Author Topic: First Competition  (Read 1113 times)

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
First Competition
« on: March 04, 2015, 10:50:13 PM »
Any best practices or wise old tips to give a first timer for a competition in May?

Offline morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7782
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: First Competition
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2015, 10:55:25 PM »
Don't take it too seriously.

You don't know what the judge tasted and it may not be what you expected. They may not understand what they are doing and often times are just wrong on the score. Look for the good feedback above all.

those are advice for how to accept the scoresheets.

For trying to 'win', aside from brewing the best beer you can, enter a lot of beers, and contests. JZ mentioned at one point that, at least for NHC, he would expect a 30% advancement max, so if you send in 9 beers to round one 1 might medal in the second round.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline goschman

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3431
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2015, 11:02:23 PM »
+1

I have only entered a few and have had varying results. Don't get too caught up in the score. I was disappointed with my most recent score which still falls in the 'very good' range although you wouldn't think so by some of the comments and just the x/50 score.

I somehow got 1st place in my category once and that gave me a false sense of confidence. I would go into it with the attitude that you just want feedback on how to improve your beers. Anything else positive is gravy...
On Tap/Bottled: Haze for Daze IPA, G Pils, Maibock, Watermelon Cider         

Fermenting: Kolsch
Up Next: Summer Ale, Gose

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8460
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2015, 03:51:18 AM »
Grab a blank scoresheet off bjcp.org and sit down with your beer. If you dont find any of the faults on the left side of the sheet, I say go for it. As mentioned before, get winning out of your mind. Look for good feedback, but dont totally count on it. The score will help you see where others put your beer. But one set of score sheets is not enough data to get too worked up about. And finally, don't get worked up for any reason its just for fun and is a good fund source for the club running it. Hopefully you don't get blatant rude comments back, and odds are that you won't but,  if you do I suggest emailing a copy to the comp leader and the bjcp.

Offline toby

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1017
  • Galvez, LA
    • View Profile
    • Beer Judge Chronicles
Re: First Competition
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2015, 04:13:13 AM »

Offline duboman

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1576
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2015, 02:22:17 PM »
Time your beer so its at its best come comp judging.

Sample well and be sure the final product fits in the style you intended. If not adjust the style category to be entered.

Try to enter the beers in more than one comp to get a good average of feedback.

As mentioned, don't take things too seriously, its for fun and feedback.

Drop off your beer if you can, shipping can sometimes mess with your beer.

Good luck!
Peace....Love......Beer......

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the craft of beer since 2010

Offline dsmitch19

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
    • ASH
Re: First Competition
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2015, 08:13:12 PM »
A lot of new entrants don't pay enough attention to the style guide. So, make sure you enter your beers in the correct style category. Taste your beer while reading the style guideline for the style you are planning to enter. Does it have those qualities? You might set out to brew an American Amber Ale but the finished product tastes more like a pale ale or an ESB. Enter it as what you think it ended up as versus what you originally set out to brew.

Another question I ask new entrants is did you add anything to the beer so that it would need to go into a specialty category like spices, chocolate, fruit, wood aging, etc. That's a big mistake I see a lot of brewers make.

Aside from that, RDWHAHB! Judging is not a perfect system, but it can be educational and rewarding most of the time. Here's hoping you get some good judges! (On that line, try to enter a competition that has a good reputation for judging and organization.)

Cheers!
Dennis Mitchell
Grand Master Judge + Mead Judge
BJCP Communications Director
AHA Governing Committee

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2015, 12:53:41 PM »
Will you get dinged for chill haze or any lack of clarity for an APA in a competition?

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2015, 01:02:22 PM »
Depends on style. Haze in most lagers is not good. Haze in an IPA will probably be forgiven, even expected to an extent. Haze in witbier is mandatory.  BUT!! Appearance is only worth 3 points out of 50 and includes color, clarity, and head quality (color, texture, volume). If I were the judge and haze was the only appearance problem, I'd deduct 1 point at most. In ales, I tend to forgive light haze pretty quickly if other aspects are right on.
 
Short story - if your 38 beer is brought down to a 37 by haze, that probably doesn't hurt its chances of winning much.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline theDarkSide

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2983
  • Derry, NH
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2015, 01:06:35 PM »
Depends on style. Haze in most lagers is not good. Haze in an IPA will probably be forgiven, even expected to an extent. Haze in witbier is mandatory.  BUT!! Appearance is only worth 3 points out of 50 and includes color, clarity, and head quality (color, texture, volume). If I were the judge and haze was the only appearance problem, I'd deduct 1 point at most. In ales, I tend to forgive light haze pretty quickly if other aspects are right on.
 
Short story - if your 38 beer is brought down to a 37 by haze, that probably doesn't hurt its chances of winning much.
I've never judged or even attended a competition, but do you think things like haze affect the later elements of judging?  Will a judge be influenced into thinking there is something wrong because there is a haze issue?
Seacoast Homebrew Club - Portsmouth, NH
AHA Member
Stephen Mayo
------------------------------------------------

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2015, 01:07:20 PM »
Most common new contestant mistake I see is entering a beer with a specialty ingredient (fruit, spice, coffee, etc) in a standard style. Any non-standard add-on means the beer must go in one of the specialty categories - Fruit Beer, Spice/Herb/Vegetable, Belgian Specialty, Wood-Aged/Smoked, or if it doesn't fit one of those - Specialty.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2015, 01:16:07 PM »
I've never judged or even attended a competition, but do you think things like haze affect the later elements of judging?  Will a judge be influenced into thinking there is something wrong because there is a haze issue?
Maybe - but most advanced judges I know encourage judges not to do that. And again, it depends on style. Haze in ales is fairly common. Haze in lagers not so much. 
 
For ales, maybe its more the opposite - some haze leaves me with no expectations for flavor. Could be good, could be bad - it just doesn't tell me anything. But a crystal clear pale ale leaves me thinking the brewer did something really well. Still if the beer doesn't hold up to that expectation I'm not giving out bonus points.
 
Now if it pours out like chunky soup, that may be hard to ignore. :)

However, if your beer makes it to Best of Show, haze could be what prevents it from winning. There it's competing against many other awesome beers and it's often small aspects of character that separate the winners.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2015, 01:17:57 PM by Jimmy K »
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline dsmitch19

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
    • ASH
Re: First Competition
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2015, 06:11:29 PM »
I've never judged or even attended a competition, but do you think things like haze affect the later elements of judging?  Will a judge be influenced into thinking there is something wrong because there is a haze issue?

Haze can be indicative of other problems and can be a cue to look for them, but it should not make a judge think or assume there is a problem just by appearance alone. A good judge will use all available clues to try to diagnose a problem, so further analysis of the beer needs to support any problems that haze can tip off, such as oxidation, infection, young beer, yeasty, etc.

Some haze from dry hopping is OK in APA and IPA.
Cheers!
Dennis Mitchell
Grand Master Judge + Mead Judge
BJCP Communications Director
AHA Governing Committee

Offline jeffy

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3391
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2015, 06:15:04 PM »
I've never judged or even attended a competition, but do you think things like haze affect the later elements of judging?  Will a judge be influenced into thinking there is something wrong because there is a haze issue?

Haze can be indicative of other problems and can be a cue to look for them, but it should not make a judge think or assume there is a problem just by appearance alone. A good judge will use all available clues to try to diagnose a problem, so further analysis of the beer needs to support any problems that haze can tip off, such as oxidation, infection, young beer, yeasty, etc.

Some haze from dry hopping is OK in APA and IPA.
The above advice is good.  Keep in mind that haziness is only a point, but it is also a clue.  I wouldn't deduct a point for chill haze in an ale, but I may give an extra point overall for an ale that is sparklingly clear.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline flbrewer

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2161
    • View Profile
Re: First Competition
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2015, 01:04:12 AM »
What are your thoughts on scheduling a pale ale ahead of a competition? 6 weeks?