Author Topic: first competition beer  (Read 720 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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first competition beer
« on: July 02, 2015, 07:57:31 PM »
I'm thinking of entering my first competition brew, in the middle of September. In the Netherlands. It's going to be an IPA, probably based on the double fibonacci  series discussed in another thread.

What I would like to ask: do you have any general tips with respect to beer competitions in general and IPA's in particular that one cannot find  when one RTFM? Tricks to please the palate? Subliminal luring? I'm not sure how Dutch judges are going to evaluate API's, but my hunch is that they will not fall for a hoppy nuclear explosion.
Frank P.

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2015, 08:02:22 PM »
It really depends. is this a BJCP style comp using a set of published guidelines? done in a blind tasting?

if so your best bet is to brew to the high end of the guidlines and just brew the best beer you can. if it doesn't do well don't read into it too much. judges are human and they do they best they can to be objective but they aren't.

If it's not to published guidelines, you have a better feel for what the judges will be looking for coming from similar background. Even then it's a huge crapshoot. But generally then you want to brew to what you think the judges will like. Perhaps they won't go for a hop explosion but perhaps you could be the brewer to introduce over the top IIPAs to the low countries.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2015, 08:21:53 PM »
There's only 5 or so classes with IPA's in the class blonde over 1.050 or something like that.
Frank P.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2015, 10:57:27 PM »
Come on people, help me out here. For instance, is there a standard and clean way to hide money under a cap?
Frank P.

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Offline rgonzalez_me

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2015, 12:42:49 AM »
Come on people, help me out here. For instance, is there a standard and clean way to hide money under a cap?

Hahahaha!

Competitions are fun but IMO when you loose is when you actually win. Getting a medal or any price only tells you what is obvious that your beer was at least better than the rest and you tend to forget to read the judges commentaries because you won. When you loose you tend to digest the judges critics more seriously and you get determined to fix whatever problem.

My advice is:
Don't marry yourself to the style you intended to brew. Stick to whatever is your final product. If you intended to make a bock but for some reason it ended up tasting and looking like for example some kind of hybrid beer just file it under hybrid beer. (Bad example but you catch my flow)

How you describe your beer in the application is very important. If you aimed for honey like taste but the honey is not evident at all don't even mention the honey. Deal with what you actually ended up with. I compete every now and then but I am not an extreme competitor. I hate it when I brew a really nice style and score a 38 and don't even get a 5th place only to find out that whoever won got 40+ for brewing a chorizo-garbanzo-guava-triple blonde dunkelweissen stout. There is no way to compete against hipster brewer and hipster judges who think such a thing is awesome. (And now down from my sore looser's soapbox)
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Offline jeffy

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2015, 12:35:06 PM »
There was a talk at NHC called "Mastering the Art of Hop Fu" in which the speaker explained how he won the IPA category several times in the NHC first and second rounds over the years.  The same beer won first and second more than once as IPA and Double IPA. 
Freshness was one of his keys to success as I recall.  You can probably find the seminar on the AHA site.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2015, 12:51:48 PM »
There was a talk at NHC called "Mastering the Art of Hop Fu" in which the speaker explained how he won the IPA category several times in the NHC first and second rounds over the years.  The same beer won first and second more than once as IPA and Double IPA. 
Freshness was one of his keys to success as I recall.  You can probably find the seminar on the AHA site.
I just listened to that. I think Kelsey's main points were minimizing oxygen contact at every step, freshness, and making sure that the hops are high quality. He has brewed his recipe over and over for years, so he knows the ingredients extremely well.
Eric B.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2015, 01:41:54 PM »
"Mastering the Art of Hop Fu"

Wow. Just wow!
Frank P.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: first competition beer
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2015, 02:16:44 PM »
There was a talk at NHC called "Mastering the Art of Hop Fu" in which the speaker explained how he won the IPA category several times in the NHC first and second rounds over the years.  The same beer won first and second more than once as IPA and Double IPA. 
Freshness was one of his keys to success as I recall.  You can probably find the seminar on the AHA site.
I just listened to that. I think Kelsey's main points were minimizing oxygen contact at every step, freshness, and making sure that the hops are high quality. He has brewed his recipe over and over for years, so he knows the ingredients extremely well.

Good presentation
Jon H.