Author Topic: My first competition  (Read 1674 times)

Online micsager

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My first competition
« on: April 07, 2010, 07:46:15 AM »
Well, about a month ago, I entered my first competition. (Cascade Brewers Cup, in Seattle) I brewed an IPA, but folks on my homebrew club liked it, but said it was more like an ESB, so that's were I entered it. 

I just got the judging sheets, and one judge says "too hoppy", the other said "good hoppiness"  Rather confusing to new competitor.  Both were consistant in identifying some off flavors (solvent) and suggested I pay better attention to sanition.  So that was good feedback. 

But when the two judges say different things about the hoppiness, I have to wonder a bit.......   I've entered an Irish Red into NHC, and going to keep entering.  Regardless of winning or not, the objective judging of my beer is well worth the price to enter.....

Any thoughts?

Offline captnjohnny1618

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 07:58:09 AM »
I'm no expert on ESB, but according to the BJCP guidelines the hop aroma should be "moderately-high to moderately-low" and the hop flavor should be "moderate to moderately high (any variety, although earthy, resiny, and/or floral UK hops are most traditional). Hop bitterness and flavor should be noticeable, but should not totally dominate malt flavors."

Sounds like they were tasting the same thing but interpreting it differently: one guy thinks ESB should be hoppy, the other thought it dominated the malt flavors.  Mutually exclusive opinions suck!

Offline denny

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 08:19:28 AM »
It's not uncommon for judges to disagree, but that's a kinda confusing disagreement.  Look at the judge rank...were they both BJCP? 
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Offline deb

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 08:59:01 AM »
I started entering in competitions this year to get some feedback.    I took one beer and entered it into seven competitions, all in a three-month period.  It took two 1st places (one MCAB qualifier), one 2nd place, two 3rd places, and in two it didn't place at all.  The highest score was 45 and the lowest was 23.  The judges on the lowest scoring comp said my hops were old, but they were my own hops that were harvested last fall.

I also entered a braggot in two competitions a couple of weeks apart from one another.  One judge happened to be one of the judges in both comps.  The first comp it got a score of 35 and on the comment sheet it said that it was well balanced, and for the second comp it got a score of 23 and I was told it was too hoppy and not enough honey was used.  This same braggot also took a 1st place in a competition less than one month earlier than these two last ones.




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Re: My first competition
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 09:17:51 AM »
What kind of IPA were you going for? If it had a strong American hop flavor/aroma then that wouldn't be to style. "Too hoppy" isn't exactly a helpful comment though.
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Online micsager

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 11:15:22 AM »
It's not uncommon for judges to disagree, but that's a kinda confusing disagreement.  Look at the judge rank...were they both BJCP? 

One certified, one recognized.


Offline denny

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 12:09:01 PM »
It's not uncommon for judges to disagree, but that's a kinda confusing disagreement.  Look at the judge rank...were they both BJCP? 

One certified, one recognized.



OK, so even the higher ranking one isn't real experienced.  I'd just chalk it up to the vagaries of judging....
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Re: My first competition
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2010, 12:25:23 PM »
OK, so even the higher ranking one isn't real experienced.

Or very experienced, and just not very good. ;)
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Online micsager

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 01:32:08 PM »
I don't really want to bash the judges per se.  I am way to new to the judging word for that. 

Does anyone know where you could send a bottle (outside of a formal competition to have it judged? 

Offline makemehoppy

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2010, 01:40:08 PM »
I would consider sending beer from the same batch to more than one competition and getting more feedback. If you are in a club bring some to the next meeting and ask opinions from judges.

Online micsager

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 03:03:46 PM »
I would consider sending beer from the same batch to more than one competition and getting more feedback. If you are in a club bring some to the next meeting and ask opinions from judges.

I like the idea of sending the same beer to more than one competition.  My club is very small (4-5 regulars) and no judges.  Or at least no BCJP judges.  We all share our opinions.......  LOL.

Offline smokeeater

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 08:21:29 PM »
I just got a score sheet back from a cream ale where the same judge, on the same beer, on the same line, said it was "too dry on the finish", then--on the next sentence--said "needs to be a little drier".   ???  I understand that judges are human, but is it too much to ask that you read over what you've written?

A BJCP Certified judge, too.
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Online micsager

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2010, 09:55:54 AM »
Well, about a month ago, I entered my first competition. (Cascade Brewers Cup, in Seattle) I brewed an IPA, but folks on my homebrew club liked it, but said it was more like an ESB, so that's were I entered it. 

I just got the judging sheets, and one judge says "too hoppy", the other said "good hoppiness"  Rather confusing to new competitor.  Both were consistant in identifying some off flavors (solvent) and suggested I pay better attention to sanition.  So that was good feedback. 

But when the two judges say different things about the hoppiness, I have to wonder a bit.......   I've entered an Irish Red into NHC, and going to keep entering.  Regardless of winning or not, the objective judging of my beer is well worth the price to enter.....

Any thoughts?

Well, I got my sheets back from NHC, and I got a 30.  And the lead judge was a grand master, so I'll revel in this glory for a little while.  All comments were good, except "malt complexity," which I don't really know how to fix.  But, I'm gonna find out.   Any suggestions?

Offline craigg

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2010, 05:37:37 PM »
I entered my first comp this year also. I guess I started at the top - as I was bold enough to send a cherry porter to the NHC.  I've been brewing on my own (and not really to style) for about 8-9 years now. I brew mostly red and brown ales, w/the occasional porter and IPA. I am anxious to get my first score sheet and see what the judges have to say.  Judging happens day after tomorrow, and based on my inquiries - it sounds like judging sheets might show up in early May. I'm doing my best to stay patient and optimistic - and also trying to keep from drinking up all the goodness just in case I have to send more!

Offline MDixon

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Re: My first competition
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2010, 05:43:11 PM »
Malt complexity can be a simple as adding in some specialty malts or perhaps changing the malt temp or it could be to change the yeast. Think about your recipe and what you could do to make the flavor more complex. In many cases a beer is to style but is rather boring, a tweak in the recipe can take good to outstanding...
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