Author Topic: Bias in BJCP judging?  (Read 4229 times)

Offline dsmitch19

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2014, 09:29:26 AM »
To the OP, Congrats on starting the path to become a judge and improving the community. Reading through this thread, I think you might overestimate the detailed scientific knowledge related to brewing held by the large portion of homebrewers and even judges. In many of my conversations, especially with newer brewers in my club, many are still learning the basics and could not tell you the difference between an ester and a phenol, much less a specific scientific name of an ester (I know I couldn't until I started studying for the BJCP exams). If they were to get back a scoresheet with a list of the scientific terms, they would probably not benefit from it.

As you start judging, really keep in mind how you can best communicate to a wide audience of brewers while still identifying the complex technical elements of the beer you perceive. It can be challenging, but really painting a descriptive picture of the beer for the average brewers is a goal IMO. If we wanted a chemical analysis, we would send if off to a lab.

Also, keep in mind that many of your fellow judges will likely not be as scientifically versed as you appear to be with your ester knowledge, so be careful not to come across as condescending, which was a primary tone in some of your posts here. No judge's palate and other senses are perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, we are all in this to help everyone brew better beer, and have some fun along the way.
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Dennis Mitchell
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Offline jeffy

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2014, 12:16:33 PM »
The bjcp just published a scoresheet guide here: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/BJCP_Scoresheet_Guide.pdf
It shows how they are graded and could really help test takers and actual beer judges with their form(s).
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2014, 12:36:54 PM »
The bjcp just published a scoresheet guide here: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/BJCP_Scoresheet_Guide.pdf
It shows how they are graded and could really help test takers and actual beer judges with their form(s).

cool. that's a good read

Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2014, 04:00:46 PM »
To the OP, Congrats on starting the path to become a judge and improving the community. Reading through this thread, I think you might overestimate the detailed scientific knowledge related to brewing held by the large portion of homebrewers and even judges. In many of my conversations, especially with newer brewers in my club, many are still learning the basics and could not tell you the difference between an ester and a phenol, much less a specific scientific name of an ester (I know I couldn't until I started studying for the BJCP exams). If they were to get back a scoresheet with a list of the scientific terms, they would probably not benefit from it.
As you start judging, really keep in mind how you can best communicate to a wide audience of brewers while still identifying the complex technical elements of the beer you perceive. It can be challenging, but really painting a descriptive picture of the beer for the average brewers is a goal IMO. If we wanted a chemical analysis, we would send if off to a lab.

Terminology is an area where I struggle as a brewer.  I am 50% amateur brewer/50% amateur brewing scientist.  The beauty of scientific terminology is that it is unambiguous.  For example, one could use the following terms to describe the same fruity aroma (from most ambiguous to least ambiguous):

1.) Light fruity aroma
2.) Light grape-like aroma
3.) Slightly above sensory threshold ethyl heptanoate (the grape ester)

The casual brewer would more than likely be happy with description number one.  A brewer who brews with some intensity would more than likely appreciate knowing what type of fruit was sensed.  The hardcore, "I'm going to allocate every hour of my day that is not allocated to my job and family to brewing," type of brewer would probably appreciate description number three because it adds to his/her personal knowledge base.  In practice, I would probably choose to use following augmented version of description number two:

Light grape-like aroma (ethyl heptanoate)
 
The description above is easy enough for the non-science-oriented brewer to understand while simultaneously giving the aroma a proper name.

Quote
Also, keep in mind that many of your fellow judges will likely not be as scientifically versed as you appear to be with your ester knowledge, so be careful not to come across as condescending, which was a primary tone in some of your posts here. No judge's palate and other senses are perfect. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, we are all in this to help everyone brew better beer, and have some fun along the way.

Concur!

Offline MDixon

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2014, 04:12:37 PM »
None of the three would score very well on the taste exam.

I would suggest something like this to scratch your scientific itch and maximize your score on the taste exam:
Low level Concord grape ester (ethyl heptanoate)

A bit verbose, but it tells the level you perceived the aroma, provides a descriptor of the aroma, and demonstrates your knowledge of the ester. Now the problem would come if no one else perceives any grape ester from the proctors to the other examinees. That is why it would be good to judge at several competitions to calibrate your senses to that of others.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2014, 08:34:26 PM »
None of the three would score very well on the taste exam.

I would suggest something like this to scratch your scientific itch and maximize your score on the taste exam:
Low level Concord grape ester (ethyl heptanoate)

A bit verbose, but it tells the level you perceived the aroma, provides a descriptor of the aroma, and demonstrates your knowledge of the ester. Now the problem would come if no one else perceives any grape ester from the proctors to the other examinees. That is why it would be good to judge at several competitions to calibrate your senses to that of others.

That's definitely more succinct.   

Offline dkfick

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2014, 09:31:08 PM »
I would add that there are other esters that smell like grapes as well.  There could also be combinations of aromas that smell like grapes.  You are not a machine and you cannot know it's ethyl heptanoate with certainty.. but you can definitely say you're detecting 'grape' or 'concord grape'...
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2014, 11:12:39 PM »
If you drink a Miller Lite while watching reruns of Wide World of Sports, you can really pick up the poly ester notes.

Offline ranchovillabrew

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #53 on: March 05, 2014, 11:16:57 PM »
I am a fish Biologist who works extensively with other scientists and with the public, particularly anglers. It is always a challenge to move between the jargon of one group when trying to communicate with another.  For instance in scientific literature we use the binomial name for fish species. But the average angler doesn't know the fish as Sebastes miniatus.  He knows it as vermilion rockfish or red rockfish. It is critical to know both names to accurately communicate with both audiences.  The challenge is in knowing your audience.

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #54 on: March 05, 2014, 11:26:17 PM »
If you drink a Miller Lite while watching reruns of Wide World of Sports, you can really pick up the poly ester notes.

For those too young to remember this, think rented bowling shoes and Pall Malls.

Online alestateyall

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Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #55 on: March 06, 2014, 04:02:47 AM »
If you drink a Miller Lite while watching reruns of Wide World of Sports, you can really pick up the poly ester notes.

For those too young to remember this, think rented bowling shoes and Pall Malls.
Those poly esters are bad. Maybe that explains my dislike of miller lite.
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Online Jimmy K

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #56 on: March 06, 2014, 06:33:20 AM »
I would suggest something like this to scratch your scientific itch and maximize your score on the taste exam:
Low level Concord grape ester (ethyl heptanoate)

A bit verbose, ...
I think 'level' is not needed: Low Concord grape ester (ethyl heptanoate) is just as good.

I'd also say that's generally the convention their looking for. Get used to writing a short sentence like this for every keyword listed in the scoresheet sections and any others in the guidelines.

[Intensity Descriptor]      [Adjectives]      [Keyword]
Low/Medium/High     Tangerine/Grapefruit   Hops
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 06:41:04 AM by mtnrockhopper »
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #57 on: March 06, 2014, 09:19:36 AM »
Are style guides available during the tasting exam?   My recall is still fairly good, but it isn't what it used to be when I was younger.  My concerns lie in the areas of acceptable carbonation levels and mouthfeel.   It never really dawned me until I reviewed the style guide as a whole that the subcategories are ordered by body, from lightest to heaviest. 


Offline jeffy

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #58 on: March 06, 2014, 09:48:25 AM »
Are style guides available during the tasting exam?   My recall is still fairly good, but it isn't what it used to be when I was younger.  My concerns lie in the areas of acceptable carbonation levels and mouthfeel.   It never really dawned me until I reviewed the style guide as a whole that the subcategories are ordered by body, from lightest to heaviest.

No.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: Bias in BJCP judging?
« Reply #59 on: March 06, 2014, 11:28:45 AM »