Author Topic: Lil Help  (Read 1315 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Lil Help
« on: April 18, 2014, 05:41:35 PM »
This is probably asking for trouble, but I live in the middle of no where. I trust you guys. Well, some of you.

Im trying to improve my judging skills, and scoresheet writing abilities. Im not trying to become a 9th level beer god, just an ok judge. Let me know what you think and tell me what I ought to do different. Don't get lost in the weeds. But dont pull punches either.

I cracked an Arrogant Bastard bomber,  poured to a new 5oz sample cup. I didn't use a stop watch but it took me about 12 minutes.

I'm not about to type it all out... hopefully the photo works.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 08:34:57 PM »
I tried Jim, couldn't read it sideways.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 08:55:32 PM »
Bummer. I cant get it to save rotated... Ill try a different way.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 09:01:15 PM »
Screw it. Never mind. Cant figure it out.

Offline Pinski

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 09:07:22 PM »
I'm in the same boat Jim, about halfway through my BJCP course. So, take my comments as someone trying to repeat what I've been learning rather than a voice of experience. Hope you don't mind.
Very thorough, and man that seems like more than half the battle. You've given clear, thoughtful feedback on most if not all of the points listed on the scoresheet for each element. My instructors have emphasized that the key is right there on the scoresheet. If you touch on each of the points based on what you're experiencing you can't go wrong. I noticed that you called out a fermentation ester, but then wrote none on the descriptor definitions present checklist.  The only other things I would offer is to try and pretend like you can't read the label when you practice and judge it according to style rather than like a commercial review and offer things that you think could improve the beer without being presumptuous, if you're practicing for comp judging.
Overall, I would be stoked to get back a scoresheet that looked like this regardless of the score. You've provided great feedback. Helluva job, you'll make a great judge!
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 09:31:57 PM »
Right on.

On the esters thing. I thought the vertical list on the left was faults. I got a fruity ester, albiet faint and buried behind hops, but not "estery" like a fault. Should I have checked that box and explained why?

I appreciate the criticism on labeling. You're right. For the true challenge, blinder the better. Where I know im going to be weak is commenting on what makes it to style, out out of style. For the exam anyway. Its a bit less guess work with the guideline in front of you.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 09:52:16 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline Pinski

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 10:45:16 PM »
Right on.

On the esters thing. I thought the vertical list on the left was faults. I got a fruity ester, albiet faint and buried behind hops, but not "estery" like a fault. Should I have checked that box and explained why?

I appreciate the criticism on labeling. You're right. For the true challenge, blinder the better. Where I know im going to be weak is commenting on what makes it to style, out out of style. For the exam anyway. Its a bit less guess work with the guideline in front of you.

No kidding, I think that practicing filling out the sheets like you're doing is the best way to prepare. Good luck!
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
BJCP Certified

Offline ncbluesman

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2014, 07:48:00 AM »
While I'm not a beer judge, I do know something about images. How's this?

Offline denny

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2014, 08:04:08 AM »


On the esters thing. I thought the vertical list on the left was faults. I got a fruity ester, albiet faint and buried behind hops, but not "estery" like a fault. Should I have checked that box and explained why?

I just look at those as descriptors.  They may be faults, but it depends on the particular beer.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2014, 09:54:21 AM »


On the esters thing. I thought the vertical list on the left was faults. I got a fruity ester, albiet faint and buried behind hops, but not "estery" like a fault. Should I have checked that box and explained why?

I just look at those as descriptors.  They may be faults, but it depends on the particular beer.

We've been taught that to check something on the list "indicates the presence" of that characteristic regardless of whether or not appropriate to style.  It's not required but acceptable to provide additional explanation particularly if appropriate for style such as, "OK for style"
Steve Carper
Green Dragon Brew Crew
Clubs: Oregon Brew Crew & Strange Brew
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2014, 10:19:55 AM »
My thoughts, in no order:

Fill in the appropriate descriptor boxes.
Aroma lacking against what exactly?
It's not generally the entrant's fault when special ingredients are not presented to judges - just keep that in mind.
Saying "No thrill ride" could make an entrant want to throat punch you should they meet you, find different verbiage to say what you mean.

Aroma - sweet is not an ester. Aroma comments are not very precise. Citrus American hops is good, describe the sweetness in detail. If nothing else is present talk about what is not there, diacetyl, dms, etc.
Appearance - Seems you dinged for head retention, make it clear that is where the entrant lost points
Flavor - Not bad, but much of the response was hop flavor while malt discussion was an afterthought.
Mouthfeel - You dinged for something, again no apparent what. Use the cues given on the score sheet - any alcohol? Was it creamy? How about astringency? All I see discussed is carbonation and body.
Overall Impression - Zero suggestions on how to improve yet the beer was not scored a 50. That means there is room to improve, tell the "entrant" how even when evaluating a commercial beer to get in the groove of giving suggestions for improvement.

When I peel the onion the sheet is good, but has room for improvement. If I was an entrant and got something like this from a judge at competition I would be very pleased. If I was a grader and got this from someone who took the exam I'd probably land in the Certified range at best. My $0.02, HTH.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2014, 11:26:14 AM »
Wow tons of great input. Thanks everyone especially those who put time into it. Lots to absorb. I really appreciate it
« Last Edit: April 19, 2014, 11:43:04 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline santoch

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2014, 03:48:12 PM »
I concur with what Mike said, and also his assessment of your score sheet.

Here's how I tend to think about how to help structure the aroma and flavor sections. I like to use "ingredient coverage" as a framework for how to break down the aroma and flavor sections.  Each beer is created from malt, hops, yeast, and water (and sometimes additional ingredients for the fruit and specialty type categories), and therefore, each of these ingredient categories contributes something to the aroma/flavor of the beer.  I treat it as my job is to capture those contributions on the score sheet.

Each of the descriptors should express a descriptive vividness consisting of 3 parts: intensity of perception, a  "million dollar adjective" which vividly describes the characteristic, and of course the characteristic itself.  For example, "intense resiny pine and tangerine hop aroma"  gives much more vivid feedback than "lots of hops".

(aroma)
What do I get from the Hops?
What do I get from the Malt?
What do I get from the Yeast (e.g., esters, phenolics, alcohol, etc)?
What do I get from water or special ingredients (if there's anything noteworthy)?
What do I get from other factors (this is where I tend to look for packaging issues, off flavors, etc).
I also note any aromas that may be permissible but often fleeting, like sulphur or DMS in lagers or diacetyl in some ale styles, then go back later (usually after flavor has been fully commented) to revisit them and comment on whether they diminished, intensified, or stayed the same as the beer sat and warmed.

For appearance, I use the touch points in italics below the appearance header, looking for comments about the color, clarity, head color, head texture, head retention, etc.

Then I repeat the "ingredient coverage" for flavor-
What do I get from the Hops (both bitterness and flavor)?
What do I get from the Malt?
What do I get from the Yeast (e.g., esters, phenolics, alcohol, etc)?
What do I get from water or special ingredients (if there's anything noteworthy)?
What do I get from other factors (this is where I tend to look for packaging issues, off flavors, etc).

Mouthfeel visits all of the  touch points of body, carbonation, creaminess, etc.

Then, sum it up in the overall impression, as Mike says, offering suggestions on how to improve the beer.

Like Mike said, avoid phrases which may be construed as derogatory or inflammatory. 
Another thing that is a pet peeve for a lot of us graders is don't use ranges for aspects that can't vary over time.  What exactly does "medium to high bitterness" mean?  If you mean its between medium and high, then just say medium-high.

Other things to keep in mind-
Think of the "signature elements" of each style that are particular to that style.  Look for them and comment about them.  For example, alcohol in IIPA, BarleyWine, Imperial Stout, and Strong Belgians.  Sulphur and/or DMS in some lagers, diacetyl in some styles like Milds and Bitters, malt derived fruit flavors in the Bock family, etc.  Each of the styles have these signature aspects that should be there, and the very best score sheets seek those out and comment when they are there and just as importantly, when they are missing.


HTH-
Steve
Mt. Si Brewing Society
Washington Homebrewer's Association (WAHA)
BJCP Grand Master Judge

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2014, 04:11:21 PM »
Thanks Steve. I'll keep all of that in mind when I'm practicing.

Online Jimmy K

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Re: Lil Help
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2014, 05:50:14 AM »
Overall, great level of detail. If you can taste and write this in 12 minutes, you're well on your way. I think you'd at least pass with this scoresheet (though I'm not a grader).
 
A few, more mechanical comments based on what I've read about grading.
 
  • Watch the margins. Exam scoresheets get copied and margins can get lost. Lost words don't score points.
  • You have a few meaningless words. These won't loose points, but they take up time and space. Learn to be more efficient. EX - Aroma - Moderate level of citrus... We know moderate is an intensity descriptor, so "level of" is redundant. Also - "smelling" - this is aroma, everything described is a smell. Also - Primarily a hop flavor. Better would be - Intense hops dominate.
  • You don't get credit for 'generic' descriptors. Citrus, fruity, even 'American' are not considered specific enough. Oranges and fresh grapefruit skins is good. Herbal, floral, spicy hops seem to be more acceptable, but there is just a large range of citrus they want more specifics.
  • Make sure you list an intensity descriptor (none, low, medium, high, intense) for each characteristic. You did say moderate hop aroma, but didn't list intensities for malt aroma, ester aroma, or any of the flavors. That 'cover any fermentation esters that may be present' line is problematic. If you didn't detect any, just write "No esters"
  • "Too cold maybe" - never comment on something that is the responsibility of the competition, not the entrant.
  • Make sure you mention what isn't there too. I always throw 'No diacetyl, no DMS" at the end on aroma and flavor (assuming they're not there). They're mentioned in many guidelines, not quite all, but you won't loose points for mentioning them if they're not in the guidelines. You will loose points if you don't and the guidelines do.
  • General rule - give one suggestion for improvement for each score level (on the lower left) below outstanding.
  • You didn't describe malt very much other than sweet smelling and rich flavor. Was the malt crackery, bready, grainy? Were specialty malts nutty, caramel, toasty, chocolaty, roasty? Was there an adjunct like corn?
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