Author Topic: 10 days to exam  (Read 2099 times)

Offline ScottBeh

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10 days to exam
« on: April 15, 2015, 11:50:26 AM »
After pretty much giving up on landing a tasting exam seat, I've been offered a seat in an exam taking place in 10 days.  I really want to take it, but I've done pretty much zero prep since I was so far down on the wait lists.  I was hoping for months to prepare.  Any tips to get ready quickly?

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 11:58:40 AM »
Start writing score sheets, get used to writing without hand fatigue.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 01:32:04 PM »
If you can find a BJCP competition to judge in this weekend, do so. 

Offline udubdawg

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 01:50:17 PM »
does "zero prep" mean haven't studied guidelines and drank beer while thinking of how they fit the styles?

If so, yeah that would be difficult.

if however you've been doing those things, and just haven't been filling out scoresheets, no biggie.  You can pass with just a few practice sheets, timing yourself over the next week, and remembering to fully fill out the sheet and offer specific, helpful feedback.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2015, 02:22:42 PM »
You have passed the online exam right? (since you can't take the tasting without it). If that's the case 'zero prep' isn't quite true.
 
So assuming that, if you can judge a competition beforehand - DO IT! Let the organizer know you're taking the exam and you'll probably be placed with a good judge who can help.
 
Also, grab some beers (any beers) and scoresheets and practice filling them out within 15 minutes. Then scan or photograph them and post here and/or on the BJCP.org forum. You'll get good feedback about completeness, feedback quality, etc. About 60% of your grade depends no whether you can write a good scoresheet that hits all of the characteristics. Even if your perceptions differ, you'll still get points for completeness, descriptive ability, and feedback. On the other hand if you miss characteristics, you loose those points AND loose those perception points too.
 
Take a look at these, especially the first two documents.
http://unyha.com/index.php/competitions/bjcp-judge-training/217-bjcp-exam-resources.html
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Offline ScottBeh

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2015, 02:37:48 PM »
Thanks for the help guys.  I'll pick up a bunch of mixed packs and start practicing scoresheets.  Did a lot of study of the guidelines and all the other resources on the BJCP site last fall right after the provisional when I had high hopes for a seat. A refresher is due definitely, it should come back quick. Been brewing about 10 years hope that helps but have only brewed about a dozen styles.   Have read just about every brewing book that comes out.  Will re-read Mosher Tasting Beer over the few days. No local comps going on this weekend but that would have been good practice, just missed one last week.

Offline kramerog

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 02:30:06 AM »
Definitely study the guidelines.  It helped me to summarize which styles could have DMS (some US and German ones) and which ones could have diacetyl (some British ones).  Don't second guess yourself - case in point, you may taste a beer that has really nailed some aspects of the style and then is completely off on other aspects and wonder how the beer is so good in one area and bad in another.  It is possible that what you are drinking is a blend of two or more beers left over from a home brew competition, one good and one bad. 


Offline ScottBeh

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2015, 11:53:35 AM »
Thank you for the excellent links.

Offline ScottBeh

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2015, 11:20:14 PM »
So my first sheet was Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison.  I scored it a 43. I think its way too much added spices to perfectly fit the style.  Does that make sense?  Took way longer than I hoped, 30 minutes.  Got to work on decision making.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2015, 01:07:52 AM »
So my first sheet was Ommegang Hennepin Farmhouse Saison.  I scored it a 43. I think its way too much added spices to perfectly fit the style.  Does that make sense?  Took way longer than I hoped, 30 minutes.  Got to work on decision making.
"43" and "way to much" probably dont match up. From what ive seen, out of style is tough to hit mid 30s even if its awesome otherwise.

Ya decision making. Look at it this way. Perceptions arent decisions. What do you see smell taste feel? Write it down, its what you see smell taste feel, so its not wrong. Suggested fixes are the time burner but they come quick with practice.

Set your timer and describe one head to toe. That ought to take about 5-7 minutes. Then crank out a couple three suggestions.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2015, 01:12:29 AM »
Scoring: the way I see it 13 is literally undrinkable. 50 is absolutely perfect. Out of this world stellar beers usually get a 45. Id be surprised to see a beer at a test get less than 20. I wouldnt try to game the scoring, like giving everything a 32... but just keep in mind that 45 is pretty outstanding and 20 is pretty trashy.

Offline MDixon

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2015, 11:40:16 AM »
You may find this useful. Keep in mind beers vary bottle to bottle so one person's 40 might be another person's 30.
http://www.bjcp.org/course/ClassicStyles.php
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Offline ScottBeh

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2015, 11:59:59 AM »
Thanks Jim for your input.  It was hard to be objective knowing it was a commercial beer, especially with the Ommegang label staring you in the face..  And thanks for the audios link M, I thought I had already scoured the BJCP site.

At the risk of great embarrassment, I am linking my first score sheet.  I did not read about the beer at all before tasting, just read the style guideline.  Sorry I cant lean on a homebrew club or anyone else or I would for help.  My process was to get aroma first then appearance, then hit each category with comments after each of 3-4 tastes. Hopefully I can get some critique to get me on the right track for the short time remaining.  I am all grown up, please be as harsh as you can.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/b4lb6822x7913na/Saison.PDF?dl=0

Offline MDixon

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Re: 10 days to exam
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2015, 12:27:01 PM »
Just random notes:
What are exotic spices
Don't try to figure out where things come from, low level citrusy ester is what you perceived. All that extra guessing doesn't earn points
spicy aromatics either overpower or they don't, they should not "appear to"
Loose the "possibly yeast derived"
Now everything should fit in the Aroma space, writing in the margins rarely earns extra marks. Only do it if you must.

don't compare appearance to another beer, describe the appearance. I'd lose the 25% of sample comment, just describe it as very tall and moussy or whatever fits

Low phenols, what kind - bandaid (bad), or spicy (good)? Explain the exotic. Better terminology would be Low spicy phenols of pepper and star anise (or whatever). Once you fully describe, then it would be fine to just call them phenols. Alcohol warmth is a sensation and should be in mouthfeel. Alcohol flavor is a flavor description. Be sure to put things in the proper location. Don't use the term "swallow", better to describe the finish and aftertaste.

Thin body? Was it low, medium, high or some combination, explain the exact level. You said it wasn't astringent and then said it was. It is an absolute, it either is astringent or it isn't. FWIW - I have never had an astringent Hennepin.

If it was astringent and out of balance at best it would score a 32-35, perhaps lower. Better feedback is required, discuss how to take it from whatever score you gave to a 50. If your Stylistic Grid at the bottom was for a 43 beer at least two of the aspects would be full ticks. On the left since you mentioned astringent it needs to be ticked. Phenolic needs to be ticked. Esters need to be ticked. If it is present in the beer it should be marked.

I'd probably give that sheet a Certified score if grading. Tweaked as suggested above with attributes in the correct section and I'd go National.
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