Author Topic: Beer classification  (Read 643 times)

Offline maple31

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Beer classification
« on: November 03, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »
I was wondering if anybody could give the best advice on this.

I plan on trying to enter as many competitions as possible this coming year and I have a beer that I'd like to put through the test that, doesn't fall in exact parameters but, I'd hate to just lump in the Specialty beer category.
This past August, I needed to get a Marzen ready for an Oktoberfest party at the end of September and since there was no way a lager would be ready by then, I took my grain bill and just fermented it with Wyeast 1007. Problem was that through a mixture of good efficiency and what had to be an error by my LHBS and how much grain they gave me, I ended up with a 7.3% ale instead of the ~5.4% I was shooting for.
That brings me to the question: Just what the heck is it? I could try running it as an Imperial Marzen or, a North German Imperial Altbier and put them both in their respective categories, hoping that the points taken off for being out of OG/FG range would be offset by other qualities or, just throw it into the specialty category.

I would just love some feedback on what others would do.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 07:53:49 PM »
Would it fit better in an old ale or English barleywine class?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 07:54:55 PM »
Not useful for this particular situation but it might be useful for future oktoberfest parties:

If you are brewing in August there is no reason you can't have a marzen ready by end of september. 6 weeks grain to glass is totally doable as long as you pitch enough yeast and step the temp up after 4 or 5 days to finish. I've had marzens finish in first place with this schedule.

Now to the actual question. Does it taste like a 7.3 marzen? or just a marzen? or altbier? same question, does it taste like 7.3%? The judge isn't going to know what the OG was or the FG or the ABV except in so far as they can taste it. If it tastes like a slightly beefier altbier than try that. but if it's distinctly a strong german ale that obviously does not fit into those styles then enter it as 23.
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Offline maple31

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2014, 08:19:42 PM »
The high alcohol was actually barely perceptible, you'd never had thought it was a 7.3% and it cleared up really well. I was under the impression that after tasting, they checked ingredient lists to see what was more style appropriate and adjusted the scores from there. I think honestly, the description would fit more the Imperial Altbier due to the process in making it and the high OG but, not a Sticke Alt or Doppelsticke because the color and IBU's were in the range of a regular Altbier and not the latter.

In the specialty category, is it generally judged on its' own merits? It is good on its' own but, I can't see it making it if it is set side by side next to something like a chocolate jalapeno porter since it is a more traditional method and ingredients.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2014, 08:26:14 PM »
Judges do not know specs or recipe. There was a slightly heated discussion regarding this year's winner in one category that was a bit over OG for the style.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2014, 08:38:48 PM »
Don't go by how you made it, go by what it tastes like. Do you know any judges with a good palate? Let them sample some but don't give them any information at all about it. Then ask them what category they think it would score highest in.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2014, 08:52:35 PM »
The high alcohol was actually barely perceptible, you'd never had thought it was a 7.3% and it cleared up really well. I was under the impression that after tasting, they checked ingredient lists to see what was more style appropriate and adjusted the scores from there. I think honestly, the description would fit more the Imperial Altbier due to the process in making it and the high OG but, not a Sticke Alt or Doppelsticke because the color and IBU's were in the range of a regular Altbier and not the latter.

In the specialty category, is it generally judged on its' own merits? It is good on its' own but, I can't see it making it if it is set side by side next to something like a chocolate jalapeno porter since it is a more traditional method and ingredients.

with category 23 you specify a base style, if appropriate, and any special ingredients/information you want the judges to know while tasting the beer. perhaps in this case base style might be 7A or 7C and in special ingredients/information specify 'Imperial Altbier' or similar. It will be judged against how well it embodies the base style as interpreted through the lens of the special information.

alternatly you can skip the base style and simply say its a 'Strong German Ale'
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Offline maple31

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2014, 09:07:40 PM »
Thanks everybody for the clarification,

I really appreciate the input.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2014, 10:28:16 PM »
Wouldn't a strong Festbier be a Bock?  Is it dark enough to be a Doublebock or light enough to be a Maibock?
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2014, 10:30:32 PM »
Wouldn't a strong Festbier be a Bock?  Is it dark enough to be a Doublebock or light enough to be a Maibock?

+1
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Offline brewday

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2014, 01:52:39 AM »
If you think it tastes like an imperial altbier then enter it in 23 as Sticke Altbier.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Beer classification
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2014, 02:20:54 AM »
If you ever want to sell it in America call it an IPA ;)
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