offline denny

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2014, 10:18:57 AM »
29 isn't horrible for a first, right? I just hope I don't get a 12

I wouldn't worry about it...they usually set 13 as the lowest score judges can give!  ;)
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2014, 10:28:01 AM »
Pretty excited about it. But I am nervous as hell. Only had close friends and family try my beer. Everyone says they really like it. It's different to have complete strangers try your beer

Most first-time competition brewers, especially new brewers, don't score very well at first due to a number of reasons.  Without ever trying your beer, my recommendation would be to take the judge's comments constructively and don't take it too harshly.  In my first competition, I submitted a pale ale that scored a 21.  I was disheartened and my first impulse was to trash the scoresheet, but my wife talked me down.  Going through the scoresheet where all the flaws were pointed out wasn't very fun, but they were right and it made me a better brewer.  Regardless of how you score or place, try to apply the comments constructively.  That's the whole point of the competition, otherwise the judges wouldn't have to bother filling out scoresheets!  I have a wall full of ribbons now and I'm an active judge, but none of that would have happened if I had trashed the scoresheet.

I will agree and reinforce that for jaftak22.

Be objective and try not to take it personally. You may like the beer, but may be cellar blind to some of its short comings. Set down with a glass of that beer when you have time and really go through the comments. Do you pick out flaws, if mentioned? Did the beer miss some style guidelines? Then think about how to improve ingredients and process to brew a better beer the next time.

Competing, and judging, have made me a better brewer, and able to recognize defects.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2014, 10:31:42 AM »
I've only entered 2 competitions thus far but It was great to get some unbiased opinions. my scores ranged between 29 and 35 on 3 different brews. I was happy that what I thought was pretty good beers, others seemed to think so too. I'm hoping to get some beers entered into this years AHA. Do all who register make it in for judging for the first round? I've never submitted to the AHA before and was curious.
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Offline jaftak22

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2014, 01:21:54 PM »
Totally looking forward to the unbiased feedback. That is pretty much the whole reason I have entered into this competition. Not knowing anyone else that home brews, I am self taught. I am sure that everyone else on here is to. So as a home brewer I feel that competing is invaluable because we have others taste our brew and help us with our short comings.

Online morticaixavier

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2014, 03:47:48 PM »
I've only entered 2 competitions thus far but It was great to get some unbiased opinions. my scores ranged between 29 and 35 on 3 different brews. I was happy that what I thought was pretty good beers, others seemed to think so too. I'm hoping to get some beers entered into this years AHA. Do all who register make it in for judging for the first round? I've never submitted to the AHA before and was curious.

If you get to enter your beer will be judged during the first round. if you place in your category in the first round you will advance to the second round. Now there are two different things to register for. there is the NHC = National Homebrewers Conference and the NHC = National Homebrew Contest, the final round of which is held during the Conference.

There will likely be a lottery for entry into the contest, likely not for the conference.
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Offline swlusk

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2014, 04:34:14 PM »
I've only entered 2 competitions thus far but It was great to get some unbiased opinions. my scores ranged between 29 and 35 on 3 different brews. I was happy that what I thought was pretty good beers, others seemed to think so too. I'm hoping to get some beers entered into this years AHA. Do all who register make it in for judging for the first round? I've never submitted to the AHA before and was curious.

If you get to enter your beer will be judged during the first round. if you place in your category in the first round you will advance to the second round. Now there are two different things to register for. there is the NHC = National Homebrewers Conference and the NHC = National Homebrew Contest, the final round of which is held during the Conference.

There will likely be a lottery for entry into the contest, likely not for the conference.
The lottery makes sense since they announced it doesn't matter if you register early or not. The cool thing is I should brew as though I'm expecting to get to send beer and if I don't get to compete, I get to drink some hopefully good beers! ;)
Corripe Cervisiam

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Offline dkfick

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Re: First Competition
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2014, 05:09:22 PM »
Totally looking forward to the unbiased feedback. That is pretty much the whole reason I have entered into this competition. Not knowing anyone else that home brews, I am self taught. I am sure that everyone else on here is to. So as a home brewer I feel that competing is invaluable because we have others taste our brew and help us with our short comings.
I would note the NHC 1st and 2nd rounds this year will be using the quick evaluation sheets. You may not get as detailed of feedback from it as you are looking for.
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