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Author Topic: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles  (Read 2656 times)

Offline pyrite

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BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« on: June 09, 2010, 01:38:30 pm »
I enjoy entering homebrew competitions.  I especially favor local homebrew competitions that only require 2-bottles per sub-category.  I do not understand why some homebrew competitions require 3-bottles per sub-category while some require only 2-bottles per sub-category.  Is this a situation of not being efficient with the beer at judging?  Are the organizers over pouring more beer into the glass than they should?   I have never judged a brew comp, nor do I know any specifics on how much beer is needed to be able to properly judge a homebrew comp.  But I am certain I am not alone in feeling this, that there are a lot of home brewers out there that would rather only enter competitions where 2-bottles rather that 3-bottles per sub-category are required of them.  I know what is 1 more bottle, right, but I enjoy having that 1 bottle for myself.   

Below are two BJCP sanctioned local Homebrew competitions rules page.  Hanger24 Brewery requires 2-bottles and the I.E.Brewery requires 3-bottles.

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Offline dbeechum

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 01:56:39 pm »
Its all about organization and the dreaded Mini-BOS panel.

In a nutshell, for categories too big for a single group of judges, the flight is split amongst teams of judges. When done, they come back together and re-taste the top beers from each group. From that tasting they choose 1,2,3.

Here's how that impacts the 2 v. 3 bottle rule: In 2 bottle competitions, the organizers have to ensure that the judges save enough beer for a mini-BOS and that the bottles are immediately re-capped and kept cold. It doesn't always help and the beers suffer before the mini. (Oh, the number of times I've heard "This really was fantastic when it was freshly opened"). Requiring 3 bottles ensures that everyone is on even footing for the mini-BOS.

Also, say something is wrong with one bottle (e.g. poorly capped, no gas, infected, etc) - judges in a 3 bottle comp will request the additional bottle to check to make sure the problem isn't confined to the single bottle.

On the plus side for the 2 bottle rule: organizers need 1/3 less storage space for entries before the competition.
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Offline Hokerer

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 01:57:18 pm »
It has to do with the possibility that your brew might be so wonderful that it advances to the Best of Show round.  Since that round can be long after the main judging, it's better to use a fresh bottle.  Now to me, that explains 2 bottles.  The only thing I can think of is that, similar to Best of Show rounds, there can also be multiple flights in the main judging.  Particularly in comps with a lot of entries.  That would drive the 3 bottle requirement.

Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2010, 02:07:13 pm »
There's also the chance of bottle contamination.  I've been judging when we had a contaminated gusher and pulled a second bottle to give the person the benefit of the doubt that it was a 1 - bottle contamintation, not an entire batch contamination.

If that beer were to place, there wouldn't be any bottles left for the Best of Show round with the 2 bottle competitions.

Offline bonjour

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2010, 02:43:47 pm »
that sums it up.
On a bad beer I'd rather pull a bottle designated for a future round and give good feedback (note that you pulled a 2nd bottle)

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Offline dontblake

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2010, 04:06:02 pm »
There's also the notion of Pro-am competitions.  Having that extra bottle gets the commercial brewers a fresh sample after the BOS round.   And not to mention, if you have a large competition with several flights the BOS may even be split into a mini-BOS format (half of the judges get half the BOS beers and eliminate obvious ones, then the best from both panels go for the final BOS judging).   I was judging recently and we had barely enough for everyone.   If we had a third bottle, we could have had fresh pours for the final BOS judging.   
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Offline The Rabid Brewer

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2010, 06:22:16 pm »
Here's how 3 bottles are typically used:

Bottle 1: Preliminary Round - Used when the number of entries in a category (or combined category) is greater than around 10. That is the most a panel usually wants to judge to guard against palate fatigue and to keep the time for each flight to a reasonable amount. When multiple flights in a category need to be judged, then the top entries from each are passed on to a final round to decide the winners. E.g., a category has 20 entries. Two flights of 10 are judged in a preliminary round, and the top 3 to 4 beers from each are passed on to a final round.

Bottle 2: Final Round - Entries passed from the preliminary round are evaluated in a single flight to pick the winners (E.g., 1st, 2nd and 3rd.) You don't want to select winners just based on score from the prelim round as there may be skew between judging panels. Judging them with a new panel in a single flight ensures each entry is evaluated in relation to the other top entries in that category. Having a bottle for prelims and another for a final round means the judging doesn't have to be done same day. (Judging a flight can take a few hours and judges are volunteering their time often on weekdays.) Smaller comps (< ~100 entries) don't require a preliminary round and just do final judging on each flight. That's why sometimes one less bottle is needed.

Bottle 3: Best of Show (BOS) - Once the winners from each category are determined, the 1st place winner in each category go on to a BOS round where a single flight is evaluated (usually not scored) for the best overall beers in the whole comp. Some comps request 3 bottles, but will allow you to send only 2 bottles but then take you out of BOS contention. Read the rules when in doubt. If it isn't explicit, send 3 or risk disqualification.

An interesting (and perhaps controversial) comp is NHC where the prelim / regional rounds only require 1 bottle, yet the number of entries is still large. (E.g., West had over 600 entries.)  Beers in a category are judged by multiple panels and the top beers from each panel are passed on to a BOS-type round. It's called a mini-BOS in this context, but the concept is the same. The 'odd' thing is that a single beer is used for both the prelims and mini-BOS to limit the logistical issues of storing and transporting so many entries. The disadvantage is a beer opened early in a flight will loose some carb and aroma (even if capped) while waiting for the mini-BOS to occur. The time between the prelim and final mini-BOS judging is minimized by using something called queued judging, but that's a different thread. ;-)

« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 08:50:30 pm by The Rabid Brewer »
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Offline tom

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2010, 08:46:06 pm »
Yeah, I wish the NHC 1st round would ask for 2 bottles.
Last year we had 3 or 4 tables of American Ales that had a large mini-BOS. It would have been much better with new bottles for all.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010, 04:58:58 am »
While I would have appreciated 2 bottles for the first round of the NHC when I was Judge Director for the region, the reality was we were a two man show for most of the unpacking and registration and could not have possibly handled 1200 bottles. I was ultimately glad we only had a single bottle of each. I'm sure others garner more assistance, but our club was in burnout mode at the time and we were situated 3 hours from our largest group of people to assist. A single bottle makes sense in that respect, but sure would make life more pleasant at the judging table...
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