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BJCP Hombrew Comp. Rules: 3-Bottles rather than 2-Bottles

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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